Category Archives: Installation

Knobs


Here’s footage of a show by Sarah Lucas at Tramway in Glasgow that contains, among other things, 2.5 metre long sculptural erections, smashed up cars and an enormous wanking hand. LOL has an unashamed penchant for the purile so this show really delivers.  Lucas was interviewed about the exhibition – her first solo in Scotland – by Teddy Jamieson from the Herald Scotland.  Describing her more prurient interests she stated: “I’ve always found the penis a really useful sculptural thing. I’ve always said, ‘When in doubt … knob.’”

(Also worth noting is Tramway’s commitment to video documentation of its exhibitions – an excellent resource for those unable to attend a show in the flesh).

So long, Nancy Holt

Nancy Holt in Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor, England in 1969, photographed by her husband Robert Smithson

Nancy Holt in Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor, England in 1969, photographed by her husband Robert Smithson

Visionary land artist, photographer, writer and film maker Nancy Holt has died aged 75.  She is perhaps best known for her Sun Tunnels (1973-76), situated in Utah’s Great Basin desert.  The work is comprised of four, five and a half metre pipes, aligned according to the sunrises and sunsets of the Summer and Winter solstices respectively.  Each tube bears perforations that, when in full sunlight, project the constellations Draco, Perseus, Columba and Capricorn upon their interiors.

Nancy Holt, 'Sun Tunnels: Sunset,' 1976

Nancy Holt, ‘Sun Tunnels: Sunset,’ 1976

Holt was only recently the subject of her first retrospective, Nancy Holt – Sightlines, organised and toured by the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University.  Her last project was the editing of her film, The Making of Amarillo Ramp (2013) (currently on display in the Dallas Museum of Art’s Robert Smithson in Texas show), which details the creation of her late husband and fellow land artist Robert Smithson’s sandstone earthwork in Texas in 1973.

Prada Marfa Under Fire

Installation view of Elmgreen and Dragset's 'Prada Marfa', 2005

Installation view of Elmgreen and Dragset’s ‘Prada Marfa’, 2005

Elmgreen and Dragset’s Prada Marfa installation is under threat.  Occupying a desolate stretch of Texas highway, the faux store was created by the Scandinavian duo in 2005 and funded by New York non-profit organisation the Art Production Fund.  Its presence has been compromised thanks to a legal dispute earlier this year over a Playboy-sponsored Richard Phillips installation a few miles down the road.

The Texas Department of Transportation classified Phillips’ large ironwork version of the infamous bunny logo as a sign, not an artwork, and has called for its removal because it violates the 1965 Highway Beautification Act (which prevents logos being posted along the highway without a special permit).

Elmgreen and Dragset see the branding on Prada Marfa as essential, stating that “It was meant as a critique of the luxury goods industry, to put a shop in the middle of the desert.” Because the artists are displaying the Prada logo on land where that is prohibited however, their work, too, has now been classified by the Department as an “illegal outdoor advertising sign”.

With the Department of Transportation “still working on the matter”, the fate of Prada Marfa now hangs in the balance.  “If they want to remove it because of bureaucracy, we tear it down,” say Elmgreen and Dragset. “And then we can say that one of the quite well-known permanent artworks – that hasn’t cost taxpayers anything and that has been elected one of the most-worth-seeing roadside attractions in the States – is no longer.”

Chance, A Walk Through

Jim Lambie vs. Sarah Hughes

Jim Lambie

Jim Lambie, ‘Zobop (Metallic Colour Stairs)’, 2005

Sarah Hughes, 'United We Fall', 2009, installation view, Christchurch Art Gallery

Sarah Hughes, ‘United We Fall’, 2009, installation view, Christchurch Art Gallery

The Earth Room


Here’s a sweet little vid about Walter De Maria’s New York Earth Room (1977) and Bill Dilworth, the man who’s cared for it for over 20 years.

Trolleys, cats

Saw this:

Ivo Gretener, 'Mendy', mixed media, 2009

Made me think of this:

Philippe Halsman, 'Dali Atomicus', 1948

Ai Weiwei discusses Sunflower Seeds

The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, Tate Modern, Bankside, London, until 2 May 2011.

Ai Weiwei’s installation closed

Some of Ai Weiwei's 'toxic' seeds, Tate Modern

Sunflower Seeds, Ai Weiwei’s current installation at Tate Modern has closed unexpectedly.  Despite initial reports that the closure was due to routine maintenance, it has been suggested that there are health and safety concerns with the fine – reportedly toxic – dust that the ceramic seeds have generated.  The Tate is yet to release an official statement.

Ai Weiwei fills Tate with seeds

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has filled the Tate Modern’s turbine hall with 100 million ‘seeds’.  The grey expanse on first impression suggests industrial production when in fact, the objects have been hand-crafted and painted by artisans in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen.  Made of porcelain, each seed is unique. Visitors are invited to stroll upon them, to pick them up and examine them – but you can’t take one home.  The artist seems to be at odds with the Tate’s ruling, stating: “If I was in the audience I would definitely want to take a seed”.  Removed from the masses, each finely crafted object becomes a thing in itself, and it’s this tension between the combined and the singular that makes the installation so elegant.

The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei, Sunflower Seeds, Tate Modern, Bankside, London, until 2 May 2011.