Art at a Snail’s Pace
You’ve finally made it, after a breathless climb up the winding marble staircase, to the upper terrace of the Duomo di Milano — the famed Cathedral of Milan, Italy, and the fourth largest in the world. You flip through your guide book. A towering forest of ornate spires, the same ones that enchanted the literary likes of Mark Twain and Henry James? Check. The hundred gruesome gargoyles, staring down from their marble perches? Check. There is the precious white marble, quarried from Candoglia, and a view of the Italian Swiss Alps in the distance (amid the smog). And yet, if you happened to be one of thousands of tourists who visited the Duomo two months ago, there was also something out of place — a bit of modernity sticking out among the 14th-century Gothic masterpiece.
There, slinking across the cathedral’s steps and roof, were dozens of bright blue plastic snails.
Do Ho Suh, Floor, 1997-2000
From the Indianapolis Museum of Art:
Floor is a sculptural installation commissioned for the IMA contemporary collection. The piece is scaled to fit in this gallery in a grid of 32 individual squares. Upon entering the gallery, viewers are invited to step up onto an expansive platform covered with thick glass plates.
Beneath the glass platform, small specks of color are visible. On closer examination, these are revealed to be the small palms of figures assembled below the floor. Hundreds of multicolored men and women crowd together with heads upturned and arms aloft. The collective strength of this Lilliputian group supports the weight of individual visitors who step up onto the floor grid.
Floor demonstrates many characteristic elements of Do-Ho Suh’s broader body of work. The artist uses installations to integrate his artwork with the architecture of a gallery or public space. He has engaged the tensions between collective action and individual identity in other pieces, using his miniature figures to support a heavy stone pedestal or to form a tremendous screen with their interlocking bodies. With residences in Seoul, Korea and New York City, the artist also has considered ideas of “home” or displacement in his works, including reconstructing 1:1 scale models of his apartment out of nylon in gallery spaces. Do-Ho Suh uses Floor’s subtle occupation of this gallery, and scale displacement, to present a cross-cultural exploration of personal and communal space.
is a series of images that displays a man looking at his shadow. The only thing is that the man has been removed from the pictures and all that is left is a pair of sneakers and a reflective dark shape. Hervas was inspired to create this series because he said: I don’t recognize myself any more. These photos express this feeling.
O. Winston Link, Silent Night at Seven Mile Ford, Virginia, 1957
Winner: Cave of wonders by Heinrich Badenhorst Description: A Scanning Electron Microscope allows us to see this graphite crystal at a magnification of over 30000 times. It looks like a cave of stalactites and stalagmites, but these structures can be a thousand times thinner than a strand of human hair. When the graphite crystal is burned in oxygen, the impurities in the crystal prevent oxidation and create these wondrous structures.