adad hannah: all is vanity (mirrorless version) at PULSE contemporary art fair

This weekend I had the privilege of getting the inside scoop of an old college friend, Adad Hannah's work that was showcased in this year's PULSE Contemporary Art Fair here in New York city. I've enjoyed seeing his work progress and evolve over many years and love where it is now. Though I'm not totally well-versed in the world of contemporary art, I have not seen any work quite like this. 

This piece called All is Vanity (Mirrorless Version) was particularly interesting to me. The inspiration for the piece is a famous optical illusion illustration from 1892 by Charles Allan Gilbert. Depicted in the photo is a woman sitting gazing at her reflection at a vanity table. The image can also be read as a human skull. 
In Adad's own rendering includes a video and still photographs of the same scene as in the illustration but this time without the use of a mirror. Instead, he cast twins to perform the woman and her reflection. The 11 minute video is a continuous shot of the women sitting in place and remaining as still as possible. The small breathing and blinking movements of the two women through the duration of the "video still" becomes "evidence of time passing, which breaks the static nature of Gilbert's original drawing and reminds viewers of their own existence within the flux of space and time." 

The video can also be viewed here

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There were also other interesting works showcased at the PULSE Art Fair. Here are some images of ones I also found interesting/inspiring. I did not document all artists names, so I have not included them here. 

These images were interesting as they were printed on layers of thin fabric, stretched individually, then framed together. This created a kind of 3D effect to the photos which seemed to bring them alive.

These tree sculptures were just stunning to look at. They are made of electrical, wire and papier-mache and hung suspended from fishing line. They seemed to be floating in space. I could have stared at these trees for hours. 

This was a beautiful collage using old photos and newspaper text clippings.

I entitled this iPhone crucifix.


These photos of Imelda Marcos exhibited by a gallery from Manila were quite entertaining. Imelda Marcos herself posed for the images. In fact, her daughter was the one who commissioned the artist. The photos are apparently about being fabulous in times of imminent danger. That somehow doesn't surprise me at all. It turns out, the artist is actually a cousin of mine (whom I have not met), Steve Tirona. Small world!



This mid-century credenza-turned-boat just made me smile.