The Train of Thought Chugs Along

So I know I kind of bad-mouthed tensile structures, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised how many beautiful examples there are! It's not all daggy shade sails and tatty vinyl. So I thought I'd share a few of my very favourite examples by none other than Anish Kapoor (and a few of his non-tensile examples too.) I actually bought an amazing book about Mr. Kapoor last year on a little trip to Brisbane, and I popped it on the shelf for a bit of holiday perusal...and then of course I completely forgot all about it until I was pondering some sexy lighting a few days ago.

I don't have anything particularly intelligent to say about any of these pieces, mainly because I've yet to actually read the book and find out the theories behind the beautiful sculptures. So for now, it's all about the eye candy.

[Melancholia, 2004 - image courtesy of ICA Boston]

And of course the fact that such a simple looking sculpture actually took a team of engineers to figure out all the finer details. Who knew turning a square into a circle could be so complicated?

[Marsyas, 2002 - image courtesy of ICA Boston]

Marsyas, however, looks as complicated as it is. This beast of a sculpture took over the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern back in 2002, and I'm still distraught that I didn't manage to see it in person (I was 2 weeks to late! Arrrrrg)

[Marsyas, 2002 - image courtesy of Tate Modern]

The scale of the work within the confines of the Turbine Hall actually makes it impossible to view the entire sculpture from any one point. This was quite deliberate - as with much of Kapoor's work, it was designed to be experienced rather than just "viewed" from one perspective.

[Marsyas, 2002 - image courtesy of Tate Modern]

Marsyas also manages to address the multiple levels of the Turbine Hall beautifully, addressing the people on the lower main level...

[Marsyas, 2002 - image courtesy of Tate Modern]

...And those on the mezzanine. I'm still hoping Kapoor has a lighting range in the works, but I don't really like my chances. Not content with bring sexy back to the world of tensile structures, Kapoor's love of materiality, plasticity and colour (red features prominently) are expressed in a number of different media. Two of my personal favourites are installation pieces featuring massive blocks of wax, paint and vaseline. Both pieces go by the title Svayambh, even though one is located in the Haus der Kunst in Munich, and the other in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes.

[Svayambh (Munich), 2007 - image courtesy of ICA Boston]

Both pieces crawl along slowly on tracks from space to space. The movement is barely noticeable at first, but becomes mesmerising as the wax blocks inch their way through doorways and slowly disintegrate.

[Svayambh (Munich), 2007 - image courtesy of Art Moco]

I pity the foo' who had to clean the walls after this!

[Svayambh (Nantes), 2007 - image courtesy of Knowing Nantes]

I may be a little biased given my love of all things French, but I prefer the Nantes installation purely because of the arched doorways. Maybe the double height space and the higher platform has something to do with it too, there's just that extra level of drama that makes this version of Svayambh that little bit more breathtaking.

[Svayambh (Nantes), 2007 - image courtesy of Art Moco]

This incarnation of Svayambh can be seen from all vantage points within the gallery, and the blood red demands attention.

[Svayambh (Nantes), 2007 - image courtesy of Art Moco]

I think I need to visit Nantes some time soon - even without a bit o' Kapoor, the gallery looks gorgeous! And not to be a two-trick tensile and wax pony, Kapoor is also pretty good at making shiny things too. Shiny cool things at that.

[Iris, 1998 - image courtesy of ICA Boston]

I'm really intrigued by his "shiny things" series and I'm looking forward to reading more about them, but at the moment all I can offer you is my opinion. Which is that the shiny things are cool.

[Turning the World Inside Out II, 1995 - image courtesy of ICA Boston]

I suspect there's a common theme that pushes us towards questioning, or at least becoming aware, of our own spatial perception. To look at an installation like Turning the World Inside Out II, or any of the Iris series, it really needs to be experienced from a number of angles before you can discern the geometry. Then again, I could just need more coffee.

[Cloud Gate, 2004 - image courtesy of ICA Boston]

Nevertheless, shiny things ARE cool, especially when they draw people to them and allow them to interact. Cloud Gate in ol' Chicago town is a great and particularly well-known example of this - it allows people to interact not only with the sculpture, but with those around them and their surrounds. And when you're hanging out in Millenium Park on the edge of Lake Michigan, wouldn't you want to stop and take in the view too, even if through a large blobby shiny thing? I know I would. Someone take me to Chicago!

So as I was saying, I bought this book at the Gallery of Modern Art bookstore when I made a quick weekend trip in Brisbane (I just HAD to see the Andy Warhol exhibition!) and rumour has it that the GoMA loading docks had to be enlarged during the late planning stages due to one of Kapoor's larger works (I suspect it may be this one) being featured in the first exhibition held in the new gallery. And can I just was totally worth it.

Anyway, enough of my babble Have a wonderful weekend all! I might head to the gallery to see a bit of Monet methinks, what do you have planned?


Leigh said...

I think I lost my last comment, so I am posting again. :)

But yes I would love to go to the beach as well and that is going to be my color for spring LOVE it!!!

Vanya @ Endless Inspiration said...

My mother decided to paint my bedroom when I was a child lemon yellow; she didn't realise what looks lemon yellow on the colour chart becomes road marker paint yellow on four walls - scarred for life!

Ms Unreliable said...

Thanks for posting again Leigh, Blogger still seems to be eating the occasional comment for some reason! I'm glad I'm not the only one loving yellow, I think I might try to hunt down a nice mimosa scarf before the cold weather rolls around here...keeping the yellow dream alive when everyone else will be wearing greys and blacks!

Vanya, I know exactly what you mean. My mother made the very same mistake in her kitchen. Lemon walls ended up being brighter than bright, and "rust" benches ended up being bright orange. Think the Brady Bunch kitchen. But worse. I never got to chose my own colours, my mother had learnt her lesson by then. My sister had a cherry red ceiling though, I was always so jealous!