Floating UtopiasFloating Utopias

Display & Disrupt

A to A (arch), nGbK Berlin, 2018, Photo copyright: Luca Girardini

Display and Disrupt explores how inflatables have been used in public spectacles. In the USA, floating objects first began appearing in large commercial parades, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in the 1920s. In the Soviet Union, inflatables were used from the 1930s, in large socialist state parades.  In both countries, inflatable objects served as tools for ideological propaganda. Today, inflatable spectacles are a common sight in state celebrations, including Singapore’s own annual National Day Parade.

Display and Disrupt also shows how artists have used inflatable media for more grassroots purposes, since the 1960s. Artists saw the potential of inflatable objects as tools for intervention. Placed in the urban landscape, their soft appearance entices interaction, transforming places into playgrounds and a space for the community. The presence of an inflatable artwork not only intervenes into the everyday, but the vast volume of an inflatable object also claims space, temporarily disrupting the order between what is seen as public and private space.

List of artists: Dawn Ng, Franco Mazzucchelli, Artúr van Balen

Featured Artworks

WALTER, Dawn Ng, 2010 Latex, plastic resin 750 x 400cm Courtesy of the artist

Soviet Parade

17th Anniversary of the October, Revolution, 1934