Art in Context : Discussion 2 - Xtratime Community
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old January 10th, 2005, 17:15 Thread Starter
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Art in Context : Discussion 2

The other day I came across a story about the composer Gioacchino Rossini. When he returned to his hometown after a long absence, he was greeted positively and with the good news that a statue of him would be installed within a fortnight. "In fact, we have raised an enormous amount of funds," an official said, "look, here's the podium for your statue!" Rossini walked up to the podium, touched it gently and, with a big smile, replied:

"Forget about the statue, dear people. Just give me the money and I will stand atop the podium."

With this, this week's questions.

1. Do you think art should be displayed in public? Please explain.

2. If you have a favourable piece of public art -- e.g. sculpture, statue, installation -- will you describe

2a Its artist, title, medium, location

2b Show us the image, if possible

2c Tell us why you like it.

3a. Listed below are two public works, one received numerous flames [and fame]; the other will be completed in early February in Central Park -


#1 Richard Serra (American, born 1939), TILTED ARC, 1981
Steel; Original Size: 12 ft x 120 ft x 2 1/2 in.;
construced in 1981 at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City;
removed in 1989.



TILTED ARC ( background information ) was commissioned by the General Services Administration's (a US federal agency established in the Kennedy era to commission artworks for public spaces) Art-In-Architecture Program. The installation was removed in 1989.


#2 THE GATES by Christo and Jeanne Claude
Project for Central Park, to be fully installed by early February, 2005



3b. What do you think about these installations?

4. Is there any public art that upsets you to some degree? Why?

I look forward to reading your posts.


For me, football is irrationality, tribal, passionate... - Almogŕver
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old January 11th, 2005, 16:18
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(1) Of course nobody wins with some rich collector who gets his sad little kick in knowing he's the only one be allowed to see a work of art. One can even wonder whether the piece then looses it value (not it's financial value of course

(2) Back where we started: with Rik Wouters and his statue "Het zotte geweld". Although in french and english the statue is called "The Mad Virgin" I think the Dutch name (something like) "The Crazy Violence" (crazy is meant here in the sence of going crazy) is much better.

The statue stands in Antwerp's Middelheim Park, a park with all kind of statues free tro visit.



I like it because on one hand it represents as no other work I know the "joi de vivre", a joy for life, the fact that life is a feast.

On the other hand the model is Wouters' wife/muse Nell. The fact that he can give her that sparkling joy for life, also says a lot about his love and adoration for her. Which to me makes it even more beautiful


(3) hard to tell since such things don't come of as they should through pictures. You've got to "live them". I can tell that in general I'm not fan of Christo. I think it's superficial and too much (not to say solemnly) aimed at getting attention.

(4) Let's talk Jan Fabre again (I'm starting to see a trend ). for the "Over the edges" manifestation in Gent in 2000 (?) Fabre covered the eight, two-story-high pillars in the university's neoclassical facade with smoke bacon. (Ganda being the Roman name for Gent and Ganda being the brand of bacon). I can't find a pictures of it, but in the end there wasn't much to see. It hung there and for the next weeks it just rot. Of course there was the story around it about Fabre's fascination for rotting flesh, decay, blablabla... but in the end it was just a waste of food. One thing my grandmother thought me is not to play with food. She was absolutely right about that and I still feel quite strongly about it. Therefore this has to be one of the only "works of art" I ever felt really shocked by.

We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace!

26.000 Faces :frownani:

Last edited by gOD; January 11th, 2005 at 17:02.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old January 13th, 2005, 01:30 Thread Starter
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Feeling neither positive nor negative, at this moment, I am ambivalent to the impact of public art.

Having lived and worked in Europe, I can safely say that your people, Geert, are lucky; as compared to folks in the U.S. Lucky because Europeans regard art as a part of nature? Yes, to some degree. At least they accept the public display of human body parts is as natural as breathing. In the U.S. only violence can be regarded in such fashion. The sculptor who created the likeness of his wife in your local park is very lucky indeed. In the streets of [even] New York City, such displays would have drawn disputes and law suits. Of course there are exceptions. For instance, a giant billboard that featured Kate Moss in Calvin Klein thongs was on display for two years at the busy intersections of West 24th Street and the Avenue of the Americas. But we are now talking about advertising images that amass million of dollars. No artist nor art instituitons have dared try displaying nude images in America's public spaces. The most ultré event was a painting of Bush's face (composed of a herd of money faces) over the Holland Tunnel.

Having said that, I agree with you that the forthcoming installation by Christo and his wife is old news. To me, it is less of an art event but more of a gig, complete with souvenirs (his drawings are still world class but like Lorca once said, the duende has gone out of them.)

Serra's TILTED ARC is another story. I still like the object and its purpose but over the years have beginning to see it from "the other side." 26 Federal Plaza in downtown Manhattan is, ahem, the armpit of government affairs. No doubt that was also Serra's statement. Then again, what about the people who worked there? Most of them hadn't a choice (if they do they would have joined the private sectors, amassed wealth and installed Minimalist sculptures in their Park Avenue homes, no?) And do we think they like to stare out the office windows at a piece of rusty metal?

They say that the Great Wall of China is one of the wonders of the world. It is so when I visited. But do we know how many bodies were buried within the stonework?

Your late grandmother was very wise. Nobody should play with food. Jan Fabre in particular. (Don't worry, I shall return shortly, on Fabre.)


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2005, 06:45
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I can think of at least five naked staues in San Francisco. They are all of men, but there's nothing wrong with that. :smileani:
Anyway, of course it should be shown in public as much as possible. As anyone who's visited the Frick Collection can tell you, art can be made inaccessible or accessible. Its better when its accessible. The more people come in contact with art and the less they are in contact with kitch, the better. Not everyone will pay to go to a museum or to fly halfway around the world to see the things they should see, so the putting of art in everyone's face is always a good thing.
In San Francisco, I like the Mechanics Memorial. Those guys hanging off that giant grommet punch (or whatever it is) make me want to get to work.


As for the whole world, I go for either the Pantheon in Rome or the poem-bedecked Boerentoren in Antwerp. Both hint at the existence of a higher power.
The only work that ever disturbed me (and that would be too strong a word) is the horribly ugly sculpture of Father Junipero Serra that looks out over Highway 101 south of the City. The one that inexplicable points East for some reason (my grandfather always said he should be should be showing his middle finger, "and that's for the indians!"). It was created by a longtime CalTrans engineer who missed his calling.

You know the scene it's very hum-drum
And my favorite song's entitled "Boredom"...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old January 15th, 2005, 15:30
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Oh, it is distrurbing because it is so damn ugly.
And the photo makes it look halfway decent. It is not:


You know the scene it's very hum-drum
And my favorite song's entitled "Boredom"...
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