Four Event Installations That We Loved in 2018
Each year we’re blown away by the innovative exhibits and incredible installations that premier around the globe. With 2018 being no exception, we wanted to highlight some of our favourite events that took place this year.
SXSW Does Westworld
After season one of HBO’s Westworld reboot took television by storm in 2016, SXSW brought the fictional town of Sweetwater to life to promote the second season during the annual multi-media festival in Austin, Texas in March.
Throughout the 10-day festival, a few thousand lucky guests had the chance to board a Westworld-themed coach for the 40-minute drive to the undisclosed location outside of Austin. Once guests touched down in Sweetwater, they were at liberty to wander the two-acre town, populated by over 60 actors, stunt people, and horses who played its inhabitants. Made up of a dozen storefronts, including a bar, photo studio, post office, music area, and shaving emporium (where free shaves were offered), Sweetwater also housed strategically placed easter eggs, leaving clues to what the second season would hold.
The town of Sweetwater is a Floktu favourite because of the incredible detail that went into it. The experience was seamless, from a secret room that revealed a scientist working on a giant drone host to the personalised letter that awaited each guest at the post office.
Chanel Beauty House
We can’t highlight over-the-top installations without mentioning the Chanel Beauty House that appeared in LA for four days to promote the launch of the brand’s @welovecoco Instagram account.
The iconic luxury brand transformed an entire house on Sunset Boulevard into an extravagant experience with each room taking on a theme, including a room of beautifully branded towels and dressing rooms with virtual makeup stations that allowed visitors to try on lip shades using AR. The estate even held outdoor cabanas with makeup artists on-site for pre-selfie touch ups.
Chanel took every opportunity to adorn the interiors of the house with interactive elements and, of course, their iconic logo. A swing hanging by the brand’s iconic chains and a bathtub brimming with pearls are only a couple of the touches that made this experiential pop up a dream photo op in every room.
Infinity Mirrors Exhibit
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is famous for her immersive experiential art. Her “Infinity Mirror Rooms” exhibit became an instant sensation when it opened in Los Angeles earlier this year and her “Festival of Life” and “Infinity Nets” series, which debuted in New York City later in the year, were met with similar success. The 88 year-old artist is in her seventh decade of making art and has been working on Infinity Mirrors art since the 1960s, but her work reached a new level of popularity this year due to its Instagrammable aesthetic.
The LA exhibit included six different immersive rooms along with over 60 paintings and sculptures. Her NYC “Festival of Life” exhibit included two new rooms and certain parts of the exhibit were visible only through two peepholes. Her “Infinity Nets” series featured intricately-painted nets against monochrome backgrounds.
Banksy’s Self Destructing Art
Can you imagine spending $1.8 million on a piece of art just to see it shredded in front of your eyes? You probably heard about this real-life encounter that took place in early October. At a London auction at Sotheby’s, Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” painting was no sooner declared sold than it was partially shredded thanks to a secretly rigged frame that the artist had installed in the painting. The stunt garnered a flurry of publicity and praise for Banksy’s success at poking fun at the art world, however it’s also incited scrutiny over the whether the stunt was spontaneous and surprising as it appeared to be.
How does the buyer who spent £1,042,000 on the piece feel? “When the hammer came down last week and the work was shredded, I was at first shocked, but gradually I began to realise that I would end up with my own piece of art history,” he said. And he couldn’t be more right. Since the incident, the work’s name has since been changed to “Love is in the Bin” and the piece is worth even more than it was before the shredding.