Dive into the week with a selection of our favorite projects on ArtConnect — including painting, mixed media, photography and architectural illustrations.

Featured projects by Maik Schierloh, Gabrielle Vitollo, José Néstor Rodríguez , Joanna Szproch, and Christian Perdix.

Also see: this week’s selected opportunities.

NT – 2020

by Maik Schierloh, shared by KLEINERVONWIESE

About the project

Mixed media, gold leaf on linen, 95x75cm (each). Featured in KLEINERVONWIESE’s exhibition ELYSIUM at POSITIONS Berlin Art Fair 2020, 10 – 13 September 2020.

 

About the artist

Maik Schierloh is an artist, curator and organizer based in Berlin. He studied art at the University of Applied Science Ottersberg, Germany, and, upon moving to Berlin, initiated a number of art and cultural projects. Among these is AUTOCENTER, a non-profit space for contemporary art, which was founded in 2001 and operated until 2018. He is also founder of Bar Babette project space, which since 2018 takes the form of a cafe based out of the Sudhaus at KINDL – Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst.

Favorite Projects: 28 September - 4 October
Favorite Projects: 28 September - 4 October
Favorite Projects: 28 September - 4 October

NT – 2020 by Maik Schierloh

Distorted Bioharzard

by Gabrielle Vitollo

About the project

Acrylic on wall, floor, and ceiling, overlaid animated projection, 2020.

 

About the artist 

Gabrielle Vitollo’s paintings visually interpret corporeality, scientific data, and contemporary technologies. She is influenced by the German and Italian Renaissance’s scientific investigations of painting in relation to the natural world, and the German Romanticists’ Doctrine of Synesthesia, by which all artistic disciplines are combined for a sublime art viewing experience. Both rationally structured and intuitive, her paintings manifest into wall paintings, animations, and large stretched canvases through the use of digital tools including projections, colored gels, After Effects, and Photoshop and modern paint materials including fluorescent and metallic acrylics, as well as glow in the dark paint. By incorporating digital technologies and painting on floors, walls, and ceiling, Vitollo attempts to reexamine the possibilities within painting. Her vibrantly colored, cryptic symbology is inspired by formal language found in tattoos, graffiti, band graphics, and art history as she is interested in dismantling hierarchies within low- and high-art cultures. By working on an ambitious scale and utilizing reconstructive processes, her paintings are optimistic gestures of transformation and rebirth.

After completing an MFA in Studio Art from New York University Steinhardt, Vitollo moved to Berlin in 2018 on a Fulbright Research Grant. She recently received a DAAD Stipendium for 2020-2021 in order to research scientific data for her paintings.

Crossarium

by José Néstor Rodríguez 

About the project

The site is a funeral complex located south of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The project proposes new rituals to remember our deceased in order to challenge traditional funeral customs. Instead of commemorating death through a static monument that depersonalizes and segregates the dead – such as mausoleums, tombs, crypts, and cemeteries – Crossarium implements a speculative architectural typology where land, landscape and structure are the monument. The idea of acts of care towards the land – found in the crosses on the roads of Puerto Rico – is used by family members to honor their dead; at the same time, these acts serve to regenerate a site affected by years of modern capitalist and industrial practices.

The site is in what are nowadays the premises of the AES thermoelectric power station in Guayama. The plant has been the center of attention since came to light the environmental and health problems the ashes – product of the coal burning process to generate electricity – represent. Using the Land Act of 1941 in Puerto Rico, we envision an amendment based on land uses to honor and protect the crosses that are already on our roads and give them a permanent space in Crossarium. This amendment recognizes the right to property – by means of appropriation in the form of acts of care – of the land occupied by funeral monuments in the form of crosses on the roads of Puerto Rico, to the family members or persons who have taken on the task of remembering and keep these ‘sites’ for years. In turn, the amendment gives the government the right to expropriate the lands of the AES to be divided into parcels and distributed among said relatives and people, thus creating Crossarium. Once claimed and the presence of acts of care is verified, the sites of the crosses are removed from their original place to be transferred to Crossarium.

Crossarium is a sort of garden that fuses agricultural practices with different funeral traditions found in Puerto Rican popular culture – including among these road crosses and Baquinés. The garden has an Ornamentalium, where relatives and visitors can acquire all kinds of decorations such as flowers, candles, toys, plants, among others; an Educational Center where the new generations learn about the practice and cultural heritage of building crosses by the side of the roads, at the same time participating in the process of caring for them; a Crematorium that seeks more sustainable methods of remembering and treating our dead; the Baquinés, inspired by the popular festivals in the Afro-Caribbean culture after the death of a child to celebrate life; the Sphere as the central point of the project that serves as a spiritual space; the observation bridges product of the preexisting structures of the thermoelectric plant to transport coal; and finally the Terrariums, a proposed structural grid on the existing mountain of coal and ashes where ornaments, ashes, acts of care for the land, agricultural practices, and crosses and sites come together to form a new topography that is the product of new practices implemented in this speculative typology

 

About the artist

José Néstor Rodríguez is an architectural designer, writer and photographer from La Havana, Cuba, currently living in New York City. His work as designer and writer has become a way of communicating and paying attention to social and cultural concerns, engaging in a constant fight against indifference.

His main intentions are to break barriers, collaborate, and make global connections between the people who experience and partake in the creation of his work. He believes that the uncertainty of modern times is only a small obstacle when compared to the tenacity of the human mind.