In her exhibition “Black Fairy Egg Nest,” Julia Sinelnikova asks us if fairies are good or bad. Experienced as a ritual site with candles and stones, “Black Fairy Egg Nest” feels like a secret den where winged creatures could emerge at any moment. The primary piece hovering overhead is a nest of hand cut resin light sculptures dripping into the exhibition space. A pregnant mass leaks thin glowing strands and dark stones dangle towards the ground below.
But while there is a medieval and religious feel to the work, Sinelnikova is more broadly concerned with the distinction between who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. Her use of a fairy as the icon of the work symbolizes the contradictions inherent in our identities. As Sinelnikova points out in her artist statement, fairies are represented as both benevolent creatures who grant wishes and tricksters who can thwart even the most noble of plans. In this way fairies seem to be like us, flying between the light and the dark.
“Black Fairy Nest Egg” is part of Sinelnikova’s larger “Fairy Organs” work and includes sculpture, video and performance. “Conjuring Rebirth,” performed by Sinelnikova aka The Oracle and Xenolith Yolita aka Culttastic uses the glowing, dangling sculptures as a location for mystical curiosity, acquiescence and frustration. “Meditation on Suffering” centers around a glowing square where multiple women decked in shimmering foil move in concert with whispering voices in a neon lit disco. “Sentinel Seraphim” moves the multiplied women out of the geometric world of “Meditation” and into nature where the foil then takes on the likeness of wings.
Julia Sinelnikova is an artist and curator working in New York City. She has had solo exhibitions in Brooklyn, Austin, Houston, Barcelona, and Oulu (Finland). She recently curated “LEMNIVERSE: Vector Gallery at Art Basel” at SELECT Fair, Miami Beach and “Seeking Space 2014” at the Active Space, Brooklyn.
We’ve featured the paintings of German artist Martin Eder before, such as his portraits of female warriors and erotic kitsch. Another notable work of his is an installation known as “Hallucination,” which was shown in the Dimensions Variable exhibition at Berlin’s Galerie Eigen + Art in May 2013. The installation features a massive sculpture (6m x 10m x 10m) made of twisted black metal that appears to hover above the ground prior to impact. Like an ominous void, the object resonates with stillness and terror, unsettling the psyche with its violent yet silent presence.
The press release for “Hallucination” likens the object to Plato’s Cave, an allegory in Western philosophy that centers around the development of cognition and one’s sense of reality. Eder’s structure resembles a cave, a negative cavity that produces tension between abstraction and reality. Its liminal status (not falling, not making contact) makes it an object of infinite reflection; it becomes a symbol of a distant threat while also operating as a source of knowledge. Our physical relationship to the object—standing in a room or a hallway with it, for example—shapes how it manifests itself in our imaginations.
Northern Irish, Australian based artist Emma Coulter creates large scale colorful illusions that break the boundaries between painting, sculpture, installation, and interior design. Her work, being painted or installed directly on the walls, are site specific, allowing each vibrant piece to exist as a reaction and assessment of it’s environment. She notes that “spatiality in painting has long been a problem in the history of art.” Her process allows to her “utilis(e) space as a raw material,” challenging the traditional approach to figure out and investigate the issue of space and light. Her use of color and geometry employs a distortion of the space— creating illusory elements that both add and destroy previous conceptions of reality. Within in artist statement, Coulter explains:
“I see colour as an object or material to be manipulated through placement, proportion and adjacency in response to space. I am interested in challenging our assumptions about colour. It is a commonly misunderstood material, that is often associated with not being critical or serious. Through my systematic approach to colour and the spatiality of painting, I hope to reveal something new about the practice of painting and its potential to blur boundaries and adapt environments.”
Her use of color, big, bold and bright, is a nice wink to conceptual minimalist artists such as Sol LeWiitt; her work captures that same notion of a somehow clean experimentation. Truly a contemporary take on difficult and endless artistic quandaries. (via PICDIT)
Christopher Chiappa has been casting sculptures of eggs in plaster for the past five years and now they have taken on a life of their own. His work,“Livestrong” uses 7,000 eggs in a gallery installation and makes us wonder if we should be worried about an imminent egg invasion or if he’s simply putting egg on our face.
The pieces, which are the outcome of countless drawings and photos, have been painstakingly attached to Kate Werble Gallery (NYC) and look like an infestation climbing down walls, oozing across floors, and dripping from ceilings. But the Gallery provides us several ways to access the significance of the work, not all of which include a perilous plague. Perhaps the eggs are the energy of a large group, a non-threatening crowd, a recommended high-protein “Livestrong” recipe, or a nod to the “this is your brain on drugs” advertising campaign.
Standing like a miniaturized skeleton city, American artist Ben Butler has installed an epic geometric sculpture that seems to distort any sense of space. The installation, titled Unbounded, is a site-specific piece for Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas. The work is made up of ten thousand small rods of poplar wood. Through the creation of complex grids, the artist and a team put together this epic structure, building section by section, almost like a block building meditation. The artist notes that Unbounded “alludes to the notion that its form has no defined boundary, that is it untamed and fills the space according to its own logic.” Butler’s work, which is not solely sculptural but also delves into printmaking and draughtsmanship, consistently refers and reflects on the notion of mass. Each work is intricate, meticulous, but perhaps, most importantly, explores a sort of metaphysical notion of space. Delicate, yet powerful in scale, his work tends to use elements of the earth. The combination of the power of size and the natural material — which acts as a connection to the earth — allows his work to truly carry an awe inspiring essence. Almost like an Agnes Martin notion of finding these quiet patterns within nature meets the raw power of element and structure like the work of Richard Serra. Profound, with a nod to a notion of fun and simplicity, Butler’s installation truly plays with perception. (via IGNANT)
A new campaign in Brazil called, “virtual racism, real consequences” is plastering Facebook comments that are racially derogatory on billboards in the backyards of their authors. The point of the project is not necessarily to call out anyone or expose anyone, instead, the idea is to create a greater understanding of how these comments actually affect reality. It is far too easy to hide behind the screen. By taking these words out of virtual reality and placing them within a physical reality, perhaps those who write comments such as these will be forced to come to terms with the fact that even their internet selves are an aspect of their real selves, and, that words on social media have an equal effect (if not a heavier one as they reach a wider audience) as words in person. One example of the billboards is a post the states “cheguei em casa fendendo a preto,” which translates to “I got home stinking of black people” (“Preto” is an offensive way to refer to black people, as opposed to “negro,” which is unprejudiced). The idea for the project was conceived after Maria Júlia Continho, the first black weather forecaster on Brazilian prime-time television, was the victim of hateful comments referring to her race, after she corrected another newscaster. The project, headed by the Criola group, a nonprofit that works to defend the rights of black women, uses location tags from Facebook photos to determine what neighborhood the person who wrote the post lives in. The group then buys billboard space in their area, and plasters the post, blurring the name and profile photo. (via Yahoo Finance)
Inspired by a childhood dream to be a rockstar and fueled by a “narcissistic desire to re-embody” himself, innovator Guy Ben-Ary has developed a synthesizer using his own stem cells. The project, titled “cellF,” began with what the artist is calling a “new materialist” quandary: Through using both biological and robotic technologies, what sort of responses can one achieve “in regards to shifting perceptions surrounding understandings of ‘life’ and the materiality of the human body?” Or, in other words, how can one explore one’s biological selfhood via means of a technological interface? Or, even further, how can one “clone” oneself into a robotic entity? And, what does that mean for the purpose of the human body?
The machine acts as a “biological self-portrait,” a literal doubling of the artist that is meant to act and behave as Ben-Ary, using his own cells. After receiving the “Creative Australia Fellowship,” Ben-Ary was able to research and develop his project, which he divided in two parts; the first being to grow his own external “brain,” and the second was the development of the robotic interface that would interact with said brain.
To develop the brain, Ben-Ary gathered his cells through a biopsy of his arm. He then used Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell technology (iPS), a method that manipulates cells back into their embryonic state, which would allow him to “reprogram” the cells.
To development of the robotic interface, he created a machine that would serve as a real time feedback loop between itself and the cells. The robotic interface acted as a sound-producing “body” through an analogue synthesizer that is able to reflect “the complexity and quantity of information via sound.” When noise is fed to cellF, the cells then respond using the synthesizer and “perform” live. Pretty cool. (via The Creators Project)
Malaysian artist Jun Ong has implanted a glowing star within an unfinished five story building in the town of Butterworth, Malaysia. The awkward confinement of the large luminescent sculpture within the otherwise gaping desolate space offers an air of confusion. Almost as if the star was there by mistake, perhaps stuck. The installation was indeed informed by a notion of error — the star seems to mimic a glitch. Metaphorically, this “glitch star” represents the state of Butterworth. The town, which was once an prosperous industrial port linking the mainland and island, now finds itself desolate and suffering from decentralization. The twelve sided star, spanning over the the full five floors of the building, is comprised of five hundred meters of steel cables and LED strips. The piece is created in fragments, as it is divided by the floors of the concrete structure. When entering the installation, the viewer is forced to experience each floor as its own unit, creating a multi-faceted adventure. Each floor is an experience of just a mere piece of the whole, perhaps alluding to the overarching disposition of the town itself. However, despite the installation’s “gltich” reminiscent quality and fractured formation, the star is wondrous and uplifting. The project, presented as a part of the Urban Xchange Festival, was curated by Eeyan Chauh and Gabija Grusaite of Hin Bus Depot Art Center. (via designboom)