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"theory" Tag


Frederick Kiesler’s contemporary ideas from the 50s


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Unknown to many, Austria-Hungarian Frederick Kiesler, was one of the 20th century most innovative and peculiar artists. After studying printmaking and painting in Vienna in his twenties his career surged when his controversial stage designs got acclaimed by the art world. In 1923 Kiesler was invited to join the dutch association de Stijl which made him the youngest member of the group. Three years later he and his wife emigrated to America where he amongst other things was chosen to design every aspects of Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery in New York. He soon became an artist operating across the ”borders” of the art world, working with painting, architecture and sculpture, usually mixing them in the same project.

During his years of practice he developed his ideas into a philosophy, concerning his conviction that everything is connected and correlate to one and other. Kiesler called it ’correalism’ and defines it as ’the dynamics of continual interaction between people and their natural and technological environment’.  Correlations between objects, color, human experience, environment etc, he believed should be considered, since all these aspects and their relationship is part of a spiritual process which will lend meaning to life.

As I understand the essence of Kiesler theory’s is to see of the whole picture. When you make a sculpture, also consider where it will stand, in what environment. When you make a painting, imagine the whole room it will be hung in. When you design a house, think not only of the actual architectural features it will acquire but also color, furniture and other ornaments. The art should also be stimulated to connect with society, technology and human emotion.

mgb17_friedrich_kiesler_endless_house_new_york_1959_litebox

 

In the contemporary art scene I believe we now see traces of Kieslers ideas of art and design. Maybe not in their original form, but the essence of them; the fact that art should affect something inside of the viewer, in one way or another bring him or her closer to a more meaningful life. As I see it, contemporary installations which indulge the viewer to become a participant instead have a tendency to bring that experience.

An excellent example of such an experience is provided by Tomas Saranceno’s immense wire-installation, In Orbit, at the top floor of the K21 museum in Düsseldorf. The visitors are invited to walk in a floating landscape of wires, above a three stories drop. The direct, intense feeling of vertigo from the potential drop, as well as the resilient surface the flexible wires supply, provides a breathtaking experience from the very first step. The work itself correlate to your every move, by each step you take the ’ground’ shifts under your feet, but also forms a new connection between all the participants. The extreme situation strips you of all previous preconceptions and you are only aware of that very moment, which leads to a unity in the group of participants, since you all share the overwhelming sense of mixed wonder and fright. The sensations stays with you long after you have exited the work and you feel a connection with everyone who have ’felt’ the work.

TS_11K21_51706-1920x1280

 

Another contemporary work which I also feel strongly relates to the theories Kiesler came up with is Mika Rottengberg’s combined installation and video-work for Münster Skulpturprojekte 2017. On a quite busy street in Münster lies an abandoned shop with a old yellow sign and at first you wonder if you even are in the right place since there is nothing else inviting you in. When you enter you realize the inside mirrors the exterior, the shop is deserted; on the shelfs there are some left over articles, a fan i slowly moving in a corner and in a second room a couple of giant inflatable pineapple-rings. While you walk around in the shop a sensation of confusion and discomfort slowly creeps upon you, wondering where have you ended up. Then you find the video. In the furthest room a small cinema with about eight chairs is located and the work is screening on a wall. You get launched into a surreal universe with men in suits crawling through a system of pipes, a woman smashing lightbulbs, shops filled to the brim with plants/lights/balloons, a woman managing a soups trolley as well as another woman working in a restaurant. After the 20 minutes long movie you realize your emotion have changed drastically and you now are in a comfortable space, physical but especially mentally. The weirdness of the film leaves you with an urge to discuss what you have seen with other spectators which in turn creates a similar community amongst the group of participants as Saranceno’s installation.

Rottenberg_Rogge-2155

 

There are numerous more examples of related works which all share the same core idea of bringing something else to the viewer than just a sight (which of course could be nice/radical/emotional etc.).

What the artist provide is a kind of parallel reality in which all aspects of the work have the same significance; the environmental setting, the colors chosen, the techniques and materials used. Which is the same ideas Kiesler wrote down about seventy years ago. I think it proves the statement that good ideas are timeless and always can be brought into new light in new times and new ways of looking at them. Artist today might not think about Kieslers correalism when they work but in some way they end up in the field anyway.

 

WHERE DID YOU HIDE THE GUN?


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

text by Celina Yavelow

 

Guilty_Screen Shot

She changes this thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and she changes this other thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and then she tells all this the way it happens to some others and they think it is funny, but the other hears it and does not think it is funny, but can’t change it back.

The Other, by Lydia Davis

 

Loaded Language

 

The fact that language can change a state being is pretty much wow to me. Say the word and there’s a chance something will change: your insides start hurting (“Cunt”), you’re suddenly single again (“I’m breaking up with you”), or forced into a guilty state (“You’re under arrest”). The load in this kind of language is taken literally here, considering the body not only as the agent for speech, but also as physically subject to the force and effect of loaded language — realizing you can actually do things with words, and realizing also, that its authority can be both threatening and empowering.

Complex_Screen Shot

This thesis is titled Where did you hide the gun? because it’s a famous example of a question deliberately loaded by its formulation. It does not ask if there is a gun, but ensues there is, and where did you hide it? According to the question you’re already guilty of the shot — regardless (“POW POW!”). I’ve connected this mechanism to a term in language philosophy and theater studies called performative speech utterance, which is quite a tough shoe to chew, so my theoretical framing is constantly interrupted by metaphoric associations and a fictional narrative, offering a melodramatic illustration of the concepts employed.

And_Screen Shot

Meanwhile, I became completely hooked to the thought that language can be so directive, that we are so easily affected, seduced or tricked by it. I continued my research in a sound piece called Hi, Mary, which was set out to be a subjective audio tour of a small part of the GRA graduation show of 2015, but was mostly exploring this reflex in our body to surrender to a voice and its language. Listen to it here!
Sound file: Hi-Mary

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

650-Celina_Yavelow_LS_05_low_res audiotour at Rietveld graduation show

 

the thesis
The subject –loaded language– is in itself interesting. But what makes the thesis original and engaging is the way in which she approaches the subject - a mix of various types of material (film, language philosophy, literature, current events, memories) and registers (short story, academic prose, interview, collaged/found text), all capably, impressively intertwined. Yavelow presents the reader with both basic and not-so-basic linguistic concepts, each of which she proceeds to explore through various perspectives.
The writing process is thus integral to the subject matter. The bluntness of certain images (for example guns) and juxtapositions (for example romance with guilt) is largely offset by the assured writing style. A range of literary devices are used to good effect: repetition, sentence fragments, double meanings, omission of conjunctions. An enjoyable, kaleidoscopic read.
[text by Louis Luthï]

Screen shot 2016-05-15 at 3.23.50 PM download this thesis by Celina Yavelow

 

Kandinsky’s Color Theory


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Since I have chosen books in which the yellow color has been part of the content in different contexts, I took a book by Wassily Kandinsky for the last posting. The book describes a Color Theory according to Wassily Kandinsky, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”. Here is his theory of the color yellow and the color that he thinks is the most opposite of yellow (blue).

Yellow means “warm,” “cheeky and exciting,” “disturbing for people,” “typical earthly color,” “compared with the mood of a person it could have the effect of representing madness in color [...] an attack of rage, blind madness, maniacal rage.

Blue means “deep, inner, supernatural, peaceful “Sinking towards black, it has the overtone of a mourning that is not human.” “typical heavenly color”

Number: Kan 5

De Daily Whatever


Thursday, October 29, 2009

De Daily Whatever was founded in 2006, as a free and independent newspaper. The newspaper was being produced ‘on the spot’ during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. The main motivation for starting up the newspaper was to inform the public on design topics and to stimulate the local design climate by bringing exciting theory and hereby provoking debate which in return can stimulate innovation.

De Daily Whatever 2009 was edited and printed from room 9 at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. This years editors: Eric de Haas, Hugo Naber and Lucas van Hapert, www.dedailywhatever.nl

online editors: Hexaplex.


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