Steve McQueen, Giardini, 2009, film, 40 minutes, image courtesy of Steve McQueen
‘Turner, does not own sunsets, and he doesn’t own Venetian sunsets’ - Steve McQueen
'It is about looking… What it does is encourages you to look again.' - Steve McQueen
Steve McQueens Giardini is a romantic film, melancholic, lingering and still. Filmed in the Giardini, Venice’s municipal gardens after the crowd occupying the gardens for the Venice Biennale has left, after the national pavilions have been closed and the stray dogs return.
Zhang Huan, To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond, 1997, performance, image courtesy of Zhang Huan
'I invited about forty participants, recent migrants to the city who had come to work in Beijing from other parts of China. They were construction workers, fishermen and labourers, all from the bottom of society. They stood around in the pond and then I walked in it. At first, they stood in a line in the middle to separate the pond into two parts. Then they all walked freely, until the point of the performance arrived, which was to raise the water level. Then they stood still. In the Chinese tradition, fish is the symbol of sex while water is the source of life. This work expresses, in fact, one kind of understanding and explanation of water. That the water in the pond was raised one metre higher is an action of no avail.' - Zhang Huan
Top to bottom
1) Giant mirrors erected on a mountainside reflect sunlight into the Norwegian town of Rjukan in the valley below, 2013. Combined the mirror surfaces are about 51 square meters.
2) People gather in front of Rjukan’s town hall, in sunlight reflected by giant mirrors erected on a mountainside some 450 meters (1,475 ft) above the small town, 2013. Rjukan, located in the bottom of a valley between steep mountains in Telemark County, is normally cut off from direct sunlight for five to six months a year. Now, the three mirrors will bring winter sunlight into the valley.
3) A mirror, an eight-by-five meter (26x16 ft) sheet of steel, is placed on a peak overlooking Viganella, Italy, to reflect sunlight onto Viganella’s main square, 2007.
Text and image via et-alia
Nicholas Folland, Floe, 2009, domestic crystal glassware, woven nylon thread, 410 x 450 x 180cm, installation view, Samstag Museum, image courtesy of Nicholas Folland
Justin Williams, ceramic work, 2013, images courtesy of Justin Williams
Out of a studio in Melbourne’s Dandenong ranges Justin Williams is creating playful yet sincere ceramic works.
Simon Starling, Wilhelm Noack oHG, 2006, stainless steel, film projector, 35mm film looped, light, sound, 407 x 192 cm, image courtesy of Simon Starling
Francis Alys, Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing, 1997, image courtesy of Francis Alys
Tom Nicholson with Brad Haylock, After action for another library, 1999 - 2003, Traces from an action over two years as an artist book, 160 pages, three colours, 21 x 15 x 1.5 cm, images courtesy of Tom Nicholson
On 30 August 1999 East Timorese voted overwhelmingly to become an independent nation in a ballot sponsored by the UN. Following the announcement of the result, occupying Indonesian troops carried out systematic destruction throughout East Timor. Within two weeks several thousand civilians were murdered (a precise number is unknown), 200,000 were forcibly transported to concentration camps in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia, and most significant infrastructure was destroyed.
Books were targeted for destruction. Libraries were systematically burned, amongst them the widely-used university library and the English library in Dili. Private collections of books were targeted, and in notable cases book collections of prominent intellectuals and independence activists were collected on the street where they were publicly set alight. In villages, schools were systematically destroyed. Action for another library was established in Melbourne in response to these circumstances. Thousands of books were donated by bookstores, libraries, and individuals. They were shipped to Dili in containers where they now form part of the nascent National University Library of East Timor. The title pages of some books were photographed before the books were sent to East Timor. - Tom Nicholson
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Public Opinion), 1991. Black rod liquorice candies individually wrapped in cellophane, endless supply, ideal weight: 700 lbs (317.5 kg), dimensions variable, image courtesy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres