At The Armory Show 2009 Wetterling Gallery showed two documentary videos and a digital rendering introducing a large installation called Big Bambú by the artists Mike and Doug Starn. The Starns’ Big Bambú is an artwork in the realm of architecture and performance, a massive, moving construction made out of countless bamboo poles that is in constant transformation.
VernissageTV had the opportunity to have a look at the real thing at Mike and Doug Starn’s vast studio space in the former Tallix foundry in Beacon, New York.
The Starn twins took over the foundry in September 2008 and immediately started construction of Big Bambú. The artwork starts as a massive tower created from lashed together bamboo poles. At its pinnacle, the architecture will cantilever out as far as the bamboo poles network allows, and then will bridge down to the floor. There’s no outside scaffolding or support. At this point the first tower will be dismantled pole by pole and carried through the structure and down to create another monumental tower and then on again, walking down the 320 feet space and then back again. The impressive structure moves throught the huge space almost like a Slinky.
Big Bambú will evolve through the continuous rebuilding and rethinking of the structure at all times. As of November 15th, more than 2,000 bamboo poles have been assembled by a team of 8 to 15 rock climbers at a time.
The Starn brothers are currently developing an exhibition project focusing on Big Bambú, with the Detroit Institute of Arts for the fall of 2009, and potential venues in Naples (Italy).
This video shows the artwork on the occasion of an open studio / private view / brunch that has been held during the Armory Show. A video of the artist talk on that day will follow soon.
Mike + Doug Starn: Big Bambú. Open Studio / Private View, Beacon / New York, March 8, 2009.
Links: Doug + Mike Starn at Artinfo.com, The New York Times, 20×200.com, Fallon and Rossof, NYT, NYT, Artinfo.com.
> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.
From Mike and Doug Starn’s website:
Big Bambú is consistent with the idea of a self-healing organism; within this “fabric” of bamboo pole network, the artists expect that some poles will stress and fail, but that the structure (the bamboo poles are fibrous and flexible unlike wooden boards that crack and break apart) will maintain some integrity. The tower represents the concepts of self-organization, adaptation and the interconnectedness of all things.
Big Bambú is connotative of an autonomous, spontaneous, self-governing, disorganized network responding to itself to better navigate the environment. “It represents me- in that I am who I was, and, I am completely different than I was when I was a little boy.” Doug Starn writes.
The Starns are currently developing an exhibition project focusing on Big Bambú, with the Detroit Institute of Arts for the fall of 2009, and potential venues in Naples (Italy).