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    Kinetic Flowers Grow from a Deteriorated Landscape in an Otherworldly Installation by Casey Curran

    
    Art

    #flowers
    #installation
    #kinetic sculpture
    #video

    March 26, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    [embedded content]
    In Parable of Gravity, artist Casey Curran (previously) assembles a vast garden of delicate kinetic blossoms amidst an expanse of deterioration. The sweeping landscape, which is on view at Seattle’s MadArt through April 17, positions Curran’s pulsing plant forms atop 20 towers of wooden scaffolding that line the gallery space. Coated in a thick layer of mud, the tallest structures scale eight feet at the outer edge of the installation, where a human-like figure appears to hover in the air. The anonymous body is covered in the flowers, which are made from laser-cut polyester drawing papers and powered by cranks and small motors.
    Through the maze of garden plots at the other end of the space hangs a hollow, aluminum asteroid—which is modeled after 951 Gaspra, the first rocky mass humans were able to observe in detail thanks to a 1991 viewing by the Galileo spacecraft. Titled “Anchor of Janus,” the imposing sculpture references both the Roman god and the intricate motifs on Gothic cathedrals and provides a foreboding, catastrophic lens to the otherwise burgeoning garden.
    In a statement, Curran explains the confluence of the manufactured and organic themes:
    This mythological, architectural, and astronomical convergence considers not only the scientific and spiritual aspects of our connection to the natural world, but also our cultural legacy and the ways in which past technological advancements continue to impact our lives and experiences today. Further, the reference to Janus recognizes the dual nature of human progress, with all of the positive and negative implications it carries.
    Watch the video above to watch the installation take shape, and follow Curran on Instagram and Vimeo to stay up-to-date with his latest projects.

    Full installation view: “Kinetic Towers” and “Anchor of Janus,” Dur-alar, MDF, aluminum, dirt, paper, and glue. Photo by James Harnois. All images © Casey Curran, shared with permission

    “We Spoke Like This to Remember.” Photo by Adrian Garcia Rodriguez 
    Detail of “Anchor of Janus.” Photo by James Harnois
    Full installation view: “Kinetic Towers” and “Anchor of Janus,” Dur-alar, MDF, aluminum, dirt, paper, and glue. Photo by James Harnois
    Detail of “We Spoke Like This to Remember”
    “Kinetic Towers” and “We Spoke Like This to Remember.” Photo by James Harnois
    Photo by James Harnois
    Visitors walking through the kinetic towers. Photo by Adrian Garcia Rodriguez
    Curran installs “We Spoke Like This to Remember”

    #flowers
    #installation
    #kinetic sculpture
    #video

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    A Monumental Bas-Relief Sculpture by Nick Cave Connects Senegalese and U.S. Cultures in a Web of Beadwork

    
    Art

    #bas-relief
    #beads
    #installation
    #sculpture
    #sequins
    #site-specific
    #video

    March 22, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    All images © Nick Cave, by Michael JN Bowles, shared with permission
    Innumerable pony beads, pipe cleaners, sequins, and objects gathered from two continents overlay a web of rainbow mesh that’s suspended in the U.S. Embassy atrium in Dakar. Installed in 2012, the expansive work by Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (previously) is composed of amorphous swells and circular patches of multicolor netting that stretch 20 x 25 feet. Physically connecting pieces of both U.S. and Senegalese culture, the webbed, bas-relief sculpture symbolically stands as “a unifier that brings people together,” Cave says in an interview.
    Virginia Shore and Robert Soppelsa curated the project for Art in Embassies, a program led by the U.S. Department of State that fosters cross-cultural exchange through visual arts and spans more than 200 venues in 189 countries. “When you think about Art in Embassies and cultural diplomacy, what is interesting for me, as an artist, is, how can I facilitate that within the work that is developed? Yes, I will create the piece for the embassy, but I was also interested in ways to integrate the artists that live and work here,” he says.
    Cave developed the structural portion of the work in his Chicago studio, and after meeting Sengalese artists, scholars, and students, he utilized pieces from three locals—Seni M’Baye, Loman Pawlitschek, and Daouda N’Diaye—once on site. The resulting installation, which weighs nearly 500 pounds, took Cave and ten assistants more than three months to complete.
    Watch the interview below for more on the process behind the monumental project, and follow Cave’s work on Instagram.

    [embedded content]

    #bas-relief
    #beads
    #installation
    #sculpture
    #sequins
    #site-specific
    #video

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    Banksy Creates Bob Ross-Dubbed Process Video of New Work Depicting Oscar Wilde Escaping Prison

    
    Art

    #humor
    #Oscar Wilde
    #street art
    #video

    March 4, 2021
    Christopher Jobson

    [embedded content]
    What begins as a soft-spoken clip of America’s most iconic TV painting instructor, Bob Ross from his Joy of Painting show, suddenly shifts into a frenetic and extremely rare behind-the-scenes video of Banksy creating his latest work in Reading, Berkshire. Titled “Create Escape,” the clip was just posted to the artist’s social media channels and depicts the real-time creation of a stenciled artwork of a prisoner escaping the high, red brick walls of HM Prison Reading (formerly known as Reading Gaol). Unlike the bright studio lights that illuminated Ross’s bucolic landscapes, “Create Escape” captures the frantic yet precise execution of a work done in near darkness by an artist completely governed by police response time.
    The expansive and unblemished prison wall was a daring and perfect spot for a Banksy piece. It’s best known for its most famous inmate: Oscar Wilde served two years in the prison from 1895-1897 for the charge of “gross indecency” for being gay. The work is clearly a tribute to the poet, as the escape mechanism appears to be a long strand of paper emerging from a typewriter in place of the usual bed sheets. Wilde recounted aspects of his imprisonment in the poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” which centers largely on the execution of Charles Thomas Wooldridge.

    Still from “Create Escape”
    Still from “Create Escape”
    Still from “Create Escape”
    Still from “Create Escape”

    #humor
    #Oscar Wilde
    #street art
    #video

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    ‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light,’ a New Documentary, Celebrates the Rich Legacy of Black Art

    
    Art
    Documentary
    History

    #art history
    #film
    #video

    February 17, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    
    “I saw the need to build cultural awareness by helping to revise and redefine American art,” says the renowned professor, artist, and curator David Driskell in Black Art: In the Absence of Light. His words echo throughout the new HBO documentary—which was directed by Sam Pollard, with executive producers Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Jacqueline Glover—that uncovers the rich and underappreciated lineage of Black art.
    Structured chronologically, the feature-length film was released earlier this month and stems from Driskell’s revolutionary exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art, which opened in 1979 at LACMA and surveyed more than 200 works dating back to 1750 from 63 artists. The formative show went on to major museums in Dallas, Atlanta, and Brooklyn, breaking attendance records despite its unenthusiastic response from some critics and institutions, including two in Chicago and Detroit that rejected its visit entirely.

    David Driskell in his studio
    Two Centuries of Black American Art, though, had a widespread and profound impact, which the documentary explores through interviews with artists working today. Many conversations begin with Driskell, who died last April from the coronavirus before Black Art‘s release. The film probes a vast archive from Chicago artists like Kerry James Marshall (previously) and Theaster Gates (previously), alongside Amy Sherald (previously), Kehinde Wiley (previously), and Jordan Casteel, among others.
    Through a multi-generational lens, the documentary examines the nuanced effects of these figures’ contributions to the broader field of contemporary American art as it shares footage of their practices and reactions to their works. For example, Fred Wilson unveils what’s hidden within museum collections, while Wiley and Sherald both comment on the profound experience of painting the Obamas’ official portraits. Additional insights from Studio Museum director and chief curator Thelma Golden, who also is a consulting producer, are woven throughout the film.

    Amy Sherald working on Michelle Obama’s portrait
    Beyond galleries and museums, much of Black Art centers on the value of representation and unearthing a narrative that’s been obscured or outright dismissed. In particular, it considers the role of collectives like Sprial, which was founded in 1963 by Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis in order to highlight the work generated by Black artists in the Civil Rights Movement. While Sprial drew attention to otherwise ignored projects, it was largely dominated by men, a problem Faith Ringgold speaks to as she describes being rejected from the group. Sprial only admitted one woman, Emma Amos.
    The final segment focuses on the importance of collectors investing in Black artists, in addition to the long history of spaces like Studio Museum and historically Black colleges and universities. These institutions continue to foster communities that honor the legacy of those who’ve come before while backing those forging new ground, prompting questions like this one from Theaster Gates: “We are part of a continued renaissance—it’s been happening. What I’m most excited about is, do we have the capacity to be great makers in the absence of light?”
    Black Art is streaming on HBO Max through March 17. Educators also can download a coinciding curriculum with research tools and discussion prompts, in addition to another filled with activities designed to spur creativity.

    Kerry James Marshall in his studio

    #art history
    #film
    #video

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    A Short Film Chronicles Mural Fest Kosovo, Void Projects’ Initiative to Infuse a War-Torn City with Public Art

    
    Art

    #Kosovo
    #mural
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

    January 20, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    
    “At that time it wasn’t easy for me to be in the public with my camera because the country was very sensitive to reporters like me,” photojournalist Hazir Reka tells a group of muralists. “Being in the public with a camera was no different to being in public with a weapon because of how much it could affect reality.” Reka’s referring to a tumultuous time in Kosovo’s history when the region was in the midst of war, an experience he shares with the artists who traveled to the region in September 2020 for Mural Fest Kosovo.
    Organized by the art collective Void Projects (previously), which is helmed by Axel Void, the initiative sought to revitalize the public spaces within Ferizaj, a small city desolated by war. Fifteen international muralists—the list includesAruallan, Emilio Cerezo, Doa Oa, Alba Fabre, Maria Jose Gallardo, and Zane Prater—gathered for the project that U.K.-based filmmaker Doug Gillen documents in a new short film.
    Throughout “Change,” Gillen follows ten of the artists as they immerse themselves in local life and engage with the city’s youngest residents through workshops and school initiatives that directly involved the children and teens in the creative process. Their resulting artworks are a reflection of these interactions and large-scale depictions of the area’s ecology, citizens, and cultural milieu. While each is distinct in aesthetic—Aruallan and Void produced a photorealistic rendering of an 11-year-old boy they met on the street, while Fabre’s ethereal mural depicts an unknown woman lying in the water in traditional clothing, for example—they’re all infused with themes surrounding the city’s unique environment and more universal understandings of shared humanity.
    “The greater this connection, the more effective the work. Exploring the human stories of Ferizaj in this way, at this very unique moment in time, felt like an important opportunity to document meaningfully,” Gillen said.
    Watch the full film above to dive further into Kosovo’s history, and see all of the murals and glimpses into the artists’ experiences collaborating with Ferizaj residents on Void Projects’ Instagram.

    by Aruallan and Axel Void
    by Emilio Cerezo
    by Zane Prater
    by Alba Fabre
    by Doa Oa
    by Maria Jose Gallardo

    #Kosovo
    #mural
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

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    Around the Block: David Zinn’s Quirky Chalk Cartoons Spring to Life in a New Short Film

    
    Animation
    Art
    Illustration

    #chalk
    #drawing
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

    January 15, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    
    If you’ve walked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the last few decades, you’ve probably spotted the wide-eyed monsters and mischievous dragons of David Zinn (previously). Since 1987, the artist has been drawing chalk-and-charcoal creatures in site-specific works that wash away with the rain. Drain pipes become robotic dogs, a pillar morphs into a giant pencil, and a green monster pops out of a brick walkway.
    A new short film directed by Jonnie Lewis dives into Zinn’s practice by animating his signature cartoon cast that greets the artist as he walks around the city. Watch “Around the Block” on Lewis’s Vimeo, and check out more of Zinn’s eccentric creatures on Instagram.  (via Laughing Squid)

    #chalk
    #drawing
    #public art
    #short film
    #street art
    #video

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    Dialogo: A Frenzied Short Film Translates Indiscernible Audio into Kinetic Sound Sculptures

    
    Art

    #flowers
    #kinetic
    #language
    #neon
    #sculpture
    #senses
    #sound
    #video

    December 28, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    [embedded content]
    Juxtaposing natural elements and mechanics, “Dialogo” harnesses the frenetic, indiscernible components of language into a synesthetic experience. A mix of stop-motion and live-action, the short film features entirely hand-crafted sculptures by the Madrid-based design studio blo que. Each motorized work translates human utterings into movement, whether through an undulating tube of neon or oscillating florals, generating new associations in a conversation between the senses.
    To represent the original audio in a visual manner, blo que converts the speech waveforms into animation curves, which subsequently mobilizes the sculpture’s engines. “This is the voice of nature and order or the control of what cannot be controlled,” the studio says. “The passing of time in nature (freezing, rotting, etc.) is connected to the time of sound reproduction. This bond creates relationships between human emotions, language, and nature.”
    blo que details the lengthy creation process for the film on its site, and you can follow future projects that merge the tangible and digital on Vimeo and Instagram.

    #flowers
    #kinetic
    #language
    #neon
    #sculpture
    #senses
    #sound
    #video

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    Sound Artist Zimoun Channels Frenetic Movement in Expansive Kinetic Sculptures and Installations

    
    Art

    #cardboard
    #installation
    #kinetic
    #sculpture
    #sound
    #video

    November 6, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    
    Swiss sound artist Zimoun (previously) harnesses the power of quick, chaotic movements in his large-scale installations and kinetic sculptures. Each artwork is composed of simple materials like cardboard boxes, wooden dowels, and cotton balls, among other common objects. Zimoun assembles multiples of the same configuration—think teetering sticks and metal washers suspended on a wire—and motorizes one portion, causing them to rattle back and forth.
    Because each component is made by hand, they have slight differences that prevent them from synchronizing, despite all the motors being connected to a single current. The frenzied movements contrast the calming, whirring sounds the artworks emit, which mimic raindrops or a repetitive drum. This juxtaposition is just one example of the many comparisons the artist draws: chaos vs. order, mass vs. individual, simplicity vs. complexity, and manufactured vs. organic.
    Considering this theme, Zimoun names each piece by listing the materials used to connect the discrete components and the whole. For example, a recent project that forms a square on the floor (shown below) is titled “1944 prepared dc-motors, mdf panels 72 x 72cm, metal discs Ø 8cm, 2020.” “In my work, I do not try to transport specific associations but rather to create atmospheric spaces and states that invite us to observe, think, and reflect on various levels,” he says.
    In the compilation video above, Zimoun showcases a variety of the sculptures and installations from his extensive body of work, many of which you can explore individually on Vimeo and follow on Instagram.

    “1944 prepared dc-motors, mdf panels 72 x 72cm, metal discs Ø 8cm, 2020.” All images © Zimoun, shared with permission
    “1944 prepared dc-motors, mdf panels 72 x 72cm, metal discs Ø 8cm, 2020”

    #cardboard
    #installation
    #kinetic
    #sculpture
    #sound
    #video

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