Water as dumpster.
Water as transportation. Connection.
Water as design challenge, as failure. As words and environment.
As business, cure-all pharmaceutical, and resource.
But mostly, water in a multi-faceted study by artists and scientists.
“Surface Tension,” which ran through August 11th at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, explores the subject of water, showing how it links innumerous areas of life. I entered aware that water is central to agriculture, survival, and the environment, but exited Eyebeam with a hunch the dozen or so represented ideas do not even begin to cover water’s ubiquity.
While conservation and access to safe drinking water is stressed—this is what the reusable bottle-toting, efficient shower head-using crowd would expect—the exhibition becomes much more elusive by muddling the line between art and science (all entries have been chosen by open call). [click to continue….]
The play ends on a dramatic note, although the resolution has been evident from the start, and the audience gives a generous applause. “Olives and Blood” imagines the intertwinement of Federico Garcia Lorca (the liberal writer who lived in his native Spain through the turmoil following the Spanish American War in 1898) and Trescante (a Fascist who part-took in Lorca’s murder).
The story is so simple: political extremes are blinding and stunt the poles’ original missions for progress. Olives and blood, peace and war. Yet what recovers the audience from the initial confusion, or possibly even disappointment, is the strong themes that are probed by both Lorca and Trescante. The first scene, to give a bit away, can be thought of as the inner struggle; the cartoonish devil on one shoulder and angel on the other, battling it out. To locate the voice of good based on personal understanding of violence would be to obfuscate the struggles each character faces individually. They have excuses and we have compassion. It is a trap. [click to continue….]
"Maurizio Cattelan: All" at the Guggenheim. Photo Credit: Chang W. Lee
How much do we trust amusements parks and museums with our lives?
If you think that only the former creates some risk, then visit the Guggenheim Museum
and stand under — that’s right, under — the behemoth of “Maurizio Cattelan: All
,” up through January 22, 2012. The Italian artist
has taken his work, mainly sculpture, and suspended it from the ceiling. Much of the work deals with frustration, animals, politics, and Cattelan’s likeness, or play with proportion. There is a miniature functioning elevator, a little boy who drums out a non-rhythm sitting on a horse cart, realistic pigeons that claim all of the works involved, and 121 other works of art.
At the top floor visitors can see the circular metal platform which holds up the densely presented works; most of the ropes (whether for physics, aesthetics, or for a more fanciful idea) hold up only one piece but drop off at varying heights throughout the rotunda’s six stories from ceiling to lobby level — in other words the rope does not tie to one sculpture and then continue down to hold another sculpture’s weight. It is a retrospective, where the work is an end to itself.