PROJECT 1 - IDEAS FACTORY
PROJECT 1 - IDEAS FACTORY
Research begins here
Ideas factory - initial brainstorm
By definition, Utopianism is the belief in or pursuit of a state in which everything is perfect (typically regarded as unrealistic or idealistic). "Perfection" in itself is a dangerous word, it is subjective, how do you define "Perfection"? To some a "Perfect world" could mean a world in which everybody is immortal, to others it could mean a world in which everybody owns a gun. This lead me to thinking, what if the pursuit of "Utopia" only leads to "Dystopia" (a place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one).
"Savages" - Marina and the diamonds
Dystopia - As a result of Utopia?
When I think about how Utopia can actually create Dystopia, I think of dictators and leaders such as Adolf Hitler (fascist Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945).
Throughout his time in power, Hitler used his radical and racist ideas to indoctrinate his surrounding society. Hitler's idea of achieving "Utopia" in Nazi Germany was to rule out everybody that did not fit into "The Aryan race" (a white person thought to have "pure" German blood, blonde hair, blue eyes). As a result of Hitler being in power and seeking his version of "Utopia", in attempt to create his "perfect world" and eliminate other races, specifically the Jews whom he had used as a scapegoat when Germany lost WW1.From 1941-1945 more than 6 million Jews were brutally mass-murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz.
"Whenever Aryans have mingled their blood with that of an inferior race the result has been the downfall of the people who were the standard-bearers of a higher culture" (Adolf Hitler,Mein Kampf,translated to English 1933).
Below is an extract of "The book thief" by Markus Zusak (2005), it focuses on Nazi Germany and the ways in which Jews were persecuted under the rule of Hitler. I have specifically picked this because I am intrigued by the idea that German's were exposed to the injustices and torture faced by the Jews and yet many decided not to help as they were convinced by their leader that these on-goings were for the best and to achieve "Utopia" (when in reality, one might argue that they were living in a "Dystopian" society). This lends to the idea that "Utopia" can be dangerous and seeking "Utopia" can actually create false-consciousness whereby people believe they have achieved "Utopia" but have only achieved the opposite.
There are many ways that Hitler and his party indoctrinated the people into believing that the Holocaust was in order to achieve "Utopia", one of which is visual propaganda which I will touch on in this project.
One of the other words I chose was "Wool", I would like to think about this a little bit more symbolically than literally. Wool comes from Sheep and I believe that in society (for example Nazi Germany) the people are made to be "sheep", uniform followers of one leader that could be misleading them into a "Dystopian" society. Another way of looking at the word "wool" could be the phrase, "pulling the wool over (someones) eyes" (I would link this to the idea of being indoctrinated by a leader that you believe has good intentions but has the opposite).
Sheep and Utopia/Dystopia (wool and wear)
Thinking a bit more about sheep, they are all stamped and placed into captivity when they are farmed. Their stamps usually determine their fate.
During the Holocaust, the Nazi's made all those outside of the "Aryan race" wear badges on their clothes, typically those wearing Jewish badges were subject to terrible persecution from the indoctrinated public. In a very literal sense, the badge you are branded with determines whether you live or die. In Nazi
During the Holocaust, the Nazi's made all those outside of the "Aryan race" wear badges on their clothes, typically those wearing Jewish badges were subject to terrible persecution from the indoctrinated public. In a very literal sense, the badge you are branded with determines whether you live or die. In Nazi Germany, these badges were one of the many agents of control used for Hitler to achieve his Aryan "Utopia".
The previous extract from "The Book Thief" describes the humiliation of the Jews that were made to wear the star of David badges, "Stars of David were plastered to their shirts and misery was attached to them as if assigned". I also read on to note that Zusak described the soldiers in charge of the persecuted Jews to be "only boys" and to have "the Fuhrer (Hitler) in their eyes", this is further evidence of Hitler's indoctrination of the public during his rule.
Salvador Dali - A logician devil Lucifer (1951)
I believe that this piece of work by Dali captures the negative outcome of dictatorship and the destruction caused by one person being the most powerful and controlling society striving for their personal idea of "Utopia" whilst wider society suffers.
Hitler used visual propaganda as a way of indoctrinating the German public into following his norms and values to achieve his idea of "Utopia".
PROJECT 2 - COLLECTIONS
PROJECT 2 - COLLECTIONS
Research begins here
Song Dong - collecting (sentimental)
In Monday's lecture, we were introduced to the work of Song Dong - specificically "Waste not"/"Dad and Mom, Don't Worry About Us, We Are All Well" (2005). An installation piece featuring many household objects, a section features lots of toothpaste bottles with the teeniest bit of product left (most of us are guilty of throwing these away)I feel that the title "Dad and Mom Don't Worry About Us,We Are All Well" in combination with these almost finished objects pays homage to his parents and their frugality.This piece of work seems as though it might hold personal sentimental value to Dong - the idea of preserving/collecting items that represent a relationship.
After the lesson, I made my way over to the library at Kings Cross in search of a book about Dong's work. I came across "At thirty, I wasnt established" (1996-1997). The piece is an installation by Dong using bamboo paper and a chinese writing brush with water, the idea is that Dong's mother told him his story each year he was born which he would record on this paper annually, these were often memories, he would pile the bamboo paper and finished with 30 piles. This to me is another example of collecting something of sentimental value.
Marina Abramovic - using a collection to make a sociological statement
When thinking about collections, the performance artist (Marina Abramovic) came to mind.
"I put on the table 72 objects with the instructions I'm an object, you can do whatever you want with me and I will take full responsibility for six hours. On the table was a rose, perfume,a piece of bread,grapes and wine and there were objects like scissors and nails and metal and finally there was also a pistol with one bullet..." - Sourced from a vimeo clip of Marina speaking about Rhythm 0.
"I looked in the mirror, and a whole clump of my hair had turned gray.In that moment, I realised that the public can kill you. The next day, the gallery received dozens of phone calls from people who had participated in the show. They were terribly sorry,they said; they didn't really understand what had happened while they were there - they didn't know what had come over them. What had happened while they were there,quite simply, was performance. And the essence of performance is that the audience and the performer make the piece together. I wanted to test the limits of how far the public would go if I didn't do anything at all". (Quote from "Walk through walls- a memoir" Marina Abramovic, 2016, Penguin Fig tree) Pgs 70-71.
Abramovic reported that once the performance had ended, the public (participants) fled immediately. I believe that Abramovic carefully crafted a collection of items in order to make a statement about society. For example, items on the table such as lipsticks could be used “kindly” for application of makeup, writing etc…however other items such as a gun with a loaded bullet were placed on the table to potentially encourage animalistic behaviour. I think that if Abramovic had left the gun unloaded with a bullet beside it, the process of placing the bullet into the gun would have allowed for more time to think about the idea of shooting somebody (potentially resulting in somebody “backing out” of the idea). By leaving the gun so easily accessible, she was encouraging the public to make a quick, instinctive decision (in theory she was toying with the idea of whether cruelty and destruction is “human nature”).
I believe that by informing the participants that they can use her collection of objects on her as they wish without any legal implications, she was encouraging the public to change the way that they might use the collection of objects if there were consequences. Perhaps the gun and other weapons would never have been lifted if the individuals would have to pay for their actions.
Dieter Roth, "Flat Waste",(1975-76)
Dieter Roth created an annual collection of his flat waste with the rule that each piece must be 5mm or less. He created a library style archive of all of his waste for this collection piece.
By viewing this work, I think you might get a good sense of Roth's habits from the items that appear time and time again (for example a specific brand of cigarettes). This collection captures time in a form as the year after, Roth might not like or use the objects that he collected the year before. The collection becomes a portrait of Roth and his likes/dislikes.
Book: "Walid Raad", MOMA, (2015).
A collection of images to document something that only ever happens once in your lifetime?
Tim Hawkinson, "Bird", 1997
Hawkinson used a collection of his own fingernails and superglue to create a sculpture of a bird. This is an example of repurposing a collection of items that would otherwise been disposed of to create something completely different.
Sentimental objects to collect
Collecting the unconventional - Fingernails
(The writing above in the yellow box is mine).
This is an example of a man that is not necessarily a "practicing artist" created paperweights filled with his annual nail clippings and sold these for $300-500 per piece.
PROJECT 3- MATERIAL NEWS
Research begins here
"Litaraturwurst",Dieter Roth (1961)
Newspaper, water, gelatin, and spices in sausage casing 45.7 x 12.7 cm
"Between 1961 and 1970 Roth created about fifty "literature sausages." To make each sausage Roth followed a traditional recipe, but with one crucial twist: where the recipe called for ground pork, veal, or beef, he substituted a ground-up book or magazine. Roth mixed the ground-up pages with fat, gelatin, water, and spices before stuffing them into sausage casings".
"Newspaper furniture" Harvey Haines
Set of furniture made using The Tech, the school newspaper from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.For more information on this project, visit www.bigpurplebarn.com/mit
Newspaper, cotton twine, homemade adhesive, steel, paper pulp, lamp hardware, etc. 2014
Re-edit research begins here
"24 hour psycho",Douglas Gordon (1993)- sourced from "100 Contemporary Artists" (Taschen)
24 Hour Psycho is a video installation created by artist Douglas Gordon in 1993. The work is an appropriation of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 “Psycho” slowed down to approximately two frames a second, rather than the usual 24.
I find this interesting as usually, our instinct is to create work with the intentions of the viewer seeing everything I suppose, but this is not the case for this piece as it’s duration is 24 hours - the viewers would come and go at different points and never view the whole piece of work. Tate has described Gordon’s piece as “disruption of perception” and I would agree with this. By slowing down “Psycho” to the point where there were only two frames a second, you might notice different intricate details from the movie that you might never have noticed previously. I like how this relatively simple edit (slowing down the original footage) was able to transform the work without tearing it apart and re-ordering scenes.
"CNN concatenated", Omer Fast (2002)
“CNN concatenated” is an appropriation of many found CNN reports. I initially discovered Fast’s work by reading the lecture to find that his work was similar to some of the comedic videos I had come across on youtube (such as Donald Trump “singing” Barbie Girl/“Let it go”). Fast took many found CNN reports and took a word from each report and pieced these single words to create collective monologues for a total of eighteen minutes. What is so great about the piece (in my opinion) is that people often watch the news to seek the “truth” and Fast has used video editing as a way to distort something that is usually “credible” to perhaps uncover messages. I was initially intrigued by the way that Fast decided he would like to personally engage the viewer by having the presenters collectively form sentences such as
“I need your attention. I need to know I’m being listened to” (perhaps Fast was trying to put forward the idea that presenters are hungry for attention).
In the footage, I also pulled the sentence, “You recycle anything older than a day. Anything that carries a history is dangerous”, this stood out to me as Fast addressing the destructive nature of consumerism and the fact that we live in a society where we always need the “latest update” and dispose of what we have even though it functions perfectly.
Something that also stood out to me about this work is the rhythm, the fast-paced sharply cut words that are pieced together robotically and then the unexpected “human” element, pausing and silence.
"Triology of Transgretion",Elaine Sturtevant (2004)
(1 Min,45 Secs - looped).
The late artist, Sturtevant questioned ideas of authorship and authenticity by creating replicas of other “established” artists’ works.
“Trilogy of Transgression” is made up of three juxtaposing films playing on tv’s next to each other, the first being footage of Minnie Mouse (disney), then blurry images and objects protruding from a blow-up sex doll.
This work interests me as I am fascinated by the way that placing Minnie Mouse “innocent” footage beside sexually suggestive footage can create the idea of the loss of innocence. By placing these films beside each other perhaps Sturtevant is suggesting that there is no longer a “filter” within the media and that innocence is lost from a young age as we are equally as likely to be exposed to sex as we are to innocent cartoons.
After a while, the viewer might begin to try and generate ideas as to how the Minnie Mouse and sexually suggestive footage might coincide - though the artist does not “spell this out”. I like the fact that Sturtevant provides no answers for all of the questions that come to mind when viewing this piece.
I was fortunate enough to have seen this work last year on a trip to the new Tate Modern and was drawn to it.
TATE BRITAIN - video
Altered spaces research begins here
Book: "Walid Raad", MOMA, (2015).
"Scratching on things I could disavow"
BOOK: "Robert Rauschenberg" (Dickerman, Borchard-Hume et al. , 2016)
"Self portrait as Charles Darwin",Adrian Ghenie,(2011).
During the lecture on "Altered spaces" I came across this piece by Adrian Ghenie and was drawn to it visually instantly. I am curious as to why the artist wanted to create a "self-portrait" of themselves as somebody else. Looking at this painting, it is apparent to me that the figure that Ghenie refers to as his "self" is wearing a mask over his face, this is the most obvious detail that references Darwin to me. The chaotic, varying paint-strokes create a slightly uneasy feeling- this could be a reference to Darwin's harsh "realistic" theories such as "survival of the fittest" (which ultimately results in the "weaker" individuals perishing to make way for those that are "superior"). An intriguing piece of information about Ghenie is the price point of his work, pieces like this one sell for millions, perhaps he is posing as Charles Darwin to make a point that he is victorious in the "survival of the fittest" within the commercial gallery and art world.
Ironically, Emma (2D tutor) spoke about the historical context of the piece being during the war/period of "Nazi Germany". It is said that Darwin himself suffered with terrible eczema which would have made him a "reject"/"outsider" in the world of Aryan ideals...it is arguable that he himself would have "lost" in the "survival of the fittest", which is bitter-sweet since he is the man that coined the concept. With the addition of this context, the piece appears eerie and the figure in prominent dark colours appears trapped within the strong colours and big strokes of paint. The paint is almost racing across the canvas in a constant cycle of "survival of the fittest".
BOOK: "Klimt", Frank Whitford, Thames&Hudson,(1990).
I was specifically interested in looking at Klimt's work for "altered spaces" because I have always been drawn to his composition, the way he has used various heights,levels,sizes and positions all work together to create an ornate narrative. An example of Klimt's excellent composition is "Death and life" (1910). I would like to create an interesting composition by the end of altered spaces.
V&A, "Botticelli reimagined" exhibition (2016)
I have always been a big fan of Botticelli..I think it's something to do with the women he paints, they are muses, not just in their beauty but in their stances, the way that they stand dominantly within the pieces (my favourite piece would have to be "Birth of Venus" (1486). I was very excited when I heard about the "Botticelli reimagined" exhibition at the V&A...though I must admit that I favour the original works over the "reimagined" pieces.
Above: (Original) "Birth of Venus", Sandro Botticelli, (1486).
Above: "Rebirth of Venus", David LaChapelle,(2009).
For me, in LaChapelle's "appropriation" of the Botticelli piece, the magic is lost. What I feel was once a mythical and romantic piece of art has become something we see all too much...another brash fashion campaign, another overly-tanned model, glitter,over-saturation of colour,sequins,sparkles...too much. I suppose the beauty standards have changed, and maybe the piece is hinting at this? but it makes me sad. I admire the whimsical nature of Botticelli, I do not see whimsical in LaChapelle's adaptation, I see brash. I suppose it could be considered as a negative appropriation of art...maybe the piece says something about us, the viewers? It could be addressing our disrespect towards historical works and the way that they would be "destroyed" when we insert our sad beauty ideals and falseness. Like it or lump it, I think David LaChapelle's work is successful in some ways...perhaps not in the way that he had intended though...
I am interested in the way that changing and "modernising" something historical and highly regarded could become disrespectful in the mind of the viewer.
BOOK: "Jeff Koons, new paintings and sculpture",Gagosian gallery, (2013).
Thinking about ways that history can be disrespected.
"Sunny von Bülow", Dexter Dalwood,(2003).
I was introduced to the work of Dalwood through his piece referencing Kurt Cobain's greenhouse during the lecture about altered spaces but did not want to look further into that piece, but this piece "Sunny von Bülow" really grabs my attention...it is the kind of piece that I just want to read so far into. Perhaps I have been living under a rock to not have heard of the (actual) individual this piece is inspired by (Sunny von Bülow), here is what I have found about her:
Martha Sharp Crawford von Bülow, known as Sunny von Bülow, was an American heiress and socialite. Her husband, Claus von Bülow, was convicted of attempting her murder by insulin overdose, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.
Right off the bat, I am interested in the way that the artist has almost "nicknamed" the subject. The piece to me screams pain. The direct reference of pre-raphalite masterpiece ("Ophelia",John Everett Millais, 1852) combined with the context/story of a socialite that led a dark life with a husband that allegedly attempted her murder through overdose of insulin, to the point where she died of a cardiac arrest. Both the way she died and the way her husband allegedly tried to murder her are of great interest to me.
Firstly, the figure that I believe might represent Von Bülow, is drowning in this dark yet plush/expensive looking room. The colours and textures are rich, she is rich. The way that Dalwood has tonally painted the furniture makes me feel that the chaise-lounge is made of a luxurious crushed-velvet.
Secondly, the idea of her husband attempting her murder through overdose feels disturbingly appropriate when considering her way of life. She is surrounded with too much. Too much money, too many meaningless possessions, too many people,too much...and she shall die of overdose? The idea is that "too much" of anything and everything is toxic and will kill her.
The only vivid light in the piece is the object which resembles the hospital curtain, interestingly this would be the cheapest/least valuable "furnishing" in the room... and yet it feels the lightest and least sinister even though we know that hospital curtains hide many atrocities, for many unfortunate individuals, they mark miserable and painful deaths.Despite the terrifying stories that I believe hospital curtains tell...they are interestingly in the most light/angelic colour in the whole painting.
Thinking about Ophelia, the character brought to life by William Shakespeare in his play,"Hamlet" -Polonius in Hamlet refers to Ophelia as a "green girl," accusing her of being too naive to judge Hamlet's sincerity towards her, I feel that this could have informed Dalwood's choices of presenting von Bülow in the form of Ophelia. Perhaps Dalwood is referencing the fact that von Bülow was naive and a bad judge of character with regard to her husband (like Hamlet) and his intentions (as he allegedly tried to murder her).
It should be noted that within Shakespeare's "Hamlet", Ophelia is misled. She believes that Hamlet is romantically in love with her and is blind to the fact that he sees her as nothing more than a sexual object, resulting in her tragic downfall. This could be a connection with von Bülow, had she not become a socialite in the limelight with her husband, would she have died what seems to be such a miserable death?
The Shakespear reference of "green girl" feels appropriate to me too. I feel that within "Hamlet", Polonius labelling Ophelia as "green girl" was a self-fulfilling prophecy as she also died the "green girl" (In Act 4 Scene 7, Queen Gertrude reports that Ophelia had climbed into a willow tree and the branch had broken and dropped Ophelia into the brook, where she drowned). Gertrude says that Ophelia appeared "incapable of her own distress."
By dying within greenery and nature, Ophelia became the "green girl" forever.In von Bülow's case, green could be thought of as representative for "jealousy", I feel that within her lifetime she became jealous of others' possessions and kept building on her own, becoming the "green girl" where she was ultimately surrounded as a rapid consumer in things upon things, upon things, her prophecy then fulfilled as "the green girl" too.
Perhaps this rather depressing depiction of the socialite represents her death/downfall as she had become (like Ophelia) "incapable of her own distress" too.
I am now entirely engrossed in the story of Ophelia and have come across this- In 2018 there will be an adaptation of Shakespear's Hamlet with a focus on "Ophelia". Ridiculously excited.
Initial ideas - personal project response
To begin “Altered spaces”, I decided to collect ten images that had some personal relevance to me.
Just days ago I was procrastinating online when I discovered the religious taboo tale about “Lilith” (those of you who know me/have seen my previous work will know how obsessed I am with taboo discoveries).
The Christian bible says that God created Adam first, but that on seeing other creatures,Adam asked God for a companion. From the rib of this man, God created a woman: Eve. BUT, according to Jewish tradition, this is not the full story.
Enter Lilith -God created Lilith at the same time as Adam, and made her the same shape. The two lived in the garden of Eden, but could never find harmony.
“Why should I lie beneath you, when I am your equal, since both of us were created from the same dust?”.
Lilith was “lustful” and rebellious, and tired of Adam forcing her to obey, she decided to abandon paradise and ventured into the red sea. It was there that she produced children with demons,but when God sent a group of Angels to look for her, she refused to come back.
As punishment,God promised to kill hundreds of her children everyday, and since then she has been a demon - seeking revenge by killing human children.
Lilith is only mentioned once in Holy texts…maybe because Eve (“guilty” and “submissive”) has always been a better tool to edit out human nature.
I am by no means a religious individual, but I was fascinated by the way it seemed that any powerful female figure could be erased from history completely.
I also thought a little bit about who I am and my heritage, I am Greek and have always been drawn to the Ancient mythology, which is why I was intrigued to learn about the myth of Lilith.
"Lady Lilith", Dante Rosetti (1868/Altered in 1872-73), Oil painting.
BOOK: "Bad girls throughout history" by Ann Shen,Chronicle books,(2016).
Rosetti's models as portrayed by him
(Images sourced and placed together by me)
TATE BRITAIN: "Ophelia", John Everett Millais (1852).
Context - "Lady Lilith", Dante Rosetti (1868)
After some further research into Lilith, I came across Rosetti’s 1868 “Lady Lilith”, a pre-Raphaelite oil painting said to represent the biblical figure “Lilith”. Interestingly Rosetti used his (then) mistress Fanny Cornforth as the model but decided to alter the work later (1872–73) to show the face of Alexa Wilding.
Looking into Rosetti’s relationship with his first model and former lover, Cornforth: it is said that Rosetti and Cornforth entered into relations in 1860’s when Rosetti’s wife and former model (Lizzie Siddal) died from laudanum overdose (as a result of losing a child), Cornforth became Rosetti’s housekeeper and lover.
Cornforth is said to have come from a rural working-class English background, though Rosetti seemingly had a more privileged and academic-centric background with tuition from a young age in foreign languages and literature (it should be noted that he was also tutored in “bible-studies” - it is possible that he came across “Lilith” during this tuition).
Upon learning a little bit more about the relationship and backgrounds of both Rosetti and Cornforth it could be noted that Rosetti placed himself above Cornforth in the hierarchal system. As such, I feel that by reworking the painting “Lady Lilith” (1872-73) and replacing Cornforth with Wilding, that Rosetti had used and disposed of Cornforth/exploited her.
To put this notion into context, in 1848 he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with six other young men, mostly painters who would discuss work together (one member was John Everett Millais, I know him best for “Ophelia” 1852). There were no female members of this particular artistic group/movement.
It could be said that contextually the work of these male artists was made in a time where women were considered less important and dominant than men and were often depicted as delicate and in need of male protection.
Going back to the point I made about Cornforth being exploited/disposed of by Rosetti for a “newer”/“better” model; I feel that this would have been the norm for the time that the artist was living in and would not have been challenged sociologically.
Alexa Wilding was a working girl, though she was not thought of as disadvantaged for the time. Wilding was said to be literate and during her association with Rosetti (1865) she was living with her aunt working as a dressmaker with big ambitions of becoming an actress. When Rosetti propositioned Wilding to become a model for a painting (“Aspecta Medusa”) she failed to arrive as planned; it is said that she had been put off by the morally dubious and promiscuous reputation of models at the time.
Rosetti eventually saw Wilding whilst in his cab in the near future and reportedly leapt out of it to convince her to go to his studio immediately. Wilding agreed and Rosetti paid her regularly to model for him in a bid to ensure that she did not lend her face to other artists. It is also said that Rosetti and Wilding had no sexual relations, which differed from his other models.
Perhaps Wilding was more suitable to pose as “Lilith” as she is said to not have been sexually exploited as a model and held firm personal morals that differed from other models of the time.
Researching Rosetti and his models drew me into all of their stories, though there is no real way to know if all of this is fully credible as none of the art historians lived through the period themselves; it makes me think of mythology...something that can be so detailed and intriguing but there is no way to know if it is all truth,partially truth or fiction.
TATE BRITAIN: "Sancta Lilias", Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1874).
*Photo is my own
"This is an early, unfinished version of Rossetti's The Blessed Damozel (1875-8, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University). The picture was begun in September 1873, but, after working on the head, the artist soon abandoned it and had it cut down to its current size. The subject derives from one of Rossetti's own poems, first published in 1850 in The Germ:"
The blessed damozel leaned out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters stilled at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.
"The poem expresses the longing felt by a dead woman for her lover, who is still alive. In the finished picture she looks down towards her beloved, who is depicted in the predella below. Behind her, pairs of lovers, united once again in heaven, embrace joyfully".
Through some further research, I have found that this piece may have been inspired by the tragic premature passing of his wife Lizzie Siddal.However, strangely Rosetti chose to use the model Alexa Wilding for this piece and not the face of his late wife (it is said that William Graham who commissioned the work requested he used Wilding).
TATE BRITAIN: "The beloved (the bride)",Dante Gabriel Rosetti,(1865-1866)
TATE BRITAIN: "The lady of Shalott",John William Waterhouse (1888).
*Photo is my own
The picture illustrates the following lines from part IV of Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’:
And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance –
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Tennyson’s poem, first published in 1832, tells of a woman who suffers under an undisclosed curse. She lives isolated in a tower on an island called Shalott, on a river which flows down from King Arthur’s castle at Camelot. Not daring to look upon reality, she is allowed to see the outside world only through its reflection in a mirror. One day she glimpses the reflected image of the handsome knight Lancelot, and cannot resist looking at him directly. The mirror cracks from side to side, and she feels the curse come upon her. The punishment that follows results in her drifting in her boat downstream to Camelot ‘singing her last song’, but dying before she reaches there. Waterhouse shows her letting go the boat’s chain, while staring at a crucifix placed in front of three guttering candles. Tennyson was a popular subject for artists of this period, particularly the Pre-Raphaelites. Waterhouse’s biographer Anthony Hobson relates that the artist owned a copy of Tennyson’s collected works, and covered every blank page with pencil sketches for paintings.
Book: "The blue rider", Chris Ofili,Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, (2006).
There is something that feels so majestc about the rich tones of blue contrasting in these pieces by Chris Ofili. I love these works as I feel that they put women on a pedestal and honour their womanhood as opposed to exploiting them or disrespecting them. I also like the appearance of the rich metallic tones and how they are placed throughout the pieces.
BOOK: "Jeff Koons, new paintings and sculpture",Gagosian gallery, (2013).
Works that mimic Ancient Grecian statues created in brash shiny blue tones.
Place project begins here
"Maintenance",Mierle Ukeles (1969)
"Ukeles’s Hartford Wash performances belonged to a cycle of four “Maintenance Art Performances” highlighting activities that were essential to the museum’s operations, but rarely acknowledged as such, let alone celebrated. The work of cleaning the museum’s floors belonged to the category of labor Ukeles called “maintenance”?—?the behind-the-scenes work associated with upkeep and care?—?as opposed to “development,” the category of work that was publicly recognized as productive and worthy of praise, such as the individual creative efforts of an artist".
In her 1969 “Maintenance Art Manifesto,” Ukeles identified a blind spot in the history of avant-garde art and culture: “After the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?"
TATE BRITAIN: Rachel Whiteread "One hundred spaces" (1995).
Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995 Resin (100 units) Dimensions variable
I saw this piece at Tate Britain after the altered spaces project and thought it was a very interesting thing to do. Rachel Whiteread cast the negative space beneath chairs in resin, making something that was invisible/nothing into an object in itself.
"Fallen Star", Doh- Ho Suh. (2008)
This piece is the perfect example of East meets West. The artist has crashed together his family home in Korea with his University halls. I love the placement of the houses as the difference in scale of both buildings is prominent - Western is bigger and more brash...perhaps this is saying something? I wonder whether the artist has used these two houses to represent both places as a whole. I like the feeling of destruction as the smaller Korean house has ripped through the centre of the University halls, maybe this means that when both worlds collide, they do not agree...they are too different.
''Do Ho Suh’s Fallen Star is the 18th permanent sculpture commissioned by UCSD’s Stuart Collection. It reflects Suh’s on-going exploration of themes around the idea of home, cultural displacement, the perception of our surroundings, and how one constructs a memory of a space. His own feelings of displacement when he arrived in the U.S. from Seoul, Korea in 1991 to study led him to measure spaces in order to establish relationships with his new surroundings. He had to physically and mentally readjust.
He made sheer fabric replicas of his home in Seoul and his subsequent American apartments. He had the notion that he could pack these “homes” up and take them with him. They would be physical, tangible homes, but fully transportable.
This can be seen as particularly relevant in the context of increasing global mobility and for a university campus where many students, faculty and staff have come from elsewhere to study and work. These ideas become evident, even poignant, in the experience of Fallen Star, Suh’s project for the Stuart Collection.
A small cottage has been picked up, as if by some mysterious force, and “landed” atop Jacobs Hall, where it sits crookedly on one corner, cantilevered out over the ground seven stories below. A lush roof garden of vines, flowers and vegetables, frequented by birds and bees, is a small gathering place with panoramic views of the campus and beyond. Upon entering the house it becomes apparent that the floor and the house itself are at different angles, causing a sense of dislocation – some would say vertigo. One must adjust both physically and mentally in order to accommodate a whole new view of the world. The surroundings are familiar but the feeling is not.
There are many “family” pictures on the wall and tables – Do Ho with his family, and others, some connected to the project – forming a kind of extended family unique to this Fallen Star. The house is fully furnished, with a fireplace (puffing “smoke” from the chimney), collectibles, art, children’s drawings, a clock, a radio, a TV, and all the clutter one expects at home. The house can be viewed from a distance, or from down below and from the inside of the building. There is a startling sense of wonder when one spots Fallen Star: What is it? How did it get there? It invites us to take a closer look.
Do Huh Suh was born in Korea and attended Seoul National University. He earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in sculpture from Yale University. Today he lives in New York, London and Seoul. His works are in museum collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Walker Art Center; the Tate Modern; Artsonje Center, Seoul; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea. He represented Korea at the Venice Biennale in 2001. Suh lives and works in New York, London and Seoul''.
"I got up", On Kawara (1968-1979)
''Considered the most personal and intimate of his works, I GOT UP is part of a continuous piece produced by On Kawara between 1968 and 1979 in which each day the artist sent two different friends or colleagues a picture postcard, each stamped with the exact time he arose that day and the addresses of both sender and recipient. The length of each correspondence ranged from a single card to hundreds sent consecutively over a period of months; the gesture's repetitive nature is counterbalanced by the artist's peripatetic global wanderings and exceedingly irregular hours (in 1973 alone he sent postcards from twenty-eight cities). Moreover, Kawara's postcards do not record his waking up but his "getting up," with its ambiguous conflation of carnal and existential (as opposed to not getting up) implications''.
Having researched On Kawara on many occasions, a few words spring to mind -ritualistic,repetitive,consistent,routine,discipline...however in "I got up" in 1973 alone On Kawara sent postcards from 28 different states making many changes which I find intriguing. There is still a strong sense of pattern, method, commitment,ritualism even, the most significant change is the variety in locations and postcards which make for a really interesting "body of work". I feel that the idea of "Place" has allowed On Kawara to explore the ideas of both ritualism and change combined.
"Shed Boat Shed", Simon Staring (2005)
''Realised specifically for the exhibition Cuttings, Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No.2) is a reinterpretation of the idea of mobile architecture. The project involves the movement of a found structure, an old wooden shed, from one riverside location to another. This journey of 8 km downstream from Schweizerhalle to the centre of Basel was undertaken through the temporary mutation of the shed into a boat. This boat, a copy of a tradition Weidling, was made only with wood from the shed and was subsequently used as a transport system for the remaining parts of the structure. The shed already included an oar of the type used on Weidlings nailed to its facade as decoration. In its new location, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst, the boat was then dismantled and once again re-
configured into its original form, but for a few scars left over from its life as a boat, it stands just as it once did several kilometres up-stream''.
Personal project research - Aluminium cans and the Ocean
''Another question asked was whether a can takes longer to degrade in landfill or the ocean? In the ocean it will take up to 200 years, yet the plastic will remain in the ocean forever. I can’t give you the time it will take in landfill but the correct answer to this is that aluminium cans should not end up in landfill, they should be recycled. Aluminium is arguably the best material for recycling as it doesn’t take a lot of processes to become raw aluminium again. The cans are thrown in a furnace where the toxins are burnt (fumes filtered and hence no toxins released into the atmosphere) and the molten aluminium is returned to its raw form where it can be made into more cans or containers, or maybe even a boat''.
BOOK: "Damien Hirst",Tate enterprises, (2012)
*All annotations and red markings are my own
BOOK: "Damien Hirst",Tate enterprises, (2012)
Thinking about the effect of nature/animals within art work.
TATE MODERN: "Not everyone will be taken into the future", Ilya and Emilia Kabakov (2017)