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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Deconstructing Architecture at the Harbor Art Gallery

“Can you successfully manage an architectural project in zero gravitation conditions?” Upon first entering the new exhibit at UMass’ Harbor Art Gallery you are greeted with this phrase and an image drawn upon the wall resembling both London Bridge and a coffee table floating in the air with buildings being constructed on top of it. This quickly done, almost throwaway sketch sets the tone for the rest of the show.

Yossi Veissid is an Israeli born architect and the artist behind the newest installation at the Harbor Art Gallery, DEconSTRUCTION. One thing you must remember when looking at the prints hanging on the wall of the main room is that the originals are at least half the size of the piece presented, some are even much smaller. When you keep this in mind you start to realize the insane amounts of detail in these images.

Many of the images are reminiscent of architectural concept sketches, showing sprawling cityscapes and intricately detailed buildings. However these cityscapes are placed in locations such as someone’s head or warped as though they are on a set of stairs. The only thing simple about these wonderful images are the media, pen on paper. Originally Yossi used Pilot pens on watercolor paper, but has since switched to artist pens. The artist also uses markers and sharpie in some pieces and some of the drawings have been varnished.

One of the images that stands out the most is “Into the Void” [It’s so good we used it for the cover of this issue-Ed.]. A red an orange brick city rises infinitely out of a central vanishing point as sailing ships float here and their in the space in the center, almost a vision of the future featuring vertical cities and flying cars set in the past. The drawing has almost an M. C. Escher quality to it. The print presented in the gallery is 33in x 34in, the original is a black and white image that is 19 x 13. Again, huge amounts of intricate detail that make you think it was created as a much larger image. In fact, the amount of detail in the drawings in the show borders on obsessive, or perhaps even crosses the border in some cases.

The artist’s statement ponders the idea of the relationship between man and buildings, and many of the drawings in the show blur this line completely. People turning into buildings, buildings turning into people, and human/furniture hybrids make up a wall of the artist’s sketches (along with more of his highly detailed architectural cityscapes of course). Much of which features notations in Hebrew. The show makes me wish I could speak Hebrew so I could read what the artist has written on his work and perhaps gain some further insight into the thought process.

There is no reason not to stop by and see this show. It’s right on campus, its free, and there will be food at the artists reception. The Harbor Gallery is an under utilized resource at UMB. . It’s surprising that more students don’t realize it’s a great way to meet new friends at UMass and kill time between classes. Especially considering this is one of the greatest shows that has been at the Harbor Art Gallery in recent years!