Sunday, 14 December 2014

post-pop: saatchi

Pop-art's one of those things that divides people's opinions; it was either an Art Revolution or Not Art At All. I choose to take the opinion that it's art if it moves me to react, physically closer to examine it, or emotionally engage. 

This weekend I popped into the Post-Pop exhibition, East Meets West, that is currently housed in the Saatchi Gallery. There were pieces which responded to the movement in humorous, imitative and elaborative ways, often taking the well-known art pieces of the Pop Art movement as the subject, and making a point about them.

There were some however, which stood out for being less obviously neo-pop.

Above, is the beautiful sepia-toned installation located in the centre of the exhibition spaces. Flags from countries around the world hang, creating hovering columns and an undulating ceilingscape. The beauty of the installation is the delicate way in which it is lit and hung, and moving closer, how it is put together. When a piece of art changes your understanding of your surroundings and makes you question your reality, it has made its impact. The artist, Wenda Gu, has used hair - human hair - bound with glue and burlap to create the fabric of each flag. An unusual and relatively gross medium, has been used to create something quite grand! There are many examples in nature where gross turns into glorious; that is what this installation made me contemplate.

East Meets West aims to communicate how Pop-Art developed so similarly in polar regions of the globe; most of the art on display was produced between Russia, China and the US. However, the point of an exhibition has never really mattered to anyone, it is what point you take home at the end of the day that does. To broaden your scope, to contemplate ideas, and develop thoughts is what culture does, and it affects each individual differently.

It was refreshing to visit, go and let me know what you thought! 

Monday, 15 September 2014

venice's waters

Here are a few snaps of mine which capture the overcrowded, over-photographed but sorrowfully drowning, Venice. Mass tourism has throttled the city's Italian spirit, and as a result, Venice has developed a unique personality of its own.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

venice biennale: architectural elements in space

These are some of the spaces that captured my eye around the Biennale itself. After all, the architecture makes the experience. Enjoy!

Monday, 8 September 2014

venice biennale: exhibited

Buongiorno, tutti!

This summer I made my first trip to the mother of all architecture shows, the Venice Biennale. The enormous exhibition takes place, this year, for its longest ever running period - right through the summer until late November. Located at the main venues of the Giardini Pubblici and the Arsenale, a grand public garden and a naval base respectively, the bulk of it demands a good two days to take all in. The concept this year is Fundamentals. Join me in my journey around the show... Andiamo!
Giardini Pubblici
Absorbing Modernity is the theme of the brief given this year, to each of the 66 national pavilions involved in the Biennale. Tackled from a variety of perspectives, it was interesting to discover the cultural views addressed in each exhibit, covering the past 100 years.

My impression at the end of the first day, after visiting the national pavilions permanently located at the Giardini Pubblici, left me mostly overwhelmed by the sheer scale of it all. With so much to explore and learn, I would advise prioritising your visit so as not to miss what you came for.

My favourite pavilions, however, stood out largely for their instant appeal in aesthetic or concept. 
The Danish pavilion includes spaces for singling out and heightening senses. The Spanish Interior invites visitors into the modern spaces of selected projects: case studies include drawings, photographs and perspectival projections. The Belgian, frames spaces using geometry, achieving this through its manner of composition, and lack of chromatic distraction. The Hungarian pavilion gets a mention for its interactive installation, which makes reference to community contribution. 

Located at the base of the national pavilions, The Central Pavilion has its own brief to fulfil. Hosting Elements of Architecture, it is a display of gathered research which examines and celebrates the individual elements of the built environment. There is a nifty film by Davide Rapp, which demonstrates the idea neatly. Here is snippet of it, titled Elements.

This year's curator, Rem Koolhaas also talks a little bit about the concept below.

Rem Koolhaas' Elements of Architecture exhibition aims to "modernise architectural thinking" from Dezeen on Vimeo.

Day Two at the Arsenale, was more interesting. Perhaps it was the historic setting, the romance of the ambient light or that the exhibition felt more wholesome, united under one roof. Focussing on Italy itself, there is an abundant number of films playing, installations to examine and snippets of knowledge to digest. Each space floats ahead of the next and as you progress to the back, you are met with the Italian sunshine again. 

Following on, lunch, and then several more pavilions to peek at. 

If two days are not enough for you, there are more Biennale pop-ups and pavilions dotted around Venice. Go on an architectural treasure-hunt and get to know the city better at the same time.

Walking around, I couldn't help but notice the buildings surrounding the exhibition spaces. To me, this was as interesting as the displays and installations themselves. 

Photos to come in the following post... Till then X