Sculpture: the thriving listener

Thursday June 23rd, 2016

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Hi chaffinches!

I am really happy to come back here to talk to you about my third exhibition. Remember the first two, here and there? This one was different, because it was part of a larger event called “Grazer Umwelt Zirkus” (Grazer environmental circus) taking place in Graz, Austria. More than 4.500 people visited the event. For this third exhibition I had the chance to collaborate with the great artist Ariadne Sevgi Avkiran, whom I met during my previous exhibitions. Check out her really nice tactile art.

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The theme of the event was “hot pavement, cool head”. At first I just wondered: how to keep a cool head when the sun is strong? Take an umbrella. Then I wondered how we could make a parasol in an ecological way. I thought that it would be possible to use fallen or torn away tree branches to make the structure of the parasols. And to use plastic bags, which had been thrown away, to braid them and use them as fabric.

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For technical and security reasons, I couldn’t realize this big project for this event. So I reduced the size of the project and the image that came to mind was the umbrellas that some tourists put on their heads instead of a hat or a cap. Isn’t it a strange object?! It’s at this moment that I thought of Ariadne and of her beautiful sculptures. 

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I show you some steps of the realization of our sculpture. At the beginning, we talked about what each of us wanted to do and did some sketches. Ariadne prepared the clay head with a hole at the top for the branches. Then we added vegetal elements and poured a lot of thin layers of liquid plaster on our sculpture to make it become a hybrid between man and plant.

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And finally over the course of the discussions, sketches, sculptures, material additions, the man with the umbrella became the thriving listener. With the deployed antennas and the tense and vivid connections, he seemed to listen to us, who imagined him a life. Then we presented him to a group of blind and partially blind people who imagined him in a very different life than what we had thought about. For example, some felt that climbing tracks were growing on his head.

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At the end of the exhibition the thriving listener began to crack, to be less vivid, less attentive and it eventually went away…

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