a tale of a few cities

5,000 Free Limited Edition Artworks To Celebrate Elmgreen & Dragset’s Trafalgar Square Sculpture Unveiling

Posted in Art, artists, collecting, collections, limited editions, multiples, pictures, Public Art, Sculpture by petercombe on February 23, 2012

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LONDON, Feb. 23, 2012 —  In collaboration with s[edition], a digital platform for collecting contemporary art, Elmgreen & Dragset invite visitors to experience ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101’, the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square in the virtual world using augmented reality.

For the first time, visitors can further engage with the Fourth Plinth commission, which is funded by the Mayor of London with support from Arts Council England. They will be able to access exclusive content via the s[edition] iPhone app. When devices are pointed at the sculpture’s plaque, users will receive a three-dimensional rendering of the sculpture, along with unique footage of Elmgreen & Dragset presenting their work.

The artists have also collaborated with s[edition] to create a digital limited edition artwork celebrating the commissioned sculptureDesigned to be viewed on digital devices from iPhones to televisions, the limited edition features a unique digital rendition of the bronze sculpture on the plinth. To commemorate the unveiling, s[edition] will offer members of the public the chance to own one of 5,000 limited editions, worth £35 each ($55US), for free before 5pm GMT on Friday 24 February 2012.  The editions are limited to one per person and can be accessed via here.

Michael Elmgreen said: “The internet has created possibilities for experiencing artworks in a totally different way. You do not need to be there in a physical sense at the location to actually get an impression of the work. So it broadens the possibilities to reach other audiences apart from the people in Trafalgar Square.”

Ingar Dragset stated: “When we developed the sculpture itself in a 3D format, we used the computer as well as a tool. It is a big part of most artists’ working process. What you see with our s[edition] limited edition is the computer manipulated sculpture turning around, with the blue sky in the background, and it loops endlessly.”

Martina King, Managing Director of Aurasma, said: “This ground breaking collaboration with s[edition] brings digital art to 3D life, augmented into the real world.  People will be able to use the simple tools in the app to add a 3D model of the artwork to their homes, offices gardens – even the street.  We’re delighted to see Aurasma’s unique technology being used to change the way people see and interact with art using their mobile devices.”

Commissioned by the Mayor of London and supported by the Arts Council England, Elmgreen & Dragset’s new sculpture for the Fourth Plinth was unveiled on 23 February 2012 in Trafalgar Square, London. Entitled Powerless Structures, Fig 101, the artwork features a 4.1m high golden bronze sculpture portraying a boy on a rocking horse with his right arm thrust high in the air.

Available for iPhone and Android smartphones, Aurasma uses advanced image and pattern recognition technology to seamlessly blend the real world with interactive digital content called “Auras”.  Auras can be created for images, objects and physical places. Users can even use the simple tools in the app to create and add their own Auras to the world. A 3D version of Powerless Structures, Fig 101 will be available on the Aurasma platform for users to place into the real world, view and share.

The Sacramento Bee

Thursday, February 23, 2012
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UPDATE, February 24, 2012: As it is now past 5pm GMT on Friday 24 February 2012 Limited edition art work is now priced at $56USD.
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Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 Unveiled

Posted in architecture, Art, artists, Installation, Photography, pictures, Public Art, Sculpture by petercombe on February 23, 2012

Artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset have become the latest contemporary artists to unveil a public sculpture on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101’ depicts a classically proportioned young boy atop a flat rocking horse.

The plinth, built in 1841, was originally designed to host a bronze equestrian statue of King William IV designed by architect Sir Charles Barry.  Organisers said that, after 170 years, “Elmgreen & Dragset have completed the process by presenting a new take on the tradition of equestrian statues, directly engaging with the history of the plinth itself”.

Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway) are a collaborative artist couple who live and work together in Berlin. Their work often takes the form of a wittily subversive intervention or mise-en-scène. They are critical of contemporary art institutions, and restrictive viewing of the white cube viewing space. The duo have held solo exhibitions at galleries including the Serpentine and Tate Modern, in London, and The Power Plant, in Toronto.  As a duo, the artists – who will exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in autumn 2013 – are known for works including Prada Marfa, a full-scale replica of a Prada boutique in the middle of the Texan desert.  

Although I like Elmgreen & Dragset’s work, I wish Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s proposal had been chosen. Their’s featured a working cash machine embedded within the plinth which, when accessed, would have triggered a functioning pipe organ set on top of the plinth, to play throughout Trafalgar Square.

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig 101, replaces Yinka Shonibare’s large-scale Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle.

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[youtube http://youtu.be/watch?v=dLGj7lxwjNk&w=720&h=450]

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Whitney of the Future

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Situated in NYC’s Meatpacking District at the southern end of the High Line, the new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum Of American Art will replace the current Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue. The Whitney’s new outpost, climbing up nine stories and topping out at 270 feet overlooking the Hudson River, will open in 2015. Inside will be “essential new space for its collection, exhibitions, and education and performing arts programs” spread across 200,000 square feet, with the largest column-free gallery in NYC.

Michael Rakowitz, Climate Control, 2000 – 2001

Michael Rakowitz

Climate Control
2000 – 2001
Galvanized steel ductwork, fans, timers
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
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Most museums and exhibition spaces have a central climate control system for maintaining the standard temperature and relative humidity (r.h.) necessary to preserve art works on exhibit. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center lacks such a mechanism and, during the winter, turns its radiators up to 90˚F, ignoring the institutional standard of 68˚ – 72˚F. The dry heat of the radiators engenders a relative humidity reading of approximately 11%, potentially damaging to objects like paintings or prints, which require stabilized environments of between 40% – 50% r.h.
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In order to lower the temperature of the Special Projects room to which it is confined, Climate Control, an apparatus consisting of ductwork and fans, incorporates the existing radiator system on the interior of the building with the cold winter temperature outside. The resulting maze of ductwork features a central absurd element: the continuous duct which travels outside the windows and then directly back in, visible from the street. An internal humidifier feeds off moisture in the air and maintains a relative humidity of 20%, in keeping with the standard for exhibiting artworks made from galvanized steel. While the system is adjustable and can maintain a stabilized environment for the display of even delicate works on paper, there is no space to exhibit other art: Climate Control completely engulfs the room. The result is an absurd machine built to maintain itself. – Michael Rakowitz
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I first heard of Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz through his collaborative project “Spoils,” a culinary/art experience utilizing plates found in Saddam Hussein’s fallen palaces and held at Park Avenue Autumn this past October. After doing a few searches, I discovered his 2001 Climate Control installation at P.S.1 and was really taken by the Rakowitz’s clever use of space.
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I wouldn’t be surprised if Rakowitz’s Climate Control spurred the installation of a climate control system at P.S.1, albeit slowly.
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Cloud Feature Controversies

Posted in 911, architecture, Art, artists, auction, New York City, Parallels, Sculpture by petercombe on December 13, 2011

LOT 75, STUDIO JOB, JOB SMEETS AND NYNKE TYNAGEL, “Robber Baron” floor lamp, 2007

Polished and patinated bronze.
Number one from the edition of five. Base impressed with “JOB 07 01 / 05.”
63 in. (160 cm.) high

ESTIMATE $100,000-150,000

Philips de Pury Auction, DESIGN MASTERS, 13 December 2011, 450 Park Avenue, New York

In other news…

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Beni Bischof, Architecture in the stranglehold of the art

Posted in architecture, Art, Christianity, Exhibitions, Photography, pictures by petercombe on June 23, 2011

Beni Bischof is a multidisciplinary artist creating paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, photos, zines, books and computer graphics. Based on his series called the Bricked Castles Art society Zurich will provide a unique insight into Bischof’s universe in The Architecture in the Stranglehold of Art.

Ausstellung #3, Beni Bischof 
23. June — 14. July 2011 
Kunstverein Zürich  
Dienerstrasse 70, 8004 ZUERICH 

mail@kunstvereinzuerich.ch

SociallyInept(dot)com

Posted in advertising, appropriation, Collage, Photography by petercombe on June 22, 2011

Don’t you tire of those Sponsored ads seen to the right of your Facebook profile page? Those intriguing thumbnail images that pique one’s interest – then once clicked, are nowhere to be found? 

Today I saw the recurring East Bay Bucket List Facebook Sponsord ad (below right) and immediately recognized one of Swiss artist Beni Bischof‘s artworks (below left), “HANDICAPED CAR” (verschiedene Formate, 2008/09). What on earth does that image have to do with with the East Bay Bucket List and 365 things to do in the East Bay right now? The cheesy site (Livingsocial[ly].com) misleads by scouring my photos and photos of my friends on Facebook to sell their product which in turn have nothing to do with the product being sold.

Update: ArtFagCity picked this up today –  Massive Links! Matthew Collins’ Fuck-You Art Writers | Jerry Saltz Tweet Watch | Peter Combe fingers East Bay Bucket List

Portland & the Birth of Post Modernism

Posted in architecture, Post Modernism by petercombe on June 4, 2011
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Michael Graves’ 29-year-old Portland Building, a government office building in downtown Portland, Oregon was hailed at the time of its construction by architectural theorist Charles Jencks as the birth of Post-Modernism. I owned a copy of Jenks’ The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, 4th Edition, 1984., the cover of which featured Graves’ building.
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I just so happen to be in Portland at the moment. It seems my visit has proven to be of rather good timing as the building is currently at the center of a local & heated municipal political debate. On my arrival Thursday, the Portland Tribune featured an article Love it or hate it, the Portland Building has a date with history, that mentions the Portland Building’s design could earn it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Before the Portland Building can be nominated to the national register, however, it must overcome a hurdle in criteria, which usually limits the honor to properties that have been around for more than 50 years. The nomination report says the relatively young building should still be considered for the honor because “it is exceptionally important as one of the first physical manifestations of a new architectural style coming on the heels of the Modern movement.” The article places the building in a national level of historical importance when really its level of importance figures at an international level.
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The city should reward the building the title of Historic Place then proceed with a building overhaul. The exterior is looking rather faded, the ground level shops and businesses are nondescript. Much of the architect’s original plans for the building (see above), were vetoed pre-construction by city authorities, most notably the garlands that appear on two of  the building’s facades, and the cluster of public arcades and shops on the rooftop. Reincorporating those elements would cement The Portland Building’s position as an international architectural milestone.
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Portland Building >

Duchess of Carnegie Hall (No More)

Posted in artists, New York City, Photography, Real Estate by petercombe on May 22, 2011
 (Photo: Josef Astor)

Editta Sherman, a 98 year old artist had been living upstairs from Carnegie Hall in a rent controlled studio since 1946, paying $650 a month in rent until her eviction last year. It all started in 2007 when Carnegie Hall announced a $200 million renovation project. 18 studios including Sherman’s were occupied at the time. After a defiant fight Sherman and the other remaining tenants, victims of the never-ending struggle between art and commerce, were forced to move out.

UPDATE (May 27): Just saw ‘Bill Cunningham New York‘ where there is repeated footage and mention of the Carnegie Hall artists’ plight. It is a shame that NYC Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg didn’t intercede nor offer a statement from his office. Surely the powers that be at Carnegie Hall could have made an exception for two national treasures, Editta Sherman and 81 year old Bill Cunningham. In 2008 Cunningham was awarded the title chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture and spent much of the (his) ceremony giddily snapping pictures of those in attendance. 

A sad chord is struck later in the film as Cunningham views the replacement suites on offer, all featuring splendid views of Central Park.  In his chosen new digs he had the appliances removed from the kitchen to make more room for his many filing cabinets.

Further documentation of the Carnegie injustice can be seen in Josef ‘Birdman’ Astor’s ‘Lost Bohemia‘ which was just released in New York last week.

Maxime Ansiau, Delft Redux

Posted in architecture, Art, Ceramics, Sculpture by petercombe on March 26, 2011

Top, Maxime AnsiauSkyscraper, 2008, Ceramic, 43 x 13¼”, edition of 3

Bottom, Maxime AnsiauStreet, 2008, Ceramic, 13¼ x 50½”, edition of 3

LINK >

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