The Daily Heller: Joost Swarte Defies Gravity

Posted inThe Daily Heller

For the avant garde artists known as DRIFT exhibiting in The Shed (the experimental art space in New York City’s Hudson Yards), Dutch designer and cartoonist Joost Swarte conceived as a geclí print a personal interpretation of their work—what he refers to as “a gravity-neglecting concrete block.” Swarte merges the real and surreal city in a delightful fantasy.

The block is just one part of Fragile Future (on view Sept. 29–Dec. 19), in which multidisciplinary artists transform The Shed with sound, movement and film in experiential installations “that play on our senses and compel us to imagine alternative solutions for a positive future. The monumental exhibition and series of special performances builds on DRIFT’s past works that inspire a reconnection to our planet and its natural processes, as well as empathy towards nonliving objects.”

Their first work was a decorative little light. A dandelion with metal leaves, with glued on the light bulb, real umbrella shaped seeds, harvested in the garden.

Featuring a soundtrack by ANOHNI, Fragile Future takes audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations that explore the universal desire to seek out origins, destinations and connection, as well as the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change. Since their early careers, DRIFT founders Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta have addressed urgent environmental themes in their work in order to challenge their audiences to think differently about their connections to Earth. The exhibition’s installations—from multitudes of shimmering lights that traverse the gallery like glowing seeds caught in the wind to massive concrete blocks, or Drifters that magically float on air—offer a hopeful atmosphere for imagining a different world.

On select dates, the Drifters become a surreal immersive performance that spans The Shed’s four-story-high, 17,000-square-foot McCourt space. In this unique performance, a congregation of Drifters dances on the air in an ethereal atmosphere, in counterpoint to ANOHNI’s soundtrack.