Artist Talk #2
Last Wednesday I attended the lecture given by Lowery Stokes Sims at the Weisman Art Museum. The main subject of her talk was artwork that engaged environmental themes and promoted environmental consciousness. She showed the work of a variety of artists who use the environment in different ways through their art. Some of the work Sims showed, such as that of Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Smithson, is an example of a more literal use of the environment in art. Both directly engage the environment by physically altering the land. Much of the art that she presented was very experimental, ranging from constructed living units, to excavated city sites, to Antarctic expeditions.
In discussing these different artists and their work Sims showed the role artists are playing in raising awareness of environmental issues. Sims suggested that because artists have a mostly unrestricted and unregulated status in society they often play a very important role in activist movements. One interesting question she raised was whether or not the impact of environmentally conscious artwork will have a greater effect on the public than scientific research alone.
The talk was very interesting and I was glad to be able to hear Sims speak in person. The topic of discussion was very relevant and I wish we could have gotten into it a bit more thoroughly.