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Ai Weiwei’s 1.000 square meter large installation in Germany

Ai Weiwei’s 1.000 square meter large installation in Germany

Ai Weiwei - Remembering, 2009
Ai Weiwei – Remembering, 2009, 100x1000cm, Haus der Kunst, München (Germany)

ABOUT REMEBERING

In 2009, Ai Weiwei created a large 10x100m installation, made out of 9000 children’s backpacks. Displayed on the facade of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, each backpack represents a life lost in the earthquake that took place in the Chinese province of Sichuan in 2008.

Ai used five different colors that make up the sentence For seven years she lived happily on this earth in Chinese lettering, a sentence with which a mother of one of the earthquake victims commemorated her daughter. The bright, vibrant colors, such as blue, red, yellow and green reflect the psyche of a child, their joy and innocence. In addition, the colors have been used for the Toys R Us logo.

ABOUT AI WEIWEI

Ai is known as one of China’s most provocative and vocal artists. His focus on human rights and social change eventually led to his detainment by Chinese authorities for nearly three months in 2011. The Chinese government later supplied charges of tax evasion against Ai, which he vehemently denies. Since his detainment, Ai has been kept under constant surveillance by the government—a circumstance that has led him to create a series of new works.

Ai Weiwei - Remembering (detail), 2009
Ai Weiwei – Remembering (detail), 2009, 100x1000cm, Haus der Kunst, München (Germany)

Ai Weiwei - Remembering (detail), 2009
Ai Weiwei – Remembering (detail), 2009, 100x1000cm, Haus der Kunst, München (Germany)

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Public sculpture in capital of former empire in Central Asia

Public sculpture in capital of former empire in Central Asia

Faile - Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
FAILEWolf 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 - Patrick McNeil,  Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
FAILEWolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Patrick McNeil,  Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
FAILEWolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 3
FAILEWolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
FAILEWolf Within, 2012, Fiberglass, Steel & Granite, 500cm, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Faile - Patrick McNeil, Patrick Miller - Wolf Within, 2012, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
FAILEWolf 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

Robert-Montgomery-Fado-music-in-reverse-Biennale-di-Kochi-Muziris-2
Robert Montgomery, Fado music in reverse, Biennale di Kochi-Muziris 2012

Robert-Montgomery-Fado-music-in-reverse-Biennale-di-Kochi-Muziris-1
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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Optical illusion billboard by Hawaiian artist in SouthKorea

Optical illusion billboard by Hawaiian artist in SouthKorea

Cayetano Ferrer, Daejeon City
Cayetano Ferrer – Daejeon City #1, 2007

Cayetano Ferrer’s describes his works like this: My work ends up being the result of the question: what exactly is an illusion? Is everything we see on a screen or a printed photograph an illusion? Is culture implicated in illusion? Can language itself be an illusion?

Cayetano Ferrer, Daejeon City
Cayetano Ferrer – Daejeon City #1, 2007

Cayetano Ferrer, Daejeon City
Cayetano Ferrer – Daejeon City #1, 2007


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A rainbow spanning over NYC at night

A rainbow spanning over NYC at night

Yvette Mattern - Global Rainbow

Yvette 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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Why a caravan breaks through the ground in Milan’s city center

Why a caravan breaks through the ground in Milan’s city center

Elmgreen Dragset - Shortcut (2013)
Elmgreen & DragsetShort Cut, 2003, Mixed-media installation, 250 x 850 x 300 cm

ABOUT SHORT CUT

In Short Cut (2003), Elmgreen and Dragset installed a run-of-the-mill white Fiat Uno in Milan’s quintessential strolling and gathering place for all tourists and residents, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

The work is a metaphor for global tourism, but also a symbol for the precarious nature of today’s world. It also describes a universe in movement that travels along endless, unpredictable paths towards fanciful destinations. The first impression of passers-by is that they have come across an accident scene: the floor is cracked and the wheels of the car are stuck among shards of the mosaic. Short Cut sparks reactions and debate throughout the city; animated clusters of people gather around the installation. On the morning that the exhibition opens, the traffic police leave a ticket on the car for parking in an unauthorized area, and two members of the city council ask for it to be removed; to demonstrate their disapproval, they stage a protest in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, eating a pizza next to the installation.

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Dave Cole’s Knitting Machine produced a gigantic American flag

Dave Cole’s Knitting Machine produced a gigantic American flag

Dave Cole - The Knitting Machine

Photo by Arjen Noordeman

In 2005, MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) presented a monumental and uniquely American sculptural installation by Dave Cole. Cole’s project The Knitting Machine comprised two excavators specially fitted with massive 20′ knitting needles which produced an oversized American flag, which can be seen as both a celebratory gesture of pride and a commentary on America’s role in world affairs.

When the flag was removed from The Knitting Machine it was folded into the traditional flag triangle and was on display in a presentation case which Cole described as slightly smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle, accompanied by the 20′ knitting needles, and a video of the knitting process.

VIDEO


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