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- Monica Bonvicini
- Martin Boyce
- Lee Bul
- Angela Bulloch
- Tom Burr
- Los Carpinteros
- Loris Cecchini
- Marc Camille Chaimowicz
- Thea Djordjaze
- Jimmie Durham
- Elmgreen & Dragset
- Spencer Finch
- Urs Fischer
- Fabrice Gygi
- Heiri Häfliger
- Mona Hatoum
- Diango Hernández
- Yuichi Higashionna
- Jim Lambie
- Sarah Lucas
- Ernesto Neto
- Manfred Pernice
- Raqs Media Collective
- Ugo Rondinone
- Doris Salcedo
- Jin Shi
- Roman Signer
- Pascale Marthine Tayou
- Rosemarie Trockel
- Tatiana Trouvé
- Nicole Wermers
- Franz West
- Haegue Yang
- Heimo Zobernig, Franz West and Zlatan Vukosavljevic
Monica Bonvicini’s sculptural installations and interventions are uncompromisingly direct responses to architectural spaces that she sees as being designed by and for men. Described by the artist as ‘a playground for adults’, Chain Leather Swing is at once seductive and menacing – as is Belts Couch, which suggests both bondage and biker chic.
Born in 1965 in Venice, Italy, Monica Bonvicini lives and works in Berlin.
Martin Boyce’s installations draw on fashion, music, architecture, and Modernist design, particularly the grid, which contains and orders space in perfectly regular lines. His suspended fluorescent sculpture, Some Broken Morning, which he describes as ‘a collapse of the interior and the exterior world,’ takes the form of a damaged spider’s web and also represents a fractured and twisted version of an urban grid.
Born in 1967 in Glasgow, Scotland, Martin Boyce lives and works in Glasgow.
Lee Bul’s chandelier Sternbau No. 3 is an interpretation of part of an unrealised building by the visionary architect Bruno Taut. In his imagined ‘Alpine Architecture’, Taut proposed a utopian conversion of the world. Beginning with an architectural reworking of the Alps, the project would eventually extend to the stars. (Sternbau translates as ‘star building’.)
Born in 1964 in Yongwol, South Korea, Lee Bul lives and works in Seoul.
Angela Bulloch’s Smoke Spheres 2:4 is based on an early painting by Bridget Riley which causes the eye to invent images that are not actually there. Extra Time 8:5 effectively reconfigures television. This ‘pixel box’ shows a sequence of ‘picture elements’. Though the screen is blank, its ever-changing colours represent every single pixel depicted during a particular television broadcast. In this case, the programme was BBC’s ‘Extra Time’.
Born in 1966 in Ontario, Canada, Angela Bulloch lives and works in London and Berlin.
Tom Burr’s Comfortably Numb, a double-sided folding screen, combines Minimalism with camp glamour while carrying overtones of posing and imposture (and an allusion to the Scissor Sisters disco-oriented version of the Pink Floyd classic). Its pink reflective front conceals a matte black reverse, redolent of sex club décor.
Born in 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, Tom Burr lives and works in New York.
Los Carpinteros’s Cama is a narrow bed stretched and twisted into the form of a motorway flyover. Mixing domesticity with the built environment, it alludes – perhaps – to conditions in their native Cuba, where much of the infrastructure is dangerous, inconvenient and often defunct (and where there is only one motorway in the whole country).
Los Carpinteros (Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés, b.1971 in Camagüey, Cuba and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez, b.1969 in Caibarién, Las Villas, Cuba) live and work in Havana, Cuba.
Loris Cecchini’s Relativistic loop corrections to the chair function 1 is a chair encased in a froth of plastic bubbles. Cecchini, who spends part of his time in Beijing, says that these clusters could be a metaphor for the continuous change that the Chinese are currently experiencing.
Born in 1969 in Milan, Italy, Loris Cecchini lives and works in Prato and Beijing.
Marc Camille Chaimowicz
Each part of Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s Jugendstil inspired Dual can switch between being a tall throne for upright sitting, or a low chaise longue for reclining. Evoking fin-de-siècle Vienna, it also suggests the psychoanalytic practice of Sigmund Freud, with one part acting as analyst and the other as patient.
Born in 1947 in Paris, France, Marc Camille Chaimowicz lives and works in London and Burgundy.
Thea Djordjaze’s Untitled (2006), Deaf and dumb universe and Zurück zum Maßstab [Return to Scale] are imbued with personal and cultural memories and simultaneously evoke elegance and slightly inept make believe: a pair of curtains standing like columns, and sculptures that are reminiscent of the matchbox-and-pins creations that children make to furnish dolls’ houses.
Born in 1971 in Tbilisi, Georgia, Thea Djordjadze lives and works in Cologne.
Jimmie Durham’s Close It is at once a pun, a command and a worrying presence. Electrical wires spill out from a storage cabinet, and an insistent banging can be heard coming from inside. Durham says, ‘I think that the greatest evil of our time is belief. So I try to interrupt every piece – so that you never would believe it.’
Born in 1940 in the USA, Jimmie Durham lives and works in Rome, Italy.
Elmgreen & Dragset
Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures question conventional assumptions about public and private spaces. Their institutional doors and clocks are all objects that do not operate as they normally should. Divided, broken or unusable, these devices consolidate the artists’ belief that ‘no structure is able to suppress anyone, and all structures can be altered or mutated.’
Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen, b.1961 in Copenhagen, Denmark and Ingar Dragset, b.1969 in Trondheim, Norway) live and work in London and Berlin.
Spencer Finch’s light installation, Night Sky (Over the Painted Desert, Arizona, January 11, 2004), is based on an analysis of the colour of darkness. Effectively a 3-D model of the molecular structure of four different pigments, the chemical make-up of each of the colours is translated into clusters of lightbulbs. Each of the 401 bulbs represents a single atom.
Born in 1962 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, Spencer Finch lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Urs Fischer’s A thing called gearbox is an incongruous conjunction of a cannon and a clumsily cast office chair. With its potential for dangerous and explosive propulsion, it suggests an anarchic career move for a piece of furniture which was strategically designed to increase the productivity of clerical workers.
Born in 1973 in Zurich, Switzerland, Urs Fischer lives and works in Los Angeles and Zurich.
The Austrian artists’ collective Gelitin has been designated ‘more a game than a movement’. They create anarchic art events and installations, which one devoted follower describes as ‘demented play grounds’. In smaller-scale sculptures they wantonly weld discarded furniture into new deviant forms.
Gelitin (Wolfgang Gantner, b.1968, Mistelbach, Austria; Ali Janka, b.1970, Salzburg, Austria; Florian Reither, b.1970, St. Pölten, Austria; Tobias Urban, b.1971, Munich, Germany) live and work in Vienna.
Fabrice Gygi’s Table-Tente, with its shabby, well-worn top and tailored skirts, doubles as a child’s hiding place and a shelter. Gygi views his impeccably fabricated sculptures and installations as ‘re-transcriptions’ of things he has seen around the world, and says that he tries to appropriate the object by making it anew from memory.
Born in 1965 in Geneva, Switzerland, Fabrice Gygi lives and works in Geneva.
Heiri Häfliger’s The early bird catches the worm is an improvised lamp that looks like a gigantic version of the sort of paper lanterns made in kindergarten. It is in fact made of papier-mâché, and demonstrates a virtuoso use of a very humble material that can be made at home.
Born in 1969 in Langnau, Switzerland, Heiri Häfliger lives and works in Vienna.
Themes of entrapment, threat and vulnerability are central to Mona Hatoum’s art. Somewhere between a prison cell and a monk’s cell, the bedroom in Interior Landscape is brutally inhospitable. The few signs of habitation – coat-hanger, bag, pillow and paper plate – all bear traces of one place: Palestine.
Born in 1952 in Beirut, Lebanon, Mona Hatoum lives and works in London.
Diango Hernández’s installations meditate on his homeland, Cuba. No tea, no sofa, no me draws attention to fractured social and domestic conditions in the Republic, which has suffered from trade embargoes dating back to the Kennedy era and an acute economic crisis resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Hernández regards the empty chair as a substitute for the human being, and in Leg me, chair me, love me it is clear that this individual will only ever be momentarily complete.
Born in 1970 in Sancti Spíritus, Cuba, Diango Hernández lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Yuichi Higashionna’s works often draw on everyday, kitschy things which are known in Japanese as fanshii, a term derived from the English word ‘fancy’. He says that his chandelier, which features fanshii circular fluorescent lamps, is a satirical tribute to the Japanese fascination with ultra-bright fluorescent light, a national obsession that both fascinates and repels him.
Born in 1951 in Tokyo, Japan, Yuichi Higashionna lives and works in Tokyo.
Jim Lambie’s work has been described as ‘candy for both eye and mind.’ ZOBOP, which uses glossy vinyl tape to create the ‘psychedelic anarchy of the floor’, is based on the concept of trying to fill a space while still leaving it empty. Its visual and spatial dynamics are confusing and disorienting, creating a sort of dreamscape.
Born in 1964 in Glasgow, Scotland, Jim Lambie lives and works in New York and Glasgow.
The sculptural equivalents of kitchen-sink drama, Sarah Lucas’s installations are formed from junk-shop furniture and other items and present tableaux that are redolent of life as portrayed by the most salacious tabloid newspapers. The sexual innuendo is impossible to miss, but parody is tempered with an element of sympathy.
Born in 1962 in London, UK, Sarah Lucas lives and works in Suffolk and London.
Ernesto Neto’s large-scale installations are designed to be inhabited; they are conceived as social spaces and often contain padded floors, cushions and other furnishings. Life is Relationship was originally part of a larger work and this furniture, which is simply slotted together without the use of nails or glue, was intended as a potential meeting place for visitors.
Born in 1964 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ernesto Neto lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.
Looking like impromptu pieces of furniture, Manfred Pernice’s installations use materials recycled from the built environment and at the same time memorialise fragments of German life and small-town history. Kaskel-treff evokes a neighbourhood rendezvous, while Usinger honours a 19th-century butcher who became a famous sausage-maker in America.
Born in 1963 in Hildesheim, Germany, Manfred Pernice lives and works in Berlin.
Raqs Media Collective
Much of Raqs Media Collective’s work is to do with ‘the history of the moment in which we are in now.’ A Day in the Life of___ presents a wall clock, familiar from schools, waiting rooms, work places, offices and public spaces. But instead of hours and minutes, there are feelings and emotions, which mark time in a different way.
Raqs Media Collective (Jeebesh Bagchi, b.1965, New Delhi, India; Monica Narula, b.1969, New Delhi, India; Shuddhabrata Sengupta, b.1968, New Delhi, India) live and work in Delhi.
Ugo Rondinone’s lax low lullaby is a massive door that is alive with ambiguity: though heavily fortified, it seems like a theatrical prop, or a grim portal from Bluebeard’s castle. At the same time, it also makes a wry allusion to the way in which art galleries make strenuous efforts to exclude the outside world.
Born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, Ugo Rondinone lives and works in New York.
Doris Salcedo’s reconfigured, cement-filled furniture concretises absence and oppression and embodies the silenced lives of individual victims of violence and brutality in Colombia and elsewhere. Describing herself as a ‘secondary witness’ to the victims of her country’s on-going civil conflict, she points out that ‘used materials are profoundly human; they all bespeak the presence of a human being.’
Born in 1958 in Bogotá, Colombia, Doris Salcedo lives and works in Bogotá.
Jin Shi’s ½ Life is a portrait of one of China’s 200 million migrant workers, as revealed through his cramped living quarters and meagre possessions. Everything is reproduced at half life size. The viewer looks down on this miniature world, just as China’s wealthier population look down on these labourers who are forced to live ‘half lives’ on the margins of society.
Born in 1976 in Henan Province, China, Jin Shi lives and works in Hangzhou.
Roman Signer pushes the idea of what sculpture can be to extremes. While his ‘temporary sculptures’ – actions involving anything from amplified snoring to small rockets – are usually short-lived events, sculptures, like Schwebender Tisch (Floating Table), are more enduring ‘experiments’. He says: ‘I simply think with material the same way that a poet takes words and turns them into sentences.’
Born in 1938 in Appenzell, Switzerland, Roman Signer lives and works in St. Gallen.
Pascale Marthine Tayou
The trio of vagrant forms in Pascale Marthine Tayou’s Crazy-Nomad-02/Globe-trotters has travelled the world, accumulating a mass of global detritus along the way. Tayou, who is himself nomadic in both life and art, pays homage to ‘the madcaps, those people who wander through the African streets, who rummage through what we throw away.’
Born 1967 in Yaoundé, Cameroon, Pascale Marthine Tayou lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.
Rosemarie Trockel’s elegiac and elusive Landscapian shroud of my mother brings to mind many different things: a city seen from above, a communal seating unit, a grave waiting to be filled in, or a partially obliterated Minimalist sculpture. Alongside its manifestation of grief, it implies an expanded field of reference and allusion.
Born in 1952 in Schwerte, Germany, Rosemarie Trockel lives and works in Cologne.
Tatiana Trouvé describes her small architectural environments as ‘reconstructions of space and memory in the form of models’. The skewed scale, coupled with the fact that the furniture is at once familiar and strange, produces a slightly hallucinatory feeling. Details such as burn-marks suggest that what we are seeing is a frozen moment in the aftermath of some incident.
Born in 1968 in Cosenza, Italy, Tatiana Trouvé lives and works in Paris.
Nicole Wermers is interested in the way in which our urban surroundings shape us, and how these objects and spaces – the fabric of the city – can be subverted. Her sculptures are often derived from ‘weird pieces of urban furniture that are visible and invisible at the same time’.
Born in 1971 in Emsdetten, Germany, Nicole Wermers lives and works in London.
Franz West aims to bring the real world and the realm of art closer together. Explaining that he himself 'came to art via the places where artists meet, places where you would go and sit,' he wanted from the outset to expand the boundaries of sculpture and to overturn traditional expectations of art as something that is untouchable and sacrosanct.
Born in 1947 in Vienna, Austria, Franz West lives and works in Vienna.
Haegue Yang’s 5, Rue Saint-Benoît takes its title from French author Marguerite Duras’s Paris apartment. Yang produces echoes of ordinary domestic things from her own life – fridge, washing machine, and so on – in order to examine the concept of private space as a site for personal and political struggle and survival.
Born in 1971 in Seoul, South Korea, Haegue Yang lives and works in Berlin and Seoul.
Heimo Zobernig, Franz West and Zlatan Vukosavljevic
Heimo Zobernig, Franz West and Zlatan Vukosavljevic’s collaborative installation, Studiolo, is a 21st-century take on a Mediaeval place for study and meditation, re-imagined here as an interactive space for receiving and recharging psychic energies. Studiolo depends on the viewer’s participation, without which the work is incomplete.
Heimo Zobernig b.1958, Mauthen, Austria, lives and works in Vienna; Franz West b.1947, Vienna, Austria, lives and works in Vienna; Zlatan Vukosavljeviv, b. 1958, Požarevac, Serbia, lives and works in San Diego, USA.
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