Friday, October 28, 2011

Kleine Vernissage ganz groß !

Sean McGinnis verzaubert heute Abend mit einer farbenfrohen Installation.
Kommt zahlreich und staunt über die Farbenpracht von Schnurskulpturen, die anmuten wie ein Stück eines Regenbogens!
Grün, Blau, Gelb, Rosé fließen ineinander und entführen uns in eine Welt der Fantasie....
Jeder Gast ist herzlich eingeladen das Land des Regenbogens zu betreten.
(Direktorenhaus 2 Og. Am Krögel 2 10179 Berlin)

Berlin Blog - VV4

C’est fini, c’est beau !
On a ri et on a chanté pour les derniers nœuds ! Maintenant on va boire et danser :-)
Il reste encore quelques petits détails à régler mais soyez sans crainte, tout sera fin prêt pour 19h.

Ce soir, voyons la vie en vert…le « vert Sean » bien sûr !

La phrase du jour : Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Berlin Blog - YES! Just finished

"Finished" the installation at 16h30.   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, Valentine, Satu, Ella who where there at the end!

Now, there's a bit of tweeking to do, and maybe some changes in lighting.

Tomorrow, I will install the cube sculptures and the sewn photos in the adjacent gallery and tomorrow night at 7pm is the inaugural reception.  Please wear green.  Bring your friends (especially if they are art collectors, ha :)

actually, I'm a bit too exhausted to celebrate... will have to get a good nights rest and the tomorrow night, give me champagne.

Actually, I love it, there are many new elements in this piece that haven't been in my previous work and a new spirit of freedom.

Berlin Blog - Sophia - auf Deutsche :)

hi sean!

here my german report for your blog:

Nach einem weiteren, intensiven Tag im Schnur- Wirr Warr von crazy Sean ist leider das Ende in Sicht.
Es war eine super Erfahrung und hat wahnsinnig viel Spaß gemacht- es ist echt schade, dass es schon fast vorbei ist!

Die ganzen neonfarbigen Schnüre haben die komplette Etage eingenommen und alles erleuchtet.

Was mich am meisten fasziniert ist, wie mit jeder neuen Schnur das gesamte Kunstwerk klarer und eindeutiger wird.
Jeden Abend sieht man die Fortschritte von dieser total genialen Konstruktion!

Ich freu mich schon riesig auf das Opening.
Und verabschiede mich mit einem großen Dank an Sean, der in den letzten Wochen viel Geduld bewiesen hat!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Berlin Blog 10 - Sean - Tuesday

Yesterday was a HUGE day.  All hands were on deck.  So the first part of the day was spent showing them how to string and then following them.  I concentrated on the most difficult/awkward places.  We ended-up working until 10pm.  Valentine stayed until the end. Otherwise I had Liane, Klaus, and Morti, with Sophia and Satu stopping by and helping in between their other projects.  Gijs came by in the afternoon and helped too.

So, we got the behemouth going... and made good headway, even if the beginning took a lot of energy to get it going.  I finally got all my structural work/details done in the morning, so I could start stringing in the afternoon.

Today, was even better.  Morti (a.k.a. Mortimouse, a.k.a. Speedy gonzalez) worked on the big green cone and raced through it.  His technique was remarkable... good quality and super fast.  He got more than half of it done before he left.

We got started this morning at 8, when the workers got here.  So I had Liane and Klaus again all day.  Liane worked on the yellow cone, and Klaus on the blue.  Valentine was there most of the day as was Sophia, who worked together on the pink and yellow cones, which now completely intersect. 

This is the first time I've had multiple forms crossing through each other.  The effect is visually very beautiful, but technically complicated to pull-off.

Gijs came back at the end of the day with a friend of his from school, Julie, french from Poitier.  They are both post-doctoral in law history/anthropology.  So for a couple hours we had the "Doctor's corner" in the one end of the hall.  They seemed to enjoy themselves and definitely did an A+ job.

If we get as much done tomorrow as we did today, we will be mostly finished. 

Then there are my small sculptures and sewn prints to hang in one of the galleries.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. :)

My favorite thing so far is the complex intersections between the pieces, which transform each of them and make the space varied and very interesting.  Also, due to certain space-use limits, two of the cones are not fully round, and this is lovely.  It is more poetic, finer.

Taking a calm night to blog and rest, before attacking again tomorrow.

Almost there....

Net tightens - Verkko kiristyy -Satu-

 I took these photos yesterday. Sean's piece is starting to look just amazing!
Kuvia eiliseltä. Seanin taideteos alkaa näyttää mahtavalta!

 Sean's diligent assistant Valentine at work on Friday, above. As you can see below, on
Monday the "cone" had progressed a lot from Friday!

Seanin ahkera avustaja Valentine työssään perjantaina, yläkuvassa. Kuten alemmasta
kuvasta näkyy, maanantaina "tötterö" oli jo paljon valmiimpi.

images © Satu Kemppainen 2011
source : wikipedia

Monday, October 24, 2011

Berlin Blog 9

too tired to blog today, sorry... I'll make-up for it, promise :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Berlin Blog 8 - Sean

The installation is really starting to come together now... the skeletons of two of the five shapes are in place and the others are ready to go.  This is the fun part.  Hard to stop at this point.

Valentine was my trusty side-kick super assistant today.  She really gets the idea and not only executes perfectly but also adds cleaver sollutions and suggestions.

Was also helped by Liana today.  Started training her on "weaving."  We hardly speak each other's language, but manage to make each other laugh anyway.

I'm sure to continue working this weekend, as the form in the photo you see, took 3 hours to do, and that is only a small part of 70 odd meters of tracery still to do.

I need to be finished by Wednesday next.  Not feeling panicked just yet, but will need lots of hands on-board next week to get it done.  Any volunteers?

Side note : We spent the first hour of this morning, figuring out how to set-up a timelapse shoot of the project.  I had the idea a while back and many people have been requesting one, so here goes.

Don't forget to drop a line and let me know if you are following along.

bises, Sean

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Berlin Blog - VV3 vf

J’ai toujours adoré regarder les enfants s’amuser avec trois fois rien. Alors quand un grand gamin tout vert s’éclate avec de la ficelle, ce n’est que du bonheur! Il est là, au milieu des formes qu’il a imaginées et qui se dévoilent peu à peu, déployant le squelette rose de son installation qui envahit le couloir.

La phrase du jour : Un âne ne butte jamais deux fois sur la même pierre !


Berlin Blog 7 - Sean

Worked 'til after 8pm.. got on a roll...

Started "stringing" today... creating the outlines of the two of the five cone shapes that make up the installation.  What fun, to actually start doing the "art" part after all of the long slog of the "prep" part..

Satu just posted some great photos of the happenings...

the first ones are of all the preperatory drawings, that I've been doing for the last week, with some details of all the layout measurements.  (now maybe you understand why that part took me sooooo long :)

Love the photo of the two circles one on either side of the glass divider wall... one shows the paper template we taped to the windows to lay-out where the 12 points of that cone will intersect the windows.

Also a silly photo of me, as I started the first colored rope.

Valetine was a great help and is a quick study... getting an early start on having a feel for the right string tension, making knots and a good eye for aligning the intercrossing strings.

Now the fun begins...
and the biggest part of the process ...

thanks for following along...

Art starting to happen - Taidetta alkaa syntymään -Satu-

images © Satu Kemppainen 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Berlin Blog 6 - Sean

Latest news : the last hole has been drilled!!!  don't know how many there are, but will count them and get back to you... LOTS in any case.

So tomorrow, will finish the layout of the framework and the intersection points (on the west end as the east end is already done)...

If all goes well, then we will start installing the cones on thursday and start filling in the cones on friday...  the clock is ticking

a demain...

got to finish the drawings so I'm ready for tomorrow

Sean and Valentine at work - Satu -

Sean and Valentine at work In Direktorenhaus, setting up the chords which will work as a frame for Sean's art work.

Sean ja Valentine työn touhussa Direktorenhausissa: he asentavat nauruista kehykset, joihin Seanin installaatio viritetään.

images © Satu Kemppainen

Vison Magazine - China - november edition

Cool news : Vision Magazine in China, its leading visual arts, fashion and culture monthly is doing a feature article on my work for their November issue. Their circulation is 286.000 copies per month... wow, China here I come :) !! sehr geil !
note this is not an online mag... you have to actually buy a copy of the rag  if you want to see the article 
here's  the text from their site which details their work 
"VISION is a leading art and fashion magazine showcasing the international visual art, fashion and culture to Chinese readers. With its unique visual expression, VISION has seen tremendous development of the Chinese creative industry since 2002, exerting
great influence on the new talents in fashion, art and design in China.

VISION cannot be interpreted as a traditional magazine, because it is so visually exuberant and sensational that only sedated value will be filtered after in readers’ mind. What is the spirit of fashion? What is lifestyle with international taste? What is the individuality among the trendy flock? What is the true beauty people look for? VISION never offers definite answers, but provoking these questions is what we always wish to do. 
On top of a circulation of 286,000 per month, VISION actively appears in various public events, giving support to the growing industry in China of visual culture, while more importantly, inspiring a mentality toward a creative lifestyle to the Chinese reader s."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Berlin Blog VV2

Lentement mais sûrement! Lentement parce que quand Sean et moi commençons à faire de la géométrie, on se rend compte que c'est un peu loin dans nos têtes et qu’on est légèrement rouillé! Quoi qu'il en soit, les retrouvailles avec l'ami p ont été fructueuses. Ça avance, ça avance !

Le commencement est déjà loin, l’avancement est certain et l’engagement est serein.

Les mots du jour : krass et Bleistiftspitzer.


Berlin Blog 5

Monday evening.

Although I worked on the installation this weekend, I didn't take time to blog.

I was at Direktorenhaus, pretty much all by myself all weekend, which gave me enough quiet time to work through my idea for the project and continue to lay-out the framework.

This piece presents a whole new challenge, in that it requires that I calculate where the cones intersect with the walls and with the corners etc.  The idea is simple, but the layout is complicated.  I have to calculate point by point where the ropes will hit the walls.  Requires a lot of math and sifering :)

Get to use the math and geometry skills I learned 30 years ago.

My feeling is that once the outlines of the forms are in place, the stringing of the cones will go pretty quickly.  We'll see.  As I've never done this one before, I can't say... there may yet be technical surpises that will have to be dealt with.  (there always are).

In any case, the worst part of the installation is past, and I am now really enjoying myself.

Everyone here is so friendly and it is a good environment to work in.

I went to big Fair of "street art" with Annemarie and her friend Hanna, on Friday.  I loved it.  It was very vital, combining graphity and comic aesthetics with contemporary and modern art language.  It really gave me a boost.  I'm including some pictures to give an idea.

Satu was not here today, so photos of the installation will have to happen at her return.

Still eating outside every day on the banks of the Spree.  There's a canteen next door which has homemade and cheap food and usually go with a mix of people who work at the gallery.  A bit chilly, but knowing it won't last... taking full advantage.

big outdoor mixed media piece

three lovely mininmalist photos by Matthias Heiderich

crasy fun photos by Frank Kunert

 huge powerful portrait on paper by Rems182

Annemarie + Hannah

incrediby fine work by Andrea Chiesi.  the second one is enormous
"viel geil"

and this one is for djaydjo :)

Sunday, Taha and Neda came by for tea and to discover the Direktorenhaus and to see my work.  

Then Sam Tiel and Roman Lukas, friends of my good friend Melanie, came by on Sunday and took me out to eat at Max und Moritz... a traditional germanfood resto that looks like it's been around for more than 100 years and the deco has never been changed.  It was great!!  Sam is an opera singer and Roman is an artist.  Had a lovely evening in their company.

otherwise, my german is improving every day.  I'm having fun enjoying the first time ever to actually practice what I learned in college and what I heard growing-up when my grandparents spoke german to each other.  Feels like home/childhood.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Berlin Blog VV1

Parce qu'il faut toujours commencer quelque part et parce qu'on ne sait jamais par où commencer, le premier pas est sans doute le plus difficile à accomplir mais aussi le plus important.
Il faut se lancer!
Aujourd'hui, j'ai assisté aux premières manifestations concrètes de l'installation de Sean.
Des trous ont été forés, des vis ont été vissées, des ficelles ont été tendues et des nœuds ont été noués.
C'était un petit pas pour l’œuvre mais un grand pas pour Sean!

La parole du jour: L’asymétrie, c'est mieux que la symétrie...


Berlin Blog 4

Settling in to the rhythm here.

Spent the morning reworking the new idea for the installation in 3DsMax and finally started installing the frame for the piece with Valentine's help. (the painting is all done, the lamp/sculpture is down and the electrical work is done for installing the lights needed for the scultpure).

Obsiously a simpler day... not much else to say. 

It was cold but sunny, ate lunch with Satu and Annemarie outside at a table on the edge of the Spree River. 

Tonight is a quiet night "at home"  Sewing my cartes de visites, keeping warm by the fireplace.  Need the down-time to mull over the new idea for the installation.  Calm is good.

Direcktorenhaus/Johanssen Gallery addresses

the new installation in Berlin is at the Johanssen Gallery, which is located in the Direktorenhaus.  Info on the ehxibit will soon be published on their website.

Ella + Annemarie

Ella + Annemarie on the balcony at Direktorenhaus

cool image from this morning

redrawing, redesigning the project this morning, and this image was a cool by-product of the process :

thought i would share it even if the new sketch isn't entirely finished yet.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Berlin Blog 3

Well at the end of today, all I can say is, I'm tired.  Lots of "new" to deal with.  New country, new city, new neighborhood, new bed, new language, new people, new routine (and I'm not as young as I used to be) :) 

not only that, but realized in talking with Pascal that the idea I came up with and made sketches of (see earlier post) won't work in the space, the way it functions during a big event.  So, I'm going to have to redesign it to leave the middle mostly empty.  Every constraint is an opportunity and I  like the idea of the piece progressively getting more dense as it moves towards the ends of the corridor, which is the idea that came to me after switching ideas.

If you didn't catch the earlier posts, the cube sculptures arrived today.  The box of cords was located and a fun surprise, they found glow in the dark orange rope, which is the first time I've heard of it.  I'm excited to give it a try.

The painters painted a third of the hallway and will finish tomorrow. 

Daniel Becker, the designer of the lamp that is now in the corridor, but which comes down tomorrow, was here and we had a good talk.  He is also doing custom tiling for the several wood burning stoves they have been installing here for the last couple of days, and which come in handy with the cold.  The smell of a wood burning fire is also one of life's great pleasures too.

With the wood stoves and the two feather quilts I had, I was waaay too hot last night.

Weather-wise, it was sunny if not a bit colder today... but MUCH prettier and less depressing than yesterday.

I will start actually installation tomorrow. 

btw, if you are following the blog, leave a comment and let me know who you are...
thanks...  Sean

Daniel et Morti

Daniel Becker who designed The lamp In The hallway and Morteza The technician

cube sculptures arrive

wow!  that was fast!  The cube sculptures and frames just arrived by UPS! 


Same church - different view


church near The gallery

what i love about berlin are the many buildings like this one, that have lost all of their surface decoration, and are just form, structure, materials.  "épuré" in French.  Without all the plaster and gilding, they become pure form, sculptural.  What's more, I prefer the patina of time, destruction, history, that is present here, to the superficial "beauty" of churches that haven't been destroyed.  Authentic, un-masked.  Their structure, their soul if you will is exposed.  They are beautiful.  Very modern.   I find them to be more spiritual and uplifting than they would have been in their original state.

Direktorenhaus/Johanssen Gallery

View of The balcony from below
My room is the window just to The right of the balcony

berlin project images

Here are some images of the first draft idea for the direktorenhaus/johanssen gallery.  they give an idea of the space and the concept.  However, now that I'm here and understand the uses and limits of the space, I will come up with a new idea which is better adapted.

Berlin Blog 3 - Brainstorm

New brainstorm idea : I'm having any of the people who want to, who work here, to blog their experience of the installation on my blog.  I hope to have Valetine, whom you've now seen in Satu's photograph, write in French.  She's Belge.  And if there is someone who'll write in German, we'll have four languages, four different points of view on the event.

Painting and prepairing - Satu

Sean and Valentin from Direktorenhaus are bringing upstairs the essential material for Sean's artwork, the different coloured strings.

Sean ja Direktorenhausin Valentin tuovat yläkertaan Seanin taideteosten olennaisen materiaalin, eri väriset narukerät.

The painting work continued in the hallway, where Sean's piece will be exhibited. Very exciting to see the work gradually take it's final form!

Remonttireiskat jatkoivat seinien maalamista Seanin tulevaa taideteosta varten. Jännä nähdä minkälainen teoksesta tulee!

- Satu -

The balcony

outside The sitting room NeXT to my bedroom. Kinda creepy. You can see the other balcony In The top of The photo. Big Free fall

This is Satu (means fairytale In Finnish). She's a photographer/Graphic artist at Illustrative

The painting has begun

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Berlin blog 2

Arrived at the gallery by taxi, after a charming chat with the taxi driver. Between his not very good english and my not very good german, we had a good chat.

I was here a month ago and it was summer. Today is winter. Gray, dark, raining, cold. Berlin in winter, quoi.

My room is on the same floor as the hallway where i will install the sculpture. The gallery has made a cozy little corner for me. A bit like a hostel, the toilets and the shower are two doors down and the kitchen is on the next floor down. A bit like camping, VERY bohemian :)

Met Valentine, my assistant, who is charming and enthusiastic. We had only communicated btpy email and phone up until now

Pascal, the director, Katja and Annemarie, the staff (i'm not sure yet what everyone does) were in and out all day. Good to see them again

The gallery is in the former mint building. It is massive and has a beautiful oval stairway. Its something of soho nyc in the 80's. However, it is downtown and has nothing but big buildings around it. No restos, no shops, no grocery stores. Apparently theres a canteen across the street, but nothing gastronomic.

I had to walk 15 minutes to the Alexis shopping center to find one, which took me past the rot rathaus and the remains of the franreich kirche, which had a eerie poetic calm beauty to it. Alexis is a mall like any other. Huge.

I found some potato bread, yogurt, cereal and was even chuffed about finding oatmilk. I had to go to the cereal isle, find oatmeal to find the word and then go back to the milk section to verify that i had the right thing. Hafermilch !!!

Had a cup of tea with Mathilde and shared a slice of bread, who is a graphic artist from paris whose lived here for about four months.

Think i'll head out and join friends for dinner

Article Vogue.Italy. !

Here it is!!!!

Sculptures before shipment

Berlin project blog 1

In the bus headed to the airportfor my flight to berlin at 13h. The cube sculptures were shipped yesterday. Everything else is in my suitcase :(. It's a bit heavy :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Journal du design 05 oct 2011

"Exposition de Sean McGinnis à la galerie d’art Illustrative à Berlin"

Du 28 octobre prochain jusqu’à mars 2012