Monday, 2 November 2009

Oliver's Critique - "Untitled (ramp)"

The initial interest that sprung from the critique was the uniform positioning of the audience; this was due to the lighting used on the piece of art. However even though the initial viewing locations were all from one side and rigid, there was great importance with viewing the object as a whole. Allowing it be seen from all angles and the space behind it.

My preliminary thoughts were that maybe it was based on Duchampian ideas of that an object that is considered to have no use; it must therefore be deemed art. But it felt like more than that, because it wasn't a readymade. The object had been created, and it represented an object that had distinct use. But clearly couldn't be used. Maybe this is what separated it from being just an object and being art?

Everyone participating in the critique seemed to instantly assume that the piece was depicting elevation and the ramp was aiming upwards. However I decided to question this, and because it dramatically changed depending on which angle you were looking towards the piece, especially when it comes to how we read items in comparison to reading text.
What I'm trying to say is generally in western countries text is read left to right and then right to left in some eastern countries. So for the western left to right style this can cause different ideas to come from the ramp on whether it is based on projection and upwards motion or downwards motion.

Other atypical parts to this piece of art were the resources used for it's construction and how it appeared; because it was clearly a new and recent object. However it held an old appearance, because of the use of found and aged wood. You could say the use of new screws and nails were detrimental to the piece of art, however when we learnt what the artist was trying to say; I deem them to be adulatory to the concept of the piece of art. This is because if the concept to this piece of art is based around the idea memories of being nine years old and the urge to create and construct there would be no consideration to the aesthetics of the ramp, very little thought concerning safety and no appetite for patience and careful assembly. So the use of fresh nails/screws and found (or in the eyes of a child 'free') wood complimented the concept superlatively.

From this piece there was also a great sense of waiting; this is accentuated by the space left between the object and the wall. Which to some extent is possibly just as important as the object itself; because it helps the provoke the thoughts of proportion and presence of the object. This also almost pushed the idea of viewing the object from multiple angles which allowed you to discover the negative space concealed behind the contrasting initial view of the object.

In conclusion I believe the piece was successful in construction, medium and use of deconstructed found objects. However with the critique in general, there was too much time wasted on people not wanting to accept what the object was, and trying to see more than that was there. This could have been avoided with the creation of a title; because all the time spent questioning whether the object was "an aggressive insect fighting" or "stairway to heaven" felt very arbitrary to the to the true analysis and critique to the piece of art; and yes it may have been what people 'saw' in the piece of art, but it just seemed unhelpful.

This brings me to finish on that as an artist you should think carefully about how you want your audience to react, whether you want the audience to have a slight insight to what the piece of art is about and then take their thoughts further (possibly with the use of a title) or whether you want the audience to be incredibly subjective about the piece of art?

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