Tuesday, March 31, 2015

camminando | Saturday Artist Talks, March 28

Saturday talks in Chelsea art galleries are becoming a welcomed tradition; gallery art talks are almost an educational event offering a chance to view artwork and listening to artists intentions away from the huge crowds gathering at the vernissages, where often social networking prevails on the art viewing purpose.
This was certainly the case at Tanya Bonakdar gallery, hosting Tomás Saraceno discussion with Leila W. Kinney and Molly Nesbit. Saraceno's work is also on display in the two floors of the gallery which are organized in a clear distinction between the natural world —in display at the ground level— and the man-made webs on view at the second level. I remember Saraceno's manmade webs from La Biennale di Venezia (2009): the site specific installation in Palazzo delle Esposizioni was occupying the whole room, influencing the viewer perceptual and walking paths. 
During the artist I learned about social spider farms in Ecuador and how certain thermodynamics conditions can turn spiderweb into a "magic carpet"; spiders can create webs measuring over 700 kilometers. The transfer between life forms and computational methods was also addressed.. But I was disappointed that there was almost no mention about the relationship between the form of the web and the underlying physical/environmental conditions.

Spider and spiderwebs: Tomas Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar
The other talk was a conversation between  Adam Magyar and Andrew Zolli at Julie Saul Gallery. The Hungarian photographer was showing photos and videos from subways in major metropolitan areas around the world: Shanghai, Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing, Mumbai, New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Rome. The slo-mo videos capturing the almost imperceptible boundary between stillness an movement were captivating. Quite interestingly the issue of privacy was not addressed during the conversation: what would be the reaction of the several thousand people whose faces were clearly recognizable in the photos if they knew of their image public display?
Adam Magyar at Julie Saul Gallery