The artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset’s fantastical inverted cityscape is inspired by iconic buildings in New York City and cities around the world, which the artists have woven into architectural designs of their own invention. Choosing to title the work The Hive, the artists suggest a link between natural and human-made structures, akin to the complex and evolving architecture of a hive. With technological precision, the imaginary city captures the multiplicity and synergy of the world’s metropolises.
Due to Miami Beach’s climate and status as a beloved holiday destination, swimming pools are a natural part of the city’s fabric. The distorted shape of the Bent Pool, however, makes us more aware of how objects are perceived relative to different contexts. Miami Beach is an area that has seen a rise in extreme weather and flooding; its landscape is in flux. Bent Pool encourages us to think about how we normally interact with our surroundings: how accessible or inaccessible they appear.
For the National Museum of Qatar, in dialogue with Jean Nouvel’s architecture, Jean-Michel Othoniel created a monumental installation of 114 fountain sculptures. ALFA covers the entire surface of the gigantic lagoon, which measures 8,800 square meters, and is by far the biggest of all the monumental projects Othoniel has ever created, five times larger than his artwork permanently installed at Versailles in 2015.
The lagoon is located between the National Museum of Qatar and the Persian Gulf, at the entrance of the city of Doha. This unique location gives amazing visibility to this public artwork from the Corniche, the museum, and the sea.
The 114 sculptures arise like majestic black reeds along the 900-meter-long shores of the lagoon designed by Jean Nouvel. Walking around the lagoon, the viewer will discover, from various angles, silhouettes reflected on the water that evoke the beauty of Arabic calligraphy. At moments the sculptures are transformed into fountains, launching arabesques of water toward the sky, hugging the curves of the museum’s architecture, echoing the shape of desert roses.