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October 11, 2007

MCAD and MIA - Kim

MCAD-
I think the theme The Rotten Sun shows art pieces that we normally wouldn't accept as good art. We would normally look at the art, and say or think the piece is dumb or completely nasty and never look at it again. The definition of The Rotten Sun we were given was art and design that is grotesque, uncanny, transgressive, bizarre, formless, ugly, and impure. The most compelling piece to me was Tom Garrett Garden Glory. I liked it because the thorns and granades were all intensified. This piece showed the impure and bizarre part the The Rotten Sun theme. The picture really caught my attention because it was these huge flowers with big drops of water on them. Then in the center of the flowers there were granades, and there were big bugs just randomly all over the picture. I'm personally not a fan of bugs so seeing large ones was not too fun and made the picture even more impure. Even though this piece was supposed to be ugly I still walked back to it several times, and still liked it.

MIA-
The MIA is a large art museum that takes a very long time to observe all it's nooks and crannies. I liked this building because there is most generally a place for everyone to visit. I liked how they had the whole place arranged, but I don't know if this would be a place that I would recommend to people who don't appreciate art. You need to want to view many different types of art in order to like it. My favorite part was the photgraph region.

October 10, 2007

MCAD/MIA Jessica

MCAD
The "Rotten Sun" piece that stuck out to me was "Garden Glory," by Tom Garrett. To refresh you memory, this was the picture of the flowers with the grenades in the middle of each one. I think that this piece fits with the theme because the weapons make you think of how they are being used. Everyday people wake up to the sound of gun fire or people screaming. In the United States we aren't aware of this as much as people in the middle east or other warring countries. The contrast of the flowers and the grenades shows that things so ordinary and peaceful can turn into anything. In some places a grenade exploding is just as common as a wild flower.

MIA
The MIA definitely takes some time to go through. I was there for an hour and hardly got to look at anything for any length of time. This was very different then any other museum or exhibit I have ever been to. I kind of felt like I was in a movie because everything was so big and there was such a contrast of items. I felt like I was surrounded by history and culture. Over all I left with an overwhelmed feeling that there is so much out there to see and learn about.

October 9, 2007

MIA - Betsy

As an art museum one usually feels that you go to see the art, not the building which houses it. But this assignment had me looking at how the walls set up the pieces, how the nooks and corners helped show off certain pieces, and even how lighting could set the mood of a room and then set the mood for how you viewed a piece. I really like how the classic art had the high ceilings and regal feel seen in the pieces. The rooms with the modern art also had a more modern feel with wide open spaces and sparse decoration. In all, and simply put, I felt that the museum set up the mood for the pieces portrayed in different rooms with the architecture around it. The new part of the museum added on even gave the same feeling, and one couldn't tell when entering or exiting the new addition. I really feel like seeing art in a certain setting can make you see art in literally, a different light.

MCAD - Betsy

I felt that the exhibit in general was filled with what the rotten sun displayed - grotesque and odd art that makes hte viewer feel extremely out of his element and uncomfortable. Art is supposed to be about expressing emotions which was exemplified in this exhibit. Art here gripped your uneasy emotions and made you stare longer and harder to try to comprehend how the artist could possible have thought up the idea. I really felt that the 'Deadly Pumps' piece - showing three pairs of shoes each made of a different object. One was made of fingers, which really had me thinking - why fingers? I think it may have been because fingers and toes are opposites and so it's odd and strange to see fingers holding in toes. Another was made of razors. Razors are physically uncomfortable and painful to the holder if used improperly, so it's understandable how this could fit the exhibit. The other was made of bugs, a creature often felt by society as gross and creepy. They are often referred to as creepy crawlers - due to the way people feel about them. I felt the Rotten Sun exhibits idea of what emotions it'd convey were really seen in this piece.

Rotten Sun / Experiencing Art in the Museum

MCAD - Rotten Sun

Select 1 work in the Rotten Sun exhibition and discuss what drew you to this piece and how you interpret its relationship to the exhibition theme Rotten Sun.

MIA - Experiencing Art in the Museum

Using your response to the architectural, spatial and cultural experience of the MIA, reflect on who this environment influences your experience or art.

MCAD/MIA Ethan

MCAD

The Rotton Sun exhibit was very different and it displayed some unusual pieces that were very interesting to view. My initial thoughts of the title Rotton Sun were of things that were spoiled, stinky, nasty, in other words, stuff you would find in the garbage. After Saw some of the pieces in the exhibit, my opinion changed of the title. I think the title had to do with all the little things that makes us cringe inside at the thought. Also, the many problems that are often overlooked in society because nobody wants to take responsiblity for those issues. "Around...and around...and around" by Mary McDunn caught my eye because this piece brought up a issue that I have thought about before. The piece was a print of a polar bear going around in circles for the entire day because he is confined to his cage at the zoo. Why is it all right to keep an animal away from the wild and put it into cage. For humans when we cage somebody up it is prison, and they did something wrong. This is a very ironic issue that many people overlook.

MIA

I always enjoy visiting the MIA because it is a place to see some of the pieces of the great artists of our time. It had been awhile since I had last been at the MIA. It was really cool to check out the the contemporary wing of the building. My favorites were of Lichtenstein and Chuck Close. Towards the end of the hour I viewed some more of the newly added on wing. Architecturally, I did not think that the design of the add-on fit the program of the rest of the site. It seemed to be a bit open and the atmosphere did not flow. Overall, I wish I had more time to check out some more pieces and will probably return soon.

HEY HEY THERE

ROTTEN SUN FACULTY SHOW @ MCAD

I thought that the title of this show was reflected well in the piece i chose.

"Child Army" by Ulana Zahaykeiwycz and Margie McGee
2007, Carved Basswood

This diorama like three dimensional setup was pretty cartoonlike when i first looked at it. Little doll sized carvings with extremely animated faces and personalities stood out to me. Among them were an army general, women, children, an Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan looking character, an angry alien-like man, a half princess half reptile woman, an opera singer spewing snakes, a soldier with an amputated leg, and the list of contradictory characters goes on.

I thought that this represented the idea of the grotesque and also captured the quote from the show's descriptive first panel, "the core of our being is the disgusting condition of the desire for answers to life's myriad problems."

The character's were painted by two different artists; they have two distinct styles. The "normal" figures (women, men and children, with nothing mystical or supernatural about them) were done in a placid way, using calm colors like yellow and blue for their clothing. These people are typically innoffensive and there is nothing physically wrong with them. They also aren't showing any emotions obviously.

The second group of more creature-like characters was done by the other artist, and are more outrageous. they are the hybrids and the things that show emotion, often ugly and violent.

I thought that this was very literally one group of grotesque, deformed and faulty people or things and one group of healthy, normal , saltine cracker people. The grotesque show the ugly side of all of us; the war monger, the envious, the greedy and gluttonous and so on. The contrasting lives that exist under the sun. I think that literally the Rotten Sun can be applied here as something that offers no guarantee. You can be born with faults and with mutations and hatred and anger. The sun is something that all people are under, but not all people are the same under it.

In this same sense, the sun could be a thinly veiled metaphor for God. Those religious among us who wonder why God chose them to have some fatal illness or an early death have to believe this problem had a purpose. "Believing" in the sun is not a guarantee of safety or prosperity, nor is believing in God. I thought that Georges Bataille's original essay in 1929 may have even been alluding to the sun being some religious factor.

Either way, i felt that the piece "Child Army" captured the grotesque as something real that walks among us every day and even though they wont obviously be 10 feet tal or a half lizard, they could still be there. The grotesque is apart of all of us, obviously or not.


MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS

I really liked my time at this place and regret having to leave early because of the terrible weather.

Something that i love about this place is the fact that it's always free. Art is available to the masses in this way, they just have to know where to go. Seriously, to have an art museum with such stunning works throughout history be available absolutely free all the time is super cool. I plan on going back soon just because i can. I love that they offer that, everyone should make the most of it.

I was really suprised at how huge it was too. After about an hour of wandering around with Broc, we totally lost each other and never met up. So its a pretty big place with a lot of options to go see, which is nice. It is thorough about each time period that it chooses to dedicate space to, instead of just having like, one or two pieces from the period then calling it quits. I like how nothing here is a half baked idea.

This museum also had a few stellar pieces that stick out. Edward Ruscha, Peter Paul Reubens, Salvador Dali, Chuck Close, Frank Stella all had exemplary work there. I thought they were good representations of these artists, rather than some obscure rendering they did at one point in their career.

All in all my experience at this institute was really positive. I really want to come back and spend many more hours here. It seems like a place with a mission and i think they execute it well.

MCAD and MIA

MCAD Rotten Sun Exhibit
I didn't get to look at the MCAD Rotten Sun exhibit for very long; however, for what I did see I thought it was very interesting. The title of the exhibit alone was very provoking and the pieces seemed to follow the theme of being grotesque and disturbing. Many of the pieces had a very dark, sad and "rotten" feel to them and seemed to contradict anything sunlike at all. There were various pieces involving dead animals which was indeed grotesque and disturbing. One piece that captured my attention was Mary McDunn's piece of the black and white pictures of the polar bear. While looking at it I felt kind of sad and disturbed by it, which I'm sure, was the intent of the artist. This piece fit the theme of the rotten sun. I think I would like to go back sometime and look around at the exhibit when I have a little more time and can look at some of the pieces more closely.

MIA Museum
While walking around MIA I couldn't believe how big it was. I had never been in there before and didn't realize how much there was to see. There was alot to look at and my favorite exhibits were the photo and painting ones. I thought it was really cool seeing the photograph by Dorothea Lange. I can't remember what it was called but I remember seeing it in my history book back during the tenth grade when my class was learning about the great depression. I really liked the black and white acylic painting of the man with the curly hair and glasses titled "Frank" and thought it was a photo at first. Once I realized it was a painting I was amazed at how realistic it was and even more when I learned out it had been done with acylic paints and not oils. There was also some things in the museum that I couldn't believe deserved to be there among many of the other extraordinary pieces. One of those pieces was a canvas completely painted a tan color which I think was titled "Skin". It didn't really help that this piece was just feet away from the realistic portrait of the man that I liked though either. There were other exhibits that I thought were very boring such as the Asia and Africa exhibits. Overall I liked walking around MIA and would like to go back again sometime to look at areas I didn't get to see .

October 8, 2007

MCAD and MIA: Allison

MCAD Rotten Sun-
I think the title “Rotten Sun� is an interesting and provocative choice for the exhibit. I wasn’t sure, at first, how it could be applied, so I read the introduction on the vibrant wall in the beginning. It was named after the “Rotten Sun� written by Georges Ballaille, who claims that it is the “core of our being� to respond in revulsion, horror and shock to certain things. I would have to agree. At first, after leaving the exhibit, I’m not sure I was entirely convinced that it was successful for me. I just thought that a lot of the pieces were relatively ugly, but now I see that that was the aim. The idea behind it was to force the viewer to accept the somewhat unacceptable and look beyond them to find a deeper meaning. The word grotesque was the tie between all the pieces, it “accepts the base instincts within us all.� The exhibit was meant to “admit anxiety and contradiction are as important as optimism and hope.� They deserve just as much recognition and time.
In relation to the title, I chose the piece by John Gaunt called “Deficient Data.� I thought it was intriguing in that it was addressing landscape, which is a common subject in my architecture class right now. The description said that he is interested in “merging the natural and unnatural,� which is exactly what architects must deal with. The piece itself seemed to hold a lot of movement. I liked the lines and how they faded into the background. It felt almost angry. The dark, “messy organization� of the piece ties it in with the rest of the exhibit, exposing the less beautiful side of art, in general.


MIA:
When we entered the MIA building, I was first drawn to the fact that there was a Dale Chihuly piece hanging above the lobby. Chihuly reminds me of home, as the first piece you see in the Milwaukee Art Museum is Chihuly, or at least it is the first I remember. Ironically enough the piece was a sun, which related so well to the previous exhibit. The old part of the building created a very bold environment for the artwork, I thought. It made you feel slightly detached from the art, as if it is not something you could relate to making, though you may relate to it on an emotional level. It glorified the art and the artist. It is certainly deserved, but it is a different experience from that of the newer building. The new part of the building creates a very simple flowing pattern from one room to the next. It urges you forward, rather than trapping you in a highly decorated room. It let the artwork speak for itself. The clean lines and open rooms were slightly more to my liking. For example, when looking at Chuck Close’s “Frank,� the large portrait of the man, I felt the need to get very far away from it to view it in its entirety. The floor plan allowed for this. Though the old building is beautiful and ornate, I feel that art needs to be placed where it can be viewed without distraction. I enjoyed both parts, but the newer building worked best, in my opinion. I plan on going back soon to see portions of the collections that I missed, as well as to see the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit!

MCAD/MIA Andrew

MCAD

The Rotton Sun exhibit was different and less conventional than others that I have seen recently. My first thoughts on the meaning of Rotton Sun was basically me just taking the connotations of the words literally: rotton=dead, sun=alive. After looking at the pieces, I now believe that the Rotton Sun exhibit was about things that from a distance look pleasing, but as one gets closer they understand how "rotton" the thing actually is. Mary McDunn's piece, "Around...and around...and around" was very interesting to me and fits well into my idea of the Rotton Sun exhibit. From far away, one just sees the common scene of a polar bear swimming around at a zoo. But, when they come in for a closer look and read the title, they realize that the piece seems to be about the cruelty that is involved in locking up an animal in a space much smaller than its natural habitat. I liked this exhibit a lot because of this deceiving nature that was in the pieces.

MIA

I really enjoying visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, partily because it stood in contrast in ways to the Milwaukee Art Museum, the museum that I have been to maybe 50 times. For example, the MIA is a much more open and tall structure, which I enjoy more than the shorter, one-two level style of the MAM. Also, the MIA has many more works by famous masters like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet. But, I much prefer Milwaukee's new Calatrava addition (full of light and beautiful lines) to Graves' new wing, which made the wing seem like a civic building. Overall, I had a great time at MIA and I hope to go back soon.

October 7, 2007

MCAD and MIA Becca

I came to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design wondering what this “Rotten Sun� exhibit would be like. I wasn’t sure how such a contradiction could be pulled off, but as soon as I entered the room I understood. The first thing seen when one walks into the door is a big yellow wall. Not a nice cheery yellow, but a vivid yellow that screams for attention and yet hurts those who stare at it. On this wall was an explanation of the exhibit title and some ideas of the inspiration for it. This title refers to the “grotesque� in life, the things that we usually try to hide, or ignore. These gross and dirty things are brought to life by the sun; thus contaminating that light.
The piece I felt that really strengthened the theme of Rotten Sun was the piece by Jennifer Danos, Untitled (Dirty Walls 1, after the South Street Seaport). When I first saw this piece, I was unsure whether or not it was actually something meant to be seen. The simplicity of it made me want to turn away, but then I realized it was more than just a flaw in the wall. This piece consisted of a white sheet of plaster placed behind a whole in the actual wall. The color was white, but because the light was illuminating it just right, you could see streaks of dirt. This intrigued me because it brought on memories of service projects and slummy neighborhoods. But how could a something so simple bring on such complex feelings? Danos explained her piece by talking about the dirt and whether or not it was right to remove it. She wondered if removing the layers of dirt would remove the history of the wall. Also, she went on to hypothesize that maybe all dirt wasn’t bad it could be, “positive or negative, beautiful or ugly, funky or gritty, authentic or neglected.� She has a good point. Society today does have an obsession with being considered “clean.�
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a wonderful museum. I had never been there before, and I was really surprised at the size and scale of the building. I couldn’t believe how many different rooms there were, each holding a different feeling for the viewer while displaying different types of artwork. The way they set up the classic artwork within the old parts of the building was very fitting; likewise for the contemporary things—Chuck Close just wouldn’t have been the same if he were in a rotunda with pillars surrounding him. The new part of the building gave a really easy feeling, it didn’t convey that “high class� feeling that the older parts of the building gave. It really felt comfortable, and was not distracting to the artwork. Sometimes in the old building I was more interested in the carvings of the ceiling than the actual artwork itself. The new galleries felt spacious, with plenty of light to enjoy each piece as fully as possible. The environment here was entirely different from that of the old building. However, I find it hard to decide which atmosphere I enjoyed more because they each had something great to offer and complemented the artwork they withheld differently. I can’t wait to go back to see the things in that museum that I didn’t have a chance to view!

McAd and MiA

At first i had no idea what the exhibit rotten sun was going to look like and honestly i really did not want to find out. After reading the explanation of the artwork, i felt like a may enjoy it. The term rotten sun jumped to me in a heart beat, i knew exactlly what it meant. When you think of a sun you think of happiness, brightness, livelyness(however you spell it). So when the word rotten is placed in front of it the whole term gets reversed. Disturbed, grotesque and sadness were almost captured in all of the artworks that i found there. There were some that i had no idea what the curator was thinking but that is for another time.

The piece that stood out most to me was the comic book strip done by Wirth. You want to talk about artistic skills she had plenty of them. I would love to read a comic book or anything done by her. I felt she captured the term rotten sun the best in her artwork. She symbolized grotesque in a way that is different from all the others. She used pictures of people and their expressions rather than swirls and lines to somewhat get the effect of a rotten sun.

MIA has to be the coolest art muesum/gallery i have ever been too. Just the fact of how big it is really makes you feel like you are in an important strucuture. What was really neat is how they divided each genre of art into different levels. I thought that was really cool how you can be enriched in one type of art solely in one section of the building. Now being an architecture student i absolutely loved the modernism gallery. The chuck close piece amazing, if not the greatest piece there. I thought seeing van der rohe's pieces in real life was a great experience than wathcing them on film. I liked graves design of the modern wing, i felt he did a excellent job in capturing the artistic feel for modern architecture. I guess there was a room for FLW and i missed it!!!!!!!! I gues i will have to go back and see it because i will definetly go back again some time. That place was amazing

MCAD/MIA: Julia

MCAD:
After viewing the Rotten Sun at MCAD this past week, I chose to focus on how this theme was expressed in the piece Delivered Data by John Gaunt. It was a piece in which he created in 2007 and used oil on canvas. Lines in grid-form created parts of circular balls, while other lines blended to form a blurred backdrop. Mostly gray blues and bright yellow oranges were used. After reading where the title of the show, the Rotten Sun, came from, which was Georges Batalle’s description of a monstrous sun, I concentrated on the word, grotesque, as life’s myriad of problems, which frustrates us. Some of what comes from the grotesque is unease, confusion, shock, revulsion, an expression of reality through distortion and undermining the beauty of nature.
What drew me to the piece that I chose was the “uncanny or mysterious interpretation of the landscape,� said by the artist himself. He said that his goals of the piece were to express natural and unnatural structures, express an object as a verb rather than a noun and develop tension between order and disorder. He accomplishes each of these well, which contributes to an easier understanding of the underlying theme, the grotesque.
He expresses natural structures simply by using bright orange fixed lines that form recognizable shapes in space that form parts of a wired sphere. Whereas the unnatural structures are the confusion of the background by the use of blurred and blended gray blue hues. The idea of an object, such as a landscape, expressed as a verb rather than a noun, is shown through the movement of the overall piece. The movement follows the bright lines in grid-shape of a sphere and the blurred background distorts the feeling of being still. Instead it allows you to focus on the concrete bright lines while having the feeling of movement by being unable to focus on a still background. These ways of confusion and distorting of the goal (representing an object as a verb rather than a known) represents the grotesque. I feel the tension between order and disorder again in the contrast of concrete space and lines versus the blurred and endless feeling of the background. To me, the underlying focuses of the show, such as confusion and an expression of reality through distortion, were most represented in this piece.

Minneapolis Institute of the Arts:
This was my first experience in the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, however, not my first experience in a museum. Comparatively to the other museums I have been to, my first impression was this museum was huge, not only in the actual size, but in what styles and the quantity of artwork they had. I enjoyed it greatly! It was also nice to walk into a museum that felt more modern in architecture with all the openness the glass created along with the lighting and glasswork instillations. This experience for me was different compared to other trips to museums by the sole fact that people’s diverse focuses and stylistic likes could all be met in the same visit. I was able to head to the third floor to focus on the modern art, the photography exhibition, and the room designated to Frank Lloyd Wright, while others for example, were able to spend the whole time in rooms designated to earlier European artwork. I enjoyed the modern section more because I think my art takes more forms from those styles versus for example, the renaissance era. I also realized when I stepped into the European rooms a feeling of anxiety and pressure almost like intimidation. The architectural designs of those galleries were slightly different, with higher ceilings and decorative ceilings. However, the art had intensity as well with ornate frames and religious detail. When I was little, I remember this being the styles of art I would only see on field trips to museums and this bored me, therefore, I developed an early hesitancy toward that style. I liked the new addition of the building. It appeared more open with wider doorways and brighter lighting. The atmosphere appeared more friendly and more galleria like than museum like. I appreciated being exposed to this museum in the cities and plan on returning soon and often (it is so big you can spend hours looking at everything)!

October 6, 2007

Rotten Sun: Nellie Brau

MCAD Rotten Sun:
While viewing the Rotten Sun exhibit, I found many pieces and themes inwhich I enjoyed and was able to link back to the common title of "Rotten Sun." The theme of the exhibit was quite obviously focusing on a more dark, sarcastic, and contradictory part of art. "Grotesque" was the word I believe MCAD used to describe the works in the exhibit. This was certainly fitting, seeing as that all the peices had some sort of gross element...I believe the pieces were meant to make you feel uneasy or uncomfortable. I did feel odd about the grotesque side of art, though in a strange way I was also pulled to the exhibit out of curiosity and interest for this "grotesque" feel

The name of the exhibti, "Rotten Sun," was quite fitting to the overall theme. When I think of something rotten, my mind comes up with words like garbage, old food, and perhaps even bodies. The term "rotting" is not a pleasant one, it almost makes me feel as if I should plug my nose. When this term is paired with the "Sun" contradictions arise. The sun in my mind is a bright, happy, and life-giving power. The sun is certainly not something I'd link to the term "rotten." But of course, the MCAD exhibit was trying to capture this contradiction to describe their exhibit. The grossness of something rotten being paired with something bright, and happy to twist the final fate of the said happy object is exactly what I believe MCAD was trying to convey through the works. Therefore, the title "Rotten Sun" is a perfect description of the exhibit. The phrase captures the theme entirely.

A piece I found interesting would be Barb Schulz's "Teenage Cat Girls in Heat." This piece was a larger version of a comic book strip. The comic portrayed whorish women teasing men and ultimatly sleeping with them. It showed women as sexual objects without true human qualtities. At the end of the comic strip the whores turned into cats and clawed the now-sleeping men to death. A very grostque portrayal of what this artist deemed as "the view of women" in the 21st century. I rather enjoyed the piece. I felt the work fit in with the theme of the exhibit, because of its qualities of gross exaggeration, violence, scandal, and sarcasm. This was a grotesque portrayal of women but I believe the artist wants one to realize how inadequetly women can be seen in the world of today. I also belive the work held some truth about "who women are"...and "what women have become" in comparison to other centuries.

The Art Institute:
The Art Institute as a mesmorizing collection of many kinds of modern and ancient works. I enjoyed my time there and viewed many famous works. The majority of my time was spent in the new wing of the institute which holds contemporary works. The new gallery was large, open, and bright and displayed the works in a fantastic way. I was able to see a few Warhol pieces, as well as the famous "Chuck Close" painting. I also visited the European section and spent time with the Baroque Era pieces. The works in the historical euro section were incredible. I also enjoyed seeing "Lucrezia" and other netherland area works. The institute was a great experience overall and I will certainly be returning!

September 18, 2007

SAD Reflections - Broc Blegen

“Window Series�
Theresa Handy
This piece first caught my attention because of it’s repetition of shapes and colors, and because of it’s thin and long horizontal structure. One panel in particular kept my attention. This one was located in the left-center (there were 10 panels-this one was the fifth from the left) of the set, and was the only one with only one bird in it, and that bird was located in the center of the panel, whereas the other panels seem to have birds located in almost random places. This one panel might represent the loneliness felt by the person watching from behind the window.
My first impression was one of calmness and security. I think this is because the colors, although they are dull and grey, have a sort of soothing effect on me. And the horizontal structure, as opposed to a vertical or square one, also brings a feeling of security and solidarity. Also, I thought it was interesting that each board was so similar to all the others, yet none were the same, and could maybe even stand alone. The different colors make me think that each panel represents a different winter day, which is also suggested by the title, saying it’s a “series.� I’m sure that the panels represent winter days because the colors of the panels are mostly seen in the winter months, and the colors seem to be empty or lifeless, and winter is an empty and lifeless time of the year. I can picture someone, maybe sitting on a bench, looking out the window in the winter-maybe bored or lonely, or maybe calm and peaceful. I’m also curious about what the birds might mean to that person, or to the artist. Do they represent freedom? It would make sense to me because the person is forced to be confined in his/her own house during the winter, and might be envious of the freedom displayed by the birds. I also think its interesting that the birds are portrayed as black-because they are the only life in the painting, or even in the whole landscape, and black in general isn’t used to portray life. After thinking about this piece more, I think I better understood the potential meanings behind it.
I think this piece was included in the exhibit because of it’s association with the winter months, and because it might also represent or suggest lonely or bored feelings or responses from the viewer.


Shotgun Landscape-video
This artwork first caught my attention because of its size and video format, and its prominent position on the wall. I was curious about what the landscape behind the black painted board would look like, and if it would even be revealed to me by the artist (or if it would just be parts of the landscape). I was also curious about what he was shooting the board with, and the meaning behind it, and why it was included in the collection of artworks in the exhibit. I think the black board might represent SAD, and the shotgun punctures may be symbolic of the pain felt by one with the disease. Also, when it’s all black, that might be the climax of the disease, when one is consumed by the disease and is unable to experience anything else, except loneliness and isolation-which the black screen represents. And I think that the increasing light shown through the board (from the shotgun holes) may represent the healing process from the disease, one that is slow and painful (as represented by the shotgun bullets). I also thought it was interesting how the landscape at the end was almost a dead landscape, which might even show how one isn’t ever completely healed from the disease, or that although you may not show symptoms of the disease, it is still alive inside you, and is just dormant, like how the plants and trees were dormant for the winter, but will eventually come alive again with the increases in light. The increases in light also bring life back to a person with SAD, so this human-nature parallel is interesting. However, although the landscape isn’t beautiful in the traditional sense, it does have a sort of relieving calmness to it (which, in my opinion is beautiful), and I thought it was an amazing contrast to the destructive action of the shotgun bullets that were continuous throughout the entire first part of the video. Another interesting response I had from the video is that at first the bullet holes kind of confused me, or disgusted me, but because it continued, it forced me to get used to it, and think it’s normal. I think this is interesting because it might parallel how one with SAD is forced to just live with the disorder, and over time it just becomes a normal part of their day or even life, because there isn’t really a cure for the disease (at least I don’t think there is). Also, my first time I was watching the video, it was so painfully slow that I left after probably less than a minute. However, later I made myself sit down for the entire film, and it was so depressingly slow, oftentimes the spray of the shotgun bullets only made tiny holes and it seemed like we were no closer to getting the board down. I thought that this is a sort of metaphor for the painfully slow (and depressing) passage of time that one with SAD would experience. And also, those with SAD are unable to just walk away from it like a viewer at a museum would be able to; instead, they are forced to just deal with it. In one of my other classes I read a quote by Robert Rauschenberg that said that the job of the contemporary artist is to “act in the “gap� between art and life,� to serve as a linking bridge between art and life, and I believe that this work does a fantastic job of this. I think this piece was included in the exhibit because it helps people understand what it feels like to have SAD in a way that reflects the passage of time (through use of video), which, I believe is one of the most important aspects of SAD. Also, there is a clear interaction of light and dark in this work-with the black board (complete absence of light) and the shotgun holes that bring light to the screen.