Archive: 2007
Why does Lara Almarcegui create massive piles of rubble?

Why does Lara Almarcegui create massive piles of rubble?

's Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria
Lara AlmarceguiConstruction Rubble of Secession’s Main Hall, 2010, Installation View, Secession, Vienna, Austria

Introduction

Spanish born Lara Almarcegui who currently lives in Rotterdam has always had a deep curiosity for examining processes of contemporary transformation that are brought about by the social, political and economic transformations in society. Since the early 1990s, Lara has examined urban areas that most artists choose not focus on such as rubble from construction materials and stuff from wastelands. Lara carefully catalogs and highlights each location’s inclination towards entropy or lack of order and predictability.

The meaning of her works

Her projects vary based on the intention of the message. For instance, she developed a guide to the wastelands in Amsterdam consisting of materials used to establish the wasteland in its raw form. Lara has managed to consolidate a reputation for herself as a respectable and revered artist in the global artist realm. In 2013, her work allowed her to act as Spain’s only representative in the 55th Venice Biennial.

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Exhausting performance: He Yunchang carries stone for 112 days

Exhausting performance: He Yunchang carries stone for 112 days

He Yunchang - The Rock Tours Around Great Britain, 2006-07 1
He YunchangThe Rock Tours Around Great Britain, 2006-07

Introduction

Chinese performance artist He Yunchang has been using his body as the main prop in his art pieces. His performances are often hard on endurance, and he has to go to the extremes to showcase his might.

He Yunchang carries stone around the perimeter of Great Britain

On 23 September 2006, he collected a beach rock that was the size of a shoe at the Beach of Boulmer, located at the Northumberland Cost of England. The piece weighed about 3.6 kilograms. He then walked with the boulder at hand and sometimes ran with it around the perimeter of Great Britain.

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Abbas Kowsari’s surprising photos of veiled female police squad in Iran

Abbas Kowsari’s surprising photos of veiled female police squad in Iran

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy, 2006

Abbas Kowsari - Police Women Academy, 2006
Abbas KowsariPolice Women Academy, 2006

In 2003 the first females ever graduated from Iran’s police academy in the capital city Tehran, after undergoing a training of three years. Spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei himself had to give permission to Tehran’s police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf to create the first all-female police unit.

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Front row seat to Parisian ghetto – Mohamed Bourouissa’s Périphérique

Front row seat to Parisian ghetto – Mohamed Bourouissa’s Périphérique

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - La fenêtre, 2005

Mohamed Bourouissa - Périphérique - Le groupe, 2007, C-print, 90x120cm
Mohamed BourouissaPériphérique, Le groupe, 2007

The Algerian-born, Paris-based photographer Mohamed Bourouissa was born in 1978. His work has been presented and featured in an extensive number of solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo, the Palazzo Grassi – François Pinault Foundation in Venice, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, , the MAXXI in Rome, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Finnish Museum of Photography of Helsinki, the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, and many more impressive venues.

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Thomas Demand cut 52 tons of cardboard into 900,000 pieces

Thomas Demand cut 52 tons of cardboard into 900,000 pieces

Thomas Demand - Grotto, 2006 (detail)

Thomas Demand - Grotto, 2006, Pier 24, San Francisco, 2013, Photo, Blake Gopnik
Thomas DemandGrotto, 2006, Pier 24, San Francisco, 2013
Photo: Blake Gopnik

Thomas Demand has ignited the imaginations and adventurous sides of viewers with his photography piece, titled Grotto. Pulling viewers into an underground cavern covered in beautiful bright stalactites and stalagmites, art lovers find themselves in the center of the earth. However, if viewers look a little deeper, they will find that there is much more with Grotto than what meets the eye. Once viewers come into realization, they are left in awe at the work that had gone into the creation of this photograph.

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Susan Silton covers entire museum in California with colorful tarp

Susan Silton covers entire museum in California with colorful tarp

Susan Silton - Inside Out, 2007, site-specific installation at Pasadena Museum of California Art, vinyl tarps, sandbags, pony clips. Photo Robert Wedemeyer
Susan Silton’s exterior wrapping of the Pasadena Museum of California Art in a striped fumigation-style tent
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

What did Susan Silton do?

Susan Silton’s piece “Inside Out “is regarded in two parts, while it is an exploration of the duality of stripes as mutually a signifier and as an extremely utilized decorative pattern. Her installation “inside” functioned as a store chock-full with numerous striped objects for sale, exposing the innocent function of stripes to decorate (and make more appealing) average consumer objects. “Outside,” covering the entire museum, laid fumigation tents frequently seen in the Los Angeles landscape covered in bright colors, and needless to say, stripes. Such tents often serve as exterior indicators of a pest infestation beneath it and are the recognized remedy for containing such infestation, however, these striped fumigation tents suggest at one of the stripe’s supposed historical functions as a symbol of otherness (long ago society’s outcasts including clowns, and prostitutes were marked to wear).

It seems that both fumigation tents and stripes are related to the function of othering those contaminated, whether socially contaminated for supposed moral reasons or for reasons of infestation – either way, these serve/served to single out people who are in one way or another deemed unclean or undesirable within mainstream society. The stripe has evolved over the years into a decorative item, as is made clear with the sale items covered in bright aesthetically pleasing stripes that are pretty enough to be a candy wrapper.

Why did she do it?

Silton’s installation, more than anything else, is a social experiment or a study, looking at the evolution of semiotics in contemporary times; the representation of beauty and othering (or singling out)- and how the means of representation are interchangeable. Silton’s experiment is pure brilliance, as she demonstrates how something that once was worn as a marker of what was thought of moral depravity (such as the scarlet letter) is now on baby’s clothes, throw pillows and other middle-class furnishings. Inside Out, if anything, will leave you thinking about the ways semiotics changes through time.

Pasadena Museum of California Art wrapped

Susan Silton - Inside Out, 2007, site-specific installation at Pasadena Museum of California Art, vinyl tarps, sandbags, pony clips
Susan Silton’s exterior wrapping of the Pasadena Museum of California Art in a striped fumigation-style tent

Susan Silton - Inside Out, 2007, site-specific installation at Pasadena Museum of California Art, vinyl tarps, sandbags, pony clips
Susan Silton’s exterior wrapping of the Pasadena Museum of California Art in a striped fumigation-style tent

Susan Silton - Inside Out, 2007, site-specific installation at Pasadena Museum of California Art, vinyl tarps, sandbags, pony clips
Susan Silton’s exterior wrapping of the Pasadena Museum of California Art in a striped fumigation-style tent

Related works


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Yin Xiuzhen puts 14m long minibus in MoMA and other museums

Yin Xiuzhen puts 14m long minibus in MoMA and other museums

Yin Xiuzhen - Collective Subconscious

Yin XiuzhenCollective Subconscious, 2007, Minibus, stainless steel, used clothes, stools, music
1420 x 140 x 190 cm

Collective Subconscious is a large-scale installation sculpture presented by Projects 92. It is an interactive installation created by Beijing based artist Yin Xiuzhen, who has spent the last twenty five years creating and displaying works that reflect her surrounding environment and her relationship with it. Her works are at once personal and environmentally engaging, and are typically site-specific. Collective Subconscious, which is composed of a bisected minivan connected by a long tube covered in a quilt made of found garments, allows viewers to enter and have a seat on a small bench, and listen to the Chinese pop song “Beijing, Beijing” emitting from the read-end speakers. It is ethereal and a place for contemplation, meant to break the silence traditionally present within the gallery space.

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