learn

Exhibition Suggestions

Hello everyone,

My university’s second term has come to its end, and I will be going back to Greece to spent the easter holidays with my family and friends. The good news is that I will try and keep up with my blog, focusing on the many interesting art events currently happening in Athens. The bad news is that because I don’t know the exact date that I will be coming back to London,  I will probably have to miss some great art exhibitions happening here at the moment. As a result of that, I have selected my top three exhibitions that I really wanted to visit but did not have the chance. I am hoping to be able to visit them when I come back, but in case I don’t, here they are; make sure that you take a look , be inspired and if you decide to visit them, let me know what you thought!

Momentum, at the Barbican Centre (Images courtesy of Barbican Centre)
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“Momentum consists of twelve pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing, drawing attention to the Curve’s vast arc, inviting you to journey through the space guided by your heightened senses. Each pendulum has been meticulously designed and built using steel, aluminium, and custom electronics. The sound is individual to each pendulum, prepared and tuned to seamlessly resonate as they move within the Curve”. Momentum creates an unique environment that has its foundations in detailed research, sophisticated computer technology and mechanical expertise. Yet, the effect is to create a space that feels wondrously transformed, one which you are invited to experience and explore.” (information taken from: barbican.org.uk)

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined at the Royal Academy of Arts

“Some of the most creative architectural minds from around the world have come to the RA, and we’ve set them a challenge: to give you a new perspective on architecture. ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’ sees our Main Galleries transformed by a series of large scale installations. As you respond to different structures, textures, lighting, scents and colours, we invite you to consider some of the big questions about the nature of architecture. How do spaces make us feel? What does architecture do for our lives?” (royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/4)

Martin Creed ‘Whats the point of it”  Hayward Gallery (Images courtesy of Hayward Gallery)
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A survey of Martin Creed’s playful, thought-provoking art.Over the past two and a half decades British artist Martin Creed has pursued an extraordinary path by confounding the traditional categories of art.Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed is recognised around the world for his minimalistic approach that strips away the unnecessary, but preserves an abundance of wit, humour and surprise.Crossing all artistic media and including music, his art transforms everyday materials and actions into surprising meditations on existence and the invisible structures that shape our lives. This exhibition includes work containing nudity, bodily functions and some adult content and will be the first major survey of Martin Creed’s work, spanning its most minimal moments and extravagant room-sized installations.”
(Information from: southbankcentre.co.uk)

I really hope that this post will motivate you to go and visit these three wonderful exhibitions. If you do, please comment below and tell me what you thought of them, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading,
Elli

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Vandal Lust

A few weeks ago, I created a post, asking viewers to answer ‘what is your favourite art form’. After looking at the results and comments, I personally found it hard to give just one answer. I really like to create paintings and mixed media art, take photographs and also create short films. At the same time, what I really love in exhibitions I visit are large scale installations. One of the reasons why I enjoy large scale installations is because I like  to take my time to view them, walk around them and try to the find small and beautiful details that are not that obvious at first sight.

A week ago, I visited Saatchi Gallery and viewed a work created by Andra Ursuta; Vandal Lust. Andra Ursuta was born in Romania in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York since 2000.

There is a thrilling and unnerving sense of destruction and metonymy in Ursuta’s works (sculptures/installations). Most importantly, the artist doesn’t steer away from using her personal memories and experiences, whether the damaged psychology of her country or her own body, which is often the inspiration of casts, to ignite her mixed-media creations. Ursuta’s narratives are convincingly bodied forth by a distinctively fractured, somewhat deprived sense of craft.

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What I understand from observing and researching Vandal Lust is that self-invention and self-destruction are endlessly interchanged. It is not very clear whether Longing and failure that fill the work are real or artificial. “By resurrecting an obsolete piece of battlefield technology generally reduced to recreational use by living history enthusiasts, Ursuta blurs the distinction between authentic private feelings and their reenacted, staged version.” (Source: zoominfo.com)

Vandal Lust is a life size tableau that was inspired by “The man who flew into space from his appartment’ and it centres on a crudely made catapult that seems to have been used attempting to launch the artist into space using a large medieval siege engine, built to the limits of space capacity and  based on reconstructions found online. The basic part of the installation, which is the catapult is not a solid monolithic structure but it includes a variety of materials ranging from cardboard, plaster, scraps of lumber, resin and remnants of destroyed or abandoned objects.

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The following section is a part of Ursuta’s interview with Christopher Bollen from interview magazine, focusing on her inspiration and what she tried to say through her installation.

Vandal Lust borrows from  Ilya Kabakov’s famous piece The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment ? where the man is presumed to have successfully launched himself into space. In yours, there’s a dent near the ceiling and the figure curled on the floor. Is that about failure?

Launching and failing. I guess it could be seen as being about the art world, that trajectory. But it was more about knowing you will fail but going for it anyway

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What I really enjoyed about this work of art is trying to find hidden details, walk around the art piece and try to imagine the story behind it. Moreover, I liked how the installation had many different elements, the larger part which was the catapult, but also a human cast which was on the floor, as well as the bodies ‘effect‘ on the wall of the gallery. All these small details were there to help and lead the viewer towards understanding what the catapult was and what was the story behind the work of art. If one of the three elements were not there, the work would not make sense. After leaving the exhibition, I was very excited to go back home and research the artist and the messages behind her work and personally, I enjoy viewing works of art that are that effective and make want to think and research about them even after leaving the exhibition.

Do you think vandal Lust is an effective installation?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Learn

Are you a tourist or a traveller?

Have you ever wondered the reasons why people travel? Why do you travel? Is it a part of your job, are you visiting family, or are you going on holidays? In any case, thousands of people travel everyday for their own personal reasons, but what do they take with them from each travel?

This post is the last one, out of a series of three one-minute films ‘MOVE-EAT-LEARN’. Director Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of all films is an original and composed by Kelsey James.

The video shown, ‘LEARN,  is exactly what its titles suggests. With this film, the director and his team present their adventures and experiences throughout their travels. The most significant thing about the video, is that they don’t simply present the different countries and locations that they explored, but the new things they tried, experienced and learned. They believe that what is most important about travelling is learning more  about the places you visit. It’s not only about walking around, visiting touristic attractions and following tourist books, but engaging with the people of each country and making the effort to learn more about their lifestyle and culture.

Currently, tourism is an essential figure for modernity and one of the largest industries in the globe as it is an essential element in the structure of the economy of industrially developed countries. In the form of a economic practice, tourism is a commodification of space, place and movement. But it is a cultural practice as well. So why do people travel? Tourism can take many different forms and mean different things to people; economic and cultural practice, visual culture, mediation, ritual  performance, pleasure, identity status, power, wealth, freedom, search for  happiness, search for the authentic sacred. In any case, the meaning of this short film, is that we need to take advantage of our travels, and learn as much as we can from them.

The following quote I included, is one by the director of the short films, Rick Mereki,  after he was asked to give his Top Travel Tip, at one of his interviews from found at the Hostelling Blog.

“Open yourself up to everything and leave all your personal, cultural baggage and your insecurities at the door. The most amazing thing about travelling to a new country is that it allows you to shed the skin of who you are, you can be free to be the kind of person you have always wanted to be. Then open your heart up to everyone and everything and the world will open up in front of you”

Don’t leave everything you saw and experienced behind, take it with you. Don’t be a tourist, be a traveller. Don’t just observe, experience. Don’t just travel, Learn

MOVE

A form of art that I haven’t written a post so far, is film. Having numerous film classes in my current course, I have become very interested in watching and creating short films such as advertisements, promos, campaigns and documentaries. For that reason, I decided to research a very talented, in my opinion director; Rick Mereki. What made me choose the specific director was his great passion for travel. This post is going to be the first out of  three that I will be posting, all created from Rick Mereki and his travelling experiences, called: MOVE-EAT-LEARN. 

Rick Mereki, along with Andrew Lees as an actor and Tim White as a cameraman collaborated in creating these three short films that started as  an assignment from a travel agency. They were asked to shoot a very short film around the world, for STA Travel Australia. Their adventure started, and with only 2 cameras available, they travelled 38.000 miles which is approximately two times around the earth. They recorded their discoveries and  experiences and brought back with them almost one terabyte of raw video footage, from which they only kept the best parts to create three 1-minute-clips. The  music of the films is an original composed by Kelsey James.

I can’t simply choose what it is that I love about this film, because I would have to say everything. The music makes you feel like a part of the experience, the quick pace of the film makes you fully committed to it and does not let you get your eyes of the screen. Moreover, direction here is excellent. The way one short take follows the next one is directed and filmed in an incredible and detailed way, that makes the effect of the film so successful. In that way, Mereki has managed to present footage from six weeks, and shots from numerous countries just in sixty seconds.

In ‘MOVE’, every single second is precious, plays an significant part of the whole concept and has an different meaning. The concept of MOVE is powerful; showing people that traveling inspires us to do, to dare and to discover what lies beyond the consolations of our comfort zones.

Researching more about Rick Mereki, I was reading on of his interviews online, from the ‘Travel and Leisure’ website, and I was very interested to the following question, that was asking the director ‘What has travel come to mean after visiting so many countries in just six weeks’

The more you travel, the more you become attached and connected to the world as a whole. I think that if a greater number of us spent time outside our comfort zones and immersed in other cultures, even for a little while, it would help reduce the “Us vs. Them” mentality that still exists in the world. People will always naturally base their beliefs and opinions on what is best for their family, their city, their country…but I think travel helps create mindsets that are more global.

What I love in such short but original films is the effect they have on me. The specific film gave me the motivation and inspiration to dare, to want to do something different, to take the time to travel around, discover the beauty of our world and experience it in my own, personal way. 

How did this film make you feel?

Thank you for reading,

Elli