Where: Dubai Fountain Promenade
When: April - August 2018
The Dubai Mall has unveiled artist Janet Echelman’s immense woven sculpture ‘1.78’, above a section of the Dubai fountain; the work is the most recent addition to Art Emaar, the company’s new public arts initiative.
Most Recently exhibited in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor last winter, ‘1.78’ makes its UAE debut against the unrivaled backdrop of Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain. ‘1.78’ is the newest addition to Echelman’s Earth Time Series; previous works in this series have been exhibited in cities across Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.
Designed as an exploration of cyclical time, ‘1.78’ refers to the number of microsecond, according to NASA, by which the earth’s day was shortened as a result of a physical event, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan with devastating effects. The forms in the sculpture and carpet were inspired by data sets of the Tsunami wave heights across the Pacific Ocean. The artwork reminds us of our complex interdependencies with larger cycles of time and matter. Its physical presence is a manifestation of interconnectedness - when any one element in the sculpture moves, every other element is affected.
“As individuals we may feel fragile, like a length of thread,” said Echelman, “but when knotted together we have the capacity for incredible strength and resiliency.” The reflective nature of the piece enables observers to be present within the sculpture, allowing every visitor to experience a truly unique and personal perspective of the artwork, day or night.
The monumental floating form is comprised of layers of bright polyethylene threads tied in over 600,000 knots over nearly 124 kilometres of string. The layers of highly engineered fibre are 15 times stronger than steel by weight. The fibre is extruded in vibrant hues, then braided, knotted, and spliced together to create a volumetric form that is choreographed by changing wind and weather patterns.
At night, the sculpture comes to life with projected coloured lights. Lightweight and flexible, the sculpture is designed to travel to cities around the world as a physical manifestation of interconnectedness.
About the artist:
Janet Echelman is a world-famous artist who defies categorization. She creates experiential sculpture at the scale of buildings that transform with wind and light. The art shifts from being an object you look at, to a living environment you can get lost in. Using unlikely materials from fishnet to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create artworks that have become focal points for urban life on five continents.
Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Harvard University Loeb Fellowship, a Fulbright Lectureship, and the Aspen Institute Crown Fellowship, her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 35 languages with more than one million views. Ranked number one on Oprah Magazine’s “List of 50 Things that Make You Say Wow!,” she was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” She recently received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Visual Arts, honoring “the greatest innovators in America today.