Archive: 2002
Can faith move a whole mountain? Francis Alÿs

Can faith move a whole mountain? Francis Alÿs

Francis Alÿs - When Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru 1
Francis AlÿsWhen Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru

When Faith Moves Mountains or Cuando la fe mueve montañas was created by artist Francis Alÿs to explain the paradox of life; sometimes people make things that lead to nothing, while sometimes making nothing leads to remarkable things.

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Damián Ortega dissects car and re-composes it piece by piece to create a celebrated artwork

Damián Ortega dissects car and re-composes it piece by piece to create a celebrated artwork

Damián Ortega – Cosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Malmö Konsthall
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Malmö Konsthall

Damián Ortega was born in Mexico City in 1967. He now divides his time between Mexico City and Berlin. He has gained a world-renowned reputation as his works have been exhibited internationally. His career in art began as a political cartoonist, work that has influenced his more recent work, as is evidence in the playful energy often found in his works. Ortega is a multitalented artist who is known for his installations, sculptures, videos and performance pieces. He takes inspiration from a variety of seemingly mundane objects, and is known for his ability to transform the mundane into something that is anything but. Ortega’s work investigates the ways in which culture affects consumption, focusing on explicit economic, aesthetic and cultural situations.

Ortega’s work includes photography, sculpting, collage creation, and film; all which serve to draw audience attention to the sociopolitical and very poetic dimensions of the everyday. It is evident that through his use of satire, Ortega is successful at pointing out the issues and other themes related to capitalism, poverty, globalization, westernization, and immigration.

“Cosmic Thing” (2002), is without a doubt one of his Ortega’s most celebrated works, in which he took apart a Volkswagen Beetle and re-composed it piece by piece, where it was suspended in midair from wires. It could be described as a hanging diagram where you can see each part of the vehicle, dissected for all to see.

The vehicle hangs from the ceiling in an satirical meditation on an evident symbol of mass production and of course, westernization. The Volkswagen Beetle is without a doubt the most perfect symbol of both. The Volkswagen Beetle was originally developed in 1930s in Nazi Germany and became known as both being efficient and the affordable. Following the Second World War the Beetle had great manufacturing success, there were increasing safety regulations in Europe and the United States, and by the 1970s the Beetle was exclusively manufactured in Mexico and Brazil. This soon became the most use car in Mexico City as it was mechanically straightforward and cheap spare parts where always available allowing Do-It-Yourself repairs. This vehicle was not only accessible but functional and commonly seen on the streets around the world.

However, in Ortega’s piece, as the Beetle suspends in the air, disassembled, it is somewhat shocking. This suspended car, looking like a puzzle that needs to be solved, seems so different than the Beetles commonly seen being driven on the streets; So much more empty and cold, yet undeniably mesmerizing.

Ortega’s “Cosmic Thing” causes viewers to think about how several small pieces come together to create one whole thing. This is the case for mundane objects, images, and structures we see every day. Every structure we have ever seen and many of the objects we own is made of several small pieces pulled together to create a complete product for consumption. This once again draws into the ideas surrounding the ways in which culture affects consumption.

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Thing, 2002
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy
Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Thing, 2002
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy
Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Thing, 2002
Damián OrtegaCosmic Thing, 2002, Volkswagen Beetle 1983, stainless steel wire, acrylic, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy
Photo: Agostino Osio. Courtesy Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan


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Spectacular re-enactment of a legendary fight of miners & policemen

Spectacular re-enactment of a legendary fight of miners & policemen

Jeremy Deller - Battle of Orgreave
Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2002

Video

In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute lasted for over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike of 1926, marking a turning point in the struggle between the government and the trade union movement.

On 18 June of that year, the Orgreave coking plant was the site of one of the strike’s most violent confrontations. It began in a field near the plant and culminated in a cavalry charge through the village of Orgreave.

Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, staged seventeen years later, was a spectacular re-enactment of what happened on that day. It was orchestrated by Howard Giles, a historical re-enactment expert and the former director of English Heritage’s event programme. More than 800 people participated in the re-enactment, many of them former miners, and a few former policemen, reliving the events from 1984 that they themselves took part in. Other participants were drawn from battle re-enactment societies across England.

The Battle of Orgreave aired on Sunday, 20 October 2002. The film intercuts dramatic photographic stills from the clashes in 1984 with footage of the clashes re-enacted in 2001, together with moving and powerful testimonies, to tease out the complexities of this bitter struggle.

Mac McLoughlin, a former miner and serving policeman on the field that day, reveals details about the build-up within the police force prior to the stand-off; David Douglass (NUM) talks about the meaning of the confrontation in relation to the trade union movement in England; Stephanie Gregory (Womens’ Support Group) reminisces about the effects on family life; Tony Benn talks about the media’s role in covering up the truth about the strike in 1984; and Jeremy Deller contextualises this event and highlights its contemporary cultural relevance.

Jeremy Deller - Battle of Orgreave
Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2002

Jeremy Deller - Battle of Orgreave
Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2002

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More Chinese girls staring into the future

More Chinese girls staring into the future

Weng Fen – Bird’s Eye View – Heikou, 2002
Weng FenBird’s Eye View – Heikou, 2002

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Chinese girls are observing transformation of their city

Chinese girls are observing transformation of their city

Weng Fen - Sitting on the Wall - Guangzhou 3, 2002-2003
Weng FenSitting on the Wall – Guangzhou 3, 2002-2003

The transitional phases and changes in China since its opening up in the 1980’s, both physically and emotionally, have been the source of inspiration for Weng Fen (b. 1961) and his work. In his earlier series Sitting on the Wall and Bird’s Eye View, Weng’s epic images focus on the upraising of urbanism in cities such as Haikou, Shanghai and Shenzhen. His subjects start out as outsiders looking into this overwhelming transformation with anticipation, fear and curiosity to being in the centre of it all. Weng then follows and evolves inwardly, shifting his attention from physical changes to emotional and spiritual transformations, from urban cities to rural countries, exploring the possibility of finding an otherworldly utopia, a place that may have existed all along in our hearts and minds, in our memories and those innocent times, which results in the acclaimed Staring at The Sea series.

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Artist magically solves all parking & traffic problems

Artist magically solves all parking & traffic problems

The short films by Park June Bum (b. 1976) are already quite old (~2002) but still nice. His work intelligently covers several relevant topics, like the rapid change of not just the Korean society. Park has exhibited widely throughout the world.

(Via Wowsan)


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