STUDIOS CHEVALVERT, 2ROQS, POLYGRAPHIK AND SPLANK
‘Up-Sticks’ is an informal turn of phrase dating back to at least the 19th Century to express leaving your home in haste. It is thought to originate from the rough cut, unseasoned timber frame architecture of the Scottish croft designed for temporary occupation. These sticks from which the croft was partly fabricated were of great value and were taken and reused when the household moved on. Up-Sticks is an expressive timber structure that twists and curves using only spruce wood planks and beech wood dowels. No glue or nails were used to hold the planks in space; it is the hygroscopic behaviour of the dowels, which shrink and swell according to their moisture content, and their computationally defined position that lock all planks into position. Up-Sticks was assembled from large elements all prefabricated in the Robotic Fabrication Laboratory at ETH Zurich, the largest of its kind in the world.
Scored for soloists, mixed chorus, children’s chorus and chamber ensemble, Iannis Xenakis’ music for Oresteia has been cited as “ruggedly dissonant” since its 1987 première in Sicily. A wooden-planked stage is empty save three platforms, one each for the chamber players and percussion, another for a drummer on a separate perch. On a high screen to start, a loop video shows an almost-naked woman stretched out face down in a bathtub who is being hosed down uninterruptedly with water. No forewarning, and the clip changes to a thick forest, a small girl being physically abused by an adult man. While the same video images reappear at the end of the opera, but it’s nebulous soft-edged shapes –mood landscapes as it were – that are the usual backdrop for the 90-minute piece.
Please Be Seated
Please Be Seated is a giant outdoor seating installation made of three concentric rings of wave-like forms made from scaffolding planks. Created by British designer Paul Cocksedge, the communal bench has been built in Broadgate for the London Design Festival. Built in Finsbury Avenue Square alongside Make’s Number One Broadgate office block in the City of London, Please Be Seated is made of three rings of benches that rise and fall in a wave-like pattern.
[…] Middlebrook’s work consistently references art-historical traditions, styles, and movements. For instance, his sculptures crafted from hardwood planks, which he began in 2008 after relocating from New York City to Hudson, New York, feature painted abstractions. They are collisions of nature, art-making, and history that exemplify the artist’s approach.
Star, Infinite, Dimension, and Electron
“The geometric forms McCracken employed were typically built from straight lines: cubes, rectangular slabs and rods, stepped or quadrilateral pyramids, post-and-lintel structures and, most memorably, tall planks that lean against the wall. Usually, the form is painted in sprayed lacquer, which does not reveal the artist’s hand. An industrial look is belied by sensuous color.His palette included bubble-gum pink, lemon yellow, deep sapphire and ebony, usually applied as a monochrome. Sometimes an application of multiple colors marbleizes or runs down the sculpture’s surface, like a molten lava flow. He also made objects of softly stained wood or, in recent years, highly polished bronze and reflective stainless steel.Embracing formal impurity at a time when purity was highly prized, the works embody perceptual and philosophical conundrums. The colored planks stand on the floor like sculptures; rely on the wall for support like paintings; and, bridging both floor and wall, define architectural space. Their shape is resolutely linear, but the point at which the line assumes the dimensional properties of a shape is indefinable.” Christopher Knight