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Design Diary: Exhibitions to visit this summer

Design Diary: Exhibitions to visit this summer

With the summertime break looming, here are must-see exhibitions to that will enrich your travel experience.

IN REAL LIFE

Forty works form the Danish-Icelandic artist’s portfolio have taken over London’s Tate Modern. Exploring the play of light and water, illusion and the real, shapes and forms, these pieces celebrate the last 26 years of Olafur Eliasson’s multi-faceted career. From ‘Beauty’ (1993) that creates an indoor rainbow as light filters through falling water, to saturated colour rooms and a mirrored tunnel that explores the visitor’s observation of reality, ‘In Real Life’ leaps beyond what initially seems like a retrospective and establishes the celebrated artist as one whose sight is firmly set the present.

Challenging people’s perceptions of their surrounding and themselves, he announces his intention to strike awe and thoughtfulness at the onset: an 11-metre-high waterfall constructed from scaffolding is installed outside the museum.

Extracting cascading water from nature and planting it in a thoroughly industrial setting, the artist questions our relation with our ecosystem, what is real and what is man-made in today’s age.

The exhibit also its fun moments: Your Uncertain Shadow is an interactive installation that casts chromatic shadows — made for kids and grown-ups, and of course, Instagram. Also featuring a tunnel of jog and bursts of illuminated water that begs to be experienced up close and personal, In Real Life offers moments of joy and introspection in equal measure.

Ends: 5 January 2020

CAMP: NOTES ON FASHION

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Schiaparelli’s pastel pink flamingo at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image Credit: Supplied

When the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced this theme last year, it left me scratching my head and from the looks the A-list delivered on the famous Gala carpet, it feels like I wasn’t the only one. The annual exhibition that is steered by mighty Anna Wintour and the encyclopedia of all things fashion, Andrew Bolton, curator in charge of the Costume Institute has always been over the top, flamboyant and kooky. i.e. Camp — so why the need for an isolated theme? Excluding what was in my opinion the most boring Met Gala red carpet ever, the exhibition itself explores the sheer audacity and genius of fashion at its zenith.

Providing the framework for Jean -Paul Gaultier’s iconic sequinned sailor look and Jeremy Scott’s feathered explosion of butterflies to coexist with Schiaparelli’s pastel pink flamingo headed cape and Thierry Mugler’s ‘Venus’ is Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay ‘Notes on Camp’.

Irony, humour, pastiche and theatricality murmur through the exhibit, which in certain sections is purposely claustrophobic; Bolton wanted to deliver the sense of secrecy and covertness that surrounded camp’s origins. Arguably, the dullest moment of Camp: Notes on Fashion was one person who could have delivered: Lady Gaga and her poorly executed red carpet routine. The Exhibition itself is anything but boring or poorly executed. It ranges from being a much needed celebration of queer culture, celebrating drama queens and even fragile male ego to political satire — but as with all things camp, it’s difficult to describe the experience in mere words.

Ends: September 8.

DAAN ROOSEGAARDE — PRESENCE

An 800m2 living lab in the heart of Netherlands, Presence is the artist and innovator’s first major museum solo project. Known for his work in the external public domain, Daan Roosegaarde adapts the internal museum space for the first time to present the installation.

A the result of innovative material-technical research, it comes across as highly intuitive as the large-scale, phosphorescent landscape changes colour and shape as it interacts with the users. Unlike installations that create an invisible wall between the onlooker and the piece, Presence encourages visitors to touch and feel the material, to immerse themselves in the space.

Each zone invites the visitor to experience various changes in their environment and perspective. From large and solid, to small and mobile, from light to dark, from fantastical to intergalactic, the exhibition offers a myriad of canvasses for visitors to explore.

Ends: January 12, 2020.