We already had a lecture from Chloe Brown a few months a go and she was equally as interesting as before, however I found this lecture and topic a lot more intense and interesting than the last lecture we had with her.
First off she did warn us that this lecture will graphic and full of disturbing images – however I found the lecture rather timid, I was expecting gore and really disturbing stuff but it was all below my expectations, sure some were very disturbing but not as disturbing as I originally thought.
After the warning, she shown us some paintings now, I’m not a huge fan of paintings however these specific ones really interested me. “The Graham Children” (By William Hograth) shows 4 young children all smiling and looking happy in a average rich home, however under close inspection, there are loads of hints of Death in this painting – this is due to the fact that one of the children (The youngest) in this painting passed away, once she stated that and said that there were hints in the piece, everything became clear – the cat in the background was waiting for the right time to kill the bird, on the top of the clock there was a golden Grim Reaper statue and by the girl who passed away was a basket full of cherries which represents death at an early age – VERY clever work, really found it interesting. She shown us these masks that were made for the dead as well and you had to be really rich to get one made, people used to build masks around the faces of the dead and give them to the moaners, this concept is really beautiful although at the same time a little creepy in my opinion. She shown another thing which sparked a lot of conversation in the seminar, it was the piece “Helena 2000” and what it was was some goldfish in a blender, the blender had one bright yellow button so it was like you were playing God – you decide if the fish should die or live, so many people were saying that they would press it and loads more people were saying they wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if they did, so many mixed reactions it was quite heated over a small art piece – incredible. I personally said I wouldn’t press the button, however I would press it if the fish was going to get flushed if it remained alive, giving it a quick and painless death rather than a slow flushing death. Another piece that got everyone discussing was a piece by “Guillermo Vargas”, I use the term “Piece” loosely. Guillermo Vargas exhibited a dog obviously starving to death tied to a rope in the gallery, with the words “You are what you read” spelled out in dog food on the wall, this did disgust me and made me wish I was there – me along with loads of others stated we would of scraped the food off of the wall and gave it to the dog, I didn’t like the fact that noone stepped in and done that – I’ve heard people say that there are loads of stray dogs out there which are starving to death, which is true but taking away its right to rummage through garbage and put it in a gallery tied up with no way of feeding itself is just cruel. On a bit of a brighter note, she shown this artist called Richard Mosse who done some video with a Infra-red lens, turning the grass bright pink and the rest of the landscape in a sunset like setting, it looked absolutely beautiful and looked like some kind of fantasy world, I would love to see more pieces like that. Chloe shown us other pieces of art that linked to death, some of bubbles in a room which is made from the wash water from a morgue and even a air conditioned room with the air from a morgue so its like you’re breathing in the dead, some really interesting pieces and a very interesting lecture and I look forward to our next lecture with her.
I admire Rory however his work was sadly not in my field of interest, I did really like the signs he had created and the musical too however he was very “political” and that really disinterests me. He started the lecture off with a little breathing exercise and made use pronounce a phrase through breathing – we ended up breathing out the phrase “What do we hope to become?” and from then on, he started his lecture – I found this method of starting a lecture really interesting as it had everyone relaxed and at the same time he had his starting point out in the open. He stated that he is a person first and everything else second which is a pretty inspiring quote, he then stated that he once had a stutter and recovered from it, he has a huge fascination with words and speech which revolves around his work. I fell in love with the lettering in his work, the way the words flow through his pieces are really outstanding and the attention to detail on the lettering’s alone are amazing. My favorite piece by him was his “I guess we are not ready for this yet, are we?” sign which has the most beautiful font and design I have ever seen in a sign, the meaning itself is also beautiful. One thing about his lecture I found rather humorous was the fact he spent 3 years learning Estonian and he has never done a speech there despite now knowing the language, a student in the crowd pointed this out and made the whole room giggle along with Rory, it was a lovely relaxing moment. I did enjoy some of his work, the way he had the words displayed on the signs really shows his love for words as they stood out beautifully, but found myself disinterested in the political side of the lecture which was near enough the entirety of the lecture. Overall lovely lecture but sadly gained nothing from it.
Emma was a very very lively and “hyper” character, she really got excited with her presentation and as much as I admirer her enthusiasm, I found myself lost in the lecture not knowing which pieces were hers and which weren’t, because of this I got overwhelmed with information and just shut down into my own world. I did find her “Made in England” piece rather fascinating though, I really liked it – the fact that a piece of her work is now permanently displayed on the walls of a gallery is really amazing, I would love to have a piece of mine permanently placed in an area, like a piece of me will live on forever I find that concept rather beautiful. I find mosaic a really beautiful form of art, same with stained glass windows which she showed a lot of, I found the other pieces that inspired her to be very interesting and made me really want to create a mosaic piece which I may do in the future. After talking to my friends about the lecture and they all really enjoyed it and I can see why, her enthusiasm really kept the audiences attention and they loved it.
When I first heard that Sam Curtis was a Fishmonger and an artist, I didn’t really feel interested as Fishmongers aren’t all that interesting, however after the lecture I feel inspired (He has inspired a new Random Series character – MONGER MASTER!). Sam started off with talking about being employed as a “Artist Residency”, he sent a written letter to both the Prime Minister at the time Tony Blair and the Queen, both responded but both declined him. So he just became independent and became his own artist, however he did need a job to pay the bills and this is when the interesting stuff came in – He became a Fish Monger at Harrods. Him and his fellow employee’s would display the fish and would of course sell them, however Sam did it a bit differently – he displayed the fish but in a narrative set with patterns and what not,. which I thought was really clever. I questioned him at the end of the lecture and asked if he thought about using hooks, nets and various other fishing related equipment in his displays and he said he feels its better with just the stock with maybe the odd Lemon or Parsley, which I agree with it doesn’t need any more detail however it would help the narrative perspective of the display in my opinion. The way he was talking about it got me really excited and made it sound like the most exciting job ever is a Fish Monger, he mentions how new stock came in everyday, the fishermen would occasionally catch something new and exciting and they would make different displays each and every time – the displays would change whenever the ice melted or the fish got sold, completely changing the piece all together it was really fascinating. He’s a part of “CIRF” (Centre for Innovative and Radical Fishmongery) which basically an organisation that works to intersect fishmongery with art and I personally believe this concept works and would love to witness it live one day, I can remember as a child I would always stare at the fish monger counter and would admire the patterns, never thinking it would result into an actual way of practising art. Sam made me feel more confident about my own created style of Sponge Art, people do art with sponges with paints however my work is with sponges and toothpicks, a unique concept that I hope takes off and ends up just as popular as Fishmongery art. He told us that he even got other artists involved and let them display the fish in their own way and he learned many techniques and saw many styles he would of never of thought of, two examples being Prawns holding hands in a “Ring around the roses” sort of style and 4 Basses kissing – this made me think again of my sponge art and how I personally learned new techniques through the children. He showed us the website of CIRF and the “BIRMINGHAM BULLRING FISHMONGERS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014”, which is a competition for 2 main categories: Best display and best knife skills, I will leave a link at the bottom where you can view this awesome art style at the bottom.
Centre for Innovative and Radical Fishmongery website: http://www.cirf.org.uk/
I also love how disgusted that lady looks in the photo!
I loved this lecture as the lecturer was bouncy and happy, really interesting too! She started off with showing us a Black and White video with waves and nice music, she then stated that she wanted the “star of the film to be movement”, the moving image. She then continued to show us more pieces that she had done, she had done this one piece of bushes in the foreground moving really fast, water behind the bushes moving a bit slower and the hills in the background moving even more slower to give the impression of driving, which worked really well! Another piece that caught my eye was when she cut shapes out of a Cameras bellow, as she pulled the bellow shapes and images started appearing and it was outstanding, such a unique concept!
I found this lecture interesting however it wasn’t her work I really liked, it was an artist she talked about called Tomas Saraceno who owns a Spider Farm along with many spider experts. They did experiments by putting various different spiders in the same farm and see how they would react – the spiders build a community, joined webs together however they would mind their own business by staying in a certain territory – like an apartment. She began to show more of Tomas’s work and they were amazing, everything was based on webs and the line-work of them, I love the concept of spider web artwork and having a community of bugs, seeing creatures live in certain areas in certain conditions is very interesting. She stated that Tomas wanted to put the spiders in a “weightless environment” and see how they cope and it got me really intrigued, I would love to see that. Tomas has inspired me to create a web-like art piece in the future and I very much look forward to doing so. She discussed other artists such as Olafur Elliasson, Chris Harrison and Lev Manovich but they didn’t really interest me apart from Olafur, they were all about data art which sadly isn’t my cup of tea but Olafur’s piece really caught my attention. Olafurs piece was in the Tate Modern Museum and all it was was a huge giant orange glowing ball in the air, what I loved about this piece was the visitors reaction to it – everyone started sun bathing despite it not being a sun, it was also apparently really cold in that room too which made it slightly ironic, but more interesting. There were even couples who leaned on the ledge, near enough the same hight as this ball – made it look really romantic, like a never ending sun set it was beautiful. I really wish I was at the museum at the time this was displayed, I love the use of coloured lights in dark rooms, especially if they give off a relaxing vibe. Lise started talking about her piece, I preferred the other artists but I liked hers more than Chris and Levs data art – Lise’s piece was called “The Foghorn Requiem” which was basically them and the locals saying good bye to a foghorn which was getting shut down. She wanted to play sounds from an orchestra and have ships in the sea blasting their horns followed by the foghorn – I cant word it the way she does as it makes more sense when she talks about it however I see what she wanted to do and she did it brilliantly. She wanted 100 ships in the ocean however she only managed to get 60, which is a pretty big amount for one project – some of the 60 vessels were from the north east took part in the project, there was 3000 people on the ships and 1000 people on land, observing this event. The turn out shows that this was a successful project, I will leave a link to this project at the bottom of this post.
The Foghorn Requiem: http://foghornrequiem.org/
I found Andrews lecture really interesting, its about a topic I don’t really enjoy listening/talking about – Politics. He talked about the “Occupy” movement, a movement of people who are against Capitalism. I really wanted to see actual created pieces about Occupy and/or Capitalism but sadly, he didn’t have any. My friend pointed out that his artwork is discussing the movement of Occupy and you don’t need actual pieces for it to be art, which I feel is very true and also made me view the whole lecture in a different way. He told us many stories of Occupy and one story stood out to me, its apparently on film and somewhere online but I can’t seem to find it. Its about a student who was at a meeting with people who are obviously supporting Capitalism, the student poured water all over the main talkers water, crumpled up the papers then threw it at the main talker. The main talker said “Why did you do that? What do you want?” and the student responded with “What gives you the right to ask that question? What gives you the right to demand an answer? The fact that you’re asking me is showing you have the power and I refuse to give you power by not answering your question” – I found this very interesting because after thinking about it more, it really does put you in position of power when you ask a question because you’re expecting an answer from someone, its optional that they answer of course but its extremely rare to find someone who will refuse to answer to not give you the satisfaction. Occupy is about people coming together – Unity, as he put it, they also have a slogan of “We are the 99%”, he claims the 1% is doing enormous harm to the community and the world, they’re responsible for many things such as explosive population growth, ocean dead zones, losses of biodiversity, pollution, deforestation, climate change, melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels. Andrew states that “Artists are the most free people in the world” and “shouldn’t sell their work for free”, however a lady in the audience gave a great question on this topic (Andrew even gave her a round of applause) she said that when an artist is getting started and makes work for free, as they get better they want to start selling their work but they cant, because there will always be an artist out there doing work for free thus not receiving the money – Andrew of course claims that is the fault of capitalism. The Occupy movement went to festivals where people donated and even offered to help them out, Andrew himself went to festivals to spread the word of Occupy and he even recruited many and received loads of donations, showing that this is a pretty serious and big movement. He gave us a few artists to look at, artists that inspire Occupy and are against Capitalism, some of these artists are Mike Nitrevic Latvia, Walead Beshty, Steve McQueen and even one of my past lecturers who I’ve wrote about – Oreet Ashry. He brought the lecture to an end by showing a very interesting video – the video was of a woman who through her life learned to play many many instruments, she was playing the worlds oldest found bone as a flute and unknown to her, in the same room there was a vulture which is a bird which holds the worlds oldest DNA, as she played it and showed the reaction of the vulture it was very strange, because if I watched that not knowing about the facts about the bone and vulture I wouldn’t be as interested as I was then. Overall a very interesting lecture, taught me a lot about politics and what capitalism is.
Link to the video of the vulture and oldest bone ( Allora&Calzadilla): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FquMYI6O_Bs