Saturday, 17 January 2009

It's not over


Mark Dion:

( installation/)
Yoshitomo Nara + graf, A-Z Project

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle presents Yoshitomo Nara and graf's A to Z Project. Nara, who was born in Hirosaki, Japan in 1959 and presently lives and works in Tokyo, is mostly known for his deceptive, innocent and childlike images. Since 2003 he has teamed up with graf, the Japanese creative design team, to work on the A to Z project, building small 'huts', as they call them, to fit within gallery and museum spaces in Japan and abroad.

Nara and graf are interested in exploring the relationship between the lived in space and the individual. They recreate work spaces and the objects that may inspire and help their creative sensitivity. This installation includes three houses, with ramps connecting two of them, one with a dog house. Nara's paintings are strategically distributed within the spaces with a few billboards outside the houses. The third house, Castle of Baltic, was inspired by the Newcastle area and was created specifically for the Baltic exhibition. These small villages are built with recycled materials. In one of the rooms from the Big Seagull House, he has recreated his studio with a half finished painting, beer cans, the Baltic CD playlist he listened to during his time there with the CD playing in the background, among other paintings, furniture, garbage, etc.

Australian artist Sally Smart is known for her large-scale collage installations applied directly to the gallery wall. She works with a range of media, including painted felt cut-outs, painted canvas, photographic elements, and printed fabric. The pins and joins that connect her work remain exposed to the viewer, emphasizing the performative process Smart undergoes in the collection, cutting, drawing, assembly, and installation of her work. The complexity and detail of each formal element engage the viewer in a search for recognizable elements and meaning.

Postmasters in New York is currently showing three of Smart's collage cut-out works in Decoy Nest, also the title of the show's centerpiece. Decoy Nest, seen above, occupies the main gallery wall, sprawling from floor to ceiling at a monumental 15x33 feet. The decoy nest is a strategy that birds use to deflect attention from their eggs. Smart says thinking about this idea led her to "draw connections to [her] art practice, in the strategies [she] used in conveying and creating meaning." Decoy Nest is accompanied by two other collage cut-outs, Twilight Tree and Phantom (limb) Tree.

Another photo of SWOON just cos its good:

Okay actually, look at this website cos i'm just copying most of it to here... installation/
- this has some really good stuff on it.


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