SetWidth420-IMG239.jpgThe Net Blow-Up exhibit, by croatian-austrian design collective Numen/For Use, is a highly interactive sculpture evoking nostalgia from the bouncy-castles of our youth.  “Although the history of art has cultishly celebrated the individual genius, the field increasingly has recognized the importance of exhibitions, institutions and communities in shaping the production, reception and historical contextualization of art.” [1] This collaborative effort is humble, playful and simple in a way that is a necessary counterpoint to the pretentiousness that feeds the majority of modern art.  I do not intend to belittle the cutting edge; I just mean that without exhibits like Net Blow-Up the world of art would be a lot less fun.

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Net Blow-Up should be viewed from the outside and inside, because each point of view has unique traits.  From the inside the work is in motion, using ropes as gridlines that stretch the side of the walls and adjust to the awkwardness of people traversing the nets.  I imagine experiencing the inside through a veil of childish naïveté, feeling a bit silly and giggling as others stumble around.  From the outside, the structure is basically an inflatable balloon-like blob that looks like a giant pile of gooey marshmallows.  At night, the multicolored lights cast shadows of the explorers on the walls reminding me of those magic lamps for kids.

Shadows

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Magic Lamp

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Tape Florence

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Numen/For-Use has two different versions of the net exhibit in Berlin and Belgium.  They seem to enjoy taking an idea and recreating it in several locations a bit differently each time.  The Tape installations are another example of a fully immersive style of contemporary art.  This time the team uses many different types of packaging tape to create an elevated spider web of tunnels throughout the chosen space.  These works are equally playful but less child-like.  The insides look like a cross between a wormhole from a sci-fi movie and the spiders cave in a fantasy novel.  Either way the structures created have and unbelievable creation process and outcome.

 

Creation Process

Exterior View

Interior View

 


[1] Edward  A. Shanken, Art and Electronic Media, Page 182.

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