Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jonathan Borofsky Molecule Man, Spree River, Berlin. by craniv boyd.

Jonathan Borofsky Molecule Man, Spree River, Berlin. by craniv boyd.

A triumvirate of veritable metal colossi, tackle one another on the Spree river in Berlin. Each of the three men of aluminum remain standing locked in a face on triangular collision where feet meet and hands or arms meld together. 

Perforated shining people together atop the river surface, stand as it were, impossible running on the water. Each of the men is a cookie cutter form at thirty meters in height, the three men in their artful fender-bender have silhouetted mouths agape as if to scream <Oh no we do not want to be re-united together! >

A sculpture in an open air-river-space. The same shape in triplicate fused, the section could be said to look like a "Y" form. Two of the masculine forms have their legs facing out south bound. the third male, meets them from the north, only to bump into one another with their many holes.

Truly tall Swiss cheese dudes who run on water in Prussia. 

Mammoth Siamese triplet, conjoined at the torso lands in Berlin, and runs around, hollering their heads off, attempting with several false starts, the tall task of finding their way home.

Men women and children can, and do feel free to navigate their small canoes and rowboats underneath the three pairs of severally pierced legs.

The buffed and polished and treated surface of the aluminum men taller than many, structures for living cheaply, in the Hauptstadt, catch the light of bright sunny days and reflect it, brighten up days with the clear-skies over Berlin.

Of the three, one: neither of these belligerents, in this ├Žstetical conflict is sufficiently self complete to be neither a whole male silhouette, nor freestanding man-sculpture by oneself. These guys do not have arms. Only, legs, to propel their hurtling torsos, more forward bound, and thus deeper into the morass, in which they appear to grapple, screaming. The nexus of their collective collision course is the fulcrum which supports them, to each metal man of divergent trajectories, a common frozen terminus, and that fused endpoint, provides them, a source of stability. 

The angle of each of the figure's legs indicates moderate linear velocity. A sculpture, that  illustrates an improbable motion. Doubtlessly, the action, this art work depicts, would be a painful crash were it to occur between men of flesh and blood on a playing field. Oddly enough, though, that these, at times, see through aluminum guys, would hold a poised static grace.

A big heap of tin foil formed artfully towers over tourists who sojourn further past the bathing ship, or the arena. 

These three pale metal guys, are examples of: thought provocative, past-modernist, simplistic, bare bones, figurative artwork, that provides people an image of the human form, performing one basic task it tends to do best, walking. by craniv boyd.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Olaf Metzel, 13.4.1981 Spreespeichern Berlin-Friedrichshain. by craniv boyd.

Olaf Metzel, 13.4.1981 Spreespeichern Berlin-Friedrichshain. by craniv boyd.

Heaps of over-large red white and grey barricades tower over individuals visiting the Universal Records Office building in Berlin. Barricades are only recognizable: when the watcher, of this approximately eight meters tall sculpture in metal and stone, by German artist  Olaf Metzel, knows what 1980's vintage Berlin police crowd control systems&solutions look like. 

The artwork is a jumbling stack of crowd hindrance objects that are, at my guess twice their original size. The stack is made of modular parts, with the chaotic shopping cart with a stone in it thrown in at the top for good, counter-culture measure.  Surrounding the work that rests on the scenic banks of the spree river between two tall office buildings, are numerous rocks and chunks of formed concrete, smooth rubble left overs and remnants to sit and take your lunch out of doors or have your cigarettes with your coffee, weather permitting. The work is visible from the southern riverbank. Looking north from, what is still Kreuzberg, you can now peer over to what was, at one time in recent history, East Berlin, in the German Democratic Republic and see an impressive art work that it a deceptive and coy fooling of the eyes. The work when contemplated is both haphazard and organized in one fell swoop, because it model after photograph of protest.

Olaf Metzel created a statue, that bears the title 13.4.1981. The title of the artwork is a date. A day in a year that, to many, may still seem recent history. A unfamiliar date, with day preceding the month followed by the year, is cryptic, banal, insignificant and arbitrary. What national holiday falls on that day? Which kind of historically momentous occasion warrants the paean from Metzel in the form of mimetic overblown sculpture true to the forms, of both shopping cart, and crowd hindrance apparatus? The artwork that was originally made for a commemorative exhibition celebrating 750 years of Berlin city life, could perhaps be viewed as a celebration of all things Berlin, tumult and all. 

The art work is a permanent recreation of a oppositional protest that took place, some  30 years hence. It joins the ranks of the numerous, Denkmahl or Mahnmal, that populate the urban fabric of current Berlin today. Artworks given the at times pedantic task, to never let people forget, remind them of... in this case a protest in Kreuzberg a municipal district that was at one time, a hot bed for both migrant workers from Turkey and house occupants who took empty apartment complexes that people bought in long term speculation.

To adopt a cynical point of view, I argue that, 13.4.1981, is established art pretending like it is still hasty rebellion.  Placed abutting the office building of a record label who's bread and butter is youth culture, Metzel's art now possesses a look of: firmly rooted acceptable youth movement. 

Rebellion and youth movements in Berlin turn into, the sustenance and much needed inspirational nourishment of many belonging to a "creative" cast. The advertising agency, or the marketing firm, and all those in their employ haunting for the constant and fickle thousand-faced muse of ├╝bercool. That cast which subsume forces of creation at the grass roots level, to turn profit, and fill coffers of record executives and of course the respective trunks of an ever increasing bevy of vaguely talented recording arts talent.

Look a like  protest structure art work,  despite being large and ominous artwork, remains nevertheless fun to climb. Adult children enjoy the creature comforts, having reached the top to the art work by leaving their empty bottles of Beck's Bremen beer on the high up net-like components of the individuated barricade units. Not to worries the, unstable in appearance only, adult adventure playground situation facilitated by the climbable sculpture by Olaf Metzel, is both climb at your own risk and firmly fixed to the ground. by craniv boyd.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sol LeWitt Structure 1994, Familiengericht Tempelhof-Kreuzberg, Hallesches Ufer 62, Berlin. DE, by craniv boyd.

Sol LeWitt Structure 1994, Familiengericht Tempelhof-Kreuzberg, Hallesches Ufer 62, Berlin. DE, by craniv boyd.

A jungle gym of sorts is placed, stationary on a grassy lawn outside a family courthouse, in Berlin Kreuzberg. It is a white, sculpted cube. All of its five visible sides are white square formed Bar stock, that make a grid. the jungle gym out side the office, is too sober looking to be approachable as a play structure. Regular intervals, and several white squares within a larger white square, provides the contemplative organized rational mood of art. twentieth century American minimalist cannon art to be particular. A name shield bears Sol LeWitt and title of Structure, (1994) tells most who can read, that this white cube, made of metal, in the grass is art. 

Minimal sculpture is simple to observe, slow, perhaps to understand or appreciate. If you are driving at a fast clip past family court, and looking toward the passenger side, at  Structure, by Sol LeWitt as many do in their daily, ways to where-ever in Berlin, then the Kinetic aspects of this stationary work move fast before your eyes. On a Bicycle, staring at Structure while moving would give the perceiver, a slower reception of the kinetic effects of this ground-bound minimal work. Running or walking, by contrast, again with eyes fixed on Sol LeWitt's work, the changes of the appearance of the work are less rapid, the shifting of the white bars, with their fire repellent paint, which do not move, due to the change in the vantage points held by observer, show that: the sculpture all though bland, innocuous or basic in appearance, is radically different looking, provided where you look from.

Crystal Lattice structure,is how iron atoms or other pure metals, would look on the molecular level. The organization of the squares, inside the white cube of Sol LeWitt's sculpture, Structure,  an artwork made of aluminum, is reflective of a Crystal Lattice structure. Despite hard edges, and geometric form, of this late twentieth century art work, its regular standard dimensions of five meters by five meters by five meters, that to most cultured art spectators, is a far cry from naturalism or realism in visual arts, Structure, mimics the form of the materials of which it is comprised. Begging a question is Sol LeWitt just another author of minimal art, that relies on mathematics, or is his math reliant art a new crop of Metal realist

Boring looking. White minimal sculpture out side of a family court, the placement, coupling of ordered artwork near a municipal court house, sends a signal. Stable vibrations in Structure, (1994), and monochrome flame retardant paint, give the impression of yes, you do possess the ability to climb this metal art work like a jungle gym, or an adventure play structure, but letting it be would be far more appropriate, because it is beside the family courthouse steps. Odd that minimalism, geometric art, would dovetail quaintly with municipal buildings of the law. The five meters large white metal lattice is an artwork, bearing a statement of, well-tempered transparent, freestanding  empty volume. by craniv boyd.