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visits on art, design, architecture and literature

Category: ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

Verena Hennig’s ‘Rope Light Chandelier’ unfolds Silken Threads

“Experience is never limited and is it never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider’s web of the finest silken threads, suspended in the chambers of consciousness and catching every air-borne particle in its issue. It is the very atmosphere of the mind; and when the mind is imaginative – more so when it happens to that of a man of genius-it takes to itself the faintest hits of life. it covers the very pulses of the air into revelations ” (Henry James, “The Art of Fiction”  from the ‘Anthony Trollope’ first published in 1883)

 

‘Rope Light Chandelier’  Verena Hennig, 2017, photo @ Tilman Weishart

Verena Hennig‘s latest designed  piece “The Rope” unfolded to the “the rope light Chandelier” inviting the viewer/customer to explore and create their  own unique version of the product.  The chandelier contains of three illuminated lines, which can be arranged freely and intertwined. The flexible lights allow options to create forms and shapes in a space.

‘Rope Light ‘Verena Hennig, 2017, photo @Tilman Weishart

Verena Hennig is an internationally working Creative Director and Designer from Germany. She studied Graphic Design and Visual Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nurenberg  alongside directing at the London Film Academy. Hennig went on to work for renowned practices such as as Sagmeister & Walsh in New York, Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich and Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio in London.  In 2012 Hennig opened the design practice, Studio Verena Hennig followed by her own product brand in 2015.

Inspired from an early age by the work of American sculptor Alexander Calder, Verena’s appetite for interaction and playfulness was whetted by Calder’s ability to animate the inanimate through the use of wires and she has sought ever since to create designs that are both compelling and distinctly creative in her  approach. ”

‘Light Curtain’   Verena Hennig, 2017, photo@Tilman Weishart

 

The light shines from 360 customised LED bars to create a comfortable and unique mood.  Verena Hennig’ love of material, performance and minimalism resonates to form a sculptural piece, creating at same time, within the physical space an abstract and yet an ethereal space of illumination.

(detail)

ROPE LIGHT was first presented at Design-junction during the London Design Festival 2016, the filigrane and flexible pendant offers a multitude of configurations that allow for different graphical shapes to be drawn in the space. Warm light shines from 360° customized LED bars to create a comfortable and unique mood.

….I come from a background of graphic design, but always felt a little bit limited by materials and the graphical formats either on screen or on paper. Therefore my team and I explore and combine the fields of art, architecture and design in my studio. We investigate the questions of our daily lives and strive to engage our audiences with intelligent and distinctively created design solutions by altering the familiar, always with a focus on the interaction between product and user which has been the driving force in all of my designs… (Verena Hennig on Interview with Founding Editor Katie Treggiden/Confessions of a Design Week)

Verena Hennig ‘s private office/studio, Fuerth/Nuremberg

 

‘Rope Light’, Verena Hennig, 2017, photo @Tilman Weishart

 

The Studio Verena Hennig is a Design consultancy exploring and combining the fields of art, architecture and design. The studio produces projects for clients ranging from culture to industry, from print scales, products up to architectural designs.

I met Verena Hennig a year ago after  seeing a photograph at the AD /DE  as Winner of the Award for Interior Innovation 2016 featuring her ‘Roll collection” and I set to meet her and her work.  She designed the ‘Roll collection’ to create an engaging and playful experience between the user and the furniture; the name came from the rolling  aluminium sticks that form the seats and chair backs, which slide from left to right to massage the sitter. (Dezeen interview story) I found it incredibly interesting, playful and just beautiful. Verena Hennig is the darling of press of her beautiful and fresh designed pieces.

While I was reading Clarice Lispector ‘s book  ‘Selected Crônicas’  who had quoted Henry James in one of her stories (and I decided to bring the Silk Threads in my opening presentation) Clarice continues,  “…and that huge spider lurks in the chamber of consciousness. Ah, how wonderful life is with its ensnaring webs.”

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Munich ; FUTURO ‘Flying Saucer in Town’

published on June 3, 2017

Deities, conspiracies, politics, space aliens: you don’t actually have to believe in these to find them interesting ” Perhaps  Carl Gustav Jung  (psychotherapist and onetime Freud protégé)  treated UFOs this way when he wrote his book Flying Saucers: ‘A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies’  which examines “not the reality or unreality” of the titular phenomena, but their “psychic aspect’ …However, Dr Angelika Nollert (director of the Design Museum) and her team anchored FUTURO at  the courtyard of Pinakothek der Moderne.

FUTURO  landing (Dr Angelika Nollert and her team with the editor of Süddeutsche zeitung ) photo © Venetia Kapernekas

The FUTURO house was acquired in 2016 for Die Neue Sammlung and it is now on show for the first time after comprehensive restoration work. Apart from a continuous bench right round, its circular, open-plan room boasts no interior fittings. The FUTURO house in Munich was initially purchased by Stiebel Eltron in the early 1970s and erected on the company site in Vlotho. It was subsequently acquired by the Charles-Wilp-Museum in Witten in 2012. From there, it has moved to Munich. In the 1970s, artist, graphic designer and composer Wilp owned a FUTURO house which was wrapped by Christo in 1970 and in which artists such as Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenbourg and Yves Klein guested; it has not, unfortunately, survived.
Curated by Dipl. Rest. Univ. Tim Bechthold, Dr. Caroline Fuchs and Dr. Angelika Nollert

A flying saucer (also referred to as a flying disc) is a descriptive term for a supposed type of flying craft having a disc or saucer-shaped body, commonly used generically to refer to an anomalous flying object. The term was coined in 1930 but has generally been supplanted since 1952 by the United States Air Force term unidentified flying objects or UFO’s. 

….”what it may signify that these phenomena, whether real or imagined, are seen in such numbers just at a time” — the Cold War — “when humankind is menaced as never before in history.” As what Jung called a “modern myth,” UFOs qualify as real indeed. (source: Carl Jung’s fascinating 1957  letter on UFOs at Open Culture)

Olotila FUTURO leaflet, detail, 1968-1969, Originally published by Polykem Oy Ab, producer of the FUTURO house. © Matti Suuronen, Espoo City Museum

There are unfortunately no records of how many FUTURO houses were sold in total. At a conservative estimate there were originally around 70 of them, of which around 60 are still in existence today.

FUTURO houses on a mountain, late 1960s. The photo was taken with scale models of the house. © Matti Suuronen, Espoo City Museum, photo: unknown

FUTURO was manufactured by Finnish company Polykem Ltd. as one of the world’s first mass-produced plastic houses and marketed internationally.

Olotila FUTURO leaflet, detail, 1968-1969, Originally published by Polykem Oy Ab, producer of the FUTURO house.© Matti Suuronen, Espoo City Museum

Its walls are made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester shells with a sandwich layer of polyurethane foam providing insulation. In order to make assembly and dismantling easier, the house was manufactured in 16 arc segments which could be assembled on site in the space of only two days. A total of 16 double-glazed windows afford a panoramic view right round.

FUTURO house. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum © Jörg Koopmanno-Haus

With a diameter of eight meters and an overall height of just under six meters the building offers around 25 m² of living space which can be heated by electricity in less than 30 minutes. The building rests on a stable tubular steel frame. It has been designed so that it can even be erected on rough terrain and can withstand not only extreme temperatures, but also earthquakes and storms. The door doubles up as fold-out stairs similar to those on small private jets, and these can be used to access FUTURO, which seemingly floats on its steel base.

          Assembly of the FUTURO in front of the Pinakothek der Moderne © Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum (A. Laurenzo)

FUTURO. Detail © Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum

The FUTURO house at the Internationale Kunststoffhausausstellung (IKA) in Lüdenscheidt 1972. © Stadtarchiv Lüdenscheid, Bildsammlung, Werner Silla

Around dawn on April 14, 1561, residents of Nuremberg saw what they described as an aerial battle, followed by the appearance of a large black triangular object and then a large crash outside of the city. According to witnesses, there were hundreds of spheres, cylinders and other odd-shaped objects that moved erratically overhead

Celestial phenomenon over the German city of Nuremberg on April 14, 1561 as printed in an illustrated news notice in the same month (source: wiki)

A manuscript illustration of the 10th-century Japanese narrative, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, or The Tale of Princess Kaguya ( details the life of a mysterious girl called Kaguya-hime, who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant) depicts a round flying machine similar to a flying saucer.

….That summer, whenever Kaguya-hime saw the full moon, her eyes filled with tears. Though her adoptive parents worried greatly and questioned her, she was unable to tell them what was wrong. Her behaviour became increasingly erratic until she revealed that she was not of this world and must return to her people on the Moon. ……

A scene from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter | © Shibata Zeshin. photographed by Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

……As the day of her return approached, the Emperor sent many guards around her house to protect her from the Moon people, but when an embassy of “Heavenly Beings” arrived at the door of Taketori no Okina’s house, the guards were blinded by a strange light. Kaguya-hime announced that, though she loved her many friends on Earth, she must return with the Moon people to her true home. She wrote sad notes of apology to her parents and to the Emperor, then gave her parents her own robe as a memento.

Fata Morgana, a type of mirage, may be responsible for some flying saucers sightings, by displaying objects located below the astronomical horizon  hovering in the sky, and magnifying and distorting them.

The first documented patent for a lenticular flying machine was submitted by Romanian inventor Henri Coanda  He made a functional small scale model which was flown in 1932 and a patent was granted in 1935 . At a Symposionum organized by the Romanian Academy in 1967 Coanda said:

‘These airplanes we have today are no more than a perfection of a toy made of paper children use to play with. My opinion is we should search for a completely different flying machine, based on other flying principles. I consider the aircraft of the future, that which will take off vertically, fly as usual and land vertically. This flying machine should have no parts in movement. The idea came from the huge power of the cyclons”
The Avrocar,  a one -man flying saucer style aircraft

FUTURO (from inside view) photo ©Venetia Kapernekas

FUTURO house. Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum © Jörg Koopmann

 

Capri : ‘Via Camerelle’ of Carthusia’ luxury from nature

 photo@ Nefeli Brandhorst

“Via Camerelle” _ Note Room fragnance ; ‘Lemon, Seawater & Jasmin”_’the flavour of  a place enclosed in a trace of notes’

This fragrance signed “Via Camerelle”_ Note Room,  of Carthusia, a small niche perfume house from the italian island of Capri.  This scent shares its name with the most prestigious street of the island Capri; it holds the freshness of lemon and orange, mixed with the fragrant notes  of sea moss and cedar wood create a flavour amazingly akin to the natural yearning of the sea, flowers and genuine living. My lovely teenage daughter Ana Nefeli was for a day in Capri and she brought me this fabulous scent being aware of my love for those citrus cents.

There is a beautiful story behind “Cathusia” …in 1380, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. James, caught unawares by the news of the arrival of Queen Joan of Anjou on Capri, picked a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers of the island; these remained in the same water for three days and, as he went to throw them away, the prior noticed that it had acquired a mysterious fragrance unknown to him. So he turned to the friar versed in alchemy, who traced the origin of the scent to the “Garofilium Silvestre Caprese” … in 1948 the Prior of the Charterhouse found the old perfume formulae and, upon obtaining permission from the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Piemonte in the North of Italy, and thus created the smallest perfume laboratory in the world, calling it “Carthusia”, i.e.”Charter house”

International distribution of Carthusia  began in the early 2000s, when perfumer Laura Tomato  reworked four fragrances — Mediterraneo, Fiori di Capri, Io Capri and Ligea La Sirena — reportedly based on old formulas developed by the Carthusian monks at the Certosa di San Giacomo.

 

The symbol of the firm,  was created in 1948 by the painter Mario Laboccetta.  It portrays a “flower siren” that brings to mind the surreal and mythological landscapes of Capri’s heritage. She appears to be in the midst of an evolution, blooming with myriad colorful flovers, from wich Carthusia perfumes flow, achieving a logo wich recalls both art and nature in all their forms.

Carthusia has put into practice its centuries-old knowledge in order to develop a culture of perfume unique in the world. Over the years, it has refined its mastery over the olfactory senses, perfecting and structuring its discernment of essences, in order to grant patrons the purest and most titillating emotions. Nowadays, as was done in the past, all stages of production are carried out by hand to guarantee accurate application of the natural methods involved, and the exquisite care of traditional craftsmanship.

Elegant packaging for conveying luxury; a beautiful box, high-quality paper with meticulously crafted details, the finest rice paper, hand wrapped and folded around it.

photo@ Nefeli Brandhorst

“Carthusia”  brings me a literary memory  of  ‘ The Charterhouse of Parma” the novel by Stendhal published in 1839, telling the story of an Italian Nobleman,  in the Napoleonic era; The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the adventures of the young Italian nobleman Fabrice del Dongo from his birth in 1798 to his death.  Fabrice spends his early years in his family’s castle on Lake Como, while most of the rest of the novel is set in a fictionalised Parma.

 

 

 

 

 

Aegina c.500 BC_The Temple of Aphaea II, by Francesco Nevola (sketch 09)

 
photo @Francesco Nevola
Francesco Nevola, a dear friend, writer and scholar of Piranesi, is contributing to the VK blog a series of sketches, this is the sketch 02. “The Temple of Aphaea II, Aegina c.500

Situated on the peak of the Saronic island of Aegina commanding a majestic view north across the sea to the Acropolis of Athens, the present 5th century BC remains of the Doric Temple of Aphaea were erected on a site previously occupied by earlier sacred sanctuaries dating back to the 14th century BC. Bronze age material remains suggest a Minoan connection for the shrine’s cult associated with fertility and the seasonal cycles.

The 2nd century chronicler Pausanias recalls that Britomaris – known in Aegina as Aphaea – was the daughter of Zeus and the Cretan Karme, whose grandfather Kharmanor purified Apollo after killing the Python that guarded the omphalos or centre of the earth – a place strongly associated with the sanctuary at Delfi. As a huntress, Britomaris was especially cherished by Artemis, so when she fled king Minos who lusted after her and cast her-self into the sea, Artemis made her a goddess. While her myth is of Cretan origin, the Aeginaetans claimed Britomaris revealed her- self to them, consequently the Goddess Aphaea was worshipped exclusively at this sanctuary in Aegina.

By the early 19th century the Temple of Aphaea had been singled out for its exceptional qualities of beauty and design by neoclassical and romantic artists on the Grand Tour. In 1811 – the same year the poet Byron was in Athens – the young Charles Robert Cockerell, a former pupil of the architect John Soane, and three decades later architect of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford – collaborated with Baron

Otto Magnus von Stackelberg to remove the fallen, fragmentary pediment sculptures, and at the suggestion of the architect Baron Carl Haller von Hallerstein they were shipped abroad and sold to Crown Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria. The magnificent sculptures that originally ornamented the east and west pediments of the Temple of Aphaea were restored at Rome by the Danish neoclassical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldesn, considered the heir to the great Antonio Canova, and are now the masterpiece of the Munich Glyptothek. It was at Rome in 1817, returning from his seven year Grand Tour, that Cockerll met Ingres who took the young architect’s portrait.

The late archaic, early classical sculptures of the temple pediments, which are most unusual for being carved in the round with striking dynamism, celebrate the achievements of two of Aegina’s greatest heroes. The first Trojan war is represented in the east pediment: here Telamon – the second king of Aegina and father of the Homeric hero Ajax – fights alongside Heracles against the Trojan king Laomedon; in the west pediment, the Second Trojan war against king Priam is represented: here the Goddess Athena is positioned centrally, and Ajax features in the carved battle scene as prominently as he does in the Illiad.

Text © Francesco Nevola

Francesco Nevola, a fabulous scholar of Piranesi.

see here older post on life and work of Francesco Nevola https://venetiakapernekasblog.com/2015/06/11/italyteverina-mountains-cortona-deanna-maganias-and-franciso-nevola-house-and-studio/

Delphi and Ithaka:a spring pilgrimage

photo @VK Feb.24th,2017_ 10 am

 

Departing Munich with my daughter that rainy morning on February 23rd and arriving to Athens on sunny afternoon and  driving directly  to Delphi it was  indeed a pilgrimage to Light.

Delphi was an important ancient Greek religious sanctuary sacred to the god Apollo. It is located on Mt. Parnassus about 178km northwest of Athens

Delphi at a very early stage was a place of worship for Gaia, the mother goddess connected with fertility and also home to the panhellenic Pythian Games.  The sanctuary was home to the famous oracle of Apollo which gave cryptic predictions and guidance to both city-states and individuals.

Architecture: The first temple in the area was built in the 7th century BCE and was itself a replacement for less substantial buildings of worship which had stood before it. The focal point of the sanctuary, the Doric temple of Apollo, was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 548 BCE. A second temple, again Doric in style, was completed in c. 510 BCE with the help of the exiled Athenian family, the Alcmeonids.

The oracle of Apollo at Delphi was famed throughout the Greek world and even beyond. The oracle – the Pythia or priestess – would answer questions put to her by visitors wishing to be guided in their future actions. The whole process was a lengthy one, usually taking up a whole day and only carried out on specific days of the year. First the priestess would perform various actions of purification such as washing in the nearby Castalian Spring, burning laurel leaves, and drinking holy water. Next an animal – usually a goat – was sacrificed. The party seeking advice would then offer a pelanos – a sort of pie – before being allowed into the inner temple where the priestess resided and gave her pronouncements, possibly in a drug or natural gas-induced state of ecstasy.( Mark Cartwright at Ancient History Encyclopedia) 

photo @VK Feb.24th,2017_ 11 am

“…The oracle of Apollo at Delphi was famed throughout the Greek world and even beyond. The oracle – the Pythia or priestess – would answer questions put to her by visitors wishing to be guided in their future actions. The whole process was a lengthy one, usually taking up a whole day and only carried out on specific days of the year. First the priestess would perform various actions of purification such as washing in the nearby Castalian Spring, burning laurel leaves, and drinking holy water. Next an animal – usually a goat – was sacrificed. The party seeking advice would then offer a pelanos – a sort of pie – before being allowed into the inner temple where the priestess resided and gave her pronouncements, possibly in a drug or natural gas-induced state of ecstasy.” (Mark Cartwright at Ancient History Encyclopedia)

The ancient theatre at Delphi was built further up the hill from the Temple of Apollo giving spectators a view of the entire sanctuary and the valley below ; photo@VK

  Archaeological Museum of Delphi, designed by Alexandros Tombazis, photo@VK

The site was ‘re-discovered’ with the first modern excavations being carried out in 1880 CE by a team of French archaeologists…all survive as testimony to the cultural and artistic wealth that Delphi had once enjoyed.

(from left to right): “Column of the Dancers “,the three  daughters of Cecropos, about 13 m_”Aghias”, son of Agonios, champion at many Panhellenic games in the 5th century BC _ the twin marble archaic statues – the kouroi of Argos (c. 580 BCE) and the marble Sphinx of the Naxians (c. 560 BCE), (in museum) ;photo@VK by permission
splendid metope sculptures from the treasury of the Athenians (c. 490 BCE) and the Siphnians (c. 525 BCE) depicting scenes from Greek mythology ; in museum , photo@VK by permission

Staying in Delphi for 2 days, we continue driving to Astakos to catch the ferry for Ithaka.. An incredible island this time of the year  as the spring arrived early.  The island has been inhabited since the 2nd millennium BC. It may have been the capital of Cephalonia during the Mycenaean period and the capital-state of the small kingdom ruled by Odysseus. The Romans occupied the island in the 2nd century BC, and later it became part of the Byzantine Empire. The Normans ruled Ithaca in the 13th century, and after a short Turkish rule it fell into Venetian hands (Ionian Islands under Venetian rule). more here… 

I rest for a moment on the  poem “Ithaka” by C.P.Cavafy, 

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard (C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

We stayed for a week at the most beautiful yoga retreat in Greece and beyond. http://itha108.com/gallery/

Ana-Nefeli saving a 3 week baby goat from the sea

Megaro Drakouli at Vathi

San Vito d’Altivole,Treviso_”The Sanctuary of the Tomba Brion” by Francesco Nevola (sketch 01)

Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978);                                                                                                                                                  The Sanctuary of the Tomba Brion, San Vito d’Altivole, Treviso, 1968-78

carlo-scarpa-tomba-brion-8ca5388058f0abad85ce9fe6a11d09de

                                                                             photo:Pintrest

The Tomba Brion is the last of Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa’s monumental works. Here all the leitmotifs of his approach to architecture find mature expression: the modeling of architectural forms that invites comparison to sculpture, the juxtaposition of ‘poor’ materials such as cement (the principal building material here) with precious ones like coloured Murano mosaics and individually designed bronze cast fixtures and fittings; the use of reflecting pools and water courses to animate the inside light and define external transitions and boundaries. Scarpa’s idiosyncratic interpretation of modernism not only restored importance to architectural ornament, but his forms reveal a particular sensitivity to historic architectural types: Venetian Gothic, castle architecture and perhaps most unexpectedly traditional Japanese architecture. Revealing his singularly creative approach to materials, the architect’s principal works are highly respectful museum renovations in which his signature style sings in perfect harmony with the existing ancient buildings: the Renaissance Palazzo Abatellis, Palermo (1953-54); the Neoclassical Museo Canova, Possagno (1955-57); the Gothic Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona (1956-64) and the late Gothic Venetian vernacular of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (1961-63).

Text © Francesco Nevola

Francesco Nevola, a fabulous scholar of Piranesi.

see here older post on life and work of Francesco Nevola https://venetiakapernekasblog.com/2015/06/11/italyteverina-mountains-cortona-deanna-maganias-and-franciso-nevola-house-and-studio/

 

The Engadin: at Galerie Tschudi; Callum Innes “On Ground” & Julian Charrière “First Light”

During the last cold days of December my brief day visit at Lower Engadin.  I adore Zuoz  with the historic village centre and the proud patrician buildings, such as the Chesa Planta, which are particularly well preserved. Here one finds a perfect environment for contemporary art and as Liam Feeman recently wrote  at ” Art, at High Altitudes”  Despite the tiny population of 16,700 inhabitants and the brevity of the region’s high season, which lasts from December through March, there are at least 30 international art galleries between St. Moritz and the municipality of Sent, providing an enlightening alternative for après-ski.(Freeman, NY Times Style Magazine, Dec 1, 2016). Geographically the charming Zuoz belongs to the upper Engadine but everybody who is familiar with the area knows that this village is far away from upper Engadine with his buzzing St. Moritz in the centre.

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I find my  art tranquility  at Galerie Tschudi; a mighty sixteen metre-high tower, dating back to the year 1305, was uncovered within the fabric of Chesa Madalena. The house, located in the centre of Zuoz, was used as a farmhouse until 1999- sensitively renovated by Ruch & Partners Architects– these fascinating historical rooms in the former farmhouse,  house the Galerie Tschudi  fabulous art exhibitions.

These days there is this fabulous dual exhibition , Callum Innes ” On Ground” and of the younger artist Julian Charrière “First Light”.

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 Callum Innes (installation view)
Untitled, No 19, 20, 21, 2016 Lamp black, Oil on linen  162 x 160 cm                                                                photo@Ralph Feiner  @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

‘In one wall painting yellow shivers through the violet surface, and in the other flecks of orangeade visible through the black surface.  This work brings to mind the blackened ceilings prevalent in the Engadin, where carbon deposits remain as reminders of the stoves that once functional beneath them. Between this surface of absorbent charcoal-black  and the work of Callum Innes, an interesting chemistry takes place. ‘

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                Callum Innes (Installation view)   Untitled, 2016
Pastel on Two Rivers papers79 x 58 cm 99 x 77 cm (framed)                                                                               photo@Ralph Feiner  @courtesyGalerie Tschudi

‘Colour is the most important element in the work of the Scottish artist Callum Innes (Edinburgh 1962) …In the Tschudi gallery the colours applied with oil paint on canvas , pastel on paper, but also directly on the wall -appear and disappear. Sometimes they contrast vividly with the white ground; at other times they have in fact a very light, almost transparent hue with a considerable range of nuance. The paintings, pastel drawings and wall paintings require an active observer who takes control.’ (text by Dan Pieters, courtesy @gallery press)

In his research-based practice, Julian Charrière uses sculptural objects and images—both moving and still—to explore the connections between human activity, ecology, the environment, and time. Working in such far-flung locales as Kazakhstan and the Southern Cone, the Berlin-based artist performs site-specific actions inspired by the social and natural sciences, using biological and earthen substances as materials. “I use some scientific methods, but I would describe it more as an archeologist or geologist,” he has said. “I go into the field and get inspired by what I see, then I bring things back to the studio and do work.” A former student of Olafur Eliasson, Charrière focuses on investigations of the natural world, revealing the profound force exerted by humans and the environment on one another and highlighting how ecological systems can exhibit traces of human energy.

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Julian Charrière “Tropisme”, 2015
frozen plant, refrigerated showcase 208 x 66 x 66 cm    photo@Ralph Feiner  @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

“Tropisme” is  a beautiful, melancholic and yet fascinating  art piece; the artist has deposited plants captured in a sheath of ice -as if time could be stopped…  “ the plants might be preserved and archived for future use. In this frozen landscape, the vitality of matter is protected from the forces of entropy and decay. But the organisms also point backwards in time. The plants (orchids, cactuses, etc.) are testimony to a geological period that saw the extinction of dinosaurs. The artist thus freezes them like remains from a time whose memory forever escapes us, except maybe in some uncertain zone of our reptilian brain.” (Tschudi gallery)

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Julian Charrière “Lost at Sea “- Pikini-Fragment, 2016
High pollished stainless steel, coral sand, mutated bikinian coconut, glass 175 x 32 x 32 cm             photo@Ralph Feiner @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

“Lost at Sea”  Pikini Fragment: This series suggests ‘a post-apocalyptic botanical survey; an “unnatural history”. Standing vertically on a bed of coral sand, inside a glass housing  that caps a mirror-sided plinth, each coconut might be interpreted as a castaway that has been washed up on another identificatory shore. The sand implies a kind of terminal beach, while mirrors have long been symbolic of water — and vanity…The fact that these coconuts stand erect, like totemic phalluses, is a bitter irony: genetically disrupted by nuclear radiation, these coconuts from the Marshall Islands are utterly sterile from a reproductive standpoint. That the Marshallese creation myth involves a paradigmatic mother giving birth to a coconut, which then supplies her people with sustenance, tools and clothing, sets the profound degree of this and other genetic disruptions into relief.’ (Nadim Samman, “Unnatural History”, galerie Tschudi ) 

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Julian Charrière Pacific Fiction – Study for Monument, 2016  Coconut Sarcophagi
128 cm high in a steel frame of 227 x 203 cm overall size: 330 x 440 cm
Unique (Model for Monument for Marshall Island)  photo@Ralph Feiner  @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

Pacific Fiction – Study for Monument – is a sculpture which incorporates a pile of coconuts encased in lead. (The piece symbolises the traumatic embrace of the region of Bikini island in Pacific by the atomic bomb (between 1946 and 1958, at a remote Pacific Atoll, 23 of the most powerful explosions in history occurred. During this period, bombs delivering a combined fission yield of 42.2 megatons were detonated)..

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Julian Charrière,Polygon XVIII, 2014,
black and white double exposure medium format film on baryta paper, steel frame, lead, glass, thermonuclear strata, negative, 150 x 180 cm, Unique  @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

“Polygon” is a series of photographs shot at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan. The photographs are made on analogue medium format film, and submitted to radiation before their development. Thus they both depict the site of nuclear radiation and bear the actual trace of radioactivity’s effects. Charrière’s journey to the Polygon was inspired by J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Terminal Beach”. The work oscillates between art, science and fiction and brings us to one of the most remote and inaccessible of places — to the beginning of the nuclear age. It is a mystic place, showing the dystopic aesthetics of a future archaeology.

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Julian Charrière “The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories” (3), 2013
Fine Art Print on Hahnemühle Photo Paper 100 x 150 cm 3 +1AP @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

“The Blue Fossil Entropic Stories” is the photographic trace of an expedition the artist undertook in 2013, travelling to Iceland to climb an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean and melt the frozen water beneath his feet with a gas torch during 8 hours. Like an absurd, quixotic hero, Julian Charrière confronts the elements in a seemingly hopeless battle – human time against geological time. And yet, a battle of which global warming is only the starting point. What remains of this perilous endeavour are three photographs of arresting beauty, a kind of contemporary version of Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Overlooking the Sea of Fog (1817–18), and a questioning of our relation to nature as inherited from the Romantics via ecological thought.

There are two fantastic video works projected  in the  gallery.  On the lower level  is the ” Iroojrilik“; In this work, Charrierè captures the decay of the Bikini Attol’s atomic-industrial architecture. On the upper level floor , the “Somewhere” shot in Kazakhstan, where Joseph Stalin conducted the first atomic tests, “Somewhere” is an excursion into human-environmental interrelations and the topographic modifications in which they result. Julian Charrière pursues an archaeology and geology of deserted human landscapes, exploring their past and future

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Julian Charrière “Eninman III” – Terminal Beach, 2016   Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, mounted on aluminium Dibond, red Palmira veneered frame, Mirogard anti-reflective glass, 122.8 x 152.8 cm (with frame), Edition of 3 (+1AP) @courtesy Galerie Tschudi

Terminal BeachA survey of mid-20th century atomic-industrial architecture, these black and white works reference the objective style of the Dusseldorf school. With their rusting iron and crumbling concrete, some of these structures recall the Egyptian pyramids: imposing leftovers of a questionable ideal.

all images courtesy of Tschudi gallery

Julian Charrière is participating this weekend (28-29 January 2017) in Zuoz, at Engadin Art Talks.  The topic of this year’s event is: “Snow and Desert”.The aim of the E.A.T./Engadin Art Talks is to facilitate unique interaction and exchange between artists, architects, curators and art enthusiasts in an intimate and informal setting and, in this way, perpetuate the history of the Engadin as a place of intensive creative activity and discourse.

 

Athens “In Plain Site, Trisha Brown” at EΜΣΤ ‘dancing Athens’ by Onassis Cultural Centre)

I was fortunate while visiting my beloved Athens to experience ‘In Plain Site’, part of the curatorial “Dancing Athens”  This unique retrospective was  created in collaboration of the OCC/Onassis Cultural Center, (curatorial directorship: Katia Arfara)  at the (still not opened officially)  premises of the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMΣΤ)

(under Extracts from earlier, more abstract works like Accumulation from 1971 was combined with more theatrical pieces such as 1990’s Foray Foret in an unexpected encounter with the Athenian public which puts the abundant natural light of the new museum space to good use. A tribute to the ground-breaking work of the choreographer who put dance into the everyday life of the city).

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photos@Venetia Kapernekas

….Dancing Athens invites us to change the way we move and behave in the city, the way we perceive our everyday gestures, our reactions to the unexpected and the random, but also the way we perceive contemporary dance. (Onassis Cultural Center/Dancing Athens press) 

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In Plain Site, Trisha Brown Dance Company’s new performance program, allows Brown’s dances to be freed from the constrictions of the conventional stage and to be once again performed in unexpected locations. But unlike her previous site-specific adventures, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site mines and then recombines material from her vast repertory to accommodate the unique spatial demands of the particular venue. Brown’s long-time dancers—and now hand- chosen associate artistic directors Carolyn Lucas and Diane Madden—visit the venue, collaborate with the presenting organization in the selection of a site and then decide the pieces that would best fit the selected location. They are re-thinking Brown’s work and finding new ways to express and share her genius. Drastically shortening the distance between the dance and its audience, Trisha Brown: In Plain Site engages the audience in a dramatically different way, illuminating Brown’s fifty years of investigation. (press ) 

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 photos @Venetia Kapernekas

….The experimentation that began back then in New York when dancers, composers, poets and visual artists set out together in search of new representational codes has never stopped. Fifty years on, Trisha Brown is still fascinated by and experimenting with the relationship between space, movement and the viewer. In Plain Site is different from her previous site-specific works in so far as it presents a collage of fragments from a half century of emblematic choreography.

It was April 1970 when Trisha Brown tied a dancer to a length of climbing rope and sent him walking down the front of a seven-storey building at 80, Wooster Street, Manhattan. The American choreographer was looking for ways to unsettle the relationship between the human body, gravity and space and the way New Yorkers had learned to think of everyday movements like walking and running. And it was there in the early Seventies that the experiments and unconventional ideas of the Judson Church postmoderns -along with their irresistible desire for change- spilled out into the streets, squares, parks, terraces and museums of New York. (Onassis Cultural Center/Dancing Athens press) 

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photos@Venetia Kapernekas

Katia Arfara ; Artistic Director for Theatre and Dance at the OCC
Conceived and curated by Katia Arfara
Head of Production: Dimitra Dernikou
General Technical Management: Lefteris Karabilas
Production Manager: Vassilis Panagiotakopoulos
Production Assistants: Despoina Sifniadou, Eirilena Tsami

Read here latest news about the EMST opening by Margarita Pournara in Kathimerini (end of October 2016)

The ΕΣΜΤ /the “old FIX brewery” – a signature example of post-WWII modernism, designed by the innovative architect Takis Zenetos (1926-1977), which accentuated the horizontal dimension of the building that runs parallel to Syngrou and Kallirois Avenues

New York “Imperfection in Eero Saarinen’s MIT Chapel” by Andrew Ferentinos

Honoured to present this morning my new contributor writer in my blog, Andrew Ferentinos, architect, industrial furniture designer, based in New York); “Imperfection in Eero Saarinen’s MIT Chapel”  photos @Andrew Ferentinos   www. andrewferentinos.com and follow on Instagram: Ferentinos
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photo @Andrew Ferentinos

The MIT Chapel by Eero Saarinen has always intrigued me. The architecture is simple and direct. It embodies a rare universality and timelessness.

The chapel was dedicated in 1955 by the Kresge Foundation for The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Its mission is to serve as a non-denominational space of worship. As the dedication at the entrance states, its purpose is “to maintain an atmosphere of religious freedom wherein students may deepen their understanding of their own spiritual heritage.” In other words the chapel must resonate and evoke feelings and thoughts with people across culture and time.

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photo@Andrew Ferentinos

Upon approach, we see a cylinder sitting on top of a shallow pool of water. Low arches of various sizes skip across the pool and seem to hover. Underneath we see a concrete shell that is separate from the cylinder and barely visible. There are no windows in this large volume. We only see a blank wall and anticipate the interior.

The blank wall has an oddness about it. The brick has an irregular texture. Saarinen adopted rejected bricks from a brickworks precisely for the beauty in their imperfection, a subtle statement that goes beyond brick and mortar and speaks about the purpose of the chapel.

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photo @Andrew Ferentinos

We enter the vestibule. It is dark and intimate. This long and slender space leads to the chapel through a small opening. As our eyes adjust to the dim light, the dark glass walls of the vestibule change color. They brighten. Like a monochromatic Ad Reinhardt painting, the dark glass releases subtle shades of color. Each pane of glass, like the brick, appears hand made reflecting the imperfections of the brick.

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photo@Andrew Ferentinos

When we enter the chapel we are struck by what we see. We are caught between opposites. Our attention focuses on a perfectly geometric and rectangular marble altar at the center of the space. In the background, the interior walls undulate and radiate. The shimmering gold sculpture by Harry Bertoia flutters down from the oculus above like leaves falling to the ground. The varying angles of the petals mirror the varying angles of the imperfect brick. The entire chapel is a frozen moment in time and space except for the one solid piece of marble in the center. It is our only sense of stability, perfection, and permanence in an otherwise dynamic and irregular field. (Andrew Ferentinos) 

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photo@Andrew Ferentinos

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photo@Andrew Ferentinos
Andrew Ferentinos opened his architecture office Ferentinos Architecture in 2012 after working in New York City for such prestigious architects as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Raimund Abraham, and Francois de Menil.
Ferentinos studied architecture and art at The Cooper Union in New York City and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a BArch from Cooper Union and an advanced Masters degree from MIT. He is a professionally licensed architect.   (follow his amazing Instagram: Ferentinos)

Munich; “Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glass” at The Design Museum

Curators: Dr. Xenia Riemann, Dr. Josef Straßer ; Assistant curator: Nadine Engel; July 1, 2016 – Oct. 16, 2016 (Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne,Rotunde, 2nd floor)

While I am enjoying some days in Maremma/Toscana,  I reflect back to Munich with a beautiful exhibition that opened few weeks ago in Munich “Murano. Milano. Venezia, Glass” with around 200 object and accompanying drawings from the Holz Collection (Berlin) which is deemed one of the most important collections of glass from Murano world wide.

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung
Vases “A Piume” (Installation view), Archimede Seguso,
c. 1956, XXVIII. Biennale di Venezia, 1956, Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

The international exhibitions held at the Triennale di Milano and the Biennale di Venezia are barometers of the most significant developments in twentieth century contemporary design and art. It is therefore no coincidence that Murano glass regularly attracts awards at both Milan and Venice. Having resurrected a range of centuries-old techniques, glassmakers such as A.V.E.M, Archimede Seguso, Barovier & Toso, and Venini learned to apply this knowledge in new and ingenious ways. Their work is a synthesis of the master glassmakers’ craftsmanship and the designers’ artistry. The objects they create attest to a successful renaissance of glass design that continues to the present day. (edited text/press/ Die Neue Sammlung) 

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Vase “Cinese”, Carlo Scarpa for Venini, c. 1940, XXII. Biennale di Venezia, 1940,  Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Foto: Atelier  Martin Adam, Berlin

“…Murano is the embodiment of Italian glass design. Venice had advanced to being a centre for Middle European glass art as early as the 13th century and when the entire glass production was moved to the neighbouring islands, glass from Murano gained world-wide importance from the 14th century onwards. As the Republic of Venice’s power dwindled, glass production on Murano also declined. Yet it was revived during the 19th century and enjoyed another peak in the 1950s and early 1960s.“(Angelika Nollert,director of Die Neue Sammlung  at preface of published book/catalogue of the exhibition )

Calice a spirale”, an object from the Artisti Barovier factory, is one of the oldest pieces. The cup on a spiral-shaped base went on display during the very first Venice Biennale in 1895. While the glass objects realized prior to the First World War were typically designed by the factories themselves, from the 1920s on designers and artists were brought in to decide the shape and appearance of objects. Collaborating closely with the glass-makers enabled them to explore the creative and technical scope glass afforded. Indeed, opaque vessels by architect Carlo Scarpa inspired by Chinese vases stand for a new design idiom as championed by the Venini glass factory……. (Die Neue Sammlung press)

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Objects “Vetro Pesante”(installation view), Alfredo Barbini, c. 1962, XXXI. Biennale 1962, photo:Anna Seibel

“…Workshops such as A.Ve.M., Archimede Seguso, Barovier & Toso or Venini managed to develop a contemporary formal language by employing new shapes and decors and in this way assumed a leading role alongside countries such as the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries, France or the former Czechoslovakia. In the 1950s and 1960s in particular, peak performances were achieved in Murano glass in terms of an autonomous design that certainly possessed analogies to abstract art. “(Angelika Nollert,director of Die Neue Sammlung; preface in the  book/catalogue of the exhibition )

“Barovier is one of the oldest Italian glassmakers and family businesses, founded in 1291 on the island of Murano. Murano was where the glaziers had to do their work to prevent the risk of fires in the cities as well as to preserve the secrets of the trade. The first member of the family on record is Jacobello in 1295. Two centuries later, Angelo Barovier became a great name creating precious pieces, one of which; the ‘Barovier wedding cup’ is now in the Murano museum and said to date from 1450.” (Barovier & Toso,biography at Rose Uniacke

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Vase, c. 1935/36, Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso, XX. Biennale di Venezia, 1936 Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Foto: Atelier Martin Adam, Berlin

The unusual designs by Ercole Barovier or the polychrome “Oriente” vases by painter Dino Martens attest to a great delight in experimentation during the 1950s.  The popular “Pezzati”, masterminded by the versatile Fulvio Bianconi, or the sophisticated “Merletti” by Archimede Seguso, stand for excellent artistry and a complete mastery of technical challenges. Fratelli Toso were especially renowned for black glass designs.

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Vase “Diamantato“ (Installation view), c. 1968, Ercole Barovier for Barovier & Toso, XXXIV. Biennale di Venezia, 1968,
Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Vase “Siderale”(installation view) c. 1952, Flavio Poli for Seguso Vetri d’Arte, XXVI. Biennale di Venezia, 1952, photo: Anna Seibel

Influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the works by artist Luigi Scarpa Croce are rarely exhibited. The “Rotellato” pieces by Barovier & Toso demonstrate that in the 1960s glass objects were more colorful and decorative, while the shapes became more classical and plain. Finally, in the early 1970s large vessels and simple interlayer techniques produced spectacular results. (Die Neue Sammlung, press)

Among the few international designers represented in shows in Milan and Venice were the Swedish artist Tyra Lundgren, American sculptor Thomas Stearns or the two Swedish designers Birgitta Karlsson and Ove Thorssen.  They all worked with Venini, one of the world’s most famous makers of Murano glass.

A beautiful book/catalogue is published for the exhibition:curatorial team: Dr Xenia Reimann and Dr Josef Strasser  who developed the exhibition concept with Steffen John (who maintains the Holz collection).

Murano. Milano. Venezia. Glas - die Ausstellung der Neuen Sammlung

Vases “Pesce“ and “Tulipano“ (Installation view), c. 1960,
Alfredo Barbini, XXX. Biennale di Venezia, 1960,
Sammlung Holz, Berlin, Photo: Anna Seibel
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