Sunday, 31 May 2015

Diana Al-Hadid

Diana Al-Hadid is a Syrian-American artist who lives and works in New York. Her sculptures take ‘towers’ as their central theme, drawing together a wide variety of associations: power, wealth, technological and urban development, ideas of progress and globalism. They are also – both in legends such as the Tower of Babel, and reality, such as the horrors of the World Trade Centre attacks – symbols of the problems of cultural difference and conflict. Al-Hadid’s Tower of Infinite Problems poses as a toppled skyscraper. Made from crude materials such as plaster, Styrofoam, wax, and cardboard, her structure is a monument to human fallibility. Sprawling on the floor like an imaginary archaeological find, the sculpture places the viewer in a fictional role as futuristic observer, mourning the tragic follies of a past (our current) civilization. If viewed from the end, the two parts of the structure converge in an optical illusion, creating a spiral vortex suggesting a cyclical repetition of history. Al–Hadid’s geometric forms attempt to bridge mystical and scientific understandings of the world. As intensely patterned and detailed structures, her works draw from the traditions of Islamic art, where abstract motifs are used to encourage contemplation of God’s infinite wisdom. An ‘infinite wisdom’ that is also the focus of the particle physics research being done at the Large Hadron Collider – a 17 mile tunnel beneath the Swiss-French border – where scientists are attempting to locate the “God Particle” by reproducing the Big Bang. In Self Melt the top section of the sculpture is based on Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1556 painting The Tower of Babel. Presented upside down, the ziggurat becomes an inverted form, like an hourglass turning back time, suggesting a reversal of cultural diaspora. Through its rough hewn and barbaric appearance – reminiscent of a geological formation or frozen asteroid - Self Melt points to a mythological point of origin, where diversity and itsconsequences are supernaturally preordained.
Al-Hadid has described her work as "impossible architecture". All The Stops envisions a palatial structure, utilising stylistic elements from a variety of incongruous periods from medieval churches to futuristic stadiums. Shaping her work like an upturned trumpet, musical references are found throughout the piece: broken onceglorious columns are made from plastic recorders, decorative tiers are shingled with tiny piano keys. The spindly architecture suggests the evasive quality of sound, with each level contributing to a sense of harmonic rhythm. The building however, is presented as a ruin, empty and desolate, its decrepit power culminating in an eerily silent crescendo.

bronze, painted stainless steel



Sunday, 17 May 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

Tyrants will rise, oppression will be everywhere and only those which are truly mad will try to change anything. Definitely worth a vist to the cinema to see, even if just for the action scenes, of which there are plenty.


"My name is Max. My world is reduced to a single instinct: Survive. As the world fell it was hard to know who was more crazy. Me… Or everyone else.”

-Mad Max (Opening Quote)

“Where must we go? He who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves."

-Alburt Camus (Closing Quote)

Monday, 4 May 2015

Quote of The Day

"When we are children, we all draw. I drew as a child probably for two reasons. One was that I was engaged visually in the way some things looked, and I drew the things I liked and loved. The other reason was loneliness. The vulnerability that a child feels can provoke empowerment through drawing by capturing the things visually loved. Drawing is not just expressing a visual mode or a well-articulated visual response; it is deeply connected to a natural impulse. When I am drawing, I am aware of both a conscious and unconscious processes. The most difficult thing is to first abandon what a drawing should be (a complex conception or representational copy). Begin with an emotive response. It could be motivated by something as simple as a twist of hair against a bony clavicle or the comfortable or uncomfortable psychological space between two people. Second, provide form to that initial response. Here begins the strategy or conception. The trick is not to allow the concept to become rigid, but instead to remain flexible through the activity and allow a visual journey of selectivity and change through the drawing. Drawing from life is an accumulation of subtle events made evident on a page. Unlike photography, drawing is not instantaneous but a multitude of sequential responses over time. A drawing can provide the viewer with a relic of compounded experiences that remains alive to the eye."
- Drawing: A Natural Impulse by Steven Assael

Quote of The Day

"Every aphorism here is about a Procrustean bed of sorts—we humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies, and prepackaged narratives, which, on the occasion, has explosive consequences. Further, we seem unaware of this backward fitting, much like tailors who take great pride in delivering the perfectly fitting suit—but do so by surgically altering the limbs of their customers. For instance few realize that we are changing the brains of schoolchildren through medication in order to make them adjust to the curriculum, rather than the reverse"

- Nassim Nicholas Taleb's