A window on the world…

December 20th, 2011

Students from the University have worked with the Nottingham Contemporary to create a spectacular exhibition of major new works by international artist Klaus Weber.
The free exhibition — If You Leave Me I’m Not Coming — includes a life-sized moving figure of a man running off the roof, a sun mirror, artificial rain and a tornado made from a humble vacuum cleaner.
Running Man will launch himself from the highest golden tower on the gallery’s roof, ten metres above the street. Like a cartoon character that runs off a cliff, he will be suspended in mid-air, legs pumping furiously.
The sculpture was made by a company in Berlin, while the Environmental Technology Centre at the University advised on the supporting structure.
Under the lead of project officer Gerald Busca, students at the Centre have also designed and created an artificial rain fountain that will recycle 250 litres of water through 12 metres of pipe. An electric pump fires “rain” at a nine-metre gallery window, which is then swept away by giant windscreen wipers. The wipers came from a specialist manufacturer who makes them for container ships and have turned the gallery into a giant vehicle, moving through the city streets, according to Weber
A heliostat — a device for concentrating the sun’s rays — has been installed on the gallery’s roof. The rays will be directed through a series of mirrors through a skylight into the gallery below where it will print a book during the exhibition.
Benson Lau, course director of MArch Environmental Design at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering, is technical adviser on this project, together with students Miguel Angel Juarez De Leon and Ming Wei Sun.
“Providing technical advice for the heliostat installation at Nottingham Contemporary is an unusual challenge for our students,” said Benson. “This is the first time we’ve worked with Nottingham Contemporary and our students are excited by the opportunity to apply their architecture design skills and environmental design knowledge in an art installation.”
The exhibition also has a 4.5-metre wind chime tuned to the “tritonic” scale, which was banned in the Middle Ages as it was believed to summon the devil, and is now commonly used in heavy metal music.
Alex Farquharson, director of Nottingham Contemporary, said: “We are very pleased to have a partnership with both of Nottingham’s universities, which is unique in the arts world. We work with them very closely on our programme of free public talks and discussions. For this exhibition, the staff and students at The University of Nottingham have helped us to realise very complicated international art works. We are very grateful to have benefited from their great expertise and enthusiasm.”
The University of Nottingham supports the Contemporary’s programme of talks, discussions and events that are free and open to the public.
The exhibition runs until 8 January 2012. For more details, visit: www.nottinghamcontemporary.org.

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