Brancusi-ites across the world UNITE!
I would love to meet all the people who share our enthusiasm for Brancusi and that endless column. So far some of those we have met are academics like Alexandra Parigoris from the University of Leeds, Jon Wood of the Henry Moore Institute, the curator of the Brancusi studio in Paris, as well as the cleaning contractor at the site of our column who referred to him as 'Brancuso', and Gabriella the Romanian student I taught last year.
Recently two other Brancusi aficionados contacted me from Australia. Gail, and her Romanian husband Sorin (aka George) who has been welding away inspired by the big man. Here are some of George's sculptures which are displayed by the Romanian embassy in Canberra:
Gail and George are currently undertaking a trip to the column and a lot of other places in Europe - there blog is http://transylvaniaartstudio.blogspot.com with lots of pics of George's work.
The Romanian Ambassador his Excellency Ion Jinga has visited Leeds and our sculpture Hello Friends at Bridgewater Place with the Council's International Relations department. Unfortunately we were not invited, it would have been great to meet him and talk about the influence of the 'Endless Column' by Brancusi on the work and the conversations we have had with the Brancusi Foundation in Romania and various experts here in the UK.
Whether he liked the work or not is not clear, however he has asked (insisted!) that we put a plaque on it detailing the Brancusi and Romanian link. This sounds like a great idea to us as the Endless Column is one of the main raison d'etre's of our sculpture. We thought the link came across clearly enough in the actual form of the artwork, without requiring a brass enscribed note (even one of the cleaners recognised the reference!). When I get a bit of time I would like to notify the Ambassador of the many other Brancusi homages out there. He may wish to get in contact with the artists/collectors who own them and suggest similar action. Here are a few to get started on:
'Endless Column' by Tal Streeter
'Kusine' by Nicole Wermers
'Endless Gnome' by Christopher L. Williams
'Coluna sem fim' by Franz Weissman
'Sculpture silhouette prop' by Peter Coffin
'Endless Column' in second life
We launched the sculpture 'Hello Friends' last night in the atrium of Bridgewater Place. To mark the occasion we invited musicians from London based Nozfuratu to play a concert. It was it has to be said, freezing in the covered street, possibly the coldest night of the year so far, but the musicians played on and the music was great. We particularly enjoyed the edgy modernist inspired music accompanying the glass elevators rising and falling with late working lawyers in conjunction with the flashing repetitive lights of the sculpture.
We managed to get some coverage of the opening on TV and radio (see Look North news excerpt). It was going to be broadcast live, only there was a break out of a fatal disease in the drinking water in North Yorkshire which unfortunately took our slot. It was good to have a live event and a chance to see some of our friends/ colleagues, alongside those that had worked on the sculpture.
The catalogue of Hello Friends has arrived. The publication contains photos of the installation at Bridgewater Place, colour details of the 9 sculpture images, and photographs of us making the work. It also includes two essays by Dr Jon Wood (Henry Moore Institute) the first is about Hello Friends, the second text is a fictional story set around Brancusi's 'Endless Column'.
Hello Friends catalogue, ISBN 978-0-9551875-2-0 is priced £10, (+£2.50 UK p&p). To order a copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Recently we visited Brancusi's studio in Paris with plaster and wooden early versions of the Endless Column. In the living quarters of his studio below the mezzanine bed you can see some traces of Brancusi lifestyle, his guitar, violin and speakers set in carved stone casings - to the left of the white plaster head of "sculpture pour aveugles".