Monday, April 21, 2014

Important Announcement - Blog not active since 2010!

This blog is not updated since 2011. To view my recent works please visit my website: vakula.eu

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bruce Nauman's Hand Sanitizing Station (2009-2010)


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In the "Hand Sanitizing Station," I am dispensing hand sanitizer out of my mouth. Using my body to replace a simple hand sanitizing dispenser, I am looking at our fear of contracting an infectious disease while passing through crowded areas.  
The fear of transmittable diseases is real, and it is very hard to navigate the complex landscape between fear and reality. Besides the wide range of antibiotics that are sometimes making the viruses stronger, we are trying to protect ourselves by keeping isolated and compulsively clean by overusing various hygiene and antibacterial products.

From an entirely different angle, I am interested in resampling Bruce Nauman's famous and exclusive, piece of art closer to the public in a  DIY fashion, stripping it of its artistic function and placing it into an everyday situation. Metaphorically speaking, I am trying to put the Duchamp's Pissoir back to his original environment. 
In surprising similarity to Duchamp's Pissoir, Bruce Nauman, in his famous photograph “The Fountain,” is also dealing with the role of Artwork and Artist. Jasmine Moorhead in 1995 wrote about his work in the Yale Herald:
“Nauman, though, seems to have worked through Duchamp quite successfully. At the time, he had never actually seen Duchamp's work, although he admitted: "the information was just sort of in the air." The lineage is complex, but Nauman's approach is so fresh that he can hardly be called derivative. One of Nauman's "Eleven Color Photographs" (1966-1967/70) is "Self-Portrait as a Fountain," showing Nauman spewing water out of his mouth. This piece, consciously or not, relates to Duchamp's "Fountain" of 1917, a urinal signed and turned upside down. In Nauman's piece, the artist becomes not only the author but the object, the art. Nauman had taken the loaded image of Duchamp, who, close to 50 years before, had chosen and subverted such a loaded image as a man's urinal, and subverted him. Nauman becomes the active object, one that still spews water.” 

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Garden of Eden (2009)







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Garden of Eden consists of live grass, a fountain with hand sanitizing liquid instead real water, video projection and sound. While standing on the lawn, watching the video of a garden with roses, one almost expects to feel their beautiful scent. But in reality, the viewer feels just the strong smell of the disinfecting chemical.

Eden or Paradise has its origins in Hebrew, which translates as “delight.” According to the old myth, this garden was here before God created human beings. It was an allegory of the ideal spotless world. It was a place of rest and spirituality but also the witness of the first sin. In an architectural sense, such garden represents our idealized conquered and controlled place for interaction between our Inner and the Outer World. Historically, the garden became part of our home at the backyard. Mostly is modest, but still keeps many of its primal meanings. Still, it is our sanctuary, now placed between the natural and urban, between Public and Private. Between the Society and Us.
Sometimes it happens that our own Garden of Eden is infiltrated from the Outside and we are trying to protect it. Sometimes we are protecting this place so much, that our care is starting to threaten the garden itself. As a result, this perfect piece of conquered and controlled nature, our safe sanctuary, begins to turn upside down because of our paranoia of the Outside.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Web Site Specific (2009)


 

Web Site Specific is about anonymity, lack of reference and the possibility to verify online information.
This model/installation was created specifically for Bunker Gallery in Nitra City in Slovakia and was accessible only as a live online video stream. Resembling one of the gallery rooms,  I created a small scale realistic model of an additional exhibition room. For the online audience, without an option to verify the real space, the new room was indistinguishable. Inside the model, at the back wall, I placed a text appropriated from Rosemarie Trockel's artwork: "Ich Habe Angst" ( "I am scared" ). Originally this sentence was set behind an altar in a church in Germany.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Transformer (2007)









video






TRANSFORMER

Transformer (2007) is a site-specific artwork, installed in a conference room at the United States Embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia. It imitates an architectural model of a future embassy building. This work contemplates the placement of the Embassy building, into the middle of a busy square, including its disruptive security elements as a large fence, barriers, soldiers and an airport-style checkpoint. These features raised many concerns among Slovak public, ranging from aesthetics and history to actual safety of the passers-by. As a reaction to these concerns, with a good PR intention, the US Embassy announced that it is preparing to move to another location in the city, and will not be disrupting the daily flow of foot traffic on the square anymore.
Considering the intention of the Embassy, partially invoking the american phenomenon of the moving house, I proposed a new embassy building which is flexible and movable. The new embassy building can be rebuilt according to current conditions and needs. This is possible because the structure is based on the principle of portable offices and shipping container houses, which are usually used for international cargo transport.
Thank this technology the new embassy would be able to move relatively quickly to any place desired. Its blueprint is proposed for serial production. The idea of this flexible, modular building was inspired by the famous comic book, cartoon and movie series Transformers – robots in disguise. They embody a role of the good guys always fighting against a threat. Each Transformer can be rebuilt into three different modes. In accord to that, also each embassy building can be transformed into three distinct modes.
  • The first one represents the embassy - office building,
  • The second mode is the defense robot, which the embassy turns into in the case of a threat.
  • The third mode is an oil rig, which could be made by assembling three of such embassies together.
This entire toy-like-futuristic modular system metaphorically refers to the form and function of an institution as such. An institution --same as a transformer, possesses, in a certain way, variability resulting in a continuous change of form. This refers to the instability of institutions and their structures in general. They must be perpetually reinstitutionalized and re-structuralised to keep up with the changing environment.
This project was produced with the support of the US Embassy in Bratislava.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Eco Think Tank (2008)

 

The goal of "Eco Think Tank" is to inspire thinking and development of energy efficiency thru alternative modes of transportation, and building environmental and ecological attitudes.
"Eco Think Tank" is a modification of Krzystof Wodiczko's Critical Vehicle. Wodiczko's vehicle is intended for exclusive use by an artist or a philosopher, who is supposed to walk up and down the tilting platform. This "thinking-like" movement is then transmitted by a system of gears to the wheels causing a seesaw movement straight forward in one direction only. Wodiczko was thinking about artists and intellectuals as the only agents which can advance the society. The artist on the platform is "on the road of progress picking up speed to a better future." My goal, however, was to translate the vehicle into much cheaper materials and make it available not only to artists and philosophers but everyone. Passengers of the Eco Think Tank could take a ride only under one condition: while on the platform, the rider had to think about ecology and ecological modes of transportation.
Moving this upgraded platform forward, an ordinary community member can be the one "on the road of progress picking up speed to a better future," not exclusively artists or philosophers. I am thinking about everyone as a possible agent that could lead the society to progress cleaner and healthier future.

To accommodate the "Eco Think Tank," the traffic at some streets in the city had to redirected.