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  #1  
Old 12-31-2007, 08:09 PM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Anish Kapoor's Svayambh

This is a deep red wax-like block that slowly moves on tracks through the gallery's door opening. As it is large and has to squeeze it's way through, it is shaped by the opening, leaving wax trails at the opening and behind it. A large picture is inside the link below.

Anish Kapoor at Haus der Kunst in Munich

Jan 1, 2007. Artdaily. MUNICH.-The London-based artist Anish Kapoor created a new work specially for Haus der Kunst as part of his first comprehensive solo-exhibition in Germany since showing 1991 at the Kunstverein Hannover and 1996/1997 at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Cologne. Anish Kapoor has created a new work specially for Haus der Kunst and in response to its monumental architecture. The title of this piece and of the exhibition relates back to the Sanskrit "Svayambhu(v)" meaning self-generated or auto generated.

"Svayambh" is a deep red, wax-like block that will be moving almost imperceptibly along a set of tracks, which reach from one end of the entire eastern galleries to the other. Its appearance which is reminiscent of a train can be related back to Kapoor’s fascination with Andrei Konchalovsky’s film "Runaway Train" (1985), where two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving. Creating a red line through the building, "Svayambh" passes through two doorways, which form and seemingly force the block through their restrictive frames making it leave behind smeary traces of its material: a mixture of Vaseline, paint and wax.

This enormous red mass reminiscent of compacted blood evokes an almost apocalyptic image. Interestingly a red heifer or "parah adumah" notably adom means red and dam means blood in Hebrew is often associated with the Apocalypse in Judaism. "Svayambh" can be seen in direct correlation to a further site-specific work, a "wound" or slit of about 1,5 m that Kapoor will carve directly into a wall. Images such as these carry even greater connotations in a building with such a difficult history as the Haus der Kunst’s. ...


This picture below is from another source which is not in English. The red block is half emerging from the door opening with a half round top.


This picture is from the same installation concept he showed earlier in 2007 at a gallery at Nantes, France. The door opening at Munich's gallery has a different shape, thus shaping the block differently.
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Last edited by Merlion : 12-31-2007 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:27 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Anish Kapoor's Svayambh

I understand the references & seriousness of the sources, but I still think of the Crayola factory. I guess the scale in person would squash that connection.
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Old 12-31-2007, 09:02 PM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Re: Anish Kapoor's Svayambh

Grommet, As you may have implied, we cannot deny this reality about size. For sculptures including installations, large sizes, especially sizes larger than human, make a whole lot of difference to our emotional perception of them.

But good locations/environments, striking colors and interesting textures also matters.
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Last edited by Merlion : 01-01-2008 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 01-01-2008, 07:17 AM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Anish Kapoor's Svayambh

of course
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:12 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Anish Kapoor's Svayambh

Interesting work. I've seen that smearing effect before, but I can't remember where. Things going around a corner or across an edge.

[Shortly after] Now I recall. Cleaning wax off a spatula with another one or a knife blade.
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