"This Deplorable Circumstance"
Site Specific Altered Event
I really love the whole creepy idea for this piece. The whole composition of the presentation in the Nash Gallery is real cool and kind of reminds me of a Resident Evil theme (favorite video game). To create this atmosphere, the artist had broken glass over framed instructions on how to participate in this art experience. There is an old wooden table kind of in the middle of the floor with an old desk lamp on it, shining on a creepy printed sign-up booklet. At the feet of the table, there are tons of burnt pages from the booklet and then a tv on the floor about five feet away, displaying creepy black and white, bad quality video of people participating in the psychological trip. What the piece is, is that the artist has a reserved space in some attic with sounds and other mind-altering mechanisms that are meant to test the durability of the human mind. This is a really creepy thing to play with, dealing with schizophrenia and other psychological diseases. I can't decide if the exhibit is actually real or not. They did a great job in creating the atmosphere and I kind of want to check out what the experiment is like, although I don't want this to affect how I actually think. So I probably won't. But I want to because it looks cool.
This piece from the BA Show is a series of two pictures: one of a couple embracing each other and presumably kissing, as shown by the :-* emoticon on each of their faces, the other is an image of a guy receiving fellatio from a half-naked girl as he has the :-) emoticon over his face (the girl's emoticon is not shown for obvious reasons). This piece really caught my eye because I think it is absolutely hilarious and also very bold. This might actually be one of my favorite art piece ever because it is sooooooo awesome (and I've been to the Louvre and the Tate Modern). The photos themselves are compsed very nicely. The colors really pop in a dark sort of way. There are also other emoticons framed by the photos which add a nice touch. I think it is kind of a commentary on how commonly these emoticons are used to express our feelings instead of words. I love the piece too.
I was kind of curious about this piece. Mainly because pretty much all I did when I was little as build forts. It is weird that they didn't post a title or even an artist for the piece, but it is still the thing in the gallery that I most related to. It was like a barrier used in war but with pillow cases (not actual pillows) instead of burlap (or whatever it is they use). It was stacked about six feet high, about twelve feet wide, and about four or five feet from the wall, which had a message written on it: "Is it that you don't see us?" There was then another message written on the wall to the right of the fort that said "Or that you don't want to see us?"
I think this is a perfect piece for this gallery, entitled "The Trouble Begins at Eight." The "trouble" part comes from the fact that they created a barrier, as used in wars; the "begins at eight" part adds a playful touch to it, which would of course be the pillow cases part of the work. It implies that a normal children's bedtime could be at eight, but there is a war-like quality to their resistance.
The message behind the barrier is the kids message to their parents, who let them play around after their bedtime, mainly because they are just fed up with dealing with little punk kids.
The scene starts out, pre-fight, with Mickey (Brad Pitt) sitting in a glum, fluorescently lit room surrounded by thugs who are paying him to throw the fight. He is then led out the door by his manager, Turkish (Jason Statham), towards the ring. Mickey is known to be a loose cannon and a very short temper. He is pushed by a spectator and a mini-riot ensues. He is then led into the ring, showing the dirty, still fluorescently lit atmosphere. The contrast is very high, with very dull coloring, giving off a filthy feel. Right off the bat when the fight starts, Mickey knocks down his opponent, prompting the camera to zoom directly on Turkish and his partner Tommy, who will be killed if Mickey does not lose. The camera then zooms on Bricktop, who will have them killed for putting an unreliable fighter in his match. Once the opponent gets up, the camera angle switches to an audience perspective, which shows how obvious it is that Mickey is just dancing around when he should be finishing the boxer off. The camera then returns to normal shaky in-ring shots until the end of the first round. Mickey goes to his corner where we hear a voiceover of Turkish emphasizing how important it is that he does not knock out his opponent. The second round begins and it starts with a lot of first-person views from both Mickey and the other fighter, both giving off completely different body language. Mickey gets a little roughed up and it is emphasized by a different camera view every time he is hit. When Mickey goes down, there is a quick montage with slow-motion and streaky sound effects to show how crude this fighting really is and how he just has to take it. Each clip lasts no longer than a half second, probably what Guy Ritchie is most known for. As Mickey is knocked down again, the camera goes above him and rotates above his head (after the bell sounded and his opponent refuses to stop). Because the fighter keeps fighting, people rush the ring in anger and everything goes crazy, cutting back and forth between Mickey getting up and the calamity going on inside the ring. Mickey returns to his corner and Turkish is waiting for him. Another voiceover advising him to hurt him, but not knock him out, while the camera angles switch from many different slow motion corner shots. He gets back up and immediately, Mickey receives a quick hook to the face, and it goes slow motion upon impact. Another hit with similar effects and Mickey is down again. He falls on his side, while remaining stiff as a board as he falls. Reaction Shots of Turkish, Tommy, and Bricktop are shown. Mickey is shown struggling to get back to his feet, where he receives another vicious barrage of punches in quick clips with streaky sound effects again. The final hit of this sequence results in the coolest shot in the entire film. It is a profile view of Mickey being lifted off his feet and slamming through the mat into a watery world. From down there, he can see himself being pummeled while he is on the ground. Shots of Turkish, Tommy, and Bricktop with Turkish's voice saying, "All he's got to do, is stay down." All of a sudden Mickey bursts up and destroys his opponent in the jay. Upon impact, the shot freezes on the hit and goes to another frozen shot of Turkish with his voice saying, "Now... We're fucked." The camera is then on the mat, waiting for the other fighter to fall down into his place.
I was actually drawn to this work mainly because the layout and design of the structure reminds me a lot of the machine Professor Xavier uses in X-Men. As it turns out, both of these machines are actually very similar. In X-Men, when Professor X uses "Cerebro," he can look anywhere in the world and find anything that he wants. In this work of media art, visitors can fly through time and space in an X Y Z grid. At different scales, the user sees different things and different types of media. The user can see the world as it was expected to look like in the 18th and 19th century as well as the present day. Viewers can even see themselves in these imaginary worlds because hidden cameras in the room capture and transmit the image of the participant into the new world. This is a truly innovative and inventive way to integrate the viewer into the art and feel like they are completely immersed into this imaginary world filled with digital media. I feel like this would be a very expansive work and one could spend hours and hours exploring the worlds at the different time periods represented. This is a very complex piece of art and must have consumed a lot of time to complete but it is one of those types of art where it would be very gratifying and fulfilling to complete for more people to appreciate. It is unfortunate that we are unable to visit this so I could feel the full force of the project, but just reading about it and seeing pictures of it makes me think of X-Men, which in the end, is what really makes great art great.
It was very interesting to see this piece at Chambers and hear Jeff Koons' name in the description of the art. This is because when I was in London over break, we went to the Tate Modern Museum and they were showing a pop art exhibit. Jeff Koons had a lot of work on display in this exhibit. His art was very provocative. In fact, most would probably call it pornographic. Ashley Bickerton came up in the art world through the same means that Jeff Koons did. This piece by Ashley Bickerton does however, seem to be a bit more tastefully done. It is kind of a narrative on the sad idea that Americans are spoiled with so much entertainment, that they really don't need any human interaction. There is a blow-up doll in the bed, pornographic images on the wall, and the man's "supplies" are scattered around the room. The entire space is pretty much shadow and darkness, except for the fragments of light coming in through the blinded windows, giving it a jail cell like quality. There is a foreign man (possibly alluding to the idea of people immigrating to America for this sad kind of freedom) who looks disturbingly satisfied. The American flag on the wall really ties the piece together. The meaning is completely different without the flag. I really like how the artist conveyed her message in kind of a sad but humorous way. The coloring of it gives kind of a joking cartoonish feel to it, but at the same time, she is giving a very deprecating critique on American society and how the entertainment industry has warped our human nature. Overall, I think the piece is very well put together and conveys the message in a very clear way.