Selected works by Berndnaut Smilde

Berndnaut Smilde
Nimbus II

2012

Lambda print

125 x 186 cm
Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde is interested in the ephemeral -- impermanent states of being which he documents through photographs. For Nimbus II, he used a smoke machine, combined with moisture and dramatic lighting to create a hovering indoor cloud in the empty setting of a sixteenth-century chapel in Hoorn, a small town in Holland. “I imagined walking into a museum hall with just empty walls. The place even looked deserted. On the one hand I wanted to create an ominous situation. You could see the cloud as a sign of misfortune. You could also read it as an element out of the Dutch landscape paintings in a physical form in a classical museum hall.”

Articles

ARTIST BERNDNAUT SMILDE CREATES INDOOR CLOUDS
13th March 2012, by Maura Judkis, The Washington Post

Berndnaut Smilde can control the weather. The Dutch artist can turn a clear sky cloudy — indoors. In his latest project, he’s installed real Nimbus clouds in empty gallery spaces in Amsterdam.
Smilde’s godlike powers come from simple science — he carefully regulates the temperature and humidity of the space, ensuring that conditions are perfect. Then, he sprays a short burst from a fog machine to create a cottony cloud suspended in the middle of the room for just an instant before it collapses.
“I’m interested in the ephemeral aspect of the work,” Smilde said in an e-mail. “It’s there for a brief moment and then the cloud falls apart. It’s about the potential of the idea, but in the end it will never function.”
Smilde’s clouds dissipate so quickly that they exist mainly in photographs. He chooses surreal spaces, such as empty churches or galleries, as his setting. One photo, taken in a room with bright blue walls, is evocative of the painter Rene Magritte’s azure skies and puffy clouds.

Source: washingtonpost.com


ARTIST SUSPENDS REAL CLOUDS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM
2012, io9.com

That's not photoshop; that's an actual cloud hovering inside an actual room. Artist Berndnaut Smilde merges art and science to create small man-made clouds that exist — albeit for just a moment — indoors.
Smilde uses a fog machine to make the actual clouds, but also carefully regulates the humidity and temperature. Even so, these installations exists for a mere moment before dissipating inside the room. If you're not there in the moment, then you only get to experience these brief scientific sculptures as photographs.

Source: io9.com


MEET THE MAN WHO CAN CONTROL THE WEATHER: BERNDNAUT SMILDE REALLY DOES HAVE HIS HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
By Laura Cox, 15th March 2012, Mail Online

You might think it would be bad luck for a raincloud to follow you around, and avoid being in one's vicinity.
But not for Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde, who actively seeks to create them.
As the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining and Smilde’s have made him famous, quite literally taking the art world by storm.
He uses a smoke machine, combined with moisture and dramatic lighting to create an indoor cloud effect.
Smilde, who lived in Amsterdam, said he wanted to make the image of a typical Dutch rain cloud, inside of a space. ‘I imagined walking into a classical museum hall with just empty walls,’ he said. 'There was nothing to see except for a rain cloud hanging around in the room.
‘I wanted to make a very clear image, an almost cliche and cartoon-like visualization of having bad luck. "Indeed there's nothing here and bullocks, it's starting to rain!"'
But the few people who have seen the clouds in person would consider themselves very lucky. Each cloud only exists for a moment before dissipating. The photograph, Smilde says, is a ‘document’, the only proof of its existence if a viewer misses it.
The first exhibit featuring indoor clouds, called Nimbus, was created by Smilde in 2010.

Source: dailymail.com


FLOATING CLOUD INSTALLATION BY BERNDNAUT SMILDE
Design Boom, 2012

'Nimbus' is a seemingly impossible sculptural installation developed for the online gallery probe by Amsterdam-based artist Berndnaut Smilde.
Beginning with the concept of a vacant or abandoned room and aspirations of enhancing this ominous environment, Smilde introduced smoke, moisture and backlighting. the artist was able to create the entirely eerie and whimsical illusion of a cloud floating within the gallery space.
Smilde treats the sculpture as representative of his appreciation of physical presence found within transitional space; the viewer may only experience this environmental sculpture for a moment before it dissipates entirely.

'You could see the cloud as a sign of misfortune. you could also read it as an element out of the dutch landscape paintings
in a physical form in a classical museum hall. at the same time I wanted to make (for once) a very clear image, an almost cliché and cartoon like visualization of having bad luck: 'indeed, there nothing here and bullocks, it’s starting to rain!''-Berndnaut smiled.

'the idea I had was going to be an ephemeral work. it would only exist as a photo. I thought this would work very well with
the idea of probe, as the exhibitions only exist in the form of documentation. I didn’t realize there is in fact a very physical aspect about probe’s presentation. the 9 different perspectives of documentation make it possible for the spectator to wander around the space and create the opportunity of visiting the exhibition. therefore with every shoot we had to make a new cloud and keep in account approximately the same lighting and position to create the illusion of physically walking through the space.'
-Berndnaut Smilde

Source: designboom.com