Friday, September 11, 2009

Radical Nature

Radical Nature: Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969 - 2009.
The Barbican Art Gallery brings together some of the key artists and architects from four decades in this exhibition to look at how they have responded to the increasingly poor state of the planet. Flying Gardens by Tomas Saraceno is a suspended structure of cells that plays host to Tillandsia plants which derive all of their sustenance from the air. For me it has really lace-like qualities that I would love to emulate.
R&Sie(n) are a group of architects who have presented a vision of a termite-shaped building - Symbiosishood - which has been computer modelled and is shown as visualisations and an SLS model. It is designed to be covered by an invasive plant that will colonise its surface and make it blend almost seamlessly into the landscape.

Mark Dion's
Wilderness Unit - Wolf', 2006 is part of his series of units which criticise the contemporary practice of turning nature into a commodity. Based on an updated version of the traditional travelling circus it also references museum displays.
Anya Gallaccio explores natural cycles in organic materials focusing on the irreversible processes of death and decay. Having sourced a Birch tree that was due to be felled Gallaccio had it cut into metre lengths, transported to the Gallery and reassembled with steel bolts and tension wires. Casting elusive shadows onto the gallery wall the slowly withering leaves are a reminder of the impermanence of life.

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