Archive: 2012
Algerian artist shows boat used to transport illegal immigrants to the US

Algerian artist shows boat used to transport illegal immigrants to the US

Adel Abdessemed - Hope
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 81 x 96 x 228 inches
Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

ABOUT HOPE

In 2012, Algerian born artist Adel Abdessemed showed Hope as part of his solo exhibition Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf at David Zwirner.

The boat was found abandoned on a beach in the Florida Keys (US). Typically used illegally to transport immigrants in pursuit of a new life to the United States, often compromising their safety in the process, the boat is presented as it was discovered, but has been filled to the brim with black bags cast in polyurethane resin from actual, stuffed garbage sacks. While a crude and provocative analogy between the trash and the boat’s former passengers appears explicit, Hope presents an art historical reference to Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich’s apocalyptic painting from 1823-1824, The Wreck of the Hope, featuring a capsized vessel in a sea of icebergs.

ABOUT ADEL ABDESSEMED

Born in 1971 in Constantine, Algeria, Adel Abdessemed studied at the École des beaux-arts de Batna and the École des beaux-arts d’Alger, Algiers (1987-1994), before traveling to France where he attended the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon (1994-1998). He was an artist-in-residence at the Cité internationale des Arts de Paris in 1999-2000, and the following year at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center’s International Studio Program in Long Island City, New York. After living in New York, the artist moved to Paris, then to Berlin, then back to New York. He now lives and works in Paris.

Adel Abdessemed - Hope
Adel AbdessemedHope, 2011-2012, Refugee boat and resin, 81 x 96 x 228 inches
Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London


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NYC artists install sculpture in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

NYC artists install sculpture in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Wolf Within - 1
FAILE – Wolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

In October of 2012, New York artists FAILE unveiled their sculpture Wolf Within at the site of the National Garden Park in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The figure—a man cloaked in a wolf pelt, tearing away the remnants of a two piece suit in revelation—is a familiar one for those acquainted with FAILE’s work. Wolf Within was conceived on the brink of the 2008 financial crisis for a series of paintings that fused a decadent capitalist landscape with a lost but resurgent past. Images of native warriors set amidst gleaming skyscrapers opened the question of what we lose and gain in our pursuit for ever greater wealth, and figured the dangers of our entrenched political and economic systems.

For Western audiences, Wolf Within was a vivid illustration that the bull-market couldn’t last forever, and a world out of balance can only sustain itself for so long. Realized in 2012, in three dimensions, Wolf Within is a timely work for a Mongolian context. The figure’s suit invokes the influx of investors from around the world, and the wolf is, as ever, a potent symbol, a depiction of nature’s ferocious power and a reminder our environment and traditions cannot be forgotten.

Local sculptor and craftsman Batmunkh was invited to realize a concept created by FAILE and added his personal interpretation to their sculpture. Wolf Within embodies the similarity of the challenges faced by fast-modernizing places around the world. It also calls to mind the incredible changes Mongolia now faces, as a mineral rich and quickly urbanizing country. Afterall, the fortunes of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, increase as steadily as the mining of gold, copper, and uranium from sites like Oyu Tolgoi, shaking up a historically pastoral society. The consequences of this change are, of course, unknown, but Wolf Within is a reminder of nature’s strength, and its ambivalent dance with big money.

Faile - Wolf Within (2013)
FAILE – Wolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Wolf Within (2013)
FAILE – Wolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


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A large public installation by Robert Montgomery in India

A large public installation by Robert Montgomery in India

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Robert Montgomery, Fado music in reverse, Biennale di Kochi-Muziris 2012

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Robert Montgomery, Fado music in reverse, Biennale di Kochi-Muziris 2012

For India’s first festival of international contemporary art, the Kochi Muziris-Biennale, which first took place in 2012, Robert Montgomery has created a poem about exile in light on the sea-facing façade of Aspinwall House which he describes as Fado music in reverse.

Photos: Kochi-Muziris Biennale


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A rainbow spanning over NYC at night

A rainbow spanning over NYC at night

Yvette Mattern - Global RainbowYvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

ABOUT GLOBAL RAINBOW

Global Rainbow, After the Storm is a monumental outdoor laser installation by American artist Yvette Mattern, viewable to millions of New Yorkers. Organized in response to Hurricane Sandy, the artist projected seven beams of high power laser light over communities hit hard by the storm, originating on Manhattan’s lower west side and spanning across Brooklyn toward the Rockaways. The installation aimed to symbolize hope and act as a call to action to support the communities that were devastated by the storm. The artwork illuminated the night sky and was visible for up to 35 miles. Despite its significant range, the lasers used a minimal amount of power, approximately the equivalent of two hairdryers. Global Rainbow has been presented throughout Europe and launched the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in England and Northern Ireland.

ABOUT YVETTE MATTERN

Yvette Mattern is a visual artist who lives between New York and Berlin. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University’s Film Division. Mattern works mainly with video and film, which she fuses with elements of performance, public, art and sculpture. Mattern’s video Last Day of Magic was included at the 53rd Venice Biennale Official Satellite Program in 2009, and her work has also been exhibited at the Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway; Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck, Austria; and Freies Museum, Berlin.

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow
Yvette Mattern – Global Rainbow, 2012

Photos by James Ewing


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House temporarily installed on the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai

House temporarily installed on the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai

michael-lin-model-home-1michael-lin-model-home-teaser
Michael Lin – Model Home, 2012, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China

ABOUT MODEL HOME

Model Home – A Proposition by Michael Lin was an exhibition of new conceptual work, made by Michael Lin. For the exhibition, he installed a temporary structure on top of the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, China. The exhibition has been created in collaboration with building workers, furniture makers and musicians, film-makers and urban studies researchers based in Shanghai and is an experiment in composite creative work, combining a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, installation, music, film and performance.

Inspiration has been drawn from the history of the Rockbund Art Museum itself and events that occurred at the same time as the building the gallery is housed in was constructed in the early years of the twentieth century, also from the Bauhaus manifesto with its emphasis on the social functions of art. The artist and architects hope to be able to give a response to the Bauhaus call for architecture to be a vehicle for multi-media art and their advocacy of the combination of architecture, painting and sculpture as a single unity that is suited to the cultural context of contemporary Shanghai and the Rockbund Art Museum. It is also hoped that through a range of art experiments rooted in cross-disciplinary collaboration, a debate can be inspired about the modes of production and social practice of art, the relationship between site specificity and the cultural landscape of its given locale, and creation-as-dialogue and the public sphere.

ABOUT MICHAEL LIN

Michael Lin is an artist living and working in Taipei, Shanghai, and Brussels. Lin turns away from painting as an object of contemplation toward one of painting as a bounded, physical space, one we can settle into and inhabit (Vivian Rehberg). Lin orchestrates monumental painting installations that re-conceptualize and reconfigure public spaces.

Using patterns and designs appropriated from traditional Taiwanese textiles his works have been exhibited in major institutions and international Biennials around the world, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2007, UCCA, Beijing, 2008, The Lyon Biennial 2009, The Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010, and most recently at the Singapore Biennial and the Towada Art Center. Transforming the institutional architecture of the public museum, his unconventional paintings invite visitors to reconsider their usual perception of those spaces, and to become an integral part of the work, giving meaning to its potential as an area for interaction, encounter, and re-creation.

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Michael Lin – Model Home, 2012, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China

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Michael Lin – Model Home, 2012, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China

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Michael Lin – Model Home, 2012, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China

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Michael Lin – Model Home, 2012, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China


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Lifesized working oil pumps in Midtown Manhattan

Lifesized working oil pumps in Midtown Manhattan

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

In March 2012, two monumental kinetic sculptures, each about 7.5m tall, transformed a disused public space in Midtown Manhattan into an art piece by Josephine Meckseper. Though mirroring the forms and materials of the mid-century oil industry, the artist locates her work firmly inside the contemporary debate about American business, wealth and consumerism.

The Manhattan Oil Project is inspired by mid 20th century oil pumps the artist discovered in Electra, a boarded-up town once famous for being the pump jack capital of Texas. Each sculpture is fully motorized to simulate the motions of a working oil pump. Placed in a vacant lot next to Times Square, the black and red steel structures slowly creak in the ceaseless oscillations of phantom oil excavation. The pump jacks recall the ruins of ghost towns, forgotten monuments of America’s decaying industrial past.

This pairing of the pump jacks and the Times Square location merges a classic symbol of American oil production and wealth with the center of New York City commercial culture. The pumps are intended as ignition points for critical discussion engaged directly with modern life, as opposed to operating in the realm of disengaged abstract geometries. They evoke speculation about a functional reality and the notion of use value. I hope to draw parallels between the American industrial system, transitioning from a past of heavy industry, factories, and teamsters and the disembodied present of electronic mass-media, surface advertising, and consumerism – so clearly embodied in Times Square, explained Meckseper, The critical placement of the pumps is a conceptual gesture that raises questions about business and capital; land use and resources; wealth and decay; decadence and dependence.

Josephine Meckseper (b. 1964) has developed a practice which melds the aesthetic language of modernism with a profound critique of consumerism. Through her shop windows, vitrines, installations, photographs, films and magazine projects she draws a direct correlation to the way consumer culture defines and circumvents subjectivity and sublimates the key instruments of individual political agency. Her works have been included in international biennials such as the Whitney Biennial, the Second Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art and Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon. She has also had solo exhibitions at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zürich, Switzerland), Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst (Münster, Germany) and a retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart. Her work was featured at the Museum of Modern Art in New Photography and at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Photos by James Ewing, courtesy of Art Production Fund

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012

Josephine Meckseper - Manhattan Oil Project, 2012


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Rotating air plane in Central Park, NYC

Rotating air plane in Central Park, NYC

Video

Photos

Paola Pivi - How I Roll (rotating piper seneca)

Paola Pivi - How I Roll (rotating piper seneca)
How I Roll, 2012; Rotating Piper Seneca, steel supports, motor

For two months a small air plane was rotating 24 hours a day in summer 2012 in Central Park, NYC. Previous works by Paola Pivi have also featured large machines, including an overturned tractor-trailer and a helicopter placed upside down.

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1971 and now based in Anchorage, Alaska, Paola Pivi’s diverse artistic practice embraces sculpture, photography, video, and performance. How I Roll is Pivi’s first public commission in the United States.

(Photos by Attilio Maranzano, via)


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