Sven and Nils Völker—graphic designer and installation artist, respectively, though they both do both—are pleased to present a pair of new installations at Flø in Ulsteinvik, Norway.For the art festival "Go with the Flø" in Norway we've turned an old school gym into one large installation. It's an interplay of two site specific installations which fill up the whole room.
On the wall is the work "Haven't Seen Myself in Ages" by Sven Völker. A huge wall of 414 posters which are illuminated by color changing lights. Thereby the appearance of the whole wall is constantly changing and different forms appear and disappear again.
The middle of the room is dominated by the installation "Twenty Eight" by Nils Völker. A 15 meter long double row of white plastic bags which are selectively inflated and deflated in controlled rhythms creating wavelike patterns and a sizzling soundscape.
As a column of inflatable plastic bags, "Twenty Eight" is ostensibly a rework of "Thirty-Six," which was suspended ceiling as a sort of respirating chandelier. His brother's work, on the other hand, is easily the cynosure of the space: the kaleidoscopic pop hues belie their simple paper construction. I find that the brothers' disparate work is rather less complementary in the Norwegian gymnasium than their collaboration from last year, "CAPTURED": where the earlier piece felt like a cohesive whole, the new work by Nils and Sven looks and feels like two distinct works. Whether it's simply a matter of scale and the givens of the space itself or a divergence between the acute geometric patterns and the bulbous, whirring floor installation, I find it difficult to reconcile the clash between the cerebral work on the wall and the somatic floor installation, united though they may be by the lighting (and a debt to, say, the serial art of Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre).
Which is not to say that the work is unsuccessful or unduly derivative: each stands on its own, and the contrast between the form of each work only underscores the fact that the light itself constitutes their common content, at least to the extent that the shifting hues imbue both the static, two-dimensional chevrons and the dynamic alveolar vessels with meaning.
In the immortal words of the kid from that popsicle commercial from the 90s, "The colors, duke, the colors!" (weirdly enough, he's the one who posted that vid to YouTube, with a bit of commentary on the production considerations behind the adverts... but that's a topic for another blog post).