Posts Tagged ‘exhibit’

72 Hours Gallery

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The concept is novel and yet very appealing to me: an empty space is invaded by a group of artists that build and create new pieces of art over a 36-hour period. A temporary gallery is developed, and during the following 36 hours the public are invited to view the work produced.

So far the 72 hours gallery exhibits have taken place in Hamburg, where the first makeshift gallery was created, and more recently in Mitte, Berlin with host artists from the 44flavours arts collective.

In the words of “Sneaky” (aka Simon Houghton), who performed live improvisational music at the gallery’s launch in early February, “72 hours gallery is a breath of fresh air in the all too often stuffy world of art galleries and exhibition spaces.”

44flavours (www.44flavours.com) is an art collective based in Kreuzberg, Berlin. It consists of Sebastian Bagge and Julio Rölle. Combined, the duo have a great knowledge and understanding of many forms of art, creating unique and stimulating visual works using whatever elements are available to them. They grew up surrounded by graffiti, immersed in the sample and remix culture of hip-hop. This is evident in the style they have developed over the years, a look and aesthetic uniquely their own.

44flavours invited Sneaky to join them at the 72 hours gallery launch, hoping that his music would add another dimension to the event. Sneaky says, “I decided to bring along just my cello and an old wooden metronome that belonged to my grandmother. The timing on the old metronome was pretty abstract to say the least, and so playing along to it is an exercise in concentration but somehow the wonky clock sounds marking time and me scraping away on the cello trying to get lost in the ever temporary moment made a lot of sense at the time.”

The founder of the 72 hours gallery series and main organizer of the event, Kai Klinke, says, “Street-art, painting, photography or video, the artworks evolve free and spontaneous. Our goal is to give our artists as much space as possible. Whether our artists will work alone, in groups or with the audience is completely up to them”

Ben Seebode, a DJ with Hot Source, who spun records during the event said, “I loved it! We witnessed some nice painting and silkscreen printing on wood, glass, paper, the walls. One thing that stuck in my mind was how well the combination glass and the wood objects went. I think printing on glass can be very clean and cold, but in combination with the wood and 44flavours graphics it worked really well.”

All proceeds from the exhibition were donated to Licht für die Welt, a non-profit-organization providing eye surgery and therapy in third-world countries.

Klinke isn’t sure where the next event is going to take place, and is currently looking for new sponsors.  For more information and to find out where the gallery will be stopping next check out their site www.72hoursgallery.com

Leanda is a writer based in Toronto. For the past 13 years she has hosted & produced music radio shows, managed bands & worked in online music PR. She now runs a music site & also writes for music & culture magazine `Relevant BCN`. Read more of her writing here - http://www.bloggertronix.com

Bodies: The Exhibition

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

Knit together in your mother’s womb. The phrase is full of intricate wonder, but also cozy, domestic warmth. A walk through the touring exhibit “Bodies,” explores the knit-together wonder that is the human machine, but in a fashion that keeps cozy or sentimental feelings at arm’s length. The big draw is that real human bodies have been used to display the interlocking systems of the body. They’ve done this by replacing the water that makes up such a significant portion of human anatomy with a polymer that allows them to keep their form miraculously (and also without scent or risk of decay).

Physically, the exhibit is a spot lit, plexiglass cased, notated museum set-up, designed to allow viewers to feel safely distanced from what could be a spookily gory affair. On one figure, all of the individual muscles are splayed off of arms and legs, with the resulting appearance of a set of whirring fans. On each figure with a head, eyebrows, lips and eyelids have been carefully replaced over the sinews of facial muscles, to make them a bit more readable, a bit less gruesome. Two figures pull away from one another, holding hands so that they can lean out like John Travolta and his co-star spinning in “Saturday Night Fever.” It turns out that this is the skeleton and musculature of the same man—a doppelganger dancing with itself. This, and many other poses, are intellectually beautiful, as they break into the background of all of the workings that we take for granted as we walk, run, stretch and jive with our unbelievable bodies. The visual/aesthetic effect, on the other hand, is still uncomfortably close to… well… meat. Anyone who is sensitive to suffering and has made the choice to continue to eat meat knows the tension of preparing food from the bodies of animals. I felt this tension, strangely, as I walked through this exhibit. I could choose to think about the lives and deaths of the real people standing flayed and dissected before me, or I could casually dismiss these thoughts, and imagine that they were just illustrations—models disconnected from actual living and breathing creatures.

The only reprise from this mild but persistent battle was the room of veins and arteries. A slightly different process is used—the vascular highways are filled and the tissue itself is taken away, casting in space the paths of blood through various organs. Floating branches glow as if lit from within. One viewer saw bronchial tubes cast in clear white-blue, and sighed, “It’s like Christmas!” And my response, which I’d been waiting for throughout my time in the exhibit, was awe. Somehow, removing more of the “meat” allowed me to be captivated by the delicate beauty of the human body… a beauty that shows up again and again in interactions with the living and breathing specimens that we walk among every day.

[Exhibition website]

Gala Bent is a mother-artist-teacher living in Seattle who enjoys, among other things, this thought: between thesis and antithesis arcs the ever-loving synthesis. www.galabent.com

1906 San Francisco Earthquake Commemoration

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Oakland Museum of California http://www.museumca.org
Description of 1906 Earthquake Exhibition

About 100½ years ago a 7.8 magnitude earthquake (with some estimates placing it as high as 8.3) shook the San Francisco Bay Area, toppling buildings in what was then the American west coast’s largest city. Even worse though, a fire broke-out that ultimately devastated 80% of San Francisco and killed at least 3000 people. To commemorate this disaster, the Oakland Museum of California held an exhibition this summer from April through August. I was able to ride my bike over there and participate in the exhibit during its final week.

Unique displays included:
* Old tents that families had lived in after their houses had been destroyed.
* A shaking platform “ride” that simulated a 4.5 quake that half-tempted me into thinking that earthquakes are “fun.”
* Trolley transfers from 5:12am April 18th 1906 (the exact moment of the quake).
* A display titled “Make Your Own Seismogram” which involved something that looked like a large weighing scale, an invitation to jump on it, and a read-out at eye-level that indicated the “magnitude” of your jump on the Richter Scale. (I didn’t get to try this—some hefty people were hogging it!)

Some reasons why the fire got out of control:
* The water mains that supplied all the fire hydrants were broken during the quake. Only one at the top of a large hill (corner of Church & 20th St.) worked. Because it continued to work, some consider it a miracle, and each year descendants of the firemen hold a ceremony in which they spray-paint this “miracle fire hydrant” golden.
* The San Francisco fire chief was killed during the initial earthquake—a building collapsed onto the fire department’s roof as the chief and his wife slept in their bed.
* This fire chief was one of two people in the entire city that had access to dynamite, but he was the only one who knew how to use explosives in order to set-up proper firebreaks. Supposedly, the other guy with dynamite access started detonating explosives sort of randomly which did more harm than good (it caused the fire to spread and people were even thrown into the air!). It turned-out he was drunk. Eventually, someone sober and qualified was given access to the dynamite—an effective firebreak was finally created by dynamiting the entire street of Van Ness!