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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Elmgreen & Dragset’s Fourth Plinth

Posted in Art, artists, Installation, London, Photography, pictures, Public Art by petercombe on February 22, 2012

The unveiling of London’s Fourth Plinth, Powerless Structures, Fig 101‘ by Scandinavian artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset starts tomorrow at 9:00am (GMT), in Trafalgar Square.

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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.

Damien Rudd

Posted in Art, artist statement, artists, Gif, Photography, pictures, portraits, Prints, still life by petercombe on December 5, 2011

25 year old Damien Rudd is a student at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Says Rudd, “I always try to demonstrate the contrast between what life presently is and what it could be. To immerse ourselves in the oblivion of actions and know we’re making it happen.

Top, from the series Attraction and Repulsion (2010), Simple illustrated line diagrams have been superimposed over the photographic images to force the viewer to examine the content from a different perspective. The work was inspired by ballet dancer William Forsythe’s piece Human Writes (2005) in which the body becomes a tool to create and manipulate negative space.

Middle, gif portrait from the series Happiness (2009). , Bottom, Foam Head, 2011


Cy Twombly, R.I.P.

Posted in Art, artists, RIP by petercombe on July 5, 2011

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1970

R.I.P., April 25, 1928 — July 5, 2011

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Lost Bohemia

Posted in appropriation, architecture, Art, Interiors, New York City, Photography by petercombe on May 20, 2011

(Photo: Josef Astor)

Lost Bohemia,” a new documentary by Josef Astor, is a sad and spirited elegy for the Carnegie Hall Studios, which for more than a century provided working, living and teaching space for all kinds of artists on the floors above the famous concert hall. Mr. Astor, a photographer who moved into the building in 1985, pays tribute to his neighbors and friends who made up the last generation of studio residents. He also acknowledges the famous ghosts who haunt the place, ranging from Isadora Duncan and Enrico Caruso to Marilyn Monroe and Martha Graham.

Astor, who’d been in his skylighted space since 1985, was once surrounded by hundreds of creative neighbors—painters and dancers, photographers and composers—who lived and worked in 170 studios built directly above the grand midtown concert hall. The studios are in the process of being gutted and remodeled by the Carnegie Hall Corporation (the building is owned by the city, but the corporation is its primary tenant). According to a CHC spokeswoman, the spaces will be converted to “educational facilities” for young musicians.

When Andrew Carnegie built the Towers over the Hall—the project was completed in 1896—he intended for the studios to be occupied by working artists. It wasn’t cultural altruism—the rents were a source of revenue. But architect Henry J. Hardenbergh (who also did the Dakota and the Plaza Hotel) designed the apartments as studios, with high ceilings and north-facing skylights. The roster of names who lived and worked there is stellar: Isadora Duncan, Agnes de Mille, Garson Kanin, Marlon Brando, Leonard Bernstein.


Editta Sherman is known as the Duchess of Carnegie Hall. The sprightly 98-year-old had lived in her twelfth-floor studio since 1949. She raised five children while working as a successful photographer of the cultural elite. Dramatic black-and-white examples from her collection of 2,500 portraits were displayed against the mirrored walls and bold checkered floor: Henry Fonda, Mary Martin, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. A cast-iron circular staircase led to a loft filled with studio props. Photographer and past fellow resident Bill Cunningham enlisted Sherman as his model and muse for his 1978 book Facades, which fuses fashion and architecture photography.

The corporation promised to find comparable apartments for the seven rent-controlled tenants still living in the Towers, and to pay the difference in rent for the remainder of each tenant’s life, but the 26 non-rent-controlled commercial and residential tenants—including Astor—had no such guarantee.

The last residents moved out last year, and while “Lost Bohemia” mourns their dispossession, it also allows us to spend time in their eccentric, artistic company and to appreciate their contribution to the life of the city. Among them are Bill Cunningham, the New York Times photographer who is the subject of a marvelous recent documentary, and Don Shirley, a pianist who recalls playing with Duke Ellington “downstairs” — that is, in Carnegie Hall itself.

An anonymous, unseen poet who lived above Mr. Astor and left him eloquent phone messages observed that studios and the hall below, though commissioned by a plutocrat, “were built not on power, but on love.” The power of this documentary resides in that proud and fragile sentiment. Photo below is Astor’s studio after demolition.

Jeremiah’s New York >

The New York Times >

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