Fine and powerful satirical illustrations 🙂
Few weeks ago Aarhus Kunsthal was hosting Jacob Kolding’s installation How to build a universe that falls apart two days later, a kind of collage on a big wall, created using eight different posters made by Kolding, that can be put together in an endless number of combinations. The posters were available to the visitors and it was possible to take them home.
Aarhus Kunsthal started then a little competition, that consisted in using one or more posters, set them together as you wanted to, take a picture and upload it on Instagram to concur with other participants. The best and/or more original picture won a little lamp designed by Eliasson.
I immediately thought, it was a nice and creative idea! So I took all the eight posters home, selected my favourite two and went outside with my Nikon to take some pictures:) Here are my favourite and the one I uploaded on Instagram (the squared one). It is a shame that not so many people took part in the contest. It would have been more fun!
Waste not has been travelling around the world since 2005. This amazing installation has been created by Song Dong, using some of the many objects of all kinds his mother saved in her house for many years.
After the death of her husband, Zhao (Dong’s mother) began hoarding even more, so much that it affected her quality of life and her children’s. Song Dong persuaded Zhao to use these objects to create an art installation, showing a glimpse of the history of a family in China, and respecting at the same time the choice of his mother, while helping Zhao improving her standard of life.
Song said: “My mother’s need to fill space with daily-life objects resulted from a need to fill the emptiness after my father’s death. I recognised that in this era of transition, a person could live through several different lives in just one lifetime. In the wink of an eye, one’s life could undergo great changes causing deep divisions between old and young.”
I couldn’t help thinking about how many things we buy and throw away during our lives. How emotionally attached one can get to the most tiny, sometimes insignificant, of things. How the social conditions and habits we grow up in influence us. How powerful art can be.
I really felt like I was travelling in time. I thought about my granpa; he’d have liked this installation, just because he still saves a lot of “useless” things. But he lived while Fascism and the Second World War were reigning in Italy, so he learned to repair and save all kind of things, in case of… Another time, another mentality. I find it fascinating. I’m not going for hoarding, but maybe we could learn something about the value of things and money 🙂
I took some pictures with my phone, so yes! Bad quality! But I hope they can give an idea 😉
Few weeks ago I attended my first Poetry brunch. Even if the brunch consisted of a little corner of chocolate cake, I was impressed by the two Danish poets. A man and a woman in their thirties have been summoned to read some of their poems for a us and answer some questions. I was not sure, I was going to understand, because it was in Danish and poetry is for me the most direct form of literature, but it´s also the one that is most directly connected to the hearth and the semiotics of a language, and to the culture as well. So it can really be difficult to understand the meaning, when you have to listen and don´t have the luxury to have a something written down you can read again and again. It went fine, I suppose! 😛
I was impressed by the Henriette Sennenvaldt. She sang a poem in English whilst she was playing. She had a beautiful, characteristic voice. So when everything was over, I went to speak to her and I asked where I could buy her book. She said “I can send it to you”, for free. She was just so sweet and inspiring! So I got my book last Friday, and I found out, she wrote her poems in Danish and then they have been translated into English! I prefer them in Danish, but I happy to have the English version, so I can post one here 🙂
She didn´t focus only on the poems, but on the format of the book as well . On the first page she wrote:
The masterpiece was a book made of snow 23 by 27 centimeters
Then you turn page and jump into an illustration of Julie Nord, ” Afternoon at the fringe” (very Carrollian if you ask me hehe). I tried to take a picture with my phone and my little finger:
The layout is elegant, clear and simple. I like this attention to different aspects of the book, because the book becomes more than a mere book 🙂
Nothing but a toy
So simple and sexy
When I get lost and get scared
You examine my stumps
You poke at the void
You lick my soul
You munch my pulse
You are nothing but bad
such a crawling creep
Such greedy liar
Yeah yeah it was awesome
It was ok fine
Leave and never come back
I know the likes of you
Shadows that lure and crave
Crude crude shadows
No clue as to what has been slipped into the meal
Who is waiting on dark staircases
It does not matter now
Everyone knows I am sick with longing
Moonsick and strange
I am tired of people
Who just abandoned me
Far too hopelessly hopeful
Round here there is the risk and run
Round here not a damn thing happens
Today I attended my first poetry lunch. It’s always beautiful to listen to a poet reading his/her own texts, and have the chance to ask them questions .
After the inspiring poetry brunch, I took a look around the place (Kunsthal Aarhus). I found Mogens Jacobsen’s 360 installation. He describes it here in this short interview:
Kunsthal Aarhus: Can you describe your work?
Mogens Jacobsen: S360 is an installation with a look like an old computer: IBM’s ”System 360” from the beginning of the 1960s. Today this machine seems like an archetypical retro sci-fi system. It’s huge with a lot of flashing lamps. From a time where technology exuded authority and belief in the future. I got interested in this computer’s aesthetics: A black frame with red, blue and yellow surfaces – an expression which sponged off art with its Mondrian-look. The form appeared as a materialized modernistic promise of an alluring technological future. But the texts on my machine are “distracting”. Not solely taken from the computer world, but with words which can be understood somewhere in the space between technology and politics. Through many years I’ve been interested in information system’s interfaces, and how they – both visually and linguistic – contain and communicate different point of views. And by breaking the technology’s form of communication I hope to throw some dirt into the machinery.
In my machine there is a software system running, which analyses two historical texts from two different political positions: Karl Marx’ Das Kapital and Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations from 1776. The machine writes a new text based on the two original texts. So the modernistic machine, the old system is trying to combine Marxism and liberalism. In the exhibition it’s up to the audience to decide which political standing point should be the most influential one. When a text piece is written by the machine, it is saved in a database and can afterwards be printed on a small piece of paper and be brought home. The text is finally analyzed for important words and a shorter version is posted on the installation’s twitter account @system365.
Kunsthal Aarhus: How does it relate to our Systemics series programme?
Mogens Jacobsen: Visually the piece is a paraphrase – maybe even a parody – based on a historical computer system from a time, where the cybernetic mind set spread out in various fields. In a time with a huge search for freedom, but also a time with an authoritative patriarchal society. And with the idea, that it was possible to decode underlying control systems. ”System360” became IBM’s big break through to the business world, and thereby automatically algorithmic logic made its entry in to the world of money. I see this machine as a symbol for a time with both control, pessimism of the future (e.g. The cold war) and a break with existing norms, hope for alternative futures.
Here is a graphic explanation of the system and a close up of some the lamps that have labels referring to economic/political/sociological issues (I pushed all the buttons and played with all the switches of course! 😀 )
I took my Nikon out of the closet today. I didn’t use it in one year! So now I’m even more rusty that before, and I feel like I have to start from scratch again with photography! But it’s always cozy and fun to walk around taking pictures, even more in such a beautiful and surreal foggy day as today 🙂