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Art, both silly and sublime
Jeremy Faludi, 20 Sep 05

Two great art things crossed my desk the same day, so I have to share.

The first is Ashes and Snow, an earnest and sublime exhibition by Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert. Many of the images are stunning, and they all depict humans and animals together (to drive home Colbert's message of people being part of nature, not separate). The exhibit started in Venice, is now in New York, and instead of just traveling around existing museums, it will have its own "nomadic museum" made of shipping containers and paper tubes, designed by the brilliant architect Shigeru Ban.

The second is a bit more random: An enormous (200' long, 20' high) stuffed bunny rabbit lying dead (disemboweled) on a mountain in Italy. The group of artists, called "gelatin", are a bunch of total freaks with an edgy sense of humor, as you can see if you browse their other works. They say of the bunny: "Happy you feel as you climb up along its ears... Happily in love you step down the decaying corpse, through the wound, now small like a maggot, over woolen kidney and bowel... Such is the happiness which made this rabbit." It's good to know that gigantic "WTF?" installations aren't just for Burning Man anymore.

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Well, I saw "Ashes and Snow" in Venice, and it was sublime. I bought the books of photos, and I'd love to see the exhibit again. One doesn't tire of it.

The next time I encounter the "dead bunny" sculpture, I'll think, "Oh, I already heard that one."

That's the difference between art and a joke.

Posted by: David Foley on 21 Sep 05

but... but... it's 200' long! i'm sure one must stand next to it in real life to feel the full effect.

scale must count for something, no? perhaps "the gates" in central park were just so much boring orange cloth to you?

Posted by: lawrence on 21 Sep 05

The gates WERE boring. Or at least a poor choice of color. From a few blocks away it looked like the whole park was under construction (the 'saffron' being identical to 'traffic cone orange'). Ah well.

Ashes and Snow looks excellent but the site says that it is no longer in NYC, is that true?


Posted by: suzanne on 21 Sep 05

Very true, unfortunately. Ashes & Snow left NYC a few months ago.

It was a great exhibit though, and well worth seeing where it ends up next!

Posted by: Steven Skoczen on 21 Sep 05

the photo exhibit looks incredible. how to arrange such photos!?? Hope I get a chance to see them, somewhere, somehow.

Bunny is cute & agree it's nice to stumble across such installations or odd sights. Effect is ruined when you know who did it & why (ie PR gauging press releases diminish such works). Liked it more when I thougth it was made out of gelatine (hopefully vegetable so i could visit it & bite it) so it would gradually dissolve. That woulda been somethink!! 8)

As for the "edgy" humour of the other works of gelatin group tho - Naaaahhh, it's just northern (continental) european toilet humour (obscure exhibits of body parts = witty art), particularly rife in the northern /high altitude areas where they spend so much of the year in heavy clothing that they can never wait to get their gear off & being uninhibited about nakedness & keen about the physical sports, make a game out of it. Fun for the whole family!!!

Posted by: Passion Flower on 22 Sep 05



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