French duo Forlane 6 Studio uses an atypical backdrop for their art installations: the depths of the sea. Hortense Le Calvez and Mathieu Goussin debuted Disoriented this year, an exhibition set in Vlychos Beach in Greece. Each of these show “explores themes of environmental dystopia, eco-anxiety, and the anthropocene.”
Japan-born, Iowa City-based artist Sayuri Sasaki Hemann creates underwater worlds with fabrics and felt in installations. Projects like “Urban Aquarium,” which started in 2009 and appeared throughout Portland, recreate jellyfish and other sea inhabitants in places them in an airport and other unexpected places.
Skunk Control is an ensemble of educators, scientists, and engineers who create installations designed to inspire wonder and “prompt audiences to reflect, question and engage them in the art of discovery.” This immersive pairing of art and science implements electronics, advanced lighting and optics, and other technologies. Yet, often, the group’s gorgeous designs are the points of entry into the works, with the tagline “Where Science Meets Art.” The group is based in Australia, at the College of Engineering and Science at Victoria University.
German artist Monika Grzymala describes her art as being more like drawing than installation works, drawn with sticky tape which wraps and transforms the surrounding space. “Whenever I leave a work, I feel as if I leave a part of me, a part of my body behind,” she says, referring to the performative aspects of her work, where creating each piece requires a physical effort on her part. Her energy as the artist lends itself to the fluidity and dynamic appearance of the tape, which seems to explode from the walls with force.
Linz, Austria based German artist Toni Spyra transforms the stuff we see and use everyday into conceptual installations and sculptures. His works have appeared on the streets and in places where objects are completely out of context and with a twist of humor, provoking us to consider their usefulness beyond their design. Of his work’s amusing qualities, Spyra says that he sees jokes as a perfect approach to art- though his kind of work may not strike a chord with everyone who encounters it, is it undeniably attention-grabbing for its unconventionality.
Netherlandish artist Suzan Drumman makes dazzling, playful installations that climb up walls and over people. Crystal, chrome-plated metal, precious stones, mirrors and optical glass of various sizes and colors respond and reflect their surroundings. The designs are derived from a variety of sources, including traditional Islamic geometries and Eastern mandalas, to form patterns that dance between negative and positive space. The end result is kaleidoscopic, yet balanced. However, because the individual pieces are placed on the raw surface, they are innately ephemeral. This lends the works a mystical quality.