Makoto Azuma and Shunsuke Shiinoki Encyclopedia of Flowers (Lars Muller Publishers, Zurich: 2012) ISBN 978-3-03778=313-9 This extraordinary volume will certainly appeal to connoisseurs of flowers, but should be of equal interest to anyone susceptible to the seductions of color and form. Azuma is considered an haute-couture florist (whatever that may be), but the wonderous photographs, by Shiinoki, show no actual arrangements as they might exist in life. All are details in which groupings of flowers are freed from gravity and the need to be grounded in a vase or on a kenzan (flower frog). Some photographs are taken from surprising ... More » »
It’s hard to be a bad boy in the art world these days, but Mike Ballard is trying. His installation “Whose Coat Is That Jacket You’re Wearing?” fulfills a contemporary art world wet dream: A crowded display of illegally-gained goods (Armani, Diesel and other expensive brand name leather jackets, parkas, sport coats) and their contents (cash, drugs, cellphones, jewelry), all tagged, cataloged and reeking of human body odor just waiting to be returned to their rightful owners in a month-long act of contrition. What’s not to like?
London, Kensington Gardens, August, Sunday, blue skies, warmish. Just off the entrance to The Serpentine Gallery stands a temporary pavilion in hospital white. I approach the small building just as one of the last English heartbeats is recorded for posterity; that is, copied to a fat hard drive to be added to yet another fat hard drive then shipped to the uninhabited Japanese island of Teshima and digitally secured at the Benesse Art Site Naoshima…until Doomsday. This is the premise of the expanding and ongoing work of Christian Boltanski, Les Archives du Coeur, registering a rambling sample of the world’s ... More » »
Christian Boltanski’s installation at the Grand Palais in Paris entitled “Personnes” is a monumental culmination of the artist’s lifetime of work. Situated with perfect harmony in the giant, airy, steel and glass structure in the heart of Paris, Boltanski’s show offers a lean view of “homo-industrialis” and his output in the face of history.