ArtVanPear -- Friday, July 19, 2002 -- 08:51:07 PM
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I am from the "don't know much, but I know what I like" school of art appreciation. And we went to a rather interesting art exhibit opening a couple weeks back.
"The Sideshow of the Absurd is a fantasy scenario which references the visual culture of the traveling carnival while exploring contemporary notions of female-ness and female power. Designed as a multi-media installation, the Sideshow’s intention is to simultaneously disseminate information and nostalgia for a lost indigenous American art form, and to stimulate ideas, provoke thought and act as a catalyst for understanding the present."
Interesting. I hate it when the exhibit tells you what conclusions to draw about it, though.
Some years ago I went to the Carnegie International show in Pittsburgh. One of the installations was a big room meant to represent an abandoned Romanian (I think) orphanage, with loose pages from children's workbooks and drawings on the floors and walls, and recorded voices of children. It was half-dark, and you took a flashlight from a box full of them to navigate the space, depositing your flashlight in another box at the other end. These types of installations always sound gimmicky, to me anyway, but it was actually powerful and spooky, the most memorable piece in the exhibit.
I hate it when the exhibit tells you what conclusions to draw about it, though.
Me too. I also hate that so much visual art these days is all idea and no craft. Without the beauty that craft lends to art you might as well just read a review and not bother going to the exhibet at all. There are so many instalations that are clever, but that's all.
I thought I'd try to revive this thread.
September The Call is an ambiguous painting I like. I can't tell whether it's a man or a woman. The birds are very realistic but are any of them depictions of real species? If you look through the holes in the patchwork garment, is it showing the he is an empty cipher or does the person encompass the world inside herself?
PS. For those curious about the artist, she is Katherine Ace.
Interesting. I wish I could see a better image. In the bottom right of her (or his) tunic, the round bell handle merges visually with the slashes and looks like a scissors handle. The composition reminds me a little of the Tarot card The Magician. Several examples on this page
Add that to the airiness and freedom of the birds and blue sky, plus the way the figure is all cut up and in a very plain indoor room, to me there is something evocative of artistic transformation in the piece...like a magician or shaman, an artist sometimes has to be self-lacerating to open herself up to the process of art-making. I also like the allusions to lying that is also connected to these themes, with the might-be-mythical birds and the visual play with the scissors handle.
I also like the gorgeousness of the colors.
I like your comparison of the painting with the Magician. I hadn't made the connection, but it makes sense to me.
The colors are even more gorgeous in person (the painting is one floor up from my office).
Forsaken by Clint Brown is one of 3 pieces (click on next on brochure for the other two). I don't like them, but find them interesting. Disturbing, but interesting. I think I don't like them because they are Message pieces with a capital M.
They remind of another artist's work, but I can't remember his name -- I think he was primarily an etcher. Does anyone know who I mean?
It's also interesting that these pieces are in a library, and the area they are in is just about the last place in the library students will choose to study.
I know what the message the artist has explicitly named for these paintings, but am curious as to whether people who haven't been told what it is can see it.
Yes! Thank you, Nancy.
I posted this in the Check This Out thread, but it's also of particular interest to this thread.
Luna Imaging has several digital image collections that are free with unlimited access. They are pretty cool. I especially like David Rumsey's map collections. There are also a Chicago photography collection, a Russian poster collection, and the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS.
So the last museum I went to was P.S. 1, which is the Queens offshoot of MOMA for "emerging artists."
A lot of it is crap, of course. There was a series of videos of pretentious people mutilating themselves, which I really didn't need to see. But this:
was fucking cool. A house made of cookies! There was natural light coming in from a window, so the room had this warm, buttery glow. And it smelled amazing. All of the cookies were home-baked; they were slightly irregular in shape and size.
The artist used chocolate and sugar dough in intricately tiled patterns that almost looked Arabic in their effect. And there was a cookie table and chair, too. The floors were sprinkled with sugar, so you had to put on big soft footies to walk through.
It was so completely charming I wanted to move in.
Sounds wild Lila. The Minnesota Museum of Art (or whatever it's called) had a life size kitchen completly made out of beads. The last time I was there was about 6 years ago. The detail was intense.
Thinking of the conversation that was going on in NBQ's, they also an exibit of Mexican Art with the "Day of Dead" theme. That and the bead kitchen were alone worth the 8 hour drive down to Minneapolis.