Friday, April 17, 2009

Timelessness and Concrete

Thinking about concrete and timelessness, I came across a reference from The Long Now about a web site that archives "the most fascinating abandoned man-made creations." The site is called Artificial Owl and is a wonderful collection of photographs of abandoned man-made creations from around the world. Here I stumbled on this image of a large concrete face sculpture of Ferdinand Marcos; the photograph was taken following an explosion in 2002 that defaced it. There are more images here, with some "before" photographs.

Two comments:
First, it makes one think about how long most concrete art will be around, unless it is willfully destroyed, and even then the rubble will be around for a long time. One of the appeals of concrete for artists is this timelessness.
Second, this makes a great example of how to build a large-scale ferrocement sculpture... Notice the strong armature made from reinforced concrete pillars. The armature has been wrapped and overlaid with steel rebar, and a concrete mix applied to that. The concrete has been applied in sections, whether that is to imitate stone blocks or to control cracking I'm not sure. It looks like the interior space is large enough to be a room - shades of the movie Being Jon Malkovich.

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