December 15, 2008

Emily Burchell: Extra Credit curator thoughts

I previously mentioned in a recent post dealing with Mark Beasley, a few of my thoughts regarding curators. To define a curator I would best explain it as one that keeps history and tradition alive by putting their mind together to become an artist. To emphasize on this idea in more detail and description, I would like to go into the topics of historic art and traditional art seen in the eyes of the contemporary artist. Curators usually specialize in a particular area, whether that be museum archeological purposes, or contemporary and historical art, there are many various categories for which curators might fall under. I'm focusing on the art curator.
In contemporary art, the title curator is given to a person who better produces knowledge and better picture of any situation. This might involve finding a strategy for display. Thematic, conceptual and formal approaches are all prevalent. In addition to selecting works, the curator often is responsible for writing labels, catalog essays, and other supporting content for the exhibition. Such curators may be permanent staff members, be "guest curators" from an affiliated organization or university, or be "freelance curators" working on a consultant basis. The late twentieth century saw an explosion of artists organising exhibitions. The artist-curator has a long tradition of influence. Curators serve the practitioners in their field, but they also serve the public at large. In this way, curators are like publishers. They must look both ways, be sympathetic in two directions, be loyal to the artist but also to the visitor. A curator will often be required to perform as an editor, aspiring to refine an exhibition or book to the benefit of artist and audience. Installing exhibitions is itself a minor art form. Curators must also serve the past and the future as well as the present. And they must attempt to be fair to all comers and not succumb to prejudice. They may wish to lead public taste but can only do so by selecting those artists who seem to bear the creative flame. Curators cannot simultaneously work in the public domain and collect privately, or work as artists: these roles could be fatal to the requirement that the curator aspires, like an independent critic, to objectivity, impartiality, and, in the end, justice. If that seems overweening, let us temper it by recalling that the mission statements of most museums usually include the word ‘enjoyment’ as well as ‘understanding’.

Emily Burchell: Extra Credit

The artist, William Kentridge is from South Africa. He works in video and drawing mediums primarily, usually mixing the two, as in his relatively well-known “Felix in Exile,? which can be found on Youtube along with other videos of his. He has also produced tapestries with drawings on them, though the bulk of his projects are video animations of sorts. The ‘classic’ Kentridge work is a video with animation that, unlike traditional cell-based animations, show the drawing process, as Kentridge makes visible erasures on the same drawing, then redraws the figures, moving the action along in his films.
Most of Kentridge’s work deals with political and social themes, coming often from a highly personal point of view. Coming from a tumultuous political area, he he is inspired by the personal struggles of people in this setting, and being a white man from South Africa shapes his viewpoint. Perhaps his most famous series of films are centered around two semi-autobiographical characters, Soho Eckstein, an “avaricious businessman,? and Felix Teitlebaum, the “romantic and somewhat lost soul.? In these pieces especially, it doesn’t seem that he is trying to entertain so much as take the viewer deep inside some mental state. He uses strong visual symbols in his pieces, and reality doesn’t contain the sometimes fantastic things that happen to characters in his films. It does seem he’s motivating us to see the world differently, as a sad but mystical place where emotions kind of reign supreme. There is also quite an existentialist aspect to his work, most of which is focuses around the travails of the individual in the context of an oppressive socirty/environment.
Compared to Lorna Simpson, an artist who also works in film, Kentridge is quite the other side of the spectrum. Firstly, Simpson background is is photography rather than drawing, which may be part of the reason why her films feel more theatrical. Also, Simpson’s movies do not deal with history, at least in such a strong way as Kentridge. His work is deeply rooted n the history of his region, political history especially, and the same can not be said for Simpson. Simpson’s work is more geared toward a gallery space than a single screen, as she has several installation-type pieces that create a sense of environment.
I would definitely tell a friend about William Kentridge, I find his work compelling, and perhaps more importantly, I really enjoy his aesthetics. His drawings look good to me, and his films can be disturbing, but are excellent. He is artist that clearly thinks about his work a lot, and about life a lot, but also that works a lot, which I admire and which shows in his work.

December 10, 2008

Emily Burchell Project 3

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December 8, 2008

Extra Credit Reflection on Gallery Visit: Emily Burchell

The exhibition I went to was "Millions of Innocent Accidents" by Hardland/Heartland and "Unconventional Wisdom" by Mike Elko and Ruthann Godollei at the MEAP Galleries, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
From my gatherings, the exhibition was a group exhibition. It was titled by one person but more than one name appeared in the works throughout the entire exhibition. The media which were used were paints, newspapers, digital imaging and screen printing, charcoal, household objects, random materials and objects not specified, sound systems, wood, and visual projectors/TV's. The exhibition was arranged sort of in a random order but most of the artists were grouped together by similar authors.

The main theme which I gathered from the exhibit was graphic arts combined with a black humor featuring a combination of war, politics, corruption, various countries, and American disasters.
It was designed to showcase the work of individual artists while at the same time displaying a common idea presented in each section of the exhibit, which I talked about above.

One image in particular which I thought was interesting was by Ruthann Godollei - Earplugs, 2000 Etching with Screenprint. An image showed an green iPod set in a black and white background. The screen of the iPod displayed: "podcasts-Pretend there's now war, stick it in your ear"...which then showed the headphones which were attached to the iPod as the main subject of the message which engaged the viewer. I believe that the artist was inspired by the economy and politics of the 21st century.

If I was to invite a friend or give feedback on the entire installation, I would tell my friend that the exhibition is visually loud and has various audio sounds as well to accompany the visual images. Somewhat striking, not very easy to describe, it's better to be seen in person to fully understand the concept of the artist and receive the full experience. The concept contains various alternative views and is playful with serious issues regarding the world today. Gave the sense that Americans are oblivious and uninformed with a dramatic effect. I also thought it was kind of scary and didn't really enjoy that part of the viewing. Intimidating is what I might call it. Hard concepts to understand and fairly abstract.

Extra Credit Artist Paper: Emily Burchell

Matthew Barney was born March 25, 1967, in San Francisco. In 1989, he graduated from Yale University, New Haven. The art which he creates combines sculptural installations with performance and video. His inspiration for creative process utilizes the physical aspects of sport and the various ways in which man can be involved in movement to find any limits of the body pertaining to sexuality. By doing this type of investigating, Barney's work reflects his own past as an athlete, while also contributing to the topic of the body often seen in the work of many contemporary artists. Barney’s actions are exposed in various hybrid spaces that are often in the form of an athletic center and medical research laboratory. Often, these spaces consist of wrestling mats and blocking sleds, sternal retractors and speculums, and a range of props often molded into, or coated with, substances such as wax, tapioca, and petroleum jelly. Indeed, his earliest works, created at Yale, were staged at the university’s athletic recreational center. The use of this atmosphere for creation, Barney’s visual presentations (such as a man dressed up in costume and Barney himself absolutely naked or dressed as a transvestite) further display figurative movements and dancing to distinguish sexual differentiation.

Barney’s fascination and artistic representation of the body is inspired by the athlete and human development. He utilizes the idea of physical struggle and resistance by giving the illusion of muscular growth through the ripping and internal physiology existing within the body during exercise. The end result is a stronger, healthier muscular function. This articulate relationship between the idea of wanting something, self discipline, and the action of actually being productive is the basis for Barney’s thoughts on the differences between sexes.

A work in which Barney is most known for is his Cremaster cycle, which he created in 1994. Similar to the Star Wars trilogy, he did not follow any sort of chronological order with his creations. The first production was Cremaster 4, in 1994, then Cremaster 1, in 1995, followed by Creaster 5, in 1997, Cremaster 2, in 1999, and finally Cremaster 3, in 2002. The Cremaster cycle takes the form of feature films, all of which are written and directed by Barney. He also partakes in acting as one or more characters in his own films, along with the creation of sculptures, drawings, and photographs which he ties into the series. The concept that Barney is trying to embody with this work is the male cremaster muscle. This particular muscle controls testicular contractions in response to various external stimuli. I feel that he is successful in presenting this because his imagery is somewhat grotesque and intrigues the viewer to investigate the situation, even if the viewer might feel slightly uncomfortable or threatened. This results in the idea that the viewer would possess a slightly defensive reaction, thus embodying the function and actions represented by the cremaster muscle. Through the creation of this cycle, Barney found a way to look beyond biology as a way to explore the human creation, utilizing other sources for structure and artistic presentation, such as biography, mythology, and geology.

An artist which I would compare Matthew Barney to would be Catherine Sullivan. Both Barney and Sullivan use film to evoke various emotions of curiosity and hesitation from the viewer. By displaying a series of awkward body movements and distorted visual appearances, I find they are both successful in creating a type of bazar artistic point of view. The human body is a main focal point for both of these artists. They both utilize the manipulation of natural movement and control of the human body to create an illusion of a loss of control and bodily function.

I would recommend a friend to view the work of Matthew Barney because it is very interesting. The art he creates is not a vision that can be seen any other way. The work provokes curiosity and triggers the mind of the viewer to experience various emotions that are fantastical and indescribable. The work is as if it were a dream. Also, I would recommend a viewer because I have never seen another art form which comes close to that of Matthew Barney's presentations.

December 3, 2008

Mark Beasley-Visiting Artist Review: Emily Burchell

Beasley best exhibits what curators do and their compassion to their work. From people paying money to be kidnapped, to the elephant, Mark shows devotion and hard work in what he does. He does what he loves best. Beasley’s background is of an artist and curator. To define a curator I would best explain it as one that keeps history and tradition alive by putting their mind together to become an artist.

I feel that Mark goes beyond that as a hard working and easy going guy who is open to new ideas. Mark described how all producers are curators and with that, they are one true voice. The curator’s voice should be heard equally to the show. Without curators, there wouldn’t exactly be a show for the viewer and audience, but rather there would be more of just a display. Curators impact how we see art in today’s world. There are more and more expressionist and modern art exhibits than in the past. With their visions and capabilities in putting exhibits together, more audience viewers are able to be amazed at what curators can do. Therefore, the artists are able to show their masterpiece in the most effective way that can be imagined.

Right away, Beasley opened the talk with a picture of Malcom from the Sex Pistols. I found Mark Beasley to be an entertaining man. Much different compared to other artists which I have encountered, but it was fascinating to learn of the many obstacles and experiences he has encountered throughout his work. His life revolved around thinking about art and finding new and unique opportunities. This backs up the passion he feels in what he does.

Mark grew up where artists did everything themselves like getting money, space and word out about their projects. His first project was $200 or less and called a fluffer piece. Needless to say he has more potential than just working with the Sex Pistols concepts.

Beasley brought about the “do it yourself? punk ethic and how it is very possible for artists to find or create their own venues in order to show work. With the traveling exhibit around England, they found kids that didn’t have much space for display in their community to exhibit their talent. Beasley was sufficient in his job but also had an influence on these kids to help them grow as perspective artists. With his spoken word projects, he seemed quite enthusiastic and excited giving the impression of endless possibilities. In addition, his collaborative efforts with musicians, visual and performance artists were very interesting. This, again, leads to the quality of his unlimited sense of possibilities.

November 24, 2008

Emily Project 3 Proposal

For my final project, I will be utilizing video, still image, and constant audio to create a dance music video. I will be dancing in the video along with other people which will give a diverse perspective of how people see dancing. One constant song will motivate the entire film, a song which I have not completely decided on, but will. Viewing various people interpret their own dance version to the song is my main goal. I want to show the viewer how many different ways people can reflect their inner emotions through movement when provoked by the same sounds. I am inspired by dance and music, so I want to give others the chance to feel the sensation I get when provoked by musical influence. The video will be up-beat and energizing.

The video will have a title, as if it were a music video being presented on television. I will have all of my footage shot by Nov. 26th, though since I have been sick it might be a day or two longer than planned.
I am shooting myself, friends, family, and random people who are willing to cooperate and help me. I play a song either out loud for everyone to hear, or through an ipod for the individual to hear. Then I record their movements and compile all of the various footage together to correspond to the one common song. The overall look of the video is to capture a work similar to those seen on the MTV music videos. I am using music as my main audio because I feel it is my most successful way of drawing emotion out of most viewers.

I will have all of my footage shot and ready for rough draft reviews by monday Dec. 1st. Once I have added final touches and editing to the overall work, I will be set and ready for critique on Dec. 10th.
This project excites me.

November 10, 2008

Emily project 2 rough draft reviews

For the peer rough draft reviews, I received a lot of positive feedback. A few alterations with the timing and transformation between scenes was advised, but for the most part it was enjoyed. I showed the original scene after I showed them my recreation, and this helped in allowing for a more critical feedback from them. Most of all, the acting and personification of the characters in the scene was pointed out as very successful. Also, the music being played in the background to set the mood really acted as a wonderful aide in connecting the viewer to the emotional value of the scene I had created.

As for my impression of the works which I reviewed, I felt that there could have been a little bit more refined scene comparison and interaction. Meaning, the works were not totally finished to the point where I could really understand what type of emotion was supposed to be captured.

November 2, 2008

Emily Project 2

I chose to remake the first minute of scene 16 from the movie "I am Sam." The scene depicts a little girl, named Lucy, and her mentally retarded father, Sam, embracing in a hug which is then ripped apart by the outsiders who are trying to make their relationship as father and daughter exist as simply a title.
A shadow and blue screen filter lighting affect were some techniques that I used in re-creating the imagery. I picked this scene because I feel there is alot of emotion in it.

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October 30, 2008

emily proj. 2

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October 6, 2008

Project 2 Emily Proposal

For my second project I will be reproducing a scene from the film "I am Sam." The particular scene from this movie is about mid way through the film. Sam Dawson, a mentally retarded grown man, has a daughter with a beggar woman on the street. The woman leaves him and his daughter. Sam Dawson is obsessed with The Beetles and names his daughter Lucy Diamond, after the popular song written by the Beetles. The scene where Lucy is taken away from her father Sam is the scene which I will be reproducing. The entire movie made me cry, but since I have to pick one scene, this is the one.

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Emily Project 1

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September 15, 2008

Emily: Project 1 Proposal

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