5 art installations between fantasy and illusion

The art installations are often conceived to give viewers a surreal and multi-sensory experience, involving them to become an artistic component.

Art installation became one of the most original means of expression for contemporary artists, passing through the work of many artists.

One of the themes that went through modern art and all artistic movements of the ‘900s is the comparison between aesthetic and social space: modern art, indeed, aims at establishing a degree of equality between the creativity and the world around. 

We selected 6 of the most colorful, poetic and breathtaking examples from 2019.

Chromo Sapiens by Shoplifter

Art installations: Shoplifter designed Chromo Sapiens
Chromo Sapiens, created by the artist Shoplifter, was a cavernous, colorful and immersive environment

Chromo Sapiens is a visceral work created by the artist Shoplifter / Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir for the Pavilion of Iceland at the Venice Art Biennale 2019. Shoplifter transformed a warehouse on the island of Giudecca into an immersive, cavernous environment where colors, sounds and irresistible textures guided the visitors through a journey to heighten their senses and awareness.

The Icelandic artist has created a series of distinct chambers, starting from Primal Opus, a dark space with traces of neon light, a sort of alien place inhabited by visceral sounds, whose energy recalled the echo of vulcanoes. Following these telluric shocks, the visitors came to Astral Gloria, a high space in which fluorescent colors enveloped the entire body.

Transported by the psychedelic explosion of color, the visitors arrived at Opium Natura, in which the pastel shades of the soft masses of fur and an enveloping light caressed the senses.

Stone 27 by Benjamin Langholz

Art installations: Stone 27 designed by Benjamin Langholz for Burning Man 2019
Benjamin Langholz’s installation was made of 27 stones, hanging to create an ascending circular staircase

In the context of Burning Man 2019, an electronic music festival that takes place in the desert of Nevada, artist Benjamin Langholz created a circular staircase of stepping stones to let the festival goers live a unique and involving experience.

The artist arranged  27 stones, weighing over 450 kilograms, in an ascending ring, supported by a central pillar and three surrounding pairs of minimal steel columns. The basalt stones were placed at stepped height to form a continuous circular pathway, which measured seven meters above the ground at its highest point.

Stone 27 represented the idea of an alternative reality, in which something heavy and stable as stone became light and fluctuating, gifting visitors an immersive experience to temporarily divert their attention from Burning Man and focus instead on the moment they were living.

Into the Hedge by SO-IL

Art installations: Into the Hedge  by SO -IL
Into the Hedge installation, by SO-IL, encouraged visitors to walk, play and sit on the colorful net

The US architecture firm SO-IL planted 130 trees to realize this installation in the gardens of historic Bartholomew Court House for Exhibit Columbus 2019, an annual event showcasing art, architecture and design.

SO-IL developed the project with the preservation team at Miller House and Garden, a mid-century home that celebrated the renowned architect and designer Eero Saarinen.

For the installation, the trees were arranged among a large colorful and vibrant net made of nylon. Visitors were encouraged to walk, play and sit on the netting as several trees were connected to one another by nylon hammocks.

Once Into the Hedge is disassembled, the 130 trees will be planted in the Miller House garden the woven material will be used to make bags thanks to a partnership with People for Urban Progress, while other parts such as gabions, mulch, limestone and stakes, will be used in local infrastructure projects.

Simbiosi by Edoardo Tresoldi

Art installations: Simbiosi by Tresoldi
Simbiosi, designed by Edoardo Tresoldi, is a permanent artwork destined to integrate with nature

Simbiosi is a site-specific art installation, designed by Edoardo Tresoldi, for Arte Stella sculpture park, the renowned open-air museum in Italy’s Trentino Valley.

The artist took inspiration from the strong storm that damaged the art park in 2018: focusing on the experimental perception of the space and the relationship with the landscape’s element, he created an architectural structure using metallic mesh and local stone.

Sculpted by the surrounding landscape, Simbiosi lies on a hill born from the transformative action of nature: a 5 meters height structure entirely open towards the sky, thus delineating a resting and contemplative space to stay in full contact with nature

The permanent artwork shows the appearance of a ruin suspended between architecture, nature and temporal dimension, where the transparency of this “absent matter”, expressed through the wire mesh, is hybridized with the presence of the materiality of the local stones. Moreover, nature, growing slowly, will define a new, additional architecture: same as other artworks located in Arte Stella, Simbiosi will ultimately blend with the park.


Art installations: Spectra by Newsusbstance for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
Spectra, designed by NEWSUBSTANCE, is a seven-story installation, inspired by the Colorado Desert landscape

Spectra is a seven-story installation, created by the design studio NEWSUBSTANCE to let visitors of Coachella Valley Music live a journey through its spirals of colors and view the site from an entirely new perspective.

Initially built for Coachella 2018 and proposed again for 2019, Spectra is a site-specific response to the Colorado Desert surrounding the festival: it both connects and contrasts with the landscape and sky providing a deviation from the stark, flat horizon while capturing the natural colors of the environment and refining California’s sunrises and sunsets into a column of colored light.

By traveling the six revolutions of the tower until reaching the deck on the top, Spectra invited visitors to explore the relationship between light and landscape. The pavilion provided a space for peaceful reflection, diverting from the bustling crowds of the festival.

Moreover, the succession of variegated Perspex window panels reflected and refracted the sunlight, embathing the structure’s interior with intense colors and offering the spectators a vibrant view of Coachella festival grounds.

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