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War & Art

First World War: 1914 – 1918. 16 Million dead

Second World War: 1938 – 1945. 50 to 85 Million dead. 

Death, devastation, and repression were the bread and butter for many years in Europe and abroad. This loss of humanity, hope, and happiness led artist to see a black, broken, and bloody reality. Braque, Bourgeois, Dali, Duchamp, Picasso, …. all created their own parallel universes through art. An explosion on creativity, where they, and millions others, controlled their own view of a world in pieces.

The western societies have not gone through any major threats to humanity in the last 70 years. There have been wars, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, … but we have been careful to keep them far from our reach, where only those brave (or naive) enough go. This prosperity is opening the way for conversations on #metoo, #backlivesmatter, social inequality, … But no conversation about parallel realities, no outbreak of intrinsic creativity, no real need for art; just of pleasure.

If philosophy prospers with peace and fortune, art, on the contrary, fades.

Reflection of visit to Museo Reina Sofia.
Madrid Jan 8th, 2018

Nit de Museus 2014 + Lidia Masllorens

Once again, we have arrived at the magical moment for museums and art institutions when they open their doors for free ’till late at night and invite everyone in. It is magical because museums become crowded space where experts and ignorant come together with no difference.
Unfortunately for those Barça lovers it was a sad night, but a friend a I decided that football wouldn’t ruin our great evening ahead of us. Once the match was over and we managed to exit the stadium (not easy at all…) we headed towards the under construction area of Barcelona, Les Glories.
DHUB, Can Framis and the Music Museum were open for everyone, unfortunately DHUB was hosting a festival and you couldn’t visit it before 9.30pm despite what their schedule said. But this is not a diary of our adventures, it has never been and it will star this way.
There was this one artist who inspired me to write today, a modest and unknown artist whose works of art were pure emotion and not so much fancy or modern compositions. She is LIDIA MASLLORENS. An artist born in Caldes de Malavella, near Barcelona, who combines their art with a teaching position in a local High School of Llagostera, where she lives now. Don’t get me wrong, works of arts by Agustí Puig, Plensa and many more also were appealing and interesting. However, she caught my attention at the very last moment of the exhibit.


Anti-Valentine’s Day Plans

For foreigners: in Barcelona very few people celebrate Saint Valentine’s day. We have another lovers day, Saint Jordi. Where men give rose to beloved women, and women give a book to their special man. But, if you are looking for an excuse to ditch someone trying to take you out, here are some plans you can go to:
1- La Mandanga: “Invisible Architectures in Eksarxia, Athens”

Eksarxia is an anarchist quarter of Athens and where the 2013 protests took place. The exhibit offers 9 different drawing that captured this atmosphere. They will be playing a documentary: “Let’s not live like slaves” by Yannis Youlountas about the politic scene in this city and, at 20:30 they will offering free beers and food for everyone to enjoy the exhibit.
2- Open Design: Products in a Networked Culture
Almost the continuation of the lecture Ethel Baraona gave in Iaac last week about the economic system of the world. A designer and educator, Ronen Kadushin, that researches the Open Structure concept with objects such as furniture, to say one. 
But you don’t have t be in the need of ditching someone to come. However, you MUST choose, since both event are at the exact same time. Friday, 14th February at 7.30 p.m.

Impossible Architectures

It’s funny how life keep surprising me. 3 years ago I ran across some pictures in the photography database, FFFFOUND.COM. I loved them, but I couldn’t find the specific source, so I kind of forgot about it. However, last week, UnCube magazine wrote and article about the artist behind these photographs. And you know what? It turns out he is a frustrated architect!
With an interior architect as father an devotion for built structure he wanted to become an architect, but dropped the idea when told his maths skills weren’t good enough. So he studied history of art focusing in architecture and further continued his studies in photography. Personally, I think he chose the right path.
Studying the fine line that separates plausible from unreal, Filip Dujardin proposes architectural composition that care, only, about form. Using a 3d modeling engine as Sketch Up and digital collage technique by using images of real buildings he has around (he lives in Ghent), he achieves a metaphorical language. Images that take us to ask ourselves wether this could be real or not. Or even just plausible! The magic of today’s ability of photographing the unreal. 
Building used are usually from the 60’s and 70’s Belgium designs, so it has kind of a revolutionary atmosphere, kind of Soviet or Industrial sometimes.

Real works of art.

Seon-Ghi Bahk

There is something metaphysical in this artist’s work. It as real as it is illusive and we love this feeling. 
Made out of CHARCOAL, a Korean traditional material symbolizing PURIFICATION. This material is now also used to purify water, air, odors or electromagnetic waves. So it does purify. However, what interests me most (and I think will interest those worried about space configuration) is the restructured fragil architectural structures that he builds.
Is is strikingly modern as well as fascinatingly traditional. A quality he absorbed from the city of MILÁN, full of tradition contrasted by the most modern city in Italy. It is a work of art you could stare at for hours and new things would be found, just like in a traditional-modern city happens.
However, as sweet as this might sound, he, BAHK, consideres himself poorly and confesses he only chooses the materials he works with, not for it’s transcendent qualities, but because they give him the feeling of a certain level of reality, and that he tries to express the essence of the materials through his works. 
No matter how complex the artist’s theory might be, he HAS created a tension from the fragility of the architecture structure he suspends.

Esther Stocker. Architectural ART

Photograph credit to: Lorenz Seidler
For all of you interested in both art and space creation, I think this one might be a good one. I recently discovered a pretty young artist (always encouraging) born in 1974 in South Tyrol. Her work is now spread in all media imaginable, however what I think is most useful to us in Space Creation is the expansion from canvas into space, transforming real space.
Photograph credit to: Alex Terzich
Some say her work is inspired by the Cosntructivist avant-gardes of the early XX century, other, by the POP culture and it’s grid and abstract post war art. It might be both, it might be none. But the resulting works of art are fascinating. Having the GRID as her base, SEGMENTS as the elements she plays with and Black, Grey & White as her main colors, the creates RYTHM and CAOS through a distorted repetition series.
By entering one of her installation, the artist plays with the visitor creating a feeling of alienation and disorientation using the most rigid and rigorous element there is, a grid. Who doesn’t like the easiness that comes with it? That is exactly what she plays with.
We live in a fixed rule, with gridded cities (NYC o L.A. are clear examples of the modern life grids) and organized corporation that guide are everyday life, the way we think and act. What happens

when we distort the grid, when we only see it partially or when we play with it.

This is what this artist, Esther Stocker, shows us. Let’s stay alert for her next installation. It would be worth visiting, most definitely. 
Photograph credit to: Régine Debatty

Photograph credit to: Régine Debatty