Holy motorbikes, Batman! They’re on Futurism’s tail!
Since Robert M. Pirsig’s 1974 bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the act of repairing (or also not repairing) a motorcycle can have pop-philosophical connotations. So whether you choose to view artist Tomas Dzadon’s 5-year project of restoring a 1940s NSU German motorcycle as a Pirsig-esque meditation on the “classical,” or just to say that the artist took inspiration from motorcycles, the time spent on the machine did lead to the contemplation of the mechanisms of the modernist era and contemporary art, as well as to the perhaps obvious, but nonetheless elegant, similarities in form to Otakar Švec’s iconic Futurist sculpture Sunbeam Motorcycle that can be seen in the National Gallery in Prague.
Alongside collaborator Valentino Diego, Dzadon has presented an interesting and fresh contribution to the critical dialogue surrounding the medium of sculpture, its historical direction and development, and its role in contemporary art. By placing an object sculpture, the restored motorcycle, next to a replica of Švec’s bronze, and all of this placed on top of a site-specific sculpture that creates a framework and impending physical challenge for our frozen racers with its steep incline, we are invited to consider the future of sculpture in terms of Newton’s first law of motion: “An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.” Have these two young artists provided enough of an unbalancing force to change the outcome of the race?
July 30 – September 26, 2010 at hunt kastner artworks, Kamenická 22, 170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic. Tues. – Fri. from 1-6 pm and Sat. 2-6pm, or by appointment.
Planning to visit the exhibition, or indeed Prague itself, the ICON Hotel & Lounge is just a short motorbike blast away from the gallery.
Contributing writer: Melissa Frost
This week White Line Hotels welcomed the Schlossberghotel in Graz to its family of individualistic hotels. Boasting a collection of over 400 original artworks in every room of the hotel as well as public areas, Schlossberghotel is “the art hotel.” Should your visit to Graz be in the autumn, take a short stroll over to the Grazer Kunstverein to see artist Matts Leiderstam’s Grand Tour.
Starting some 300 years ago, young Englishmen of means made their “Grand Tour” through the European Continent. With nearly unlimited time and funds, they travelled a fairly standardized itinerary to learn about the roots of western culture, perfect their language skills, hobnob with the elite, and commission paintings. While making obvious connections to the era of the “Grand Tour,” Leiderstam invites his viewers on a different sort of tour, one in which the standardizations of content and display of artworks are sometimes quite literally put under the magnifying glass. Leiderstam thrives on producing a constant productive confusion in the canonical order of art. Using methods borrowed from the art historian’s, he draws his viewer to the repressed power, political and sexual subtexts of art. After taking Leiderstam’s Grand Tour, will you look at art the same way?
September 25 – November 11, 2010 at Grazer Kunstverein, Palais Trauttmansdorff, Burggasse 4, 8010 Graz, Austria. Monday until friday 10.30am until 6pm. Saturday 10.30am until 4.30pm.
Contributing writer: Melissa Frost
Even if you’re not a huge fan of classical music, sometimes the environment has the ability to carry you away. Alta Badia has that charm and the Merano music festival is a chance to experience classical music in an enchanting setting.
Established in 1986, the Merano music festival began as a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the spa town. The public quickly embraced the festival and the halls had to close their doors to the public crowding outside for a listen. In 1994 it made history again, when the London Symphony Orchestra’s concert in Verona was cancelled and president Hermann Schnitzer and the Art Director Andreas Cappello quickly made the decision to host the orchestra at the festival. Attendance records were again broken as the world-class orchestra performed in the town of roughly 36,000. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re in need of a small dose of culture in your life, then head off to the UNESCO hub of Graz – an insiders place that although steeped in the full grandeur of “Old Europe” , has a youthful kick fuelled by the numerous universities.
Our latest find – the Schlossberghotel – continues the cultural “trip” adorned with more than 400 pieces of original contemporary artworks, skilfully mixed with classical antiques- it’s feels like a smart townhouse with the proportions of a rural estate, very much reflecting Graz itself.
It used to be that if you weren’t from Manhattan you were written off as a ‘bridge and tunnel’ New Yorker, but with all the talent coming out of Brooklyn these days, Manhattan has some serious competition. International designers, artists, and musicians all claim it proudly as their home, and now they’re building living spaces that would leave any Manhattanite drooling.
First there was the Clock Tower Building (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/realestate/09deal1.html) and now architects such as Ten to One are designing spaces like the “Loop” apartment that give serious acclaim to the borough. Ten One has designed a variety of spaces throughout New York and the 5 boroughs, as a cross-disciplinary company working with a number of firms to best utilize new design concepts and engineering technologies.
The “Loop” is what is known as a full gut renovation of a 2,500 square foot live/work residence in Williamsburg Brooklyn, and the results are stunning. Completed in the summer, the space is a feat of hardwood, natural light, and open spaces. You wouldn’t believe you were in the city if it weren’t for the views. The word “Loop” refers to the warm butternut wood that runs through the space, acting at times as floors, ceilings, walls, doors, cabinets, closets, and bath space. The wood acts as an unhindered guide through the space, past areas of light and darkness, intimate and public. Although the loft at time seems like something you would see in a mountain lodge, there is no escaping the sleekness of the environment or the innovation of the mechanical systems. Ductless air conditioning, radiant floor heating, and LED lighting were key elements in the design of the loft.
More info about Ten to One, and the “Loop” loft can be found at http://tenonearchitecture.com/. All Images Courtesy of Ten to One Architecture
While Brooklyn is a great place to live, if you’re only in New York for a visit, it’s best to stay in the heart of the heart of the city. The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca, that is, with 88 rooms of indulgence…
Contributing writer: Alicia Reuter