Exhibition Review: The Rain Room


The Rain Room – to what appears to be the greatest exhibition ever at the Barbican history, was one of the greatest and most peaceful exhibitions to go to. People queued for almost 12 hours just to witness and experience an incredible attraction. According to the Barbican, The Rain Room had over 77,000 excited people to enter that room. The idea of The Rain Room was to create a waterfall from the ceiling, and when there was any type of motion the rain would stop. There were sensors located throughout the ceiling and when it detected any type of movement, the area in which you were in, would not rain. The work itself makes use of a total 2,000 litres of water.

People are making an exhibition within the exhibition, in a sense that people become part of the installation. The exhibition is like a magnet and it pulls people into the room. You are using your body to interact with the installation. You are moving through it and using your body as the interface to experience it. Sometimes the rain inside of it works like digital rain, you don’t really see it. The rain makes you want to move your body inside it so you are testing to see where the droplets are coming from and gives you an idea of massive space, and has a behaviour that makes you move. You become a performer, essentially, throughout the installation.

Artist Talk: Erwin Olaff

Erwin Olaf has been a practicing artist from 1983 until present time. The original medium that Olaf has used was a Hasselblad. Eventually in his later years he switch to a digital medium and would either use a digital hasselblad or a digital camera. He originally went to school for journalism, and wanted to become a journalist. When he started his practice he realised that he hated journalistic photography.

 He starts his talk off by explain that people believe his work to be shocking and not expected. He was also very intrigued with the entire gay movement and the ‘pornographic’ approach to it. He is very interested in the human body, the abstraction that the body makes, and being able to take the identity from the person. When creating his work he liked to make fantasies, but he makes it very clear that these are other people’s fantasies and not his. Olaf mentions the demonstration of power through his work; whether it is the loss of power or the gain of power. He believes that artwork should be created through diversity of the world.

There are many inspirations that Olaf talks about. He became inspired by David Bowie and the images of him. Olaf wanted to photograph his models such as the way Bowie was photographed. He was fascinated by a couple of films which included Casanova, Clockwork Orange, and Blow-Up. He liked Blow-Up because it showed how photographers worked in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was very inspired by Pablo Picasso and the diversity of his work. He receives some inspiration from David LaChapelle.

 He tries to explore different colours when making his photos. He tried to go black on black tones and white on white tones.ImageImage

 In 2007, Olaf had decided to go digital. This is when he started to work with Photoshop and the idea of digitally altering photographs.

I personally like his older work that he created. I find that his new work is more commercialized and less artistic. When he had started to use Photoshop, his work became fake and unrealistic looking.

Brian O’Doherty. Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space

1. Identify 5 main themes in form of bullet points:

• The context in which spectators or viewers interpret the art.
• The different types of framing that is used throughout the gallery.
• The way they are constructed and presented.
• Being able to put this art in an area that can be appreciated, and observed.
• The space of the gallery and the area around it.

2. Write a short summary on the essay topic.

O’Doherty is discussing the understanding and elements of the modern day white cube gallery. He also tries to emphasize that the surrounding area around the picture frame is very important when looking at the image. This brings the viewer into a completely different “realm” if you will. It was as if the viewer stops being fully imam and dies. He also discusses the fact that the art work should only be surrounded by the white walls. This is so the work can stand alone with out any type of distractions.

3. Select on crucial quote.

“Art exists in a kind of eternity of display, and though there is lots of ‘period’ (late modern), there is no time”. p. 15

4. In his description of the white cube, O’Doherty observes that ‘the outside world must not come in’. Explain why this might be the case.

When O’Doherty mentions that the outside world should not be brought it, it was quite literal. He believes that any type of distractions will not be fair or appropriate for the work of arts. Everything except for the bare walls and the artwork should be left outside so that you can be with one with the art.

5. In his discussion of the shift that photography brought to an understanding of the exhibition space, O’Doherty states, ‘The edge is a firm convention looking in the subject had become fragile”. What does this mean?

When looking at photography O’Doherty believes that there should be no border. There is too much of a distraction if there is a frame around the photo. Unlike a painting where the frame helps show the beauty of the painting, the photograph needs something that is very simplistic like a white boarder or no boarder at all.

6. O’Doherty suggests that Courbet’s one-man salon des Refusees outside the exposition of 1855 was the first time a modern artist had to construct the context of his work. Explain the meaning of this phrase to its significance.

Originally artist were not able to place their artwork within the gallery. They were simply in charge on designing their art and that was it. They would then drop it off at their exhibition and let the gallery exhibit it.

(c) DACS; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation


Stella Portrait Series 1963 at Castelli 1964

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Artist Statement


Within this project I have tried to capture a snapshot type feel through a man’s eye. These women are giving everyday expressions that not everyone understands, at least in my opinion. In a way this project has helped me presently and will help me in the future to help understand woman’s expressions. Even though these types of expressions could have been used with men, I didn’t want to work with males. They work better with women because; the stereotypical man does not see these types of expressions. Expression is defined as a thought communicated by language or gesture. All of these women are giving gestures to help exemplify their expression.

These photographs are me exploration, as a man, of the emotions that woman convey through subtle changes in body language. By photographing these women I’m able to capture and observe these cues that I tend to overlook and in that way better understand them.

When working on this project, I had to really intellectually think about a way to go about this, without offending the subjects. When telling the subjects about the project, I initially told them that I was trying to capture everyday expressions. It was very difficult to capture my vision with the way I was asking them to pose. So I told them to act very natural. I told them to talk to me, or to talk with the other person that was in the room. As they were engaging with me or others, I was able to capture, true emotions. Emotions, gestures and expressions that was not forced, but natural. This is what I wanted.

When thinking about a way to display my work, it was quite difficult. I think it was because I was trying to make it difficult. I was thinking of different ways of hanging the images, or different objects to put the pieces on (i.e. chairs, tables, in picture frames, etc). When I was looking at them critically, I had placed them on the wall in the order that I wanted them and realized, why not be simple and hang them on the wall, with a slim white border. Sometime simple can be better.