March 2010 Archives
Title: The path of Damastes
Artist: Jean-Michel Bruyere
When I first came across this image I felt an eerie feeling. I can't imagine actually going to this piece with all twenty-one beds in front of me. The environment of where this sculpture is located also doesn't help creepy feeling you get. It is located in an old building made entirely of brick. The floor looks to be dirt and there is very little light coming from the distant windows. After looking at this piece and thinking about the scary movies I've scene and how they correlate with the sculpture, I start reading the information below the picture. "The numerous variations of creaks produced by the lattice structure under the beds in the effort to lift them compose the very music of the piece and its ballet." I learned pretty quickly that the artist's intent was too scare the hell out of people! I kept reading and also learned that the floor wasn't actually made out of dirt.... they were actually dead leaves. I really don't like the genera of horror or thriller but there is something really scary about the hospital beds. The collection of twenty-one hospital beds are each accompanied by a Florissant light. The Florissant lights are called "daylight tubes" and are directly over each bed. The beds are all fully automatic and can move independently or in unison. This is a really neat piece to look at or see a video of but I'm not sure I would enjoy going to see it in person.
For anyone who has seen this movie the dramatic sequences, one of which I will critique, are so great because of the build up to them. I cannot do the scene I am about to describe justice without first mentioning the emotion that is built prior to the action. You get to see the soldier's human side before they go into war and see the toll their experience has on them throughout the movie. Seeing this transition of human emotion is what makes a war movie powerful and this movie does it better than most of the war movies made in the last twenty years. The unique element of this film is the fact the almost the entire movie is shot in a World War Two U-boat. Needless to say today's high tech nuclear submarines don't have much extra room, now imagine one of the first submarines ever created! Not to mention no radio or radar! The scene I have chosen to analysis happens when the enemy ship first attacks the U-boat. After the first wave of depth charges the director does a close up of individuals on the submarine. This really shows the fear the men have but the Captain remains calm. The director uses close ups during the individual shots. The Captain tries to out smart the destroyer boat but has no success and they continue to be hit. Each hit violently shakes the sub and warning bells are heard throughout the sub. The only choice is to dive deeper and deeper causing horrific sounds from the U-boat's structure. At this point the men's faces have turned from fear to terror. The camera pans from the close up of the individuals to the depth meter, which continues to drop towards the danger level. They can hear the boat above but finally it seems to pass and a general level of calm returns to the men's sprit. A frantic celebration ensues over the enlisted men while the higher ups seem more concerned for the challenges ahead. The camera then focuses on the "good meat" in which the officers are enjoying, it is discolored and has hair growing from it. The submarine then surfaces and there is a shot of the entire U-boat being tossed in the rough sea. A few of the officers are above deck enjoying the storm and seem almost mad laughing and joking while 20 foot waves blast the vessel. The changes in human emotion in this 30 minute scene are vast!
Unseen Rain by Jeanne Phillipp & Judith Huacuja
The piece consisted of six motion photographs that were displayed next to each other with a small space in-between one another. In the middle of the photographs was a canoe that was suspended from the ceiling. It was a small canoe and appeared to be handmade by a craftsman. Under the canoe was reflective material that reflected unique shapes over the motion pictures. There was a lot to this piece! It was a very large display that was unfortunately crammed in because of the amount of work being displayed during this show. It would've been nice to see this piece on it's own wall because it would not only look better but also not take away from the much smaller pieces being displayed right next to "Unseen Rain." My favorite element of this work would definitely be the motion photographs. They were of a woodland landscape in winter. These pictures instantly reminded me of the woods near my cabin in Wisconsin. The pictures were taken in Ohio but the scenery would have meaning for anyone who has lived through a Midwestern winter. The reflection of sunlight also added to the photos, they shapes of light made the pictures seem even more realistic. Unfortunately I didn't really enjoy the main attraction of this piece, the canoe. The photos were so well done and powerful, but it was difficult to see some of them because the canoe was directly in the middle of the piece. It was impossible to see all the motion pictures at once, which seemed to be the idea behind the photos because like I said, the canoe was center stage. I actually did have a dislike about the photos too. They were displayed on long posts so they weren't touching wall, which took away from the realistic element of pictures. Another thing I didn't like about the photos was a white border running along the top of every photo. Again this border really subtracted from the realism and meaning the pictures had to me. I don't like ending on a negative note though because all in all I did enjoy this piece! It had many different elements, which really made the viewer think about a range of different meanings. Also the fact that it felt crammed wasn't the fault of the artist so you can't blame them for a overcrowded show!