A compilation of random and interesting things, musings, musics, videos, and more. Brought to you by a UChicago student with a penchant for procrastination.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Head On

While I might have considered this during the sophomoric youth of my career as a blogger, this post is ultimately NOT meant to reference to that amazingly annoying series of commercials you've come to hate to see in the middle of your Jeopardy broadcast.

"HeadOnĀ® apply directly to the forehead!"

Though I have to admit that when repeated ad infinitum this slogan becomes just about as catchy a screwdriver boring into your skull - it is has to some extent come to define the commercial genre. Sure its incessant slogan may fuel a horrid headache, but - gasp - what sole product must you then rely on to cure that headache? Why, none other than HeadOn!

Curses! I've succumbed to their ploy!

Rather than dwelling on this realization of a commercial conspiracy, however, I wish to direct you to an amazing work of modern art that I've been mesmerized by for a while now.

Head On by Cai Guo-Qiang

Currently an installation in the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Germany this work utilizes 99 life-sized replicas of wolves in its creation of the completely surreal scene. I can only imagine how astounding this work must be to see in person, yet even these photographs (taken by Ihara and Mathias Schormann) shed light upon the amazing intensity of the work.

With few wolves scattered in the front gallery, all ninety-nine wolves run, gallop, and jump toward the far end of the exhibition hall, where a wall stands. The bravery of the wolves is met head on by the unyielding wall. As the leading wolves go down, many more follow with force and determination. As those in the front fall and pile up, those behind take up their positions. [Concept description]

While the work initially piques my interest for its scale and unorthodox presentation, the real message behind this installation can be applied to a deeper view of any ideological struggle faced with an insurmountable barrier. The relentless push exerted towards a goal beyond the glass, even when unexpectedly cut short, really exemplifies the strength of will with which people can be mobilized and moved in such great numbers to act. What are seemingly solitary animals, the wolves thus, take on a form beyond their individual selves and the force of their vast unified action - even when ultimately unsuccessful - still leaves a lasting impression in its wake.

To see the other works of artist Cai Guo-Qiang I highly recommend visiting his website.

Two of his most recent 2006 works have also become favorites of mine -
Inopportune: Stage Two, which arranges tiger figures in further unexpected positions as well as Clear Sky Black Cloud, which hints at his amazing work with smoke and explosives really speak volumes to the skill of this artist.

If you find a work of his that speaks volumes to your personal taste, feel free to leave a comment!

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