Saturday, July 13, 2019

Upside Down and Right Side Up

Paleis Amsterdam in 2005

Many people have referenced Atlas in relationship to the 7' inflatable helium globe. I have a sneaking suspicion a photograph emulating my favorite depiction of that sculpture might occur (though there is a difference between the earth and the skies and between a country thinking it is at the center of the universe and a solitary human knowing that she is not). That comparison reminds me of Erwin Wurm's The Artist Who Swallowed the World as both are rendered helpless (or still due to their actions).

Erwin Wurm, The Artist Who Swallowed the World, 2006

I purchased the inflatable globe before I saw this article featuring Mark Wallinger's new installation. This coincides with my interest in scale and the need for the "earth" to be prominent in its environment and larger than most human beings.

Mark Wallinger, The World Turned Upside Down [images via]

In "Mark Wallinger's New Sculpture Turns the World Upside Down," Louisa Buck writes: 

"Viewed on the surface of a walkaround globe rather than in the familiar rectangular form of the flattened, projected Mercator map, the true scale of Africa and South America becomes immediately apparent. As does the enormity of the Pacific Ocean. 'It is rather magnificent to see the full size of Africa,' said Wallinger, adding that he first conceived the piece back in 2013, 'when we had a coalition government and Donald Trump was just a reality TV star and a failing property developer.' Of course this image of what Wallinger describes as 'the world from a different viewpoint: familiar, strange and subject to change' chimes especially loudly with current upheavals." 

After acquiring a National Geographic "Top of the World" map a couple years ago, I have thought heavily about how our continental locations translate to how we view the world, specifically how the perspective of the Poles is altered when it is centered and not warped into something that it is is not, as seen on top of a globe. The vastness of water and the insignificance of land is one of my favorite parts of Wallinger's The World Turned Upside Down.

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