September 2002 - October 2002
Bamboo Installation - Markus Heinsdorff - Bali - Ubud 2002
Skyplace is a new creation by German installation artist Markus Heinsdorff. This giant bamboo zeppelin will land at Bali's contemporary art gallery, Gaya Fusion of Senses in Ubud, on the 9th of September, 2002. It will remain until the 20th of October, 2002. The 27m long, 5.5m high all-bamboo airship will be assembled on Gaya grounds, where a traditional Balinese ricefield will slowly welcome its arrival. Live web-cam images of the installation, its construction, and of the accompanying gallery exhibition can be viewed on this web site from 19th August 2002 - the date chosen by a Balinese pemangku priest as most auspicious.
The tranquil zeppelin hovers over a 10m by 20m pool of water. Until the rice planted within begins to grow, the ship will reflect in the water's mirror-like surface. Its inner being and skeleton lie exposed, as do those who enter its 27m long interior. The bamboo sculpture can neither move nor fly. It is a monument to possibility - possibility of noiselessly navigating the skies in harmony with nature, of bridging great distances, of creating aesthetic connections between Asian and European cultures. Designed in the shape of a zeppelin, a form created when the West's nature-conquering spirit was idealistic and filled with dreams, the airship is built on location in Bali by local craftsmen using traditional building techniques and the most environmental of materials. The opening of the installation will carefully follow the complex Balinese calendar and the religiously required ceremonial and sacrificial rites. In conjunction with the outdoor installation, Markus Heinsdorff will be exhibiting new works in the wide interior spaces of Gaya Gallery, all reflecting in one manner or another his successive journeys through Asia, his enduring fascination with the beauty and potential of bamboo and his passionate interest in the aesthetics and perception of space. The site of the installation is Gaya Gallery, the top contemporary art gallery in Bali - an island with a deep-rooted culture that mixes easily with five hundred years of visitors from the world over, now including Markus' enormous zeppelin. In the spring of 2003 the zeppelin will sail to Italy, where it will be reassembled in the city of Modena, closing one cycle of cultural exchange between East and West.
The viewer is greeted by an exposed structure built out of bamboo canes of varying thickness in the shape of a zeppelin airship. Nine triangular-shaped trusses support the weight of this "skyplace". The body of the ship consists of a series of paired, overlapping, hexagonal rings arranged in four different sizes. The hexagonal rings are placed in a row, perpendicular to the ground at intervals of two metres, forming a long cylinder. The rings are connected with bamboo canes, which form the horizontally-lined ribs of the airship. The sculpture is further stabilised by two diagonal bamboo crossbeams fastened to each of the rings. The first and last segments consist of thin, slightly curved pieces of split bamboo
Keeping with the spirit of the bamboo airship, Markus Heinsdorff is showing works within the high walls of Gaya gallery that are capable of altering our awareness and perception of space. One installation, Wassermusik, expresses the basic experience of sound; another juxtaposes the outdoor Zeppelin with an old Balinese fishing boat suspended in a completely black room, reflected in water one hundred meters deep, playing magically with the limitations and boundlessness of space. Illusions of perspective, colour and rhythm, the visualisation of the universe through an archetypal sphere, and the realm of a small world that the viewer can peer into, are all elements of these installations that are concerned with ways of experiencing space and blending art with science, while reflecting old and new cultural techniques from East and West.
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