Part 2

RESEARCH

Being Human (4th Nov)

Being human is the state of being a person. The Wellcome Collection stated "being Human explores what it means to be human in the 21st century. It reflects our hopes and fears about new forms of medical knowledge, and our changing relationships with ourselves, each other and the world". We as humans are constantly developing, evolving, and creating. We have come so far in areas such as medicine, technology, etc. Although we have resolved major issues, we still have a lot to develop. I believe one of the most significant and revolutionary creations is medication and other health related treatments. This helped prolong and improve the lives of so many. This made me wonder why such an important creation that is proven to work/help is not accessible to everyone. I looked into the Universal healthcare system which made me even more curious.

 

WELLCOME MUSEUM: BEING HUMAN

This exhibition explored specific areas relating to human life. Genetics, Mind and body, Environmental breakdown, and Infections. This exhibition was different to others I have visited because it focused more on the context of the art. Its educates us on the what it is to be human and on certain scientific topics such as Genetics, which actually makes us human. The label in the exhibition states "This gallery explores how we think and feel about ourselves, our bodies and our relationship with the world around us. Our understanding of what it means to be human is being transformed: by new research, our own experiences and those of other people". 

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Transparent Women (Anatomical Figure) Unknown Designer, 1980. There was a remote with buttons each one lights up a different organ. I found this interesting because although it says it's a women, it is generic. It represents a normal woman. Nothing individual or personal. It teaches us about our species. It is mundane, there is nothing that is new or out of the ordinary we are being exposed to. 

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This is a still from T3511 by Heather Dewey-Hagborg, 2018. This film is about the relationship with a biohacker and their subject. I never expected this topic to be executed in this manner. I thought this was fascinating because the artist portrayed being human in a scientific manner by telling us information about genetics, and used human emotions and feelings in the character she played to make it relatable. She portrays emotions of love, sadness, hope, and vulnerability. Her character falling in love with the genetics of a donor she has never met or seen shows that our identity is not necessarily associated with our physical appearance. We can be exposed through our genetics and cells. The label describes genetics as "the blueprint of life. It provides instructions that shape every cell in the body." In order to be categorised as a 'human' we have to have the DNA, genetics etc, of this specific species. We are not the only species that can feel emotions so is the only thing making us human our genetics?

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The works above relate to current issues around the world. Un Monde Sous Pression (The World Under Pressure) by Batoul S'Himi and Too by Adam Chodszko are about the effects of climate change on areas. Refugee Astronaut by Yinka Shonibare is about a refugee carrying its possessions and is aimed to make us curious as to why they had to leave and who they are. 

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ARTISTS:

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Un Monde Sous Pression (The World Under Pressure) by Batoul S'Himi stood out to me most because of its context. It talks about a current issue (climate change) which made me think about other issues happening around the world such as healthcare, war etc, which I can discuss in my work. I like how he used domestic objects. It makes the issue seem like real life because of how familiar these objects are. For this project we have to make a statement. Something to put in a time capsule to tell other species or generations in the future about what is happening in our time. I think discussing a current issue highlights what could and should be changed. And to also bring awareness to these issues.

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Mappa by Alighieri Boetti (1971) is an embroidery of the world map. According to https://www.moma.org/collection/works/80620, this piece is meant to represent that "nothing is permanent on our earth". He used a map to show this because throughout the decades the map has changed as new countries had been discovered. "Certain countries do not appear on the map because they did not yet exist (Ukraine and Belarus, for example). Some nations, such as Israel, are not represented because the Taliban regime of Afghanistan did not then recognize their existence. Some countries that are represented, such as Zaire and the USSR, have since changed political identities and no longer exist." I think representing change through a map was appropriate for the idea of 'being human'. That is were we are. Representing that nothing there is permanent is also directed to us humans. We are not permanent. We are born, then we are gone. Using a map also highlights that we are all the same or we are all homo sapiens. This is because the map shows all the areas on earth which is all the areas where we exist. 

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(Refugee Astronaut by Yinka Shonibare) After seeing this I wanted to research further about the context of this piece because I had a few questions. Does this represent a specific event? Why were they leaving? Who were they? 

The artists says it's a warning for what could happen if water levels continue to rise and the displacement of people. This is another piece aiming to spread awareness about current issues that could continue to worsen if we do not do something about it. This are issues that people are struggling with. This is another 'human' quality, selfishness. We are not as empathetic as we should be. We are careless about these issues. We do not think they are as serious as they actually are. One problem such as climate change can cause the next. Her next statement supports my point. “It’s not immediately graspable. That’s why things are very slow politically. People see they can still get their breakfast. It doesn’t feel urgent. Whereas if you’re in a war situation you can see your house being destroyed and that you have to respond very quickly.”

"Shonibare insists that the piece speaks to the present as well as the future, pointing out that the recent rise in asthma deaths has been linked to the air-pollution crisis." It is clear she is targeting environmental issues. This is a current issue. I aim to look into other current issues which are just as serious. 

https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/XYofFREAACQAp-Vl

PROJECT:

Is healthcare free everywhere? How many countries does the Universal Healthcare system actually cover? Should healthcare be free? Should medication be free? Is sufficient healthcare provided in countries that need it the most? 

 

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_universal_health_care

According to Wikipedia, Universal healthcare is described as "a healthcare system that provides health care and financial protection to all residents of a particular country or region." I want to emphasise 'particular' because the name is misleading. So this system does not actually cover all areas. 

As shown above, parts of Africa, North America, and Asia are provided with the least healthcare. Red indicates no free or universal healthcare. Africa is the poorest continent therefore they do not have the financial means to spend on healthcare. This made me think about if healthcare in areas that need it most should be free. It is definitely not this simple and I am looking into this topic quite philosophically, however because Africa is the poorest continent I am certain this is urgent. The Gates Foundation have listed concerns about each continent which they target and help to give us an idea of what they need. Africa and Asia have fatal diseases such as HIV, Polio, and Malaria. Due to the financial state of these developing countries, they cannot access sufficient healthcare. Poverty and health are intertwined. The majority of these countries are not educated on health and sanitation which leads to diseases as such. Healthcare will not only treat people but provide them with information about how to take care of themselves to avoid these diseases. Governments in these countries cannot afford universal healthcare therefore they rely on organisations such as NGOs, WHO, and other charities. I read a few arguments between people debating whether healthcare/medication should be free. On Quora, a user argued against free medication stating "Why stop at providing free medicine? Should food be free? Should clean water be free? Should clothing and shelter be free? Should unlimited education be free? Should your laptop and the electricity to power your laptop be free?" and linking it to "loss of economic growth and opportunity". Another user argued this point saying that "medication that a qualified doctor prescribes as necessary for maintaining or improving the health of someone, and that is approved and documented as effective, should be subsidized sufficiently that nobody has to go without for lack of financial muscle. This point takes into account valid points from the user before. I agree that economic growth is important because they make more money which they can invest back into the country and it is crucial for investors. However, what about low income countries with low economic growth? What about the large numbers of people even in wealthier countries who cannot afford? Should they be compromised for the sake of money? I do not have all the answers as this is an incredibly difficult and deep topic however there must be other ways that low income countries and people living in poverty can be treated. On https://www.debate.org/opinions/should-health-care-be-free, some argued 'right to like and right to health', 'Health care is mandatory!...Health care is something everybody needs. A price should not be put on someone's life'. There's a lot of back and forth in this topic as some will look at it more philosophically and others will be more concerned about the business side.   

 

 

Language of Objects (18th Nov)

The lecture gave me a few ideas of different ways to explore this topic of objects. I thought about a collection of found objects, inspired by Tom Friedman, the idea of giving an object value or taking it away, also consumer culture e.g Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst.  

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Tom Friedman, Untitled 1995

Artnet states that he "explores the relationship between perception and logic. He uses vernacular materials including hair, plastic, Styrofoam, and paper to create unexpected objects". From this and most of his work, it is clear he focuses on the audience and how they interpret his work. He said in an interview (from art net) that art to him is  "a context to slow the viewer's experience from their everyday life in order to think about things they haven't thought about. Or to think in a new way,” which suggests that he aims for a specific reaction or perception from his audience. 

He cut up pencils in order to achieve this. This relates to the Collection project in part 1.  What I found most interesting is how he used one simple and basic object to make a complex figure. This makes the object appear more valuable, from an audience point of view. He added value by distorting the object and making it interesting which is different to Sylvia Fleury for example in her 'Prada Boots (2003)' because she enhances the value of these shoes using a metallic colour. Similarly to Jeff Koons who also using shiny colours to make his piece more appealing and attractive (Ballon Dogs). I want to use his technique of changing/distorting an object and repetition using found objects around my house. 

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The Three Sisters by Peter Fischli & David Weiss 1985.

They attach objects together to create an unstable form for the camera. I do not like this piece as a whole but I think the way they connected the objects is interesting  because it fits perfectly and looks like the objects were made to fit into each other. I like how they did not have to distort the object to change its form.  

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Tony Cragg, Stack, 1975. 

Cragg "randomly accumulated miscellaneous objects and materials" in the form of a cube. I like that the composition was random because the result is unexpected. Cragg doesn't attach the materials permanently, he recreates it every time the sculpture is exhibited in a different location. Therefore this sculpture is temporary. The performance is the act of recreating it and the outcome of the constantly changing composition. 

 

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Styrofoam Cups, 2004-8, Tara Donovan.

What I found most interesting about Tara Donovan's work is her methodology. She has said that she approaches her work by understanding the objects she's working with in order to find out what she is able to do with them. "In a sense, I develop a dialogue with each material that dictates the forms that develop. With every new material comes a specific repetitive action that builds the work.” This is clear as she ends up creating such complex and abstract figures. This is something I want to incorporate into this project. Understanding the limits of a single object and how much I am able to do with it. 

I read a couple of pages from 'Sculpture's location in the midst of the real' by Maarten Doorman. I came across a sentence that describes what I am aiming to do with this project. "Making art from trivial objects created confusion about the different between art and non-art". An object with little value, often non-art objects, being given value through the way its displayed/presented to the viewer. This has qualities of consumer culture. Being fooled to spend large amounts of money on objects with little value because they are presented aesthetically. Therefore I can understand where this 'confusion' is from because the art is taken away when the aim is solely financial. This is evident with artists like Damien Hirst. 

Elimination of Recognisable Objects (21st Nov)

The aim for this project is to create a formless object with no use, function, or anything recognisable. Georges Bataille describes formlessness as "formless is not only an adjective having a given meaning, but a term that serves to bring things down in the world, generally requiring that each thing have its form". What I am understanding from his text is that it is not only an adjective but it ha its own meaning. Also in order for something to become formless it must have an original form. Which is somewhat true because in order to create a formless object you must remove or distort a form. These certainly depend on the assumption that everything already has its won form. 

Lift, Richard Serra, 1967.

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Serra wanted to experiment with non traditional materials such as rubber, which he used for this piece, and the process of using these materials. He made a list of verbs to mimic with the materials and chose 'to lift' for this piece. I found this method useful and I aim to use this strategy because he based the form on the limits of the material. The material has the control in this case and he created this according to what the material allows him to do. His outcome has no function or form, and this proves Georges Bataille's theory of something needs to have been a form before becoming formless. He has removed the function of what looks like a floor mat. It looks like it is rejecting any interaction with the viewer. There is no way we can turn this form into a tool.

 

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Skulpturendition zu Cauldron, Tony Cragg, 2008. 

"his choice of material has determined the form"

Similarly to Serra, this formless sculpture is shaped by the properties of the material. What I like most about this piece is its solidity and harshness. Although its dynamism enhances these effects, I want to try to create a form that looks heavy or has weight and is complimented by harsh activity. 

 

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Gnaw, Janine Antoni, 1992.

Antoni made one cube of chocolate and one cube out of lard. She bite pieces off both blocks until the cube shape was distorted. The texture stood out to me most because of the repetitive teeth marks. It appeals to our senses. I believe texture is important when aiming to create a certain emotion because the artist is physically marking how they want us to feel. Harsher/forceful textures are often reflections of the context and vice versa. 

Developing Part 1 Material News (23th Jan)

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Habitus by Ann Hamilton, 2016 (top) and Light and Space II by Robert Irwin, 2008 (bottom).

Habitus by Ann Hamilton is a large scale and offsite installation of curtain like cloth hanging from the ceiling. The fabric rotates and moves and the audience is free to move around and experience the effects of the installation. Videos show that there are ropes hanging down that the audience is free to pull down which make the fabric spin. She explains why she uses cloth saying that it is "our commonness... we wear it, we are surrounded by it" so seeing how she literally makes the audience surrounded by these large pieces of cloth is fascinating. In the video linked below the material is described as "Something cheap and resilient into something that looks like silk" suggesting that the way the cloth is displayed and flows makes it look more valuable. Light and Space II by Robert Irwin is an installation of fluorescent lights arranged in right angles, attached to the walls and corners of an interior. It emphasises the architecture of the room, making a plain white walled room more intriguing. What I find incommon between these two installations and what I find most interesting is the repetition. Repetition is an exciting device in art because it can create movement, rhythm, and balance. Something about an emphasis of the same object gives me a sense of stability. I want to utilize one material and create rhythm similar to both Irwin and Hamilton. 

Ann Hamilton Video

Home Or On The Move (13th Dec)

For this project I was looking into themes of invisibility/camouflage. I came across Tania Bruguera and she talked about the "intangible and trying to push the limit of art into feeling more than seeing" (from linked video). I wanted explore the idea of making the invisibility of an object make us feel.

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10,148,451 by Tania Bruguera (2018)

This is a commission for the Turbine Hall at the Tate. The ground is painted with heat sensitive paint so it leaves a print whenever its touched. It does however fade back to its original colour. The audience is welcome to walk and play on the ground. At initial glance, it does not look like anything as it is not far from the colour of the ground. The audience is needed to activate this piece. She suggests "things only change and happen in society when you intervene in them". What I like most about her work is her concept and how she explored the idea of invisibility. This work actually has a deeper meaning. When the floor is heated and walked one enough, a "large-scale image appears of a portrait of a young asylum seeker who arrived from Syria in 2011... we the people have the power, when we come together, to give those who don’t have a voice the visibility they need." This therefore relates to the invisibility of people and issues that need to be spoken about and given attention to. 

 

 

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Refractions by Robert Morris (1960s)

 

Refractions is a series of works he makes that "conveys his unconventional handling of sculptural forms to create dynamic and sensory relationships between object, space, and viewer".  This piece I like specifically because of the illusion of extended and exaggerated space. The room looks larger and because it is based on reflection, us as the viewer play a role in this piece. I like how he creates subtle effects and uses space as the focal point. The sculpture supports the space, making it look larger therefore making the space look more attractive to viewers. I want to make something that supports/enhances the space around it instead of the other way around.

 

Developing Part 1 Collection Project (19th Jan)

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I was influenced by 'Cotton Candy Panopticon'(2017) by Tra Bouscaren to develop a digital edit I had made in part 1. He combines digital art and sculpture. I was drawn to specific areas of this room. Parts like the top left corner. I like the projections on random parts of architecture in the room. Areas we often would not look at first or give much attention too. It highlight the architecture and make us more aware of the space we are in. This makes sense as Bouscaren has said “I want viewers to reflect on their own role". If we are carefully observing the space we take into account our position in the space. Are we invasive? Is the space welcoming? etc. I was interested in this because of its isolation from everything else going on. Although it matches the theme of everything else, there is something separating it. 

 

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Rebecca Birch explores ideas about subsurface geology in this piece called 'Lichen Hunting in the Lillomarka'(2019). She projects images of different surfaces of the earth on formless shapes. The shapes match the haptic sense of the images. I was fascinated by the harsh contrast she creates between the work and the space. I definitely want to experiment with contrasts. Although it is completely dark there is depth to it. I find it quite ambiguous because of its aura of the unknown. No movements or figures are visible in the background but there is a sense of liveliness. This piece is relevant to my interest in visibility/invisibility. 

Sculptural Performance (11th Nov)

In this project we are looking at how to manipulate space in the best way in order to communicate ideas. This makes us more sensitive to the physical space around us and how we respond to objects in our environment. Today we focused mainly on 'Sculptural Performance'. We looked at making actions a part of the piece, completing the piece through actions, works in scale that relates to the body, and ways we can produce interactive/performative work.  I wanted do make something interactive and film it. 

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Florence Peake, MAKE, (2010)

I liked how randomly decorated and irregular this piece is. It isn't precise or planned. This makes the outcome exciting and playful. Florence describes this piece saying "make is a piece about the exposing of the action and gestures behind the sculptural product" and that she focuses on combining "art materials and movement". This is clear because her outcome is dynamic and lively. I do not believe the materials are as effective or important as the way they are arranged. Very effortless yet powerful diagonals, harsh cuts, and texture. It reminds me of a Piñata and gave me an idea to make an untraditional Piñata. I want to use her technique of random arrangement and creating motion through materials.

 

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The Mexican symbolic meaning behind a Piñata is "the struggle of man against temptation". This is interesting because I had never thought about it in this way. I imagine this as someone so eager for the gift/surprise, they destroy it in order to reveal it. I often associated them with only fun and playful things so it would be interesting to explore the symbolic meaning. 

 

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John Wood and Paul Harrison, Board 1993, Three-Legged 1997. 

John Wood and Paul Harrison collaborate to create performances manipulating familiar objects. I want to make a Piñata which is interactive because it is made to be broken. Therefore the art is in the smashing of the object. So I filming the act and making a performance would suitable because it shows the transformation of the piece. I like how Wood and Harrison make the objects direct the performance. They are very visible in the videos however they are not in control. We break Pinatas but they are meant to be broken to reveal what is inside, therefore similar to the objects they use, the piñata is also in control. 

Exhibition - Christodoulos Panayiotou: The Island

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 What intrigued me most about this exhibition was the location of the pieces. There wasn't a barrier between the audience and the piece. A few pieces were scattered around the room and one work used the entire floor of the room. I felt like I was invasive and I had to step back or that I was not meant to be this close. Simultaneously, it made me feel like the art was mundane or perhaps the artist I felt the artist did not intend for his work to be viewed as something 'fancy' were he wants us to few it as an outsider. It was nice to observe the pieces closely. 

Exhibition - Honey-Suckle Company: Omnibus

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I enjoyed the atmosphere this exhibition created. It was modern and playful. It is unique in the sense that the entire space/room is the art. Unlike the traditional setting of an exhibition. It has been described as "The collective emerged from the post-reunification and pre-Internet cultural and social contexts of Berlin"

Exhibition - Deep State: Richard Deacon

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press release (https://d1jrllzqbjb41.cloudfront.net/uploads/attachment/file/body/15350/Press_release_Richard_Deacon_London_November.pdf)

Each work in this exhibition had a generous amount of space away from the other. The space made it very freeing. It felt empty but this created a calming atmosphere which complimented his pieces. Richard Deacon discusses what he means by 'deep state' saying “As a sculptor, I have always wondered what exactly is depth? It is shifting and ineffable. Perhaps all I can know is surface, the rest a fiction, a deep state that slips away from view.” The press release describes how his work is meant to "evoke different senses – from memory and touch, to sight and movement" and acts as a "bodily experience or spaces for contemplation and, as the title suggests, for deep dives into each object". His interest in movement, space, and depth is clear by the how spacious the area is. It gives the viewer space to observe, not only the art, but us in relation to the space and what the artist is trying to do with the idea of depth. I was particularly fascinated with his bent wood sculpture. He made such a solid and static object dynamic. It made me look at this material completely different. This has inspired me to look into ways to utilize materials and make sure I get the most out of it. 

Exhibition - 24/7: Somerset House

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"An essential exhibition for today, exploring the non-stop nature of modern life."

The exhibition describes itself as 'a wake up call for our non-stop world'. It was very lively and interactive. It was very sound and light based, although not all work required any hearing, sound echoed throughout the whole area I believe to create the 'non-stop' effect. It felt like they wanted to show how hectic life can be and how overworked we can be. It was very ordered. You started and end somewhere. Somerset say it starts from the "cold light of the moon to the fading warmth of sunset". It started with the piece in the last image which was a strobe light making loud clicking noises and a projection of a video of a bed on the wall to the right. It ended in a room with dimmed light, playing quite 'humming' noises to the rhythm of the song I Heard There Was A Secret Chord. The use of sound and light interested me the most because within one area they were able to create several rooms all with different moods and atmospheres.

Room (6th Jan)

The Weather Project: Olafur Eliasson

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This was a site specific installation in the Tate Modern, London 2003. "This site-specific installation employed a semi-circular screen, a ceiling of mirrors, and artificial mist to create the illusion of a sun."  In preparation for this outcome, Eliasson created a questionnaire for employees at the Tate Modern asking  question such as "‘Has a weather phenomenon ever changed the course of your life dramatically?’ ‘Do you think tolerance to other individuals is proportional to the weather?’ ‘To what extent are you aware of the weather outside your workplace?’" He also researched freak weather events and statistics. There are some points I found interesting when I read Eliasson talking about his piece. "Have you any idea how much stuff there is on museum floors? Trash cans, coat hangers, signage...". It is clear he was aiming to create a sort of psychological space absent from any distractions. An area solely to create a connection between our mind and the art work. Strong colors are a very powerful tool to control a persons feelings. Combining it with lights excels whatever emotions are created. Warm colors often evoke feelings of happiness and energy. Bright lights create the feeling of warmth, which some may find comforting. I have read that bright lights can heighten your emotions therefore the audiences emotions may have feen exaggerated which could be why they reacted the way they did. I felt very dramatic feelings when I first saw this therefore I find it surprising that did not expect this reaction from the audience. Eliasson said "what surprised me was how people became very physically explicit. I pictured them looking up with their eyes, but they were lying down, rolling around and waving"(source)Although this piece was made specifically for this space, I do not think changing its location would make a drastic difference. I believe it is specific to the type of site but not only this place. I think any large, high ceiling, empty space will create a similar atmosphere.

 

Inside at Reading Jail:

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HM Reading Prison was built in 1844. It no longer operates as a prison, instead it has become an arts venue. Oscar Wilde was one of the inmates. He wrote a letter, De Profundis, which was read as a performance during the exhibition which took place in the prison in 2016. Artists such as Steve McQueen responded to the architecture of the prison making it more intriguing. Writers such as Ai Weiwei composed "letters from their own direct or imagined experience of a state-imposed separation from loved ones." Visitors would have been able to listen and read the letters from prison cells. Performances of the work of these writers were prepared to be read to the audience, some took more than 6 hours with no breaks. I believe this recreates the imprisoned and sad aura that once existed in this site. This exhibition has been said to "offer the public an opportunity to reflect, in a particularly powerful place, on the implications for the individual when separated from society by the state." (source) The site is the most important part of this performative art. The words of these writers would not be as impactful because the audience is in the literal location where these words were written/written about. The audience is getting literal glimpse of how it felt to be isolated in this location. Every word is amplified as we are locked in this area with so much history. Being in this building we are becoming part of the art, however reading this in another location would be like viewing it from the outside.

Artists that work with illusion/space:

Robert Morris, Untitled, 1965:

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Morris created four cubes out of a mirrored surface and it created a complex illusion and "shifting interaction between gallery and spectator". The most intriguing part of this piece to me are the mirrors on the inside facing each other. It is the reflection of itself. This made me think about how this may be a reflection of nothing which is ironic because the only purpose of a mirror is to reflect. The only thing a mirror does not reflect is itself. This method creates a rippling effect illusion creating depth. It makes the corner where the sculpture is displayed look larger than it is. I want to play with illusion and space in my project and see how with his method I can make a tight area seem larger. 

 

Paul Scales and Atelier Kir, Reframe, 2012:

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"Reframe explores the theme of ‘surprise’ through the creation of an object that reframes the relation of the visitor to the space"

They made this cube out of complex shapes. When looked at in different angles, a vanishing point is revealed in the centre. They have only used one material to create this form. Like Morris, they have also created the illusion of depth/space. I like how minimalist this sculpture is because it allows us to focus mainly on the illusion. We are not distracted by anything else, we are drawn into the illusion straight away. I like how it is the first thing I saw and I cannot give anything else in this image as much attention. This made me wonder how I could create something were I should only show what I want the audience to see. No distractions even from the execution of the piece. 

 

One Place After Another Site, Miwon Kwon:

This passage was the most useful source I've read about this topic. Kwon describes a more indepth definition of site specificity. She mentions how they are "materially ephemeral" which stood out to me because I had not thought about site specificity as being temporary. The art is not complete without the location however the location is not affected without the art. She also discusses how site specific work emerged during the wake of Minimalism and changed the "modernist paradigm" of sculptures being differentiated from a site by plinth and being "transferable, placless, and nomadic". Sculptures as such are isolated. I have read that they often put figures on a plinth or base when representing a figure of authority. This alone separates the art from the audience. We do not connect to it the way we should as we feel it is something far from reality. Also not taking into account the environment where work is displayed may lessen its impact. Artists making use of the physical space around them gives them the opportunity to create art without limitations as they are studying the space around them and learning what they can do with it. As a viewer, it is a lot more powerful to feel the art physically occupying the space around me. Site specificity has as she states "gave itself up to its environmental context".  The physical environment is guiding the work. 

She writes about the change in setting from a typical museum/gallery space to actual locations. She describes it as "uncontaminated and pure idealist space... was radically displaced by the materiality of the natural landscape or the impure and ordinary space of everyday" and the change from "blank slate", perhaps in reference to the plain setting of museums, to "a real place". Describing it as a "real place" is a very interesting take in my opinion because sites are often chosen for a reason. It may have history behind it, it may tell story, be the best way to make a social statement etc. 

She writes that site specific work should be “singularly experienced in the here-and-now through the bodily presence of each viewing subject, in sensorial immediacy and of spatial extension and temporal duration". I believe this makes the art more exciting. Knowing we have limited time to view it and take from it what we will. Also knowing that it will not have be as impactful if viewed in for example, a photograph. Another interesting point is about how site specificity is about "establishing an inextricable, indivisible relationship between the work and its site" also their "physical inseparability". This suggests how the site is literally a piece of the art, they activate each other. The power of the work is in their fusion. She quotes Robert Barry saying the work "cannot be moved without being destroyed" and Richard Serra stating "to remove the work is to destroy the work". Serra continues to say how this form of art was not meant to be "site-adjusted" and therefore I am guessing that this was at the start of the formation of site specificity. The work is made to fit and cannot be removed without ruining it, which is more or less the whole point of this approach. 

Kwon describes the "contextual thinking of Minimalism" and how it introduced the idea of "corporeal body" to site specificity. This is how we feel physically in relation to the work. Are we moving around it? Are we still? Which direction are we looking? Are we uncomfortable? Do we have the freedom to move? The "idealist" presentation of museums and galleries have complicated the freedom artists have over their art. With their "stark white walls, artificial lighting (no windows), controlled climate...", the features of a gallery/museum space "were deemed to be coded mechanisms that actively disassociate the space of an art from the outer world". Gallery spaces are restrictive. Trying to fit into this ideal space which most of the time has no relation to the work. Does this impact on how the art is perceived? Thinking about her strong views against the controlled environment of museums spaces makes me understand why most site specific art is often in public spaces where artists are not limited by the architecture of a space. The whole point is to allow the environment to be a part of the work. instead of limiting the art to fit into certain areas. It is an approach which allows the artist to "exceed the limitations of traditional media" 

 

The City as a Sculpture, Jeremy Melvin:

Similar to Kwon, Melvin writes about Antony Gormley's views on museum spaces and the connection between the sculpture and the public realm. Gormley questions why a lot of contemporary sculptures are "retreated into museums" and even states how museums are "not very different from hospitals... where things are looked after". Could he be insinuating that it is playing it safe by exhibiting in these spaces? or that they are not going above and beyond to see what they can accomplish with the freedom of the "public realm". Gormley also describes museum spaces as "clinical, remote and boring". It is interesting seeing how artists working with space and environment are strongly againsts museum spaces. I had not thought about the restrictions of these spaces as it is where I have often went to see these great artworks so I had always thought this was the ideal place of presentation. Which I guess is what these institutions want us to believe. "For Gromley, sculpture has always tried to link an imaginative object with a physical place". This to me basically defines site specificity. Thinking about the place it is being displayed plays a role in how the art is perceived. If the artist is trying to make a statement with their art, then this is a very important step to making the piece look its best. 

"Antony Gormley outlined how sculpture can serve as a unifying, almost totemic, social purpose but only when it is consciously engages with the public realm". I agree with this statement, srt is powerful and can be used to represent symbolic figures, make important social statements and more. This is enhanced when work is displayed publicly because it reaches more than just those interested in art. The message of the piece is delivered to the people regardless. They do not have to chose to visit a gallery just to see these pieces. A lot of contemporary art is conceptual and about topics which are relevant and important therefore it should not only be displayed to people who enjoy art. 

Space + Time (20th Jan)

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Suspension by Bruce Gray (1992)

Bruce Gray made this large sculpture using "super high powered industrial rare earth (NdFeB) neodymium iron boron magnets on the ends of the cords, and also on the frame of the circle, to hold the magnets in place by magnetic force alone". I like the order/position of the details. It looks aesthetic and neat. His approach to making was different and unfamiliar to me. It is guided by science. There is a reason for the distance and the placement of the magnets and the other parts because his aim was to make everything be held in place by only the magnetic force. This is completely new to me and I aim to try to make something that is controlled by magnets. The magnetic force is powerful so it will be interesting to see the surprising and unusual outcomes that can occur. 

 

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Protrude, Flow by Sachiko Kodama and Minako Takeno (2001)

This effect is created by the interaction between Ferrofluid and electromagnets. The form is affected by sound and voices close by and "its flowing movement and dynamic transformations are projected on the wide screen". This work takes into account the audience in an unusual way. I am guessing that it had to be placed in a location loud in order to achieve the movements and changes in the fluid. The most interesting part is how its activated by the audience. What people go to see about this piece (the flowing movements) is caused by them. 

 

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Big Bang Fountain by Olafur Eliasson (2014)

A water fountain in a dark room is light by a strobe light that only lasts for a moment. It turns on and off every second in order for us to see the continuously changing sculptural forms of the water without seeing the process. Time is an important aspect to this work because we are only able to see each form for a second. Because we are seeing the same flashing light and material change forms every moment, it causes a fixed after-image in our minds. What interested me most about this piece is how natural and uncontrollable it is. The forms depend on the weight and properties of the material and the force/strength of the fountain. I want to incorporate this approach into my work. Using materials which properties compliment each other and explore ideas of force, strength,and weight.