In 1992, Magdalena Abakanowicz began the series Hand-like Trees (1992–2004) as a sculptural response to her unrealized Arboreal Architecture. A public petition requested Abaka-nowicz to be commissioned to produce a permanent work in Hiroshima, Japan, as a memorial to the victims of nuclear destruction. She proposed a hand-like tower, poised as if to catch the bomb in the exact place where it exploded, 640 meters above sea level. This project was never carried out due to worries it might offend the sensibilities of hibakushas — surviving victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There was worry that it might be perceived as too aggressive. In response, Abakanowicz created Space of Becalmed Beings (1993), a monument of 40 silent, seated bronze backs. They form a permanent installation on the terrace of the Contemporary Art Museum of the City of Hiroshima.
Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) was a Polish sculptor and creator of fiber art. She often worked around sculpture, installation and textile. A sense of fluidity and possibility manifests itself in Abakanowicz's works as they shift from rigid and rectangular to more organic shapes. Curved sculptures sliced open like carcasses accompany objects that remind us of the artist’s lifelong obsession with the natural world.
In the hypercomplex world of today, with its unresolved history, we must remember and insist on the simplest, most primitive, most human law: ‘You should not kill!’
Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland, 1957) has created more than seventy works in public spaces, questioning the autonomy, authorship, and resistance of a work of art, and asserting the power of art to touch and transform the other. “I want to use art as a tool to establish a contact with the Other — this is a necessity — and I am convinced that the only possible contact with the Other happens ‘One to One’, as equals,” he wrote. Through his experience of working in public space, Hirschhorn has developed his own guidelines of ‘Presence and Production’ by being present and producing on location during the full course of his projects. “To be ‘present’ and to ‘produce’ means to make a physical statement, here and now. I believe that only through presence — my presence — and only through production — my production — can my work have an impact in public space or at a public location.” Hirschhorn has dedicated works to philosophers, writers, and artists he loves, in the form of large-scale sculpture works such as altars, kiosks, monuments, maps, and collages.
My Body Became Opressed into a Column may refer to what is known as the ‘atomic shadow,’ a phenomenon pro-duced by the light and heat emitted at the moment of the explosion of an atomic bomb. Where there was a body or an object, today a mark remains. These projections can be found on the floors, walls and other surfaces near the hypocenter of the explosion in Hiroshima.
Monica Bonvicini (Italy, 1965) emerged as a visual artist and started exhibiting internationally in the mid-1990s. Her multifaceted practice investigates the relationship between architecture, power struc-tures, gender and space. Her research translates into works that question the meaning of making art, the ambiguity of language, and the limits and possibilities connected to the ideal of freedom. Dry-humored, direct and imbued with historical, political and social refe-rences, Bonvicini's art never refrains from establishing a critical connection with the sites where it is exhibited, its materials, and the roles of spectator and creator. Since her first solo exhibition at the California Institute of the Arts in 1991, her approach has formally evolved over the years without betraying its analytical force and inclination to challenge the viewer’s perspective while taking hefty sideswipes at patriarchal socio-cultural conventions.
Stop the Spiral is made in Holmqvist’s characteristic way of engaging with visual poetry, in which a spiral is formed by the phrase: Fear War Arms Harm.
Karl Holmqvist is an artist whose primary material is language. His inventive re-renderings of words and phrases take various forms, including artist’s books, posters, wall drawings, sculpture, videos, and live performances. Borrowing from generic types of speech or written word, ranging from common sayings to literary references, from popular music to political activism, Holmqvist repositions these sampled fragments in new contexts, allowing for ambiguity and double meanings to emerge.
This image represents all currently existing 12,765 nuclear warheads. Each warhead is numbered and labeled with the country to which it ‘belongs,’ starting with Russia, the country with the largest arsenal. The position of the pac-man is arbitrarily chosen, and it suggests a future in which a special force, i.e., pac-man, eliminates and defuses the bombs one by one.
Theo Deutinger (Austria, 1971) is an architect, writer and designer. He is the founder and head of The Department (TD), a practice that combines architecture with research, visualization and artistic thinking. At TD, Deutinger works at all scales, from global planning, spatial master plans, architecture to graphic and curatorial work. Deutinger is known for his theoretical writings on the transformation of European urban culture, and his socio-cultural studies such as the Handbook of Tyranny.