UNSEEN PHOTO FAIR: THE AMSTERDAM WEIRDFEST JAMPACKED WITH GENIUS
From barbecued photobooks to inflatable bouncy-castle clouds and the madcap brilliance of Augustin Rebetez, many shades of weird are converging in Amsterdam for the 2014 show.
This year’s Unseen photo fair in Amsterdam is unusally surreal.
In the entrance hall, an escalator takes punters one by one up to a giant inflated cloud, which explodes with light when you leap on it. A picture of every jumping person is instantly loaded on to an ever-growing photographic cloud for the project, Trust the Cloud.
In the main square, a large sculpture is taking shape over the weekend: giant brightly coloured lightbulbs and spools hanging from gnarled branches covered in a fishing net. It is called A Durian Growing a Swinging Sponge on a Fractal Evening and is unmistakably the work of set painter-cum-artist Lorenzo Vitturi. There he is, perched on a crane, drill in hand, adding another bulb. An outgrowth of his Dalston Anatomy project (which saw him take strange, saturated shots of vegetables to show life on east London’s Ridley Road Market), the sculpture is the symbol of this year’s Unseen, which undercuts the commerciality of most art-photography fairs with moments of high mischief.
As night fell on Thursday, smoke filled the air outside the former gasworks. It was wafting from a barbecue bucket tended by London-based artist Melinda Gibson, who was inviting passersby to partake in a performance called The Smoke House. In four small smoke houses, copies of her new book (the latest Self Publish, Be Happy book-club offering) were absorbing wood and coal smoke. Once hot, they were sealed and sold to the public. It was, so the programme says, “a ritual act of defiance” linked to an actual fire that damaged Gibson’s studio recently – but it became a large gathering of revellers drawn to the campfire atmosphere. I went to dinner reeking of smoked photobook.
Earlier on, I had been introduced to Augustin Rebetez with the words, “You should check out this guy’s work. It’s pretty wild.” I did. It is. Rebetez makes photographs, drawings and films obsessively. At the Galerie Nicola von Sanger, his work covers two walls: primitive paintings, collages and photos of strange things that show a singularly dark imagination. Children look like zombies. A bald woman with kohl-rimmed eyes could be their undead mother. The legs of what look like a row of homemade electric chairs sprout shoes.
On a third wall, a bizarre single-frame animated film plays on loop: a dead crow flies from a wooden case and flutters around a house, in which bodies emerge from drawers, slither across bare floorboards and up a flight of stairs then disappear. Makeshift machine-men whirr frantically as though they are trying to take flight. It is as if Rebetez’s photographs and drawings have come to life in homage to the Quay Brothers. (Watch some of his videos here.)
Over at the book market, RVB books are selling Rebetez’s new book Anthill Memories, which captures his relentlessly active imagination. Like the films, many of the the photographs were constructed around his house in the Swiss Jura mountains with the help of his friends – many of whom seem to be circus performers. Strangeness abounds: there’s a collapsing caravan, a crumpled house in a field of snow and the outline of Nosferatu on a battered fence. It is hard to know what is real and what created, but the sense of playful pranks is present in all his work. His website he tells us, “My father also publishes my books. My cousin has a brewery. My sister is a dancer and many other stuff …” The “many other stuff” betokens a strange and singular creative imagination that is one of the highlights of the richest and most surprising Unseens so far.
Original article HERE
Production for Unseen Photo Fair 2014 is in full swing in Amsterdam.
Duran Duran - Chauffeur (video by Helmut Newton)
Alt-J - Hunger of the Pine
Beautiful beachhouse in Pittwater, New South Wales Australia by Andrew Burges Architects.
The architect states about the project: Our brief for the Pittwater house was to create a beach house for a retired couple that was large enough for their extended family of children and grandchildren to visit and stay. The character of the house was to be reminiscent of the early Palm Beach houses, with a stone base and timber cladding above. The footprint of the house was pre-determined by an existing DA for the property.
The site is located on the thin, flat strip of land that runs between the Palm Beach ridgeline escarpment and Pittwater. This distinct geography gives these waterfront properties a dual public face public street frontage along Barrenjoey Rd and public beach frontage on the Pittwater edge.
Out of this brief and the particularities of the site 3 considerations shaped our conceptual framework for the project:
• How to moderate the scale pressures that come from the contemporary program of the beach house as a multi-generational gathering point – a pressure which often bloats the scale of new dwellings to the point that there is no commonality with the small footprint weekenders that determined the favourable landscape character of the area in the first place.
• How to create thresholds that could connect with the Pittwater geography whilst being able to provide complete privacy from the dual public face of the street to the east and the beachfront to the west.
• How to find a distinct contemporary expression of the early vernacular stone and timber beach house.
Our strategy was to divide the footprint of the house into two identical pavilions addressing either the street or the beach, connected by a north facing double height indoor/outdoor room that housed the kitchen and dining room. This manipulation of the overall building form within the requested footprint more than halved the perceptible size of the house as viewed from the public realm of the street or the beach. In response to the request for privacy, particularly on the beach front façade, we developed a thickened threshold characterized by an operable façade borrowing the functional technology of the many boats adjacent the house. Using a rope and pulley system on stainless steel outriggers driven by linear actuators, the façade can be opened and closed to provide infinite combinations of shade, exposure and privacy in relation to the western orientation and views over Pittwater.
In developing the material character of the house we attempted to give each of the two materials used – timber and stone – their own distinct monolithic quality to heighten the simple play on the layering of the early vernacular beach house. The monolithic quality of the stone was developed through the use of thick, carefully shaped thresholds that imbued the stone with a carved quality. The monolithic quality of the timber was developed through a carefully orchestrated relationship of timber elements where there was no visible distinction in language between a customized recycled tallow wood cladding, screen system, and doors and windows.
Photos © Peter Bennetts
The London Design sale of auction house Phillips de Pury will be on 24 September. The sale has some exceptional pieces. Below a selection of favourites.
Silver-plated bronze, mirrored glass, passementerie.
50 x 52.5 x 6 cm (19 5/8 x 20 5/8 x 2 3/8 in.), variable drop
Estimate £15,000 - 20,000
A pair of ‘scultura piccola’ adjustable low tables of the ‘Plurimi’ series
Burr walnut-veneered wood, brass.
Each: 40.3 x 79.4 x 84.8 cm (15 7/8 x 31 1/4 x 33 3/8 in.) fully extended
Produced by Crespi, Italy. Each with brass label impressed Gabriella Crespi®.
Estimate £8,000 - 12,000
A pair of armchairs, from a private commission
Each: 97 x 68.5 x 79.5 cm (38 1/4 x 26 7/8 x 31 1/4 in.)
Manufactured by Cassina, Italy.
Estimate £8,000 - 12,000
Daybed, from the Fondazione Garzanti, Forli
Oak, brass, fabric.
70 x 192.5 x 91.5 cm (27 1/2 x 75 3/4 x 36 in.)
Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Gio Ponti Archives.
Estimate £5,000 - 7,000
For more info click HERE
Rem Koolhaas takes us back to the basics
David Shrigley for Sketch
Commissioned as a mausoleum, Sunset Chapel sits atop a mountain among similairly shaped boulders. The design is by Bunker Arquitectura.
Bunker Arquitectura states about the project:
Our first religious commission was a wedding chapel conceived to celebrate the first day of a couple’s new life. Our second religious commission had a diametrically opposite purpose: to mourn the passing of loved ones. This premise was the main driving force behind the design, the two had to be complete opposites, they were natural antagonists. While the former praised life, the latter grieved death. Through this game of contrasts all the decisions were made: Glass vs. Concrete, Transparency vs. Solidity, Ethereal vs. Heavy, Classical Proportions vs. Apparent Chaos, Vulnerable vs. Indestructible, Ephemeral vs. Lasting…
The client brief was pretty simple, almost naïve: First, the chapel had to take full advantage of the spectacular views. Second, the sun had to set exactly behind the altar cross (of course, this is only possible twice a year at the equinoxes). And last but not least, a section with the first phase of crypts had to be included outside and around the chapel. Metaphorically speaking, the mausoleum would be in perfect utopian synchrony with a celestial cycle of continuous renovation.
Two elements obstructed the principal views: large trees and abundant vegetation, and a behemoth of a boulder blocking the main sight of the sunset. In order to clear these obstructions (blowing up the gigantic rock was absolutely out of the question for ethical, spiritual, environmental and, yes, economical reasons) the level of the chapel had to be raised at least five meters. Since only exotic and picturesque vegetation surrounds this virgin oasis, we strived to make the least possible impact on the site reducing the footprint of the building to nearly half the floor area of the upper level
Acapulco’s hills are made up of huge granite rocks piled on top of each other. In a purely mimetic endeavor, we worked hard to make the chapel look like “just another” colossal boulder atop the mountain.
This green hide-away is an exceptional architectural conversion of an old garage by Act Romegialli. A beautiful balance between the green abundance and the clean straight lines and stern materials of the design. A contrast of the wild and the austere. Sublime luxury beyond minimalism.
The architects describe the project as follows:
A “green” volume in the green.
The “Green box” project rises as the renovation of a small disused garage, accessory to a weekend house situated on the slopes of the Raethian Alps. A structure realized with lightweight metal galvanized profiles and steel wires wraps the existent volume and transforms it into a tridimensional support for the climbing vegetation. It is composed mainly by deciduos vegetation: Lonicera periclymenum and Polygonum baldshuanicum for the main texture on which climb up the secondary texture of Humulus lupulus and Clematis tangutica. On the basement there are groups of herbaceous perennials (Centranthus ruber, Gaura Lindheimeri, Geranium sanguineum, Rudbekia triloba) alternate with annual ones (Cosmos bipinnatus,Tagetes tenuifolia, Tropaeolum majus, Zinnia tenuifolia) and bulbous to ensure a light but continuos flowering.
Inside the pavillion are organized a room for the gardening tools, great passion of the owner,an area for coking and a space for conviviality. Materials are left rough and simple; galvanized steel for the kitchen, larch planks for flooring and big sliding doors, windows in unpainted galvanized steel, simple pipes for the water supply.
A small green shelter in the vegetation, privileged observation point of the changing of the seasons of the surrounding park. Park that is left wild in some areas and in other transformed into garden of flowers or simple green space, punctuated only by beautiful nude rocks scattered in the property.