Saturday, July 31, 2010

Let's get together!

Hi - please be in touch with me about meeting week after next for a progress meeting on your final project before the fall semester gears up. I look forward to see you soon! Anna

Friday, July 23, 2010

Research project update

Two important events from NCECA this spring connected in my mind and gave me an idea. First, I attended the The Hermaphrodites: Living in Two Worlds exhibition curated by Leslie Ferrin. Some of the pieces in the exhibition seemed to be only marginally related to the curatorial theme. While it was a very popular exhibition, I left wondering if the exhibition would have been more effective if it included work by artists working outside of ceramics. Adelaide Paul's artworks were mostly not ceramic, but she has a strong relationship and history with the ceramic community.

Later I stepped in for a few minutes of the curating panel discussion. The curator who was speaking, I'm sorry I don't know her name, was talking about her idea for an exhibition about the politics of hair. She said she tried to put together an exhibition around that theme, but couldn't find enough (ceramic) work to fill the show. Her solution was to dilute the theme of the exhibition to include other ceramic artists.

I think curators have the position and power to create and draw attention to the conceptual and cultural connections that can be found across mediums. Surely there are artists in all mediums who focus on the topics of hermaphroditism or hair. These are things that affect us all!

My research project is to curate an exhibition that focuses on an art movement and gives equal attention to ceramics and other mediums. Pop Surrealism is the movement I have chosen. I finally received an important text on the movement, Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art edited by Kristen Anderson, and I am happy to report that Charles Kraft is in there. Otherwise, there is a conspicuous absence of three-dimensional objects in the book.

It's actually really easy to think of ceramic artists who make work that would fit in the Pop Surrealist camp. So far, the challenge for me is familiarizing myself with the artists who work in other mediums.

Charlie

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Long time no hear from!


How are things going with the final projects? Give me an update, please.
In the meantime, as promised, I have added to my blog about the symposium and travel.
Check it out!

http://annaholcombe.blogspot.com/

Hope all of you are well and having a productive summer.
Happy 4th! Anna

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Briggs article

I enjoyed this article. It was clearly written, and her language beautifully illustrated the intention around the work. Stephanie took a stance of disgust at our sex obsessed media in a eloquent and matter of fact manner. She was clearly not interested in condemning, as is a popular stance, she accepted it as fact and moved on. Her writing was not dully academic as some of the articles we have read have been. The article instilled a genuine appreciation for Briggs' work, and tied it to a continued interest. I can say, she wasn't critical of the work and I think it would have been interesting to see the work challenged in some way.

Dandee

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nina Hole


After our last discussion I continued to think about Nina Hole's artwork. The video we viewed in class showing the event surrounding the creation of the sculpture in Boone, NC was very much a performance. Nina Hole Video There is no reason to pull the insulating fiber off of the sculpture mid-firing other than to put on a show.

I visited the sculpture today. It has a plaque with the words "Permenent Collection" at the top, the artist's name, the title (Two Taarn), and the medium (Wood-fired Stoneware.) The plaque explains the sculpture was created as part of an international artist residency, who helped build the sculpture, and who sponsored the project. The sign doesn't mention anything about the performance that was part of the creation of this artifact.

Is this performance art that just happens to leave an artifact, is it a sculpture that integrates aspects of performance into the process, or whole thing just a matter of playing with fire to create a public spectacle and whatever remains is abandoned to the weather? I'm inclined to believe the latter. There is no sign to explain the importance of the fire and revealing the sculpture while it was flaming hot. The kiln bricks at the bottom of the sculpture are not hidden, but at the same time they are not integrated into the sculpture. The fact that this structure is now on view seems to be an afterthought. Even the longevity of the sculpture is questionable. It has been outdoors through four mountain winters and is starting to show minor signs of spalling.

I find it hard to consider this a serious sculpture. There are too many unresolved remnants of process. At the same time, if the performance was what really mattered, the whole thing should have been torn down a month or two after it was finished. This object exists between performance and sculpture and has too many loose ends to reconcile to be considered successful in either realm.

Stuefer on Briggs

I really like Jason Briggs work and who he is outside of the ceramic studio, but I feel that the article doesn't put the personality on the work that I feel is necessary or at least attributed to his pieces. Let me explain, the naive' viewer will see this as nothing but gross vagina's and penis's (sic) on a loaf of rising bread. This isn't entirely true, though it is to an extent. I think Stephanie does a really good job of explaining what she ostensibly sees, but not much else. I understand the work and appreciate the insane detail and cultivation of detail, but there also is a message about what we see, what we think we know, and what makes us uncomfortable. I wish this was addressed more thoroughly in the article. Everyone has their own hang-ups and bias's but I feels that this work screams of this essence. Briggs is a creeper no doubt, but I love his honesty and pride in acknowledging this mentality. This is where fetishes develop, they are out of fear and an embarrassing way to be who you really are or want to be.
"These section of fabric-like cushioning conjure domesticity, creepiness, and vulnerability." WTF. I dont think it's fair to say creepy, they are a proxy for humanity and our understanding of modesty and desire. They are also badass as far as skill goes.
As I have previously stated, I love his work, but I think on the last page where he is explaining his working he is more just selling the idea. I dont feel this is necessary. His work sells itself. The list of adjectives that he has "off-the-cuff" seem contrived, but perhaps he is a genius and I dont understand. (That may be absolutely true, plus I might just be dumb, which may also be true..)
In the end Stephanie states, "Calling to voyeur in our own nature." I think this is the beginning of the real discussion.
The end has a handful of questions, but instead of leaving them for me, I wish they were addressed.

heart,

Brian

Tuesday

Hi all - thanks again Brian, for digging up and posting the article to read. I had put a couple "just in case articles" in your mailboxes. Consider them food for thought over the hot month of July!

You might not have cable - if you get Bravo there is a new reality show - I would be curious about what you think. Obviously, there is criticism involved in the choosing of the winner and loser (who gets tossed off the show) each week.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/arts/television/09work.html?emc=eta1

Work of Art: The Next Best Artist
See you tomorrow at 5 - we'll Skype Charlie at 5:30, discuss the article, then eat!
Anna