Transient Voice: Failing Structure
A curated selection of 100 word reviews from Eutopia for Temporary Art Review.
plaster, burlap installation  Dallas Biennial 2014, Dallas [link]
Within a derelict industrial warehouse -populating a rust covered room of their own- stand Karen Lehmann’s slight but sturdy, planar sculptures made of plaster and burlap. Like grounded ghosts are her architectural apparitions. Slightly larger than body sized, their hollows act as hiding places within a dim and dingy, labyrinth. Created on site, each work exudes a sense of urgency: chalky skins are pocked with impressions of the artist’s hands, fingers and limbs; traces of swirled and pushed plaster stilled as wet surfaces set. These fragile bodies act as semiprivate confessionals and temporary spaces of reprieve for transient guests.
Cured  Auto parts, salt, chain, meat hooks, metal, porcelain, slip, canvas, string, wire, school bell, pot, plexiglass
Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA [link]
The blue light emanating from Russ Orlando’s sculptural installation transforms the gallery from a sterile institutional environment to one filled with intrigue. As part of the Detroit artists in residency exhibition, Orlando’s work features auto parts hung on meat hooks in various stages of salt curing. Referencing sides of beef in a slaughterhouse meat locker, the sculptures’ salt crystallization patterns juxtaposed with the discarded auto parts are quite beautiful and unusual. However, I question the artist’s conceptual metaphor of preservation as a means to heal—in this case the dying city of Detroit. I wonder, do we want to heal that which is dead or antiquated?
The UrbUrb: Patterns of Contemporary Living
Curators: Roy Brand, Keren Yeala-Golan, Ori Scialom and Edith Kofsky
Israel Pavilion, Venice Architectural Biennale 2014 [link] Venice, Italy
Accompanied by tinkling music grand plotters stutter and whir across beds of imported cultural sand, intricately etching diagrams derived from decades of urban, suburban and agrarian developments in Israel. Overlaid into illegible complexity the patterns present an evolution of enmeshed modern approaches to designed living, after which the sand is wiped clean: tabula rosa. Echoing issues of “design from above” universal modernism, the diagrams take on a hypnotic, alien character further abstracting architecture into an automated practice with scant concern for site or culture. Poetically dense The Urburb eschewed “excess-as-intelligence” and pedantic wall texts, elaborating manifold issues through succinct implementation.
~ Ryder Richards
images courtesy of Sarale Gur Lavy
Zeche Zollverein Coking Factory [link] Essen, Germany
Once Europe’s largest coal mine and coking factory, the Zeche Zollverein Complex has transformed into a machine-age playground: a rusty mega-creature of intertwining pipes and towering chimneys. Weeds grow over the former rail tracks in this postindustrial, pre-apocalyptic landscape while animals take shelter in derelict boiler houses. Witness the midpoint of entropy; a deterministic fate to all matter. The quasi-romantic erosion of the factory stands in contrast to the bold, out-of-scale concrete cube: a school for management designed by SANAA [link]. Pritzker-chic pretention and lack of students has lead to it’s current state of liquidation: a portent of hubris.
~ Gili Merin
images courtesy of Gili Merin
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