Renowned Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei has just launched his largest solo exhibition to date, calledEvidence, in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau. The show is expansive, sprawling across 3,000 square meters and 18 rooms. The centerpiece of the exhibit is an installation called Stools, which features a staggering number of 6,000 wooden stools arranged in the atrium. The stools, collected from rural villages across northern China, date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties as well as the Republican period, expressing the centuries-old aesthetic and daily lifestyle of rural China. Packed tightly together on the floor of the atrium, the stools form a colossal and interlocked surface whose sheer size is astonishing.
I had the pleasure to see his last exhibit when it was at the AGO in Toronto and I have to say for a modern artist his work is amazing and thought provoking.
(Source: mymodernmet.com, via littlelimpstiff14u2)
Here Be Monsters
I noticed this wonderful Icelandic project of illustrated type inspired by medieval maps featuring fantastical sea creatures.
Design by Reykjavík based Stella Björg, these decorated capitals remind me of the Victorian illustrations I’ve written about recently. I love that several of the creatures appear to be based on specific Icelandic mythical beasts, as named at the bottom of the print. I also really like the print colours and flecked paper that gives the final work its antique look.
My “Here Be Monsters” illustrated letters started from the simple idea of writing “MONSTER” but having finished it just didn’t seem like there was much left to complete the alphabet. I was in no hurry to complete it, so very slowly monstrous letters got added and finally there appeared a complete alphabet. - Stella Björg
(Source: behance.net, via betype)
"Introverts don’t get lonely if they don’t socialize with a lot of people, but we do get lonely if we don’t have intimate interactions on a regular basis."
March 25th 1811: Shelley expelled from Oxford
On this day in 1811, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing a pamphlet entitled ‘The Necessity of Atheism’. Shelley is best known as a famous English poet, who was part of a group of fellow prominent writers including his wife Mary Shelley and Lord Byron. As well as being as being an author, Shelley was a radical political activist who advocated non-violent protest. Having begun study at Oxford in 1810, it is often said that he only attended one lecture during his time there. He published several works whilst at university, but it was his atheistic pamphlet which led to his appearance before the College fellows and his eventual expulsion as he refused to deny authorship. ‘The Necessity of Atheism’ argued that people do not choose their beliefs and thus atheists shouldn’t be persecuted. However it is unclear whether Shelley was personally an atheist; he may have instead been an agnostic or a pantheist. Either way, this document is an interesting insight into Shelley’s views and shows how atheism was stigmatised in the early nineteenth century.
"Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind. Every reflecting mind must allow that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity"