Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More from the Biennial of the Americas

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 2:16 PM

The main visual art attraction at the Biennial of the Americas, The Nature of Things, is set to open tomorrow.

This beautiful collection of highly original art I already briefly gushed about in a previous blog post, but here's a look at some more works, as well as some incidental views of the exhibition household, the renovated McNichols Building, a marvel in itself.

First up, Karlo Andrei Ibarra's "Continental," a solar-powered neon sign that reads, "I live in America," in Spanish. Simple and yet majestic, this is the first work you see when entering the building. The purple-hued neon flickers with the capriciousness of the weather, an effect exhibition curator Paola Santoscoy says hints at the sign dying and hence, a weakening paradigm.

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  • Matthew Schniper

If you've ever heard of "Prada Marfa" — the sweetheart installation in the perversely hip art spot, Marfa, Texas — then you already know a little about Rael San Fratello Architects. The Oakland, California firm contributed a table of doo-dads that demonstrate 3-D printing technology and their mission for sustainable design. Several models comprise "Earthscrapers or Unnatural Building" that could make a Frank Gehry structure look, well, boxy. Here's one:

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  • Matthew Schniper

Remember, this model was made by a printer.

On the second floor, visitors will find a particularly beautiful installation by Boulder artist Joseph Schaeffer, "The Epoch of Encroachment," comprised of several bell jars mounted on spindly stands and clear plastic tubes that connect to a central terrarium-meets-chandelier hub.

Seemingly benign and just plain pretty, "Epoch" represents nature taking the power back from man, and arming itself in a defense that reclaims the Earth, Santoscoy says.

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  • Matthew Schniper

Here are some details:

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  • Matthew Schniper

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  • Matthew Schniper

Many artists expressed a concern with environmental conservation, including Miler Lagos, whose aptly named "Newspaper Roll" speaks to the use of natural resources to create newspapers and the ephemerality of the medium.

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  • Matthew Schniper

Lagos wrapped newspapers from Philadelphia around a sturdy dowel for 10 days to create the massive log.

For much more on the Biennial and this exhibition, visit biennialoftheamericas.org. See other works by the artists in this show at biennialoftheamericas.org/pages/mcnichols-at-civic-center-park.

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