I was shaken out of Paper Alchemy lethargy a few weeks ago by two children carrying pink paper cones on the Montreal metro - just in time for an invitation by Toronto based curator Erin Stump to participate in the upcoming exhibition "Shapes of things" at the Board of Directors - Katherine Mulherin project space. Opening Tomorrow at 1080.1082.1086 Queen Street West, Toronto. More soon on my contribution to the show- Marimekko, Molinari, Munari.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Posted by Meredith Carruthers at 7:13 PM
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Café Prückel, established 1903
For the more persistent readers of Paper Alchemy I have good news to report. Recalling the past post "good news/ bad news", I am pleased to announce that I have finally obtained a honey-comb tissue rabbit. While enjoying apple strudel at Café Prückel (www.prueckel.at) in Vienna, I discovered this tiny one-eyed wonder in the basement lost and found.
Café Prückel stairs to the WC and lost & found cabinet
Café Prückel has a tradition of offering lost items for sale in a display-case cabinet of curiosities. Surrounded by decorative hair combs, sweets tins, and a menagerie of miniature animals (including a glass horse and fish as well as spring chicks of various materials) to my surprise I noticed one of the vintage Japanese bunnies I had been so avidly bidding for on ebay. 5 euro cents later the bunny was safely in hand, just in time for my Leisure Projects Easter (working) holiday at gallery Das Weisse Haus (www.dasweissehaus.at).
Tissue paper rabbit (on right), in situ at Café Prückel
Posted by Meredith Carruthers at 5:28 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
PAPIER, Design-Center, Vienna, 1972
Born in Vienna in 1934, Hans Hollein is known as an architect, artist, teacher and designer. His first commission in Vienna was described in Architectural forum magazine, 1965, as “even smaller than most first commissions: a shop and showroom 12 feet wide for a candle maker." The Retti candleshop, and later commissions such as the Richard Feigen Gallery gained Hollein the reputation for "Architectural Faberge", a unique combination of “an architect’s sense of space with a goldsmith’s sense of craft to produce an exquisite ambiance” (Progressive Architecture, 1970).
Throughout his career, Hollein has approached projects with a wit and curiosity that combines new and old world traditions, materials and strategies. Hollein’s work deals not only with the architectural scale of buildings, but also the scale of the room, and the scale of the “object you feel and touch”. In his 1985 acceptance speech for the Pritzker Prize in architecture (www.pritzkerprize.com), Hollein elaborated on the scope of his artistic and architectural interventions, stating “Not only do I deal with eternity, with the permanent, but also with the ephemeral and the temporary.”
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Snow Queen, Illustration by Pauline Hohly
"The palace walls were drifting snow, and the windows and doors made by cutting winds. There were a hundred halls depending on the way the snow drifted. The biggest stretched for many miles. All were lit up by the fierce Northern Lights, which flashed so regularly that you could tell by counting when they were at their highest point and when they were at their lowest. In the middle of the empty, endless halls of snow, was a frozen lake. It had cracked into a thousand pieces, but each was so exactly like the next that it was quite a work of art..." - The Snow Queen, Hans Andersen, 1845
I recently dreamed of a paper house being folded in half. Peering outside our apartment in the morning the backyard landscape had shifted in the night - becoming piled with new sculpted forms, drifts and peaks of downy white snow. Montreal's snow banks have fluctuated this past week from blizzard heights to spring melt heaps and back again, emphasizing pink and blue tricks of light in their shadowed hollows. Vaguely haunted by shifting light and paper houses I was pleased to receive images of work by Kiersten Hassenfield from bespoke web designer Kevin Finlayson (www.dustandmold.net). Kirsten Hassenfield's translucent paper garlands, honeycomb spheres and paper crystals form large and small scale installations imbued with myths, fairytales and "archetypes of femininity, and ideas of chivalry". Her imaginary landscapes with their "constantly shifting sense of scale" and inter-folding detail create a shimmering paper world of Fabergé intensity.
Kirsten Hassenfield, Untitled (Hill) 22 x 16 x 16 inches, Paper with mixed media, 2007
Kirsten Hassenfield, Dollar Dreams 9’ x 12’ x 8’, Mixed Media, 2002
Kirsten Hassenfield, Pearl 25” x 34” x 34, Paper with Mixed Media, 2004
Kirsten Hassenfield, Untitled (Branch) [detail 2] Approx. 88 x 53 x 53 inches, Paper, polystyrene board, acrylic, pipecleaners, light fixture, Commissioned by Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, Texas/Photograph by Nash Baker, nashbaker.com, 2007
Kirsten Hassenfield is a New York based artist and is represented by the BellWether gallery (www.bellwethergallery.com).
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Paper doily hearts, Dollarama, Quebec
Meredith Carruthers, Unraveling paper doily hearts: attempts 1, 2 and 3, 2008
Paper can be used to propose imagined things or to duplicate things already in existence. The Valentine season at the dollar-store seemed an excellent opportunity to explore the latter. Found amongst cut-out cupids and heart shaped boxes are stacks of red filigree hearts- the seasonal paper doily. The paper doily is a wonder of material mimicry. Crocheted doilies (made popular as an alternative to more costly lace) are made from cotton wool and formed by a series of pulled loops. Die-cut, embossed and often colour treated, the paper doily represents the shape and texture if not structure of crochet.
Letter-press on photocopied doily, Concordia University print demonstration, Meredith Carruthers, 2003
Saturday, February 9, 2008
manga pod, atelier bow-wow
The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries. -The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges
The library called into being in Borges' short fiction The Library of Babel was a "sphere whose exact centre is any hexagon and whose circumference is unattainable" (-The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges). In this library, hexagonal units "the height of a normal librarian" were linked in an infinite series- each hexagon opened laterally to another and identical units could be viewed repeating endlessly both above and below. The interior of every hexagon included twenty bookshelves, with each bookshelf holding thirty-two books, each book containing four hundred ten pages, each page forty lines, each line approximately eighty black letters.
Manga pod interior at 'Beautiful New World' Contemporary Visual Culture Japan
Enclosed within The Manga Pod by Atelier Bow-Wow, one can imagine the paradox of Borges' labyrinth, the explosion of an intimate reading experience as it is mirrored in units across the world. The Manga Pod is a portable reading library and was first presented at the 4th annual Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2002) and re-incarnated as Media-pod for TITLE at Bungeishunju (2005). Building on Atelier Bow Wow's interest in 'site- and use-specific approach to design', the rotating joints of the multi-tiered Manga Pod structure adapt to the movement of its users creating an intimate and flexible reading space. Custom designed pods are available for purchase from Atelier Bow-Wow.
Atelier Bow-Wow was established in 1992 by Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kaijima in Tokyo (www.bow-wow.jp).