All Art Has Been Contemporary

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Image courtesy of the MFA Boston

This neon installation by Maurizio Nannucci is part of the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. You can check out the picture below to see how it looks like on display today. Nannucci is an artist who works a lot with neon, but this piece is particularly striking to me because it’s self referring. It’s a reflection on art by an artist, and more specifically on contemporary art by a contemporary artist. Now for the backstory, I’ve been getting more and more interested in contemporary art thanks to my current job, and I find it interesting how simple it can be while at the same time conveying some important depth. All art has indeed been contemporary, but not all art has been called contemporary. Should we have a new designation for what is understood today as contemporary art or is that the job of future generations to classify it and figure it out? A lot of artistic currents in the past were self named and it’s not all a categorization imposed by art historians. So yeah, after all, a piece of art is something that should trigger some sort of thinking; and this is working quite well here.DSC_1234

Elusive Electricity

Image courtesy of re-title

I discovered Lebanese artist Ayah Bdeir while compiling a database of Lebanese artists at work. She mixes art an technology in a really cool way and you can check out her work here.

This neon cable installation created in 2011 in collaboration with Hitumi Nanayakkara and Bassam Jalgha spells out “Ejet Ejet”, which translates to “It Came, It Came” in Arabic. This sentence refers to the shortage of electricity in Lebanon. People are often asking if the electricity “came”. What is even cooler about this installation is that it dims as you get closer to it, and eventually turns off. I find it admirable that Ayah Bdeir managed to capture such an important concept of the Lebanese society in such a simple installation. Less is more I guess.

AIR: London 6K


All photos courtesy of Vincent Laforet

This incredible set of pictures was taken from a helicopter above London on the night of May 13 2015 by the photographer Vincent Laforet. The photos are part of a project entitled AIR and will be published in an upcoming book which you can already pre-order. London is actually the first European city to be featured on this project; up next are Paris and Berlin.

There’s two main things going on with this particular collection, urban planing and lightning. The artists was a bit concerned about London being an organic city as opposed to a planned city with perpendicular street. He describes is as “chaotic” and at first he was concerned that it may not render as aesthetically as some of the cities he had photographed in the US. However, it turns out that London is actually beautiful from above and that geometry and patterns can be found even in the seemingly disorganized planning.

Another comment Laforet makes concerns the vibrant colors transmitted from the lightning. I am not going to go into technical details but the colors you can see in these photos are partly due to the increased use of LED lights, and partly due to the great sensitivity of the camera. Basically yay for 2015!

Anyway I find these photos absolutely incredible, I think they show the city in a totally different and unexpected way (and make me miss it a lot!). I know I’ve been drifting to lightning a bit in the Metal Colors exhibition but I couldn’t resist. Also some of these pics definitely have a great metal to light color thing going on. You can and you should check out the rest of the set right here¬†(and also read the story behind the shooting).

Quantum Field-X3

Above images courtesy of mymodernmet.com

Image Courtesy of Flick

This giant installation was set up outside the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao between August 2003 and April 2004. It is the work of Japanese artist Hiro Yamagata and consists of two gigantic rectangular structures composed of holographic panels onto which laser beams were projected.

The aim of this project was to push the limits of human perception and to try and show the naked eye what it cannot see, such as the light particles of the laser beams as they were projected on the panels. I think the scale of this project is what makes it really successful and I wish I could have seen it while it was on. I probably would have watched the changing colors for hours actually; so hopefully something similar will be coming up in the near future.