“Any system that sees aesthetics as irrelevant, that separates the artist from the product, that fragments the work of the individual, or creates by committee, or makes mincemeat of the creative process will in the long run diminish not only the product but the maker as well.”
Seen here is the work of Isabelle Hayeur, Montreal-based artist with a sense of humor and a eye for irony.Fire by Fire took place in 2010 and was a site specific installation piece in Vancouver’s Eastside. In Isabelle’s artist statement she states:
"The Downtown Eastside is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver; it is also the most run-down. This historic area is infamous for being plagued by social problems due to poverty. Before falling prey to serious urban decay, it has known brighter days, and was even the city’s business hub until the 1980s. […] It is striking that the history of the Downtown Eastside began in destruction and disappearance. In 1886, soon after the city was incorporated, the Great Vancouver Fire swept down on the neighbourhood and razed almost all of it to the ground. The video installation "Fire with Fire" recalls this troubled period of Vancouver’s history. It also alludes to the neighbourhood’s present conditions by reminding us that many lives have been consumed there, worn down by years of homelessness, drug use, street prostitution, and violence.”
Isabelle used three blu-ray players and projectors to imply the impression of a building fire. You can watch a video of her work in performance here. It was commissioned by The Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. What ingenious marketing!
I’d love to do something like this for my Senior Thesis. I wonder how many times the fire department was called/showed up […]
I had an impromptu gallery exhibit this week! The show, which was titled “Weightlessness,” took place last Thursday (Feb. 17th) at the Apothecary (the student run gallery on campus). The show was a group effort between the graduating seniors in the Art Department, specific to the Painting/Drawing and Graphic Design concentrations. You can see my contribution in the photos above.
Despite my intensive studies in the area of graphic design, I decided to attempt an installation nostalgic of conceptual works from artists Félix González-Torres and Jesús Rafael Soto. My process was mildly labor intensive and included repackaging and repurposing Swiss truffles. I didn’t keep track of my time but between gathering the supplies and utilizing them, I easily spent about 12 hours prepping for this show. The final outcome was one hundred suspended candies intended for the viewer to indulge in. An additional perk: my work evolved as people began to eat the chocolates. Without the weight of the truffles, the twine recoiled and took on a different identity on its own. Below are some detailed images.
"How does this relate to weightlessness," you might ask. Well, clearly the majority of it is conceptual but it blends the intent of González-Torres and Soto. Unconditional giving is one way we can come closest to true selflessness. With everything I do/design/make, I want the recipient to walk away with something they were absent of upon our introduction. This is how we grow as individuals; by sharing and learning. Like González-Torres, my work is symbolic of self-sacrifice and the joy of sharing oneself with another and the possibility of mutual elevation (thus the truffles). Ideally, I can persuade an emotion or convey an idea through time and space, and as I aspire towards architecture, I’ve begun to carefully consider three-dimensional elements (like Soto does).
I know what you’re thinking, “As a graphic designer, why did you decide to follow through with this concept?” Well, the idea of installing and implying meaning is something very foreign to my field of study (I’m specialized in “graphic” communication, remember) but also something very alluring to me. For my Senior Thesis, I’m hoping to abandon the reliance of graphics to communicate an idea (like a painter creates a work without paint or a brush). It’s quite a challenge. This show was the perfect opportunity to test the waters of installation art, and I must say, I received as much praise as my work delivered.
The Cress Gallery has just opened a new exhibition within the past week titled Living Daylights. It’s an installation showcasing Ian Pedigo, a sculpture artist living and working in New York City.
Pedigo works with found objects/images, arranging them into sculptural landscapes. A reoccurring theme in Pedigo’s work is the loose associations of meaning and repurposing. Most of the items appropriated are discarded debris but Pedigo recontextualises these mediums into minimal displays. It’s as if he breathes new life into the meaning of the object: by altering the mediums purpose, he alters its value. I’m particularly fond of his works with lighting gels, as seen below.
Unfortunately, I missed the artist lecture last Tuesday, but I’ve only heard positive reviews. Lucky for me, Pedigo came to speak to my Professional Preparation class the following day. It was this opportunity that gave me insight into the influences and inspirations the artist draws from (such as music, European design and Joseph Beuys). I feel like there’s a link in our aesthetic, not to mention general intent concerning nature and civilization. Below are a couple other pieces I’m completely infatuated with.