Sculpture & Installation
International Contemporary Art 
14 June 2012

CHRISTIAN FERREIRA at the Wapping Project, London

CHRISTIAN FERREIRA at the Wapping Project
Emer O’Brien, Barbara, 2012
Emer O’Brien
Barbara, 2012
Steel scaffolding, butane gas, custom speakers, audio cables
Photo: Tijmen Veldhuizen
Image courtesy of CosmicMegaBrain
Return to Normal
1 June – 18 August 2012
CHRISTIAN FERREIRA AT THE WAPPING PROJECT is pleased to announce Return to Normal, the second solo presentation at the gallery by London-based artist Emer O’Brien. The exhibition consists of Barbara, an interactive sculptural piece, which visualises the relationship between sound waves and sound pressure, a series of live performance events and the accompanying documentation: film and sound recordings.
Based on the construction of a votive table, Barbara sends the vital spark, as flame and message into the ether; transmitting the ritual of votive offerings as sound. As a concept, Barbara offers a contemplative spectacle of fire and sound by enabling direct expression through simultaneous messaging between musician, instrument and audience. Like Hermes who was the mediator between the gods, and in whom hermeneutics’ etymological roots lay, Barbara is also a mediator; she is a listener and a messenger; she receives and she projects, otherwise put, she translates.
Where past work detailed the recent passing of time through documentation, the primary work in this case is the performance and the projection of time through the form of an event. By asking people to gather in the form of a ritual for the performance, the work questions the role of the audience in the production of meaning. By entering into the spirit of the piece, viewers contribute to the harmony and order of the piece, and through this semblance, make contact with the ultimate source of life: energy.
Emer O’Brien was born in 1974 in Dublin, Ireland and now lives and works in London. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including, Tower Hamlets Spring Open, Mile End Art Pavilion (2012), The Sculpture Show, Construction Gallery (2012), the DeWalvich Culture Ship (2011-2012), Peeping Tom (2010-2011), Wall of Light, Standpoint Gallery (2010), Turning the Season, The Wapping Project (2009), PRAGUE BIENNALE 2, Narondni Galerie V Praze (2005) and East End Academy, The Whitechapel Gallery, 2004. Solo exhibitions include Run Run Run, CHRISTIAN FERREIRA at The Wapping Project (2010), Immiscibility, The School of Arts Commission for City University London (2009) and Journeys into a Bright World, FERREIRA PROJECTS (2008)
CHRISTIAN FERREIRA at the Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall
T + 44 (0)7792 531 226
E christian @
Wednesday – Saturday 12.00 – 18.00

Michaela Melián, Lunapark, 2012
Michaela Melián
Lunapark, 2012
Thread, paper, digital print
65 x 50 cm
Courtesy of Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich
June 12 - July 14, 2012
In her three-dimensional, multi-disciplinary installations Michaela Melián works with drawing, objects, film, photography, and music. She is one of a new generation of conceptual artists, combining gender themes, visual culture, everyday objects, and music to create an analytical, sophisticated oeuvre from out of a pop culture understanding of the self.
For her new solo show at the Barbara Gross Galerie Melián has developed a three-dimensional work, Lunapark (2012) out of glass, light, and music. Glass objects are arranged on a tabletop and illuminated by a slide projector in a darkened space. Ordinary, everyday vessels such as bottles, light bulbs, water glasses, vases, or CD cases are mixed in with precious, handmade, blown glass or geometric prisms made especially for the installation. Reflecting fragmented rays of light, the various objects on the table always seem to be creating new, constructivist groupings or constellations. A revolving, motor-driven prism installed in front of the objective creates a film-like projection that moves across the walls. In continual, flowing motion, the original contours dissolve into an abstract urban silhouette.
In Lunapark the richly associative aesthetic of the fragile projection oscillating between light and dark also has an acoustic component, achieved by playing a recording of music made by the artist using glass. In both cases - the record player and the slide projector - the artist is deliberately using analogue technology and machines, which, as objects, become part of the installation. The photographs on display were taken in 2012, in the context of the installation. Covered in grids made of colored threads sewn together, the prints take on a three-dimensional, multifaceted character, while their surfaces manifest a fabric-like texture.
The use of glass plays with concepts of utopian glass architecture, of the kind seen in architectural visions of Paul Scheerbart, Bruno Taut, and the “Glass Chain” correspondence of the early twentieth century. Scheerbart promoted the idea that glass should be used to open up architecture, promising that this would lead to a synergistic effect for the development of culture. In Melián’s Lunapark there are also echoes of the utopian notion of mutable social space.
Michaela Melián, born in 1956 in Munich, lives and works in Munich and Hamburg. Solo shows (selected): Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, 2011/2012; Memory Loops, Kunst im öffentlichen Raum, Munich, 2010; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, 2009; LUDLOW 38, New York, 2009; CUBITT Gallery and Studios, London, 2008/2009
Currently, Melián’s art can be seen at the Shedhalle, Zurich; Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Stadtgalerie Schwaz, Kunsthalle Bregenz, and at the Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz.
Theresienstrasse 56 Hof 1
80333 Munich
Tel +49 89 296272

Tomas Saraceno, Air-Port-City / Cloud Cities
Tomas Saraceno
Air-Port-City / Cloud Cities
Installation view
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Air-Port-City / Cloud Cities
2 June - 27 July, 2012
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present an important selection of sculpture and installation by Tomas Saraceno. As part of his ongoing Air-Port-City / Cloud-City project, Saraceno will fill the downstairs gallery space with sprawling architectural proposals, experiments and models that explore the possibility of a future airborne existence – a literal "cloud city." Informed by the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences and engineering, his floating sculptures and environmental installations invite viewers to consider geometries and phenomena of the natural world as adaptable models for the ways we live and interact. The gallery is delighted to exhibit this work alongside the artist's current Cloud City installation on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, his first major commission in the United States.
Building on the progressive proposals and theories put forth by visionary architects before him including R. Buckminster Fuller, Gyula Kosice and Yona Friedman, Saraceno's work has long explored new ways of inhabiting our environment. Throughout the past decade, he has collaborated with experts across various disciplines – astrophysics, engineering, botany, architecture and archeology, to name a few – to advance his vision of an Air-Port-City. Set in a permanent state of transformation, these floating metropolises are made up of habitable, cell-like platforms powered by solar energy. Together they migrate and recombine as freely as clouds themselves, reimagining borders as more elastic and dynamic. Built and sustained by a network of people united by "cloud citizenship," Saraceno suggests a new, collective territory in the air that becomes, in his words, "a three-dimensional era of social engagement."
Set against a floor-to-ceiling digital rendering of his vision in the sky, a series of hanging sculptures hover throughout the entryway and main gallery as tangible models of these floating cities. The 120 individual units comprising these works are based on the complex three-dimensional geometry of the Weaire-Phelan model, an idealized foam structure representing the perfect packaging of spheres with minimal surface and maximum volume. Magnifying these molecular structures to visible proportions, Saraceno combines them into constructions of various shapes and sizes, and demonstrates their ability to endlessly reconfigure. It is the adaptability and mobility of these units that serve as the cornerstone for Saraceno's vision. From small-scale models to life-size interactive environments, each realization of this project is an invitation for viewers to conceptualize – and at times physically experience – new ways of living and interacting with one another and with the environment at large.
Saraceno furthers these notions of interconnectivity through his interactive "biosphere" installations. Inspired by the membrane construction and precise geometry of spider webs, the artist carefully adapts these patterns to create his own webs of networks and spheres at an architectural scale. In the two-part Biospherical work presented in this show, he shapes webbed globes using thin black cords and elastic connectors anchored to various points along the room's ceiling, floor and walls. As viewers navigate these installations, radiating ropes and connection points force them to reconsider their own understanding of the physical space as well as its inherent interconnections; with every touch of a cord, a single reverberation ripples throughout the entire network. Beyond their physical presence, these sculptures also seek to connect disparate realms of existence and knowledge through their various associations, which range from microscopic phenomena of spider web membranes and neuronal synapses within the brain to macroscopic networks of cyberspace and the cosmos.
As part of another biosphere, Saraceno constructs a fourteen-sided exterior using laminated solar panels that absorb energy during the day to power the small interior lamp at night. Like much of his experimental work, this sculpture demonstrates a functional model of sustainability and cohabitation that hinges on systems of interdependency or "synergy" between the natural and social worlds. As this structure works to convert energy into viable sources of light, it offers viewers a glimpse of their their collective capacity to transform the world by collaborating with its design and construction.
The exhibition continues into the rear gallery with two monumental works. Near the back of the space, Saraceno showcases his latest project: a Plexiglas structure powered by an air pump that inflates lattices of glistening foam bubbles. The neighboring 80SW Iridescent / Flying Garden / Air-Port-City both formally and thematically references these simulated bubbles through its eighty transparent pillows that cluster to form a single inflated globe enveloped by black netting. The reflective surfaces of these pneumatic spheres emit different colors depending on the variant lighting conditions of the gallery, which enable them to adapt as fluidly as their natural counterparts. While conceived as two separate works, they are perhaps best understood as one system capable of bridging the microscopic and the macroscopic, as well as the natural environment and our social one.
Born in Argentina, Saraceno currently lives and works in Frankfurt, Germany. Tomas Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City, his current project at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, opened on May 16 and will remain on view through November 4, 2012. Other current and recent solo exhibitions include Tomas Saraceno – Cloud Cities, Maison Hermès, Tokyo, 2012; Cloud-Specific, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum, St. Louis, MO, 2011-2012; Cloud Cities, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2011; Cloud Cities, K21, Standehäus-Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Dusseldorf, 2011; Tomas Saraceno: 14 billion, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; traveling to BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK, 2010-2011.
521 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011
T: +1 212 414 4144

Morgane Tschiember
Rolls & Bubbles
Installation view
Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris
09.06.2012 - 28.07.2012
As is her wont, in this show Morgane Tschiember gets stuck in to painting without canvas or stretcher, instead using a host of renewed materials from the construction industry: wood, glass and steel. I say "gets stuck in" deliberately because, for any artist worth her salt, painting is a matter of confrontation. With the Rolls series initiated recently for her show at the CRAC in Sète, she herself says that she aims to "imperil painting" by dabbling in heresy, by mixing oil paint and water-based paint. Defying the laws of physics, these two non-mixing substances meet on the surface of two rolls in woven stainless-steel that are compressed together to force the mixture, which nevertheless resists. This violence to painting by means of friction, this mechanical crushing, produces something like traces of struggle, the sequel of a dialogue between antagonistic bodies whose communion is impossible, from which only colour emerges triumphant. Confronted with these absurd rotary presses which produce no more than the memory of their contact, protuberances seem to bloom from white lacquered bases, unless, that is, they are trying to escape from between the compressing sides. Sketched out last autumn, the series of Bubbles materialises the artist’s breath in spheres whose languor is only apparent. Made from melting, malleable material, the bubbles are frozen in a state close to formlessness. Not really transparent but not genuinely opaque either, they are subtly coloured with pink or white highlights. Once again, the encounter between two materials, glass and wood, is not without conflict. One burns the other which constrains it and form and counterform are merged. The base is more than a base, but is part of the process whereby the work is formed: the globes are blown against it and insert themselves into it just as much as it rests on it. Once again, Tschiember’s work continues to combine painting and sculpture in the same movement, in which the power of material is troubled by the allure of colour, unless of course it is the other way round.
Aude Launay
Morgane Tschiember was born in 1976. She lives and works in Paris.
At the start of the year she had a solo show, Swing’nd Roll & Bubbles, at the CRAC in Sète, for which she produced the monumental work Swing currently on show at the Ricard Foundation. Recent French shows: Être Là, Zoo Galerie, Nantes, 2007; Iron Maiden, Galerie Loevenbruck, 2007. International shows: Morgane Tschiember, Super Window Project, Kyoto, Japan, 2010; The Shortest Way to Sleepness, AVA Gallery, New York, United States, 2010; Morgane Tschiember, Galerie Lange & Pult, Zürich, Switzerland, 2009.
Group shows: Casser la baraque, Galerie MélanieRio, Nantes, 2011 (curator Patrice Joly); Le Monochrome sous tension, Galerie Tornabuoni, Paris, 2010 (curator Matthieu Poirier); Morgane Tschiember/Christian Robert-Tissot, Konsortium, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2010; Poétique du chantier, Musée-Château d’Annecy, 2009 (curators Jean-Max Colard and Juliette Singer); Sculpteurs de trottoirs - Autour de Raymond Hains, Centre d’Art le Quartier, Quimper, 2009 (curator Marion Daniel); Duel - Olivier Mosset/Morgane Tschiember, Galerie Sollertis, Toulouse, 2008; Biennale de l’Estuaire, Nantes, 2007; Zones Arides, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, Espace Paul Ricard, Paris and MOCA, Tucson, USA, 2006-07 (curators Patrice Joly and Beth Weinstein).
Morgane Tschiember won the Ricard Foundation prize in 2001 and she was awarded by the programme Culturesfrance ISCP/Ateliers Newyorkais in 2009.
In 2012, the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain acquired her work Unspecific Space (2010).
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