Elena Cue

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Rudolf Stingel at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice.

 

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One of this year’s Venice Biennale’s most remarkable exhibitions was undoubtedly Italian artist Rudolf Stingel, held in the Palazzo Grassi.

His first exhibition in the United States, which I still remember vividly, took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2007. The artist had covered the walls of a room with Styrofoam coated in aluminium, and visitors were invited to physically interact with the installation by scratching parts of the aluminium coating off the wall, thereby leaving their marks on the piece with writings, drawings or scribbles. I’ve tried and failed to remember what mark I left on the wall: probably nothing of note.



 

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Stingel’s work is characterized by an interest in having the viewer actively participate in the creative process. On this occasion, Stingel’s large exhibition takes place in the 18th century Palazzo Grassi, where the artist has created a fascinating installation in which the palace’s floors and walls have been entirely covered by an enormous carpet (a reference to Freud). Also on display are his monochromatic paintings and paintings of Gothic and Baroque saints, which when juxtaposed with the reference to psychoanalysis helps to create a bizarre and unexpected viewing experience. The paintings and their connotations, with their idea of looking back at a past moment in time, may be implying an analogy with Freudian therapy. I was particularly struck by a side-view image of Christ’s crucifixion: the angle chosen by the artist to represent this iconic image is uncommon and one that I had not seen before. I found it a very disturbing piece.




 

 

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Combining the full-space carpet installation with the paintings on the walls leads to a feeling of unease. It’s disorienting to be looking at the paintings on a carpet background which should really belong to the floor one is standing on, and one’s perception of the painting is certainly affected. Viewers tend to feel somewhat confused.


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Stingel is interested in the viewer’s perception of art, something clearly seen in this exhibition. Conceptual art, installations and hyperrealism are the tools he uses in his mission to explore the creative process. A provocative, compelling artist whose prolific and heterogeneous output is well worth taking the time to study in depth.

 

 

 

 

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Jeff Koons. Gazing Balls.

 

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That’s one way of describing Jeff Koons’ latest work, currently on show at the brilliant David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea, New York City.


As I walked into the white-walled gallery, I was overwhelmed by the unexpected sight: numerous life-sized Greco-Roman sculptures surrounded me in a lively, curious dance. Hercules, Aphrodite, Narcissus, Dionysius… they were all there, torn from their world of antiquity and relocated to modernity, where the concept of time simply fades away. All the sculptures are made out of pure white plaster, and each of them is holding a perfect sphere made of electric blue glass, giving each sculpture an incredible sense of balance. The stark chromatic contrast between the blue and the white, as well as the impact from the sheer size of the figures, lends the works a very contemporary look and feel.



 

 

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The idea of the glass balls, which are painted from the inside, comes from the artist’s childhood in York, Pennsylvania, where middle-class families would place them in their gardens. They would gradually become status symbols: the balls’ glassy, mirror-like surface entrancing their owners with their all-seeing power.

 

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Jeff Koons, figurative sculptor and artist, has created a collage of pop culture and art history. Here is the artist speaking of Gazing Balls:


“I had the idea for Gazing Balls for decades. I wanted to show the affirmation, the generosity, the sense of place and the pleasure of the senses that the Gazing Balls represent. The Gazing Balls series is based on the idea of transcendence. Our realization of our own mortality is an abstract thought - from there, we can reach an understanding of the outside world, our family, our community, we can engage in an open dialogue with humanity at large beyond the present moment. The Gazing Balls series is about the philosopher’s vision; starting from the senses, and directing our gaze out towards the eternal through pure form and ideas.”

 



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The New York Times calls Koons the most important American artist since Warhol. I believe he is a significant artist of our time: he seems to possess an extraordinary ability to capture and express the values and desires of the modern age. The visions of our contemporary artists allow us to see our own societies and their woes reflected back at us; societies infected by complacency, consumerism, immediacy, new technology, utilitarianism. By understanding them, or at least acknowledging them, we are empowered to create a different future for ourselves.



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Man's Search for Meaning.

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The big question : What is the meaning of life for humans ?

According to Viktor Frankl , author of the book "Man 's Search for Meaning " , the answer would be that there is no meaning of life , but many , as many as people inhabit the Earth. No need to look for an abstract meaning of life , but the meaning that you give to life in every stage of your personal development ; These will be determined by a mission, a mission to carry out at all times.

The author tries to help answer these and other existential questions through their knowledge and experience in Nazi concentration camps . The reader causes a continuous and deep reflection .

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was Jewish Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist , founder of logotherapy , which is a meaning -centered psychotherapy . Unlike psychoanalysis is more introspective and retrospective , logotherapy least look at our past and to our future , values ​​and the meaning of life trying to discover ourselves.

Viktor Frankl, "being a man means directed toward something or someone other than oneself , performing either a value , achieve a sense or find another human being "

Another interesting facet pragmatics of speech therapy is a technique that develops, and it calls "paradoxical intention." Through this technique , the author helps patients fight their fears as they may cause in some cases, what we fear . It also seeks to control the hyperintention , which is precisely the opposite, excessive desire for something which impacts its performance . The " paradoxical intention " would be to induce the patient to do what you fear as a method of healing.

All these skills are implicit his ordeal in four Nazi concentration camps , Viktor Frankl shares experience with us in the first part of the book, where we make an analysis.First , how to be psychologically affected human being subjected to such extreme situations and were dramatic as those experienced by him.

This is a very exciting time we live with great existential emptiness and nihilism that attacks part of the society of our time. Especially the loss of values, traditions and religious dogmas skepticism toward everything and preset .

I hope that reading "Man 's Search for Meaning " will be as useful as it has been for me. Contributing to introspect about your own life experience , your skills , your hopes, your desires, your limitations ... and projecting a positive and pragmatic , directed to a process of personal development future. And with the same procedure as regards our fears and insecurities , after a estiológico process and acceptance, one can better cope with them, minimizing them , controlling and transforming them into individual growth .

 

Art-Exhibitions

  • Peter Doig: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • Marlene Dumas: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • Cindy Sherman: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • Anselm Kiefer: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • John Currin: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • Ai Weiwei: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • Miguel Barceló: Biography, Works & Exhibitions