Monday, April 18, 2011

Thinking about the film...

The question asks if artists are monks. I believe that they are similar in the way that they must sometimes have to live under certain restrictions like monks do. Not in a religious way, but as artists, although we make work that is attractive or makes sense to us, at least in art school, we have to aim to please a group of people in order to achieve as a student. For example, one thing I dislike doing is drawing from life, especially on projects where I want a specific pose that is sometimes hard to find the right circumstances to situate. Also, like monks, a lot of times artists live under poverty. So in these types of ways, I feel that monks and artists are similar.
"It's peaceful in this temple, but outside it is turbulent." This quote about Shaolin in relation to art school makes me think of ways they are similar. Like in the temple, in art school we are all working toward a common goal. We try to help and encourage each other in order for each of us to grow. It is a challenge, but it is also a safe place because we know that our actions are not going to make or break us. In the real world though, (outside the temple) failure is not taken so forgivingly. Especially in the art world, we must aim to please the public in order to make it as a career. In the movie, the temple is a place where the monks work together in order to achieve a common goal. But the world outside for them is much more intimidating.
In art, "to challenge the master" stands for the struggle that we face as artists. The task is not only to make work that is attractive to ourselves but we must also impress society. As an artist aspiring to make a living, one must be a sort of people pleaser in a sense that we have to conform to the likes and dislikes of the public. The quote could also mean that we have to challenge ourselves, or to challenge what has already been done and to push it further. In any case, we face challenges as artists to please a mass number of people.
To me, making art after school will be very different. I have only experienced foundation year, where in a sense we have no choice but to take certain classes that may be below our common interests. In some ways, this is very limiting to what making art in the real world will be like. But when I compare the two, I know that making art after we graduate will allow a lot more freedom. I am looking forward to it, but the idea of complete freedom and no restrictions is also an intimidating factor, but I look forward to it nonetheless!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

John Armleder

Essay Response

John Armleder’s art never looks quite like itself. He produces works that can be categorized by multiple types of modern movements. He incorporates others’ works into his ideas and makes them his own. Aermleder likes the fact that people see his artwork in such a varied way. He certainly does not dwell on it, nor does he worry about what other people think of his art, because even he doesn’t know quite what he thinks of it either. It changes over time and he’s never believed that what he thinks about his own work has anything to do with the work itself. Whether the actual artist himself, or an outside viewer, each person will have their own subjective opinion about each different piece of art that they see, so worrying about each person’s thought is a meaningless way to spend time. He claims that successful art will depend on its capacity to co-op an existing situation and to have it be co-oped in return. He is happy to see people recreate his work for their own use.
Armleder has been criticized for his sometimes “generic” ideas, through what he represents as geometric forms and flat colors. He claims that if an artwork were completely generic, it wouldn’t exist at all. But if you’re planning to make art with some pre-conceived idea, you are going to have to align yourself with some sort of precedent, so you will in fact be constrained to some degree. But if a work seems familiar and unsatisfying to the viewer in being easily registered from the start, then it would be pointless to make and consequently, very boring. In trying to expand art and come up with new visual experiences, Armleder finds challenges at times in expressing that it sometimes feels like everything has been done. He realizes that it’s okay to make works that look like things that have been done before. If you enjoy that type of art, then that is enough of a reason to keep creating them. To summarize: if you see something you like, expand it and make it your own.
At one point in the interview, the term “pseudointelligent” is used as a way of making art. “Pseudo” can be described as not genuine, or something that is trying and failing to be smart. It relates to Armleder’s example of dumping ready-made objects in a room as if they’re meant to be thrown out. Ideas like this lack sophistication, according to Armleder, so he pushes his work to a higher level of academic premise. But interviewer Fabrice Stroun points out that while a show of Armleder’s at the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris had simpler works, while a recent exhibitions at Caratch was pushed to the point of absurdity. Armleder compares this thought to the fact that Fluxus artists were not opposed to having their works come off as a joke or something that deserved veneration. He feels that if you view something as completely serious or completely ironic, you’re missing it altogether. I think of Jeff Koons’ art in relation to this theory and I disagree. Koons aims to actually make fun of people through his work by confusing them at a first glance. I think it’s an interesting way of trying to get through to people but I don’t necessarily think it makes great visual art. I like art that gives me a certain feeling through colors and space. But if it confuses me, I just get frustrated because I do not grasp the concept. There is not always a plaque next to the work that explains its meaning. So if a piece of art does not mean something to the viewer, they might just lose interest of finding out what it means if anything at all.
After reading about Armleder for the first time, I kept comparing to other artists. I think it is peculiar that he doesn’t just stick to one type of style, and in a way I find that problematic. It seems like he is just all over the place and I wish he would stick to something that helps him to really make a name for himself. I gather from the article that he seems to just take other artists’ ideas and “piggy-back” off of their ideas. To be as big of an artist as he seems to wish, I think he should stick with one thing and really push it to the next level. That way, people can start recognizing his work overall and he will have the same people coming back to see it again and again to revisit his style of art. If it’s always different then people may have a lukewarm attitude towards him overall because he may succeed sometimes while other times he may not.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Emily Rooney Exhibition

Thursday March 17, our class took a trip downstairs to the exhibition by Emily Rooney. I was intrigued right away, because I expected a gallery of paintings and "pretty" art like galleries I have seen in the past. But this one was a lot more complex and fascinating than that. I specifically remember what looked like a duster but had a label "Sephora" on it which made me compare it to the idea of beauty versus filth. I also remember grapes covered in a harness, which left me puzzled because I could not find a connection between the two. I think this artist may not have had a goal for that but in my mind, I prefer to make sense of art and for it to be logical, so maybe my thoughts were invented in my own mind and not intended by her. The music also intrigued me because it went well with the mystical atmosphere of the ambiguous art. The exhibition was a brand new experience that I have never really been around and I am glad I got to see it.