Archive: 1998
How do 37,000 inflated balloons look like when put in a museum? – Martin Creed

How do 37,000 inflated balloons look like when put in a museum? – Martin Creed

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011 - 2.jpg

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011 - 2.jpg
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Introduction

Martin Creed’s Work Half the Air in a Given Space, is a brilliantly fun way to experience interactive art. As an audience member, you find yourself pushing your way through a space, whether it be a room or a hallway or a lobby, filled (only halfway) with up to 37,000 balloons. You as an audience member are completely surrounded by marshmallows, and although the image is joyfully preposterous, however, as you get into the space you find you feel a mixture of emotions including exhilaration, disorientation, but don’t be surprised if you feel a little bit claustrophobic.

What is globophobia?

Half the Air in a Given Space can be described as an interactive installation (which is easily an understatement if anything). This is every child’s dream or every globophobic’s worst nightmare (globophobia is the fear of balloons), basically, a space that’s filled with of hundreds or thousands of balloons of the same color. Half a room’s entire volume is filled with balloons, and visitors become a part of the art by walking through the balloon filled room.

For those who are not globophobic or claustrophobic, this piece is supposed to evoke the feeling of deep celebration and remanence of childhood memories. If you have no problem with balloons or small spaces, you can be pretty much guaranteed that you will leave the installation with a smile on your face from the touch of nostalgia you have emerged from.

different versions of Half the Air in a Given Space

In 2012, Creed installed four versions of this work in neighborhoods throughout the city, each site featured a different colored balloon. Thus not only are audience members who brave the balloons submerged in a room half filled with air, but they are submerged in the color, in a supernatural world in which their senses cannot fully be relied on, a world in which beauty and playfulness is combined.

Photos of Half the Air in a Given Space

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, 1998 Courtesy the artist and Hauser © Martin Creed
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, 1998
Courtesy the artist and Hauser © Martin Creed

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Photo by Rosa Park

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011, Photo by Rosa Park
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Photo by Rosa Park

Martin Creed - Work No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 200. Half the air in a given space, at Tate St.Ives, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 204. Half the air in a given space, 1999, dimensions variable, City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, 2012, Photo- Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Martin CreedWork No. 204. Half the air in a given space, 1999, dimensions variable, City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago, 2012
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011, Photo by Moby
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Photo: Moby

Martin Creed - Work No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011
Martin CreedWork No. 247. Half the air in a given space, 2000, Museo de Arte Contemporanea de Vigo, 2011

Martin Creed - Work No. 329. Half the air in a given space, 2004. Rennie Collection
Martin CreedWork No. 329. Half the air in a given space, 2004, Rennie Collection

Martin Creed - Work No. 329. Half the Air in a Given Space
Martin CreedWork No. 329. Half the air in a given space

Martin Creed - Work No. 360. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2015, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Photo by Evan Chakroff
Martin CreedWork No. 360. Half the air in a given space, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015
Photo by Evan Chakroff

Martin Creed - Work No. 360. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2015, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
Martin CreedWork No. 360. Half the air in a given space, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 965. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art
Martin CreedWork No. 965. Half the air in a given space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art

Martin Creed - Work No. 965. Half the Air in a Given Space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art
Martin CreedWork No. 965. Half the air in a given space, 2008, multiple pieces, The Cleveland Museum Of Art

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, 2015, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada
Martin CreedWork No. 1562. Half the air in a given space, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, Canada, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, 2015, Park Avenue Armory
Martin CreedWork No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, Park Avenue Armory, NYC, 2015

Martin Creed - Work No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, 2015. dimensions variable. Phoenix Art Museum. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Martin CreedWork No. 2497. Half the air in a given space, dimensions variable. Phoenix Art Museum
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Related works


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Thomas Struth’s jungle photos may make you feel helpless

Thomas Struth’s jungle photos may make you feel helpless

Thomas Struth - <em>Paradise 01 (Daintree, Australia)</em>, 1998
Thomas Struth – Paradise 01 (Daintree, Australia), 1998

About New Pictures From Paradise

Next to his well known Street and Museum Photographs, Thomas Struth has been taking pictures of forests in different parts of the world since 1998. By giving these images the title New Pictures from Paradise he has endowed them with a special meaning as pictures of nature before the Fall of Man. His attention focuses on wild nature, at the same time referencing and questioning representations of paradise throughout history and cultures.

Thomas Struth about these works in Artforum, May 2002: My approach to the jungle pictures might be said to be new, in that my initial impulses were pictorial and emotional, rather than theoretical. They are “unconscious places” and thus seem to follow my early city pictures. These images contain a wealth of delicately branched information, which makes it almost impossible, especially in large formats, to isolate single forms. One can spend a lot of time in front of these pictures and remain helpless in terms of knowing how to deal with them. There is no socio-cultural context to be read or discovered, unlike in the photographs of people in front of paintings in museums. Standing in front of the facade of the cathedral in Milan, one experiences oneself as a human being defined by specific social and historical conditions. The jungle pictures, on the other hand, emphasize the self. Because of their consistent “all over” nature, they could be understood as membranes for meditation. They present a kind of empty space: emptied to elicit a moment of stillness and internal dialogue. You have to be able to enjoy this silence in order to communicate with yourself—and eventually with others.

In most of these photographs, Struth doesn’t allow our gaze to penetrate the depth of the image. Trees, branches and leaves create a dense texture that prevents us from seeing the horizon and the depth of the landscapes, which can only be guessed. Without hierarchically structuring the picture, its entire surface is crisscrossed all over and covered by plant forms – reminiscent of the lines in paintings by Jackson Pollock and Brice Marden. Struth’s jungle pictures mark the beginning of a different approach to the way the surface of photographic images captures our gaze, sending it in different directions. Thanks to their richness of details, the images are presenting a kind of silence that can be listened to for a long time before one can get to know its rules. From the first documentary portraits of families to the cityscapes, to the museums, up to the harmonic chaos of the jungles, Thomas Struth’s photographic eye has traveled the world finding new ways of representing its complexity, trying to capture the presence of the unconscious in the visible.

About Thomas Struth

Thomas Struth is one of the leading artists in contemporary photography. Born in Geldern near Cologne in 1954, from 1973 to 1980 he studied at the Düsseldorf Academy as a student of Gerhard Richter and then Bernd Becher. By the end of the Seventies, he started to explore the possibilities of photography as psychological research. Since 1978 he takes pictures of urban landscapes, from 1980 he photographs museum visitors looking at paintings, thus exploring the different relationships between painting and photography, art and the viewer. Later he works on a broader range of subjects, working always in these groups.

Since his first museum exhibition at Kunsthalle Bern in 1987, his work has been shown extensively in museums throughout the world. In 2003 the Metropolitan in New York staged a large retrospective, and recently he had exhibitions at the Prado in Madrid in 2007 and at the Museum Madre in Naples in Spring 2008. His works are in the collections of MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kunsthaus Zurich among many others.

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Balloons hold babies, carry beer & create a tank

Balloons hold babies, carry beer & create a tank

Hans Hemmert - german panther, 2007

Hans Hemmert - German Panther, 2007,  Air, Glue, Balloon, 960x370x300cm
Hans Hemmert – German Panther, 2007, balloons, air, glue, 960 x 370 x 300cm

Introduction

There are more than enough art pieces by Hans Hemmert (b. 1960) floating about the world, in private collections, as well as in museums and galleries. Born in Germany, Hans is known all over the globe as one of the best-selling contemporary artists of his time. Most notable for his installations with balloon sculptures, his work has been exhibited in highly respectable galleries such as the MoMA in New York and the Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

About Hans Hemmert

Hans Hemmert was raised in the Bavarian countryside. As a child, he was always fascinated by the idea of working with his hands but it was not until he joined Philosophy school in 1981 that he realized that his calling was in art. Therefore, he joined the Akademie der Künste to study sculpture before moving on to the prestigious St. Martin’s School in London, which is still today a highly sought-after school for anyone that intends to specialize in contemporary Anglo-Saxon sculpture designs.

Early influences

Hans was influenced heavily by English sculpture throughout his studies in his hometown as well as in London. He studids under Anthony Caro, who was also a popular steel sculpture artist during the sixties in England. Caro also worked closely with the legendary Henry Moore.

Balloon Structures

In the beginning, he would only work with steel but soon switched materials to air because steel was expensive and the heavy weights would often hurt him in the process of creation. His first projects with air consisted of artwork made with inflatable objects such as rubber pool items and a lot of children’s toys.

Very quickly afterward, Hans decided to create these objects himself instead on relying on ready-made items. His portfolio quickly became made up of videos of almost 10-minute-long performances, as well as photographs of his larger than life balloon structures. Today, Hans creates his own balloons having researched unique development techniques in his studio. Most of the balloons are made using latex materials sourced from England- the larger ones can take as long as 3 weeks to produce.

His first balloon exhibition took place at the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden in 1995. He utilized an enormous yellow balloon as a sculpture that filled the entire room up to the ceiling. Over the years, Hans has created hundreds of balloon works. Some of the structures are standalone but he often appears inside others. His balloon installations are also usually adapted to suit the architecture of the exhibition space. As such, it is not unusual to find one of his balloons stuffed and packed in small unusual spaces such as under a bridge.

One of his most well-known works is the German Panther, 2007, a tank made entirely out of balloons.

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