[NetBehaviour] The Kinetica Art Fair: a very moving experience.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Mar 7 08:23:44 CET 2009
The Kinetica Art Fair: a very moving experience.
The Kinetica Art Fair can be enjoyed by art lovers, children and geeks.
By Colin Gleadell.
A new event opens in London this week that sounds as though it could be
fun. Carnivorous lampshades, pole-dancing robots, mechanical writing
machines and mesmerising light sculptures are all promised at the
world's first Kinetica Art Fair, where 25 galleries and 150 artists will
congregate to promote a once fashionable art form that is now reclaiming
Historians usually trace the origins of kinetic art, which loosely means
art that moves, back to the early 20th century and to Duchamp's
revolving bicycle wheel. After Alexander Calder began making mobiles in
the Fifties, kinetic art became a phenomenon of the Fifties and Sixties,
characterised by Jean Tinguely's bizarre, functionless machines, or
Takis's electromagnetic signal sculptures.
But the works were difficult to maintain and frequently broke down. "It
was a commercial disaster," says Dan Chadwick, one of the new generation
of kinetic artists showing at this week's fair. There were also
reservations as to whether this was art or just gadgetry, and, after the
novelty wore off, kinetic art was relegated to a footnote in the history
Its revival was heralded in 2000 by the Hayward Gallery in London in a
largely retrospective exhibition, Force Fields, which demonstrated that
kinetic art was "not just silly robotics", says Ellie Harrison-Read of
the Flowers East gallery, which last year presented its own exhibition
of contemporary practitioners.
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