Continual automated drawing projected on painted canvases
This installation was a response to the last paragraph of Calvino's Invisible Cities:
‘And Polo said: “The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, and give them space.’
Of Vanitas is a commentary on a category of still life paintings: Vanitas. Vanitas paintings highlight and lament the transience of all things with recurring iconographic components such as a skull to represent the mortality of man, books to symbolize the futility of knowledge in the face of eternity, and an extinguished candle to symbolize the inevitability.
As you walk down the celebratory red carpet, your footsteps are mapped to different phases in life: birth, childhood, high school, college, your first job, marriage, family, serving as grandparents, and finally, death. On the right, crowd-generated Instagram images corresponding to the different phases are projection mapped onto the canvas. On the left is an oil-painting made of oil-paintings. It is not a Vanitas painting, but a commentary of it, and an attempt to capture the process of distillation.
Of Vanitas is the first of a series that investigates and contrasts the properties of oil-painting as a medium with interactive art installations as a form of inquiry. What is more relevant? Symbols and allusions that are transcendent across time and geography as a result of distillation, or real-time data that are regenerated every second?