Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Splendor of Excess

Metalmorphosis by David Černý. Photographs by Flickr user Rick_28105.

What a splendid waste! Metalmorphosis is a 7.6m tall animated sculpture by Czech artist David
Černý. The fountain, which is 14 tons of rotating stainless steel plates, adorns the courtyard of a corporate center in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. As a sculpture, it is a work of artistic and mechanical wonder. The head of the any-man slowly rotates in and out of existence - a thousand pieces in all directions - a confused mind in pure blinged-out ignorant bliss. It's powered by internal motors which are controlled by the artist via internet link. You can watch a live webcam of the fountain here. Metalmorphosis is an artistic statement in engineering that kinetic buildings and other large-scale public objects could become commonplace. The many potential applications limited only by doubt.

As a symbol, it excels even that of it's engineering. The shear size and materiality of the sculpture renders it visually and physically grand. It's familiar form and incorporation of water make it feel playful and whimsical. A grand statement for any successful corporation, indeed. However, rotating in it's Sisyphean glory, the continuous rotation and flow of water belies it's own inherent imagery of excess. What could possibly be a better symbol of waste than one spitting out water in perpetuity? It is, at once, a grand gesture of accomplishment and the spoils that come along with it.

Seen on
DesignBoom and Colossal.

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