1. Christo and Jeanne-Claude -'Surrounded Islands'
In 1983 in Greater Miami the artists surrounded islands in hot pink polypropylene fabric that floated on the water. I think this artwork is extremely beautiful. I was kind of worried about the impact the plastic would have on the environment, even though it was only installed for 2 weeks. Fortunately before they installed this project they had recruited land and marine crews, including engineers and mammal experts, to clean up the refuse (included an old mattress, garbage and old boats) and prepare the area for install. I read somewhere that both Christo and Jeanne-Claude have expressed that their work has no deeper meaning, it just is.
Images via here.
2. Richard Mosse - 'Infra'
This work is freaking brilliant, with so much force through both aesthetic and content. Initially one may think that this is a series highly manipulated photographs, but in fact Mosse used an infrared film that converts green colour to red. Obviously there is an extreme amount of weight to these images because they are actually taken in the conflict dominated Congo. There is something so striking and almost upsetting about such beautiful imagery from a not-so-beatiful state of politics and humanity.
There is a similarity between my project and Richard Mosse's work, in fact I had a big, boring discussion about originality this morning. I discovered Mosse's work after I had already created most of my imagery and was somewhat disheartened by my seemingly lesser take. It is strange that people so isolated from one another can produce similar works, without ever crossing paths. Following from my originality discussion today - where Mosse and I differ is our content. My work DIGITALUSH is about a hypothetical digital hybrid reality, Mosse seems somewhat almost photojournalistic in his approach and the circumstances in the Congo are very much real.
Images via here.
3. Exhibition: 'Living In The Ruins of the Twentieth Century' curated by Adam Jasper and Holly Williams.
This exhibition was actually showing at my university's gallery, which is great! It referenced the research archive of the New York magazine Cabinet, and featured unusual artworks to document the previous century in an unorthodox way.
One piece that really stood out to me was Collateral Damage: a series of vivid photographs of misty mountainsides; lush and beautiful (one image seen below). I later discovered that the artist, Gianni Motti, had contacted Agence France-Press for images of the Balkan conflict that the agency was unable to sell. These lush landscapes were deemed “too aesthetic” for the documentation of war. What seems to be mist is actually smoke billowing from bombs that have been let off over the hills. It is really interesting to realise that our concept of aesthetically pleasing imagery can actually blind us to war-torn scenes, and it is for this reason that these images are so powerful. (As can be said for the work by Richard Mosse)