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Chaos reinvented & how life gave birth to itself. – Structures pt.1

MySecretGarden - Arne Quinze

Chaos, a lifeless hump which existed before the era of gods. It was merely a concept not a god which is a crucial difference that must be made clear before I can proceed. Therefore “it” was not personalized like the later Gods were, neither has it an embodiment like for example Zeus or Aphrodite. Out of this Chaos, life and earth came forth. These first concepts who came forth out of the Chaos: Nyx (night) , Tartaros (the underworld), Gaea (the earth) and Eros (love) were also still concepts. But from these four, the first generation of embodied Gods came forth (fe. Kronos).

A lifeless lump, unfashion’d, and unfram’d, 
Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos nam’d. 
No sun was lighted up, the world to view; 
No moon did yet her blunted horns renew: 
Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,..”

-Ovid; Metamorphoses, first book –

It’s important to note the difference between the Biblical story of Genesis and the beginning of ‘life’ as written down by the ancient Greeks and romans. The biggest ‘confusion’ lies in the fact that the world, earth or life – as told to us by the ancients – was not “created” , therefore there was no higher being, no God who molded the world (to his example – cf. Genesis). Instead, the world ‘gave birth to itself’. It came forth out of what they called ‘Chaos’ (which was ‘a gaping hole’, it was nor masculine nor female – it had no sex). So in that way it’s considerable that all the needed structures to build up life, to create the world were already contained inside of the Chaos but in a messy kind of way.

MySecretGardenDetail07Arne Quinze, a Belgian conceptual artist who’s work mainly relates to the social interaction, communication and urbanisation of art. He believes that by placing art in a common environment like a park or such, the public, the people passing by, get educated and involved into the world of culture. There’s no more hiding from art, it’s no longer concealed in a dark museum which is rarely visited by the ‘commoners’.  Therefor he places art right in front of their faces which leaves them no choice: they can either like or dislike it, but the interaction is inevitable.

“There’s no chaos, only structure” is a tagline in some of his work expressing his inner self and how he describes his thoughts. To him there is no chaos, everything is structured even in the chaos you find structure. (remember Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where in structure already was concealed inside of the Chaos). There’s no such thing as chaos in Quinze’s world or at least not in the sense of how society defines chaos. Chaos does exist, as a form of structure. Chaos is irretrievably linked with life. In life everything is a matter of rhythm. Something without a rigid structure is part of the organic order in life. (Again think about how the ancients described it). So the link between both is rather inevitable. As chaos housed structure and life. Arne Quinze’s ‘chaotic’ structures house people, house life. They shelter life, they form a meeting space, a social environment in what at first looked as a chaotic swarm of people passing by each other randomly. It brings them together. It brings art and life together. It reminds the people of their biggest accomplishment; culture. 

“There’s no chaos, only structure”

Earlier posts featuring Arne Quinze: https://whatsaboutart.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/cities-like-open-air-museums-beaufort-04-1/

Uchronia - Arne Quinze - Burning Man

Uchronia – Arne Quinze – Burning Man

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The day the world was once more united.

Michael Arad and Peter Walker – 9/11 Memorial

We shall never forget the day the world stood still. We shall never forget those who gave their lives that day. We shall never forget the days after, we shall not ever forget. Many artists around the world contributed to the same cause by building fountains, sculptures even by rebuilding, to make sure we never forget what happened that day. To remind us how fragile our world can be, how only a few can take away the lives of many. How people all over the world united in greave.

Well, I didn’t want to have the reminder sort of in the sky, so that people would forever look at it. I wanted to have – really to create a city from the bottom up. From that foundation, which held, from the democratic power of what the site really is – Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind, an architect, artist and set designer, who was selected to oversee the rebuilding of the World Trade Centers He titled his concept for the site Memory Foundations, is one of those who made sure we wouldn’t forget by not only building a memorial monument but also by ‘rebuilding’ the site. It is very important to emphasize the fact that Libeskind did not see this project as being an urban one, he saw his master plan as being that which was a place of the spirit, the place were people perished. Therefor it was not a piece of real estate any longer. You could not simply put a building there. Instead he kept the space (where the the towers stood) open and used the site itself as the memorial.

Well, I think one doesn’t really have to invent this memorial space, because it is already there. And it is speaking with a voice and, you know, 4 million of us came to see the site. – Daniel Libeskind

Michael Arad and Peter Walker, whom have built the ‘fountains’. I really do believe that i could not be done better, as Libeskind quoted above, it is not about ‘building’ a memorial, because it is already there. So what they did really emphasizes this thought. They ‘built’ 2 fountains where the towers use to stand (around the fountains all the names of those who lost their lives that day are carved in stone). What made it even more wonderful is the way how they used trees to recreate the shadow the towers would have cast upon the city.

Daniel Libeskind’s Drawing of World Trade Center Site with Memorial Voids

9/11 Memorial – Michael Arad and Peter Walker.

Also artists like Jeff Koons, the most controversial artist alive, made their contribution. He created his tribute sculpture in 2010 and it stands facing the construction of the new site. The work resembles a red flower (which could be free for interpretation). The piece itself is surrounded by an active fountain and raised concrete ring that you could sit on to enjoy and observe the work.

Jeff Koons – Red Balloon animal.

People all around the world made art on this topic. I do not have the means to review and show them all, therefor i’d like to mention them and encourage the world to continue doing so, not only on this topic, but in general. Art bounds, it connects one another. It unites the world.

I’d like to mention one more; Steve Tobin, the artist who made “Trinity Roots”, tells the uplifting story of the 70-year-old sycamore tree that was felled by the intense impact of the collapsing towers across the street from the World Trade Center.  The tree absorbed the shockwaves, which a physicist has compared to those of a small nuclear bomb, and was laying in such a way as to shield historic St. Paul’s Chapel at Trinity Church and its ancient tombstones from falling debris.  The tree, which even took a hit from an I-beam, seemed the only positive story that came out of the tragic events that day.

“The Trinity Root is the most significant work that I shall ever make,” said Tobin.  “I hope that it gives solace to the millions of people who visit Ground Zero from all over the world, and from the community of Lower Manhattan, particularly on the five year anniversary of the day that changed the world forever.”

Steve Tobin – Trinity Root

Memorial stained glass

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The reclining nude (or naked?).

Henri Gervex – Rolla – 1878

Nakedness reveals itself. Nudity is placed on display. The nude is condemned to never being naked. Nudity is a form of dress. – John Berger

Based upon a poem by Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), this reclining nude which belongs to the early work of Henri Gervex (1852-1829), who’s birthday it would have been today (160), which(his early works) belonged almost exclusively to the ‘mythological’ genre. Although it is (or should represent) a mythological painting, the lady reclining on the bed is most certainly not a Venus (as told in the poem). Based upon the pile of cloths, the half dressed gentlemen standing at the balcony I could imagine her being a prostitute, reclining and resting after a wild a sensual game of love. The gentlemen still looking upon the beautiful lady laying in (his) bed.

Do you regret the age when, in majestic grace, Fair heaven amid the gods made earth her dwell- ing-place ; When Venus Astarte, child of the mighty sea, Rose from the bitter wave in virgin purity? The time, when drifting nymphs lay on the river’s breast, And with their wanton laughter vexed the lazy rest Of fauns stretched out to sleep upon the reedy shore? When in the pool Narcissus his fair image saw, And when great Hercules eternal justice dealt, Clad in his gory mantle of a lion’s pelt; When mocking satyrs swayed the leafy boughs among, Whistling a jeering echo to the traveler’s song? – Alfred de Musset; Rolla

Although most likely not a Venus, she does have the perfect body, heavenly white skin which could refer to the earlier works of Titian. A voluptuous body of a young lady, reclining on a bed, staring directly at the viewing audience and not in a coy manner, almost as if she invites us to join her.

His work (Gervex) is also clearly influenced by Cabanel (1823 – 1889), which was his teacher. Which can be noticed in the same use of lightly, fresh colors, the white and pure skin, even the breasts are almost exactly the same. Thematically on the other hand there are almost no comparisons possible, except for the ‘venus’ which is shown on both paintings. It should be said that both painting’s mythological theme’s were only an excuse to paint a nude. Therefor there is a difference between a ‘naked‘ and a ‘nude‘. Gervex clearly painted a ‘naked’. Titian a nude. 

A. Cabanel- The birth of Venus -1863

Reclining nude (photo)- artist unknown

Berlinde de Bruyckere

I’d also like to show the comparison made with the work of a contemporary belgian artist (which I shall be reviewing later on).

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That’s one big museum Wright?

Guggenheim – NYC – F.L. Wright

See you soon.

Got to see Maurizo Catelan last time I went; so I thought sharing it with you!.

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Beautiful memories to go to bed with!

Goodnight all,
Hopefully till tomorrow.

Olivier

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Coast to Coast – Beaufort 04 (4)

Flo Kasearu – Coast to coast

Coast to coast is a installation project that consists of three containers that are converted into ships. They are lying in empty beach of Bredene, in Belgium. These three symbolic objects on the natural, apparently undisturbed coastline prompt thoughts of freight transport and the endless circulation of goods and people. But they also reflect the economic situation: the containers, lost objects, stand empty and useless on the beach.

Flo Kasearu – Coast to coast

Flo Kasearu – Coast to coast

Provocative, reflecting, lost and empty. Coast to Coast is a installation prjoect that consists of three containers, each container is shaped like and therefor converted into a ship. Again (as all sculptures, artworks in beaufort) they interact with the surrounding landscape and somehow feel ‘uncommon’. The three contatiners lying there on the coastline prompt thoughts of freight transport and the endless circulation of goods and people. Lying there totally empty and ‘useless’ they also represent a reflectation on the economic situation.

Flo Kasearu (who the work belongs to), an Estonian artist, well known for her video art (see below) and installations, mostly are placed wide against a specific social background. They concist not of merely criticism but demand for a certain change in society by confronting the ‘viewer’.

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Black is not a color.

The Balcony  – 1869 –  Oil on canvas, 170 x 124 cm – Musee d’Orsay, Paris – E. Manet.

The artists whome’s paintings could be considered as the genesis of Modern art would eventually become modern art. Edouard Manet, possibly the greatest among impressionist painters, we could even see him as the founder for that matter.

This painting might appeal as realistic portrait of bourgeois life. Yet this is not the case, all the models used in this painting were acquaintances of the artist, especially Berthe Morisot (the girl sitting in the foreground), who makes her first appearance in Manet’s work, who went on to become one of it’s favorite models.

“Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity”- E. Manet

What was even less conventional for that time, which was a time where academical constraints were still in play, and “good” painters were those who belong to the academy and therefor painted so. But Manet was radically freeing himself from these constraints by not showing any story or anecdote; it seems like the protagonists are frozen, “as if isolated in an interior dream”.

He tried to free himself, despite the reference tot Goya’s Majas at the Balcony (See below) which the artist could have most likely seen during his trip to spain in 1865. Goya treated his protagonist in a more sinister manner (watched by two man in the background, dark surroundings). The two girls are dressed like majas, which in other paintings of his would refer to prostitutes.

Majas on a Balcony – Francisco de Goya y Lucientes – Oil on canvas –   1810-1812

As Manet was surely to be inspired by Goya, so was Manet an inspiration to later painters, as his paintings were to be considered as the genesis of modern art . Less then a century later this happens..

Manet’s Balcony – Rene Magritte – 1950 -Oil on Canvas.

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” – R. Magritte

This work belongs to a series of paintings; “the perspective paintings”. Magritte based these paintings on well-known works by french artists (Jacques Louis David, Éduoard Manet, François Gerard). The painting is executed in Magritte’s carefully detailed style and might be seen as an irreverent rendition of the neoclassical masterpiece which is suffused with mordant wit. This must be a statement right? Did he just kill, buried Manet? Or rather the subjects that used to be on the painting? As I’m living/ studying in Ghent, where this painting is shown, I have the privilege of seeing it whenever I like and I have to be honest; it strikes me every single time.. It seems to embody this morbid atmosphere, but yet such cool, calming colors.. It’s confusing, it makes me think, it makes good art.

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When I’ll know your soul I paint your eyes.

Jeanne Hebuterne

Let’s admit it. He had good taste, look at her, an astonishingly beautiful young lady, who would become the subject of it’s biggest masterpiece. His name was Amedeo Modigliani‘a crazy italian fuck.’. Whose bohemian life could’ve been seen as a result of many different aspects. First of all it was expected of artists of that time, secondly it was the time where radical philosophies arose, including those of Nietzsche. Eventually it got the man killed at the early age of 36. Even among other bohemians his behavior stood out; he would sometimes strip himself naked at social gatherings, making a scene. He became the epitome of a tragic artist, he became the new Vincent van Gogh.

“(hold sacred all) which can exalt and excite your intelligence… (and) … seek to provoke … and to perpetuate … these fertile stimuli, because they can push the intelligence to its maximum creative power.”

But instead, let’s not talk about the artist, I’d rather tell you about his mistress, goddess, lover and most important subject in Modigliani’s life. I present to you; Jeanne Hébuterne , she was a 19 year old art student when she first met Amedeo, unlike the artist she descended from a conservative bourgeois background. Although her family renounced her affaire with the drunken, poor artist, who had almost no income at all, she decided to move in with him. Their public scene’s became even more renowned than Modigliani’s individual drunken exhibitions.

“When I’ll know your soul, I’ll paint your eyes, and he eventually did. Take a look at these remarkable paintings and notice the eyes.

Amedeo Modigliani – 1918 – MET (NY) – Oil on Canvas. Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne.

And then all of a sudden this happened.. He painted her eyes. He knew her soul. This touches me in every single way, the gesture by itself embodies beauty and passion. Passion for life, she gave birth to their first child, which she named Jeanne. She got pregnant a second time, but the child would never see daylight… Tragedy and Beauty seem to go hand in hand. The inevitable happened …

Amedeo Modigliani- Jeanne Hebuterne– 1919 – Oil on Canvas

…. on 24 january 1920 Modigliani died, totally distraught, she threw herself out of the fifth-floor apartment window the day after his death, killing herself together with her unborn child

“Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice – epitath Hebuterne”

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This is Belgium. (Not chocolate)

Michaël Borremans  & Luc Tuymans. 

As i was going through my books this afternoon I couldn’t resist to show and  introduce you to Belgian art. Therefor I chose these two artists who are two of my favorite contemporary painters in Belgium. I love the misty colors, the hard themes, shocking maybe? The light that seems to burst out into the darkness. I also couldn’t stop noticing that there was a certain resemblance when watching both artist’s works. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

The Pendant – 2010 – Oil on canvas – Michaël Borremans 

 Der Diagnostische Blick VII – 1992 – 65,5 x 45,5 cm – oil on canvas – Luc Tuymans 


Luc Tuymans, Panel, 2010, oil on canvas, 92 1/4 x 71 1/2 inches, courtesy David Zwirner, New York.

Michaël Borremans, Trickland, 2002, courtesy Eeno X Gallery, Antwerpen

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Oh dear, I’m addicted.

To be honest, this is becoming an addiction, didn’t know that writing could be so interesting.. The self reflection, reaching people all over the world, wow this is AMAZING.

Anyway, I’m planning to do a review on this really brilliant contemporary artist Brett Amory, if i had a choice I would do it right now, as my fingers are tingling to begin. But … As I’m an art student I’m obliged to study. Which is fun as well.. learning about all these different artists and .. you know. I might believe that i’ve found my calling..

So stay tuned, I’ll be back very SOON.

thanks all for reading and liking my posts,
REALLY APPRECIATE  IT!.

Greetings Olivier.

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Frank Lloyd was Wright after all.

Bear Run, better known as ‘Falling Water’ is probably one of the most influential architectural designs ever made in History until this day. Although it had to take lots of critique and they (especially the engineers) had a lot of doubts whether or not it would remain standing after removing the scaffolds it became, which for me  describes, embodies ‘the perfect balance’ of humanity and nature. Humanity placed back into it’s natural habitat.

Falling water, is a project which the infamous american architect Frank Lloyd Wright ,belonging to it’s latest period, that was built in the forests of Bear Run (Pennsylvania) in commission of Edgar J. Kauffman. The project started in 1936 and took him 3 years to finish (1939).

What’s so remarkable about the architecture that Frank Lloyd Wirght created is the way he built it. He called his architecture; “Organic Architecture”; which is an architecture that develops itself from the inside to the outside in harmony with the conditions of it’s own existence. This is also called contextualism

“So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no traditions essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but instead exalting the simple laws of common sense or of super-sense if you prefer determining form by way of the nature of materials…” – Frank Lloyd Wright


I’ll illustrate this philosophical context with examples related to “falling water”, i’ll discuss, interior, exterior and the plan.

EXTERIOR


What I believe is truly remarkable and intriguing about this project is it’s placement according to the natural environment around it. When Wright first saw the place he was touched by the sound of the falling water, the dramatic scene that the rocks created. The intimacy the surrounding forest created… Wright did not built this in nature, but his building organically arrises in it’s environment. He builds according to the environment. How can we notice this?

First of all when we take a closer look at the site we can notice that there are 2 motions in place; a vertical and a horizontal. The vertical walls are completely built out of natural stones (according to the environment). As you might notice; it seems as if the rocks beneath the building seem to repeat themselves in the vertical walls, it seems like it’s fully integrated it’s almost made out of one part; the building seems to arise out of the rockeries. The vertical walls could also relate to the surrounding trees.

Now if we look at it’s terraces in concrete we can see how this relates to the flat surface of the water, the waterfall, it almost seems as if the waterfall begins at top of the building. It seems to embrace nature. (All of these aspects are beautifully illustrated in the drawing above)

 INTERIOR 

 

 When we take a closer look at the interior we notice a same allusion to it’s natural surroundings: again he uses natural stone, what’s very remarkable is the fact that he truly implemented the rockeries by building around them (you can see them sticking out at the fire place, which always has a central position in house and is very important in his architecture). Even the floor is made out of stone, so as you can see he really tries to make a band with nature.

It’s as if this house has an certain intimacy (created by the surrounding forest, and the cave like structure which ‘protects’ humanity against the brut forces of nature; again he sees humanity as ‘people of nature’, the isolation, only reachable by a bridge..), but also a social aspect: by using these huge windows that outlook the forest it creates a certain bond, a social contact with nature.

Also when you would take a look at the floor plan of the house you would notice that is embodies the same seiche motions as the water. (I did not implement a picture of this because i did not manage to find a good one).


Pictures:

  • Interior: http://www2.math.umd.edu/~dgulick//WorldCourses/WRLD125/ARCH/FallingWater.html
  • Exterior: http://www.google.be/imgres?q=falling+water+exterior&um=1&hl=nl&client=safari&sa=X&rls=en&biw=1024&bih=674&tbs=isz:l&tbm=isch&tbnid=sX9ink-LcgbvbM:&imgrefurl=http://decoratingflair.com/fallingwater.htm&docid=XYjduR0NRTLZDM&imgurl=http://decoratingflair.com/images/FullSize4Galleries/Res_Falling%252520Water%252520Pic.jpg&w=2333&h=2023&ei=YKuXT5KuH8ea-wbEqYD0Bg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=744&vpy=44&dur=1240&hovh=209&hovw=241&tx=172&ty=149&sig=100782071690149067939&page=1&tbnh=142&tbnw=166&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:4,s:0,i:74
  • Drawing: http://www.google.be/imgres?imgurl=http://www.delmars.com/wright/falldraw.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.delmars.com/wright/flw8-8.htm&h=343&w=575&sz=50&tbnid=M5iUbzxjigEQlM:&tbnh=75&tbnw=126&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dfalling%2Bwater%2Bdrawing%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=falling+water+drawing&docid=nPmDPpG9nt4RpM&sa=X&ei=RKuXT-mcOseV-wbHx6XJBg&ved=0CCoQ9QEwAQ&dur=186
  • Scaffolds: http://www.abbeville.com/images-catalog/full-size/0896596621.interior03.jpg
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