Phantom Fuel: Navid Nuur @ Parasol Unit

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If you find yourself in East London you should probably go to Parasol Unit. Currently on view is the work of Iran-born Dutch artist artist Navid Nuur and it’s nothing short of AMAZING. The show, entitled Phantom Fuel provides just the right amount of a certain push/pull aesthetic with works that invite you in and others that repel you just as quickly. With sculptural and installation-style works, the show pieces together a certain narrative which provides the viewer with an experience you can not only SEE, but FEEL.

In the first room you find yourself in a dark space, navigating an interesting array of LIGHT and NEON works. Traveling through SAND PAPER CURTAINS (it sounds about as pleasant as it feels… not) you come into the next space, light I may add, which presents sculptural works, an iphone video and even a freezer full of ice lollies. The exhibition continues in the first floor gallery space with more sculptural works as well as an eerily dark room. There is also work in the gardens outside. In order to not give it all away though, I’ll stop there.

Something is present, driving you onwards and upwards through the space and it’s that something that follows you when you leave. Perhaps its the broad combination of STYLES. Or perhaps it is the juxtaposition between LIGHT and DARK spaces you find yourself in. Or maybe it just is what it claims to be: Phantom Fuel, something INTANGIBLE but POWERFUL which encompasses the mind, body, and soul.

The show is on until the 19th of May. We highly suggest you take a field trip and experience this Phantom Fuel for yourself.

Cheers, NYX

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A Reflection on Dan Flavin – A Poem

Below the picture lies four lines, in which I reflect on Dan Flavin’s work that was shown at the Portland Art Museum in Oregon this past December. While the work is no longer exhibited, next time you see a Flavin, hopefully these words will stick with you and come back to life.

comprehending the colors

the brights, darks and lights

the neon shades of my love

that narrow down time and space tonight

Think about it. Ponder. Experience. Enjoy.

Cheers, Nyx

The Mindf*cker – Bruce Nauman

Hauser and Wirth: Bruce Nauman's green parallelogram room

The colloquial term mindf*ck is not regularly a positive term. I mean really, does anyone ever want someone to intentionally manipulate and play with your mind? There are always the exceptions, but collectively speaking the answer is NO. Well, in these exceptions lies Bruce Nauman’s current exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, fittingly titled “Mindf*ck.” There are no words in the English language to describe this magnificent exhibition, other than “what a mindf*ck that was.” As much as i was in awe – here are some words about my experience, and while they may seem very powerful, the power is truly experiencing this show.

Bruce Nauman incorporates psychoanalytical theory throughout the gallery and in his artworks. His intentions are to evoke the viewers with certain “states of trauma, equivalent to the conversion symptoms of the hysteric, to the utterances of the psychotic, to the repetition compulsion tied to the death drive, to the reprimands of the superego, to good and bad internal objects, and to the logic of dreams,” according to his press release. A word of advice before going, do your research-read up on Jung and Freud. I can assure you it will make you appreciate Nauman’s exhibition 1000x times more.

The large windows of Hauser & Wirth, which usually allow the natural light to pour into the white space, have been closed off. This allows the gallery not only to show off the neon light art pieces, but also create a new enclosed environment – an environment of unknowing, darkness – a structure allowing us to explore our human unconscious. The juxtaposition of the dark space, illuminated by neon artwork, puts stress on the eyes and gives off feelings of comfortableness that then turn into something not knowing what to expect. This uncomfortableness is what I think Nauman was attempting to do. As an artist, he is a mindf*cker, manipulating us to experience things we might have not wanted to experience and explore.

Every piece of work from “Good Boy, Bad Boy,” to “Carousel,” to “Sex and Death/Double 69,” and “Run From Fear, Fun From Rear” plays with our minds and encapsulates his attempt to yoke “together the rational and the intuitive, the verbal and the unutterable, the abstract and the physical.” But the most striking, and moving piece within the gallery in my view is “Untitled (Helman Gallery Parrallelogram).”

This interactive piece invites the viewer to walk into a room lit entirely by green florescent lights. As one walks closer and closer to the entrance, the purpose built corridor literally shrinks in width forcing the viewer to have to squeeze into the awkwardly small space in order to get into the room. This creates an unsettling feeling of claustrophobia and mimics the fear of tapping into one’s own unconscious to discover the internal desires, and thoughts we try and suppress (told you Freud would be helpful here)! After entering the room, the space is quite large. The green lights are unsettling, and make you feel extremely not at ease, like you’ve been stripped bare and those internal desires and thoughts of yours have become exposed to you and the world. Contradicting that feeling, emotions are simultaneously aroused through feeling a sense of relief through being in this euphoric space. This experience is extremely overwhelming.

Inspiring. Fresh Show. Bruce Man, you KILLED IT! FABULOUS.

Literally the best mindf*ck experience you’ll ever have!

 

Peace Out, K

Thoughts on Bruce Nauman – a Prelude

Hauser & Wirth (in London) currently has an INCREDIBLE exhibition on the psychoanalytical perspective works of Bruce Nauman. While we will later post an article with our thoughts about the show itself, we encourage you to get yourself up to date with this mastermind “Hennessy Youngman” who gives us a fresh and entertaining view on Nauman through his online You-Tube show Art Thoughtz.

Warning, it is NOT PG. But in all actuality – it is insightful.

Nauman walks the walk. Hennessy walks the walk. Can you walk the walk?

xx, DP