|Yee Sookyung 2010|
Monday, 28 February 2011
Laurenz Berges considers photography as an aesthetic and a documentary artistic medium. Like an archaeologist he records traces of something which does not exist. Deserted spaces and places are in the focal point of the artist. Shortly after the German reunification Laurenz Berges documented the barracks left behind by the Soviet Army in the regions of the former GDR. Later he starts recording towns and villages between Cologne and Aachen which were forced to give way to the brown coal mining. In emptied houses and flats Laurens Berges finds relicts of human existence. In the photographs the apparent void of the places transforms into an auratic presence of the past.
At the same time the pictures deal with aesthetic problems. The exfoliated wallpaper is not just a signifier for a past cosiness but it also abstracts to a colour field. An old radio covered with spider webs becomes a compositional element. The curtain, which conceals three letters written times ago lying on the sill, refracts the light in a pictorial manner. Windows, corners, pale areas at the carpet and walls revealing locations where couches and display cases filled with china had its place; All of them become part of the whole composition.
Pictures of Berges are saturated with tender melancholy. Their deep surface does not reduce the visible to a frozen, absolute moment. Moreover the past is sensibly present. Berges develops his photographs to stages of past everyday life and to mirrors of the experienced reality.
123 x 174 cm
Monday, 31 January 2011
Fiberglass, polyester resin on cloth-covered metal wire
20 units, each 40.6 to 166.4 X 2.5 to 7.6cm
In this work, Hesse experimented with how fiberglass would respond when it was neither cast nor applied to a regular form. Hesse applied wet resin-dipped fiberglass to suspended wires and allowed chance and gravity to influence the final shapes. At the time of Hesse’s death, these twenty units (ten of which were shown in the 1969 exhibition A Plastic Presence at The Jewish Museum) were found in the artist’s studio. Collectively known as Connection, this work does not have a set installation.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Whale skeleton, alum crystals
Ackroyd and Harvey
Ackroyd & Harvey retrieved a 6m long skeleton from a beached Minke whale and encrusted it with a chemical growth of alum crystals. Stranded was part of the Cape Farewell project, which was shown at the Natural History Museum and as part of the Liverpool Biennial.
'This artwork makes no easy concession to a quick sound bite about climate change. We were drawn to working with the skeleton of a whale after seeing beaches in the High Arctic littered with thousands of bones. Whales were hunted for centuries for their oil, for heating and lighting in the industrialising world prior to the discovery of petroleum. Some species of whales were eradicated completely and many are now endangered by changes in sea temperature and ocean currents, noise pollution and hunting.
Working closely with the Cetacean Stranding Programme at the Natural History Museum in London, we removed the skeleton from a minke whale washed up in Skegness, Lincolnshire, on the UK’s east coast. We cleaned the bones and then immersed them one by one in a highly saturated alum solution, encrusting the skeleton with a chemical growth of ice-like crystals.
As the work progressed so did our understanding of how the ocean absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuel and how in the last two hundred years the chemistry of the ocean has changed for the first time in millions of years. The seawater is turning sour and many marine creatures are struggling to make shells. Ocean acidification is affecting corals, molluscs and tiny zooplankton, the major food source of many marine animals, including whales. It is now accepted that if we continue unabated in our consumption of fossil fuel, the acidity of the oceans will increase incrementally and the life they support will perish.'