Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Trend Watch - Fuschia and Fluorescent Lightbulbs

A couple blogs ago I wrote, well mostly just provided pics, about the excellent Portland Biennial 2010.  Thinking about the works since then, I have several lingering questions and I'm especially wondering:  What's up with all the fuschia and fluorescent lightbulbs?

One of the locations in the Biennial, Rocksbox, featured work by a collective known as Ditch Projects called Are You Ready for the Country?  There was a ton of video, and objects that seemed to relate greatly to consumer culture...shiny object, with, yes much fake lightening.  Very clean forms, with a manufactured look.  Often at odds with something more natural, such as a rope-suspended crystal or video footage of a small interior car fire.  Lots of fluorescent lights and fuschia was the big punch color.  Take a look at these images:

I didn't think too much about it, this show, overall was far less interesting than what I had come from at the Disjecta Kenton space, until I went to the next stop at the Templeton building and saw a large work by Jenene Nagy  called Destroyer.

 Destroyer is a bit hard to see from my images here, sorry, but it's got exactly the same shade of fuschia and all these fluorescent lights.  What's up with that?

Do these artists work together, or are influenced by each other, or is there some sort of trend out there with fuschia and fluorescents?  Certainly there has been no shortage of either of those in contemporary art of late.  Certainly they are used to different effect, but still, it's quite an overwhelmingly similar choice of color/material.  Was this chosen intentionally by the curator? 

Come to think of it, 2 different works in this Biennial also used suspended crystals.  Hmmm....


Julie said...

Funny you should mention this pairing. I regret that I may fall into this very category :) It's certainly an interesting observation and one that I hadn't noticed. Thanks for the great posts. Really enjoyed the Portland art tour.

Molo said...

And I'm not suggesting one should or should not use fuschia/fluorescents in their art-but it's valuable, as an artist, to be aware of trends, and to be aware of how the audience reacts to them. I found it distracting- I ended up just compare those 2 works after noticing that trend, instead of thinking about them separately.