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Alexa Lawrence, See 11 Heady Books Transformed into Ikebana Flower Displays
Posted on Art News, 06/18/14
Camille Henrot channels Japanese zen gardens with an installation of floral odes to her favorite books
The gracefully balanced flower arrangements of Camille Henrot’s installation “Is it possible to be a revolutionary and like flowers” (2012-2014) occupy the second floor of the New Museum, contributing a soothing, zenlike presence to the exhibition of the artist’s recent works. The delicate blossoms and twisting stems of the bouquets, punctuated with thoughtful empty spaces, make for more than happy embellishments. They are floral translations of weighty literary titles, themes, and quotations pulled from the bookshelves of the artist’s personal library.
When Paris-born Henrot moved to New York, temporarily leaving many of her personal belongings behind, she discovered a surrogate for her literary heroes and favorite books in Japanese ikebana flower arrangements. The combination of artistic whimsy and the theory that inspires it parallels the balance between playfulness and obedience intrinsic to ikebana, an ancient but ever-adapting cultural tradition. Each gap in the flora is as specific and important as the vines, leaves, and flowers that create them. The flower names, ranging from Latin-based etymological to nursery-rhyme literal, are listed nearby, offering complimentary verse to the lyricism of the texts they represent.
Inspired by a text more overtly related to Henrot’s interest in taxonomy and philosophy, “The Order of Things,” Michel Foucault, is an explosion of metal odds and ends mixed with anonymous vegetation and a rainbow of paint swatches—a colorful starburst of the playfully arbitrary.
Again, I am late with this notice, but am posting this information so people can keep an eye out for future exhibitions.
Los Carpinteros in Hong Kong. They may construct sculptures out of Lego blocks, but when it comes to the theoretical underpinnings of their work Los Carpinteros don’t kid around. Heteropias, the title of their first solo show in Asia, was inspired by the French philosopher Michel Foucault, who defined heteropia as a space of otherness—not one place or another but simultaneously physical and mental, like the experience of a phone call. At Edouard Malingue gallery, the Legos are confined to two dimensions, in large-scale watercolors detailing crumbling cityscapes assembled from the plastic blocks. Also on view: meticulously crafted models of openwork structures that reference Foucault’s concept of the panopticon—including a model of Güiro, the full-sized party bar made for last year’s Art Basel Miami Beach. On view through November 23.
Source: Cuban Art News
Rachel Wilberforce takes her photographic inspiration from Foucault, notably his notion of heterotopia:
“As we know, the great obsession of the nineteenth century was history: themes of development and arrest, themes of crises and cycle, themes of accumulation of the past, a great overload of dead people, the threat of global cooling. The second principle of thermodynamics supplied the nineteenth century with the essential core of its mythological resources. The present age may be the age of space instead. We are in an era of the simultaneous, of juxtaposition, of the near and the far, of the side-by-side, of the scattered. We exist at a moment when the world is experiencing, I believe, something less like a great life that would develop through time than like a network that connects points and weaves its skein”. Michel Foucault (1984)
My practice engages the relationship between our interior and exterior worlds and approaches landscape, the body and architecture as interchangeable. In photographing empty spaces or reworking found imagery and objects; I draw from the residual and trace, and issues of memory and transition in detailing its history and presence. These spaces, outside of the ordinary, are linked to Foucault’s concept of ‘heterotopia:’ “something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites… found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted… It makes the place that I occupy when I look at myself in the glass at once absolutely real, and absolutely unreal” (1967). Heterotopology introduces a way of reading and diversifying space. Here, with different aspects of ‘formal’ heterotopias – an heterotopian play of elements, without settling. In our modern life, things can become dislocated, non-fixed and overlooked, and my work attempts to convey this feeling through evoking both a distance and sense of empathy with my subject matter. We can interpret our material world from our imprints and how we project ourselves (some truths some fiction) onto it, and vice versa. In so doing, my work considers the ways we (un)knowingly assimilate, appropriate or reject societal ideologies. In an attempt to reflect on what is revealed, it questions what could or might have been, and what can still be.
I am currently exploring the geometric, spatial and the psychological within different spaces and dimensional formats, via sculpture and photography.
Source: Heterotopian Studies