When Richard Wagner introduced the term Gesamtkunstwerk to the field of visual arts in 1849, a new style of artistic expression emerged: installation art. The German word, now accepted into English regarding the fine arts, describes what is known as a total, all-encompassing artwork. It synthesizes all artistic elements into a single, multi-faceted body of work that can include, but is not limited to, painting, drawing, sculpture, music, dance, sound, digital media, you name it.
Lure/惑 Series (2008-2012), Beili Lui Thread, needle, demesions variable
Installation art can activate more that one sense of perception, and this complete immersion of the viewer in the space places this form in a breed of its own. Sight, sound, touch: the theatrical nature of this contemporary art form explores the relationship between human and environment.
The artistic current is carrying one particular trend considering installations: the artist’s living space as a work of art. Tracey Emin, member of Young British Artists, executed an infamous example of this approach in her piece titled My Bed in which she installed the bed from her living space, complete with tousled sheets, dirty underwear, used condoms, and other everyday functional objects. Works like this foster intrinsic questions as the nature, origin, validity, and definition of art.
My Bed, Tracey Emin, mattress, linens, pillows, objects, 1998
Dawn Kasper uses gallery space as her studio, blending performance art, installation, art production, and everyday living into a work titled This Could Be Something If I Let It. The artist shipped in items from her bedroom and studio to create a living space. Holed up on the third floor of the Whitney Museum in New York, Kasper’s interactive installation will continue on for the entire three months of the 2012 Biennial.
THIS COULD BE SOMETHING IF I LET IT, Dawn Kasper, installation of home and studio objects, 2012
Currently at Women & Their Work is Christie Blizard’s When I was 16 I saw the White Buffalo. Resonating with the same vibrations that seem to be on the tip of the tongue of the contemporary art world, so to speak, Blizard’s show depicts the parallel energies between the conscious and dream states. Is there a better way to discuss this bifurcated world than Blizard’s current installation? Visit Women & Their Work and discover Blizard’s dynamic exploration of thought and temporal space.