Sophia Elias
June 21, 2014 12:25 pm

Every summer, something kind of crazy happens: Huge, mind-bending art installations pop up all over the world.  I know, I know, ditching the beach to visit an art gallery may not sound ideal in theory, but you gotta trust me—there are some stunning installations on display this summer (some of which are interactive—fun!). If you don’t have the means to check them out in person, make sure to take a virtual tour.

Herewith, the summer’s most spectacular art shows:

What: Seon Ghi Bahk‘s Fiction of the Fabricated Image 

Where: Zadok Gallery, Miami, Florida

WhySeon Ghi Bahk‘s installation, Fiction of the Fabricated Image, features columns carefully constructed with pieces of charcoal, suspended by white, nylon threads. Though visually stunning, Bahk also chose these materials with meaningful intent. His use of charcoal is meant to represent our fleeting natural world, or in the words of his press release, the “ghost of trees that once stood around us.” The shape of the columns are meant to contrast nature, and instead represent the “architectural forms that human beings design to shelter us in the present day.” The dichotomy between nature and man-made infrastructure is certainly powerful. I mean, how often can you use the word delicate to describe towering columns? If you’re in the area this summer, get your behind over there. The installation will only be there until August 25, 2014.

What: Henrique Oliviera’s Transarquitetônica

Where: Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade, São Paulo, Brazil

Why: Brazil is home to more than just the World Cup this month. Artist Henrique Oliviera unveiled his spellbinding installation, Transarquitetônica, just a few weeks ago. While the installation is certainly whimsical and wild, Transarquitetônica is not meant to be an Alice in Wonderland experience. Much like Seon Ghi Bajk, Oliviera chose these wooden materials with purpose:

To learn more about the project’s development, I highly recommend watching this video. If you’re in town for the World Cup, be sure to check this out.

What: JR’s Au Panthéon

Where: The PanthéonParis, France

Why: The Panthéon has been taken over by faces! Street artist, JR, just unveiled his newest installation, Au Panthéon, in Paris on June 4th. Famous for his black and white portraits, JR took it to the next level by covering every inch of the Pantheon’s famous dome and indoor floors with digital photo booth portraits. Funny how these modern portraits fit so beautifully in this 224-year-old monument. The faces will only be there until October 5, 2014.

What: Urbanscreen’s 320Licht

Where: Gasometer OberhausenOberhausen, Germany

Why: Pictures hardly do this installation justice and I highly recommend watching the video. 320 Licht by creative studio, Urbanscreen, is a mind altering, mesmeric light projection. The show’s canvas is the Gasometere Oberhausen, which is covered in over 20,000 square meters of hypnotizing beauty. The show’s run-time is approximately 22 minutes (and looped thereafter). 320 Licht will be running until December 30, 2014.

Zimoun : 36 ventilators, 4.7m3 packing chips, 2014 from STUDIO ZIMOUN on Vimeo.

What: Zimoun’s 36 Ventilators, 4.7m3 Packing Chips

Where: Museo d’Arte di LuganoLugano, Switzerland

Why: Much like 320 Licht, 36 Ventilators, 4.7m3 Packing Chips must be seen on video to be fully appreciated. Zimoun‘s installations are famous for combining sound and mechanical elements. In this case, the industrial atmosphere is created with thousands of packing chips tossed around by giant ventilators. The changing waves of the packing chips and the incessant hum of the ventilators make for a hypnotizing experience. The installation will be at Museo d’Arte di Lugano until July 11, 2014.

What: Jani Leinonen’s Hunger King

Where: Budapest, Hungary

WhyHunger King is a pop-up gallery in the heart of Budapest’s upscale neighborhood. Born from the mind of Finnish artist, Jani Leinonen, the installation is a mock fast food joint complete with a soda fountain emblazoned with the word “capitalism” and burger boxes packed with money, equivalent to the country’s minimum wage. Yes, this installation is giving away money to make a point. Leinonen’s intention is to raise awareness about the social injustices within the nation, and to specifically address a new law banning homeless people from sleeping in public places.  “It’s okay for people to cue in the street like this outside an expensive shop for luxury products,” he writes, “but a homeless person can be kicked out from any street or square in Hungary.” The installation can be seen through July 6, 2014.

Featured image via.