Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"I believe that was some sort of pain cry"

The woman that argued a performance artist staging someone shooting him in the arm, isn’t art was very hypocritical. She didn’t realize that her reaction was something that art tries to do; make people think, get them angry, get them talking. In that instance that piece was more artistic than all the other pieces that we viewed because we were stuck talking about it. She was fulfilling the artists’ whole purpose of their work.

One of my classmates raised an excellent point: “I do not think the question is what is art? but what is good art?” You may not like a piece or understand it, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t art. It’s not art but it’s the piece that got the most discussion, and arts main focus is to get people thinking and talking (hello). Art is about challenging people, not just about being aesthetically beautiful.

My favorite artist from the lecture was Sue Williams. I’ve seen her work a couple times and never realized what the real message was. I got too caught up in the beauty of it, assuming that it was about something beautiful, which it’s not. I like how the artwork contrasts doodles, a fun subject, with painful past experiences. No one would ever expect doodles of that type of subject matter, but it’s very cool that she thought to do this. I also really enjoy Carol Walker’s work. I think twisting situations is a really interesting, brilliant way to depict things. The silhouettes have no color, so the situation can be twisted or taken in original context; the identities are fairly unknown (being silhouettes) so the reader can put themselves in each character’s place.

The piece that had the most effect on me was the photographs of the pregnant mother shooting up and the baby in the coffin. I think these were the most powerful because they were photographs; the picture looked very realistic it wasn’t just a painting. Also, it’s one thing if the woman wanted to hurt herself, but she’s hurting/killing an innocent life. I think everyone was especially reactionary to these pieces because of the child involved in the situation.

I really find all the performance art interesting. I like how artists push boundaries, but it then raises the question when have they gone too far? Will anything ever be too provocative even for artists to depict? Nowadays we see it all, so I don’t know much more that would push limits, but it’s possible. Then when I think about the woman that cut off her cuticles and dipped them in milk, I believe there are countless amounts of things people can do that most others would never think of. I like seeing an idea that I would never think of in a million years carried out in a thoughtful, relevant manner.

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