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  #1  
Old 01-29-2009, 05:43 AM
Portoro Portoro is offline
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Wink So, who makes installation art?

Despite being interested in the installations of Damien Hirst et al, I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that installation artists are really only the adult equivalent of the 13-year olds in art class at school who found painting or modelling too demanding, and who were diverted by their teachers (to keep them out of mischief) to “just make something, with anything you can find around the studio.” And here they are, now adults, convinced somehow by what their teachers encouraged them to do as children, that it REALLY IS art they are making (or by some spirit of perversity trying to make up for what they learnt as children they could not do). So, where is the ART in installation art?
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:12 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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So, where is the ART in installation art?
It is in the art of salesmanship.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:37 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Portoro,

I am actually doing an installation with, "just make something, with anything you can find around the studio.” It just so happens that they are found around the studio because I made them. I've attached a photo of the principle piece that is the progenitor of them all. This might not be an installation but a retrospective and I am the creator/curator or installer-of-the-installation? Evald calls this one of my Drawing Room Dramas.

There is a text that describes the evolution of the creative process and several pieces that have to do with couples by dialogue. Text and photos follow.

Robert Derr
Art is sacred
Art is provocative

The Text

My Thread Theory

In the beginning there was a child. David is: half black African, his father a Protestant minister sent to Belgium from Zaire to proselytize the heathen Catholic; and half European, his mother the daughter of Belgian peasants. David, his brother and sister were spending the summer of 1998 with their Belgian grandparents in an Ardennes village where a friend and fellow amateur naturalist, Georgy deHeyn, spends week-ends. Georgy is a pied-piper. Children have followed us all over the world on our nature walks. David and siblings joined us to go see a badger’s den.

I had very recently claimed as mine a mask of a secret society made by the Fang from the eastern Congo that I’d seen in Le Muse Royal d’Art de l’Afrique Central, Terverun, Belgium. I wore around my neck a small copy I’d carved in bone. David kept going on-and-on about the mask. “Vieux”, “Magique”, “Juju”-all words for which he had no concept at 12. He had been born Belgian and Protestant. He had had no contacts to prepare him for the symbolism of such a Power Object.

Badgers and foxes live in communal proximity. A fox had abandoned the carcass of a pig at the entry of his den. The skeleton had dried and lost its smell. David picked out the left scapula and asked me to carry it in my knap-sack. At the end of the walk David gave me the scapula saying, “En fait quelque chose.” His father said, “David! Throw that away.
What do you want Robert to do with that dirty old thing.” I picked up the scapula by its keel like structure and said sailing it through the air, “Un barque.” And, gave the mask to David. I never saw the child again.

I’ve yet to make a boat from scapulae. “Jason and the Argonauts” are from jaw bones; deer for number 1, and, beef for number 2. I have, although, created a number of anthropomorphic pieces that have taken on a life of their own.

If you follow the thread of an idea, it will fold like the Cosmic Serpent Ouroboros on itself, and, on its path, crosses all other ideas. Must reading is “Haroun and The Sea of Stories” by S. Rushdie . It is a fable on creativity dedicated by Rushdie to his son. Haroun, a child, goes on a quest to find his kidnapped father. Father is a famous story teller and has been cut-off from his Spigot of Inspiration to The Sea of Stories. The Sea is composed of all the thread like story lines that will ever exist. Haroun finds his father trying to unblock the out-take valve that goes from The Sea to each Spigot of all the story tellers of the world. The valve had been constricted by censor’s ink.

Works-written, painted, sculpted, composed, what ever-are created by the interaction of the creator, story-teller, with one of these threads. In this creation The Mask hangs at the intersection of the threads between David and myself. And, like Rushdie‘s son, the, “child is father to man”. Empted of its origins The Mask has become the progenitor of “Congregation”.

Robert Derr
Cuidad del Carmin
9 Jan 09
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:03 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Scattered or (ordered) stuff that would hope to add up to Art has no choice but to wish a higher worth for the "grouping". So the pretentious tweaking hopes for big statements achieved by quantity (but not proliferation). Authenticity goes down the toilet with the de-valuing of the "object" in favor of the set dressing.

An installation is what happens when a sculpture is put in its place.

"installation art" is a living-room of the un-commital, a wishful variety store, a packing and un-packing of boxes, a hoping for some strength in the whole, when the parts are anemic, and a stroll amongst some waist-high curiosities begging you sheepishly to listen.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:19 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Scattered or (ordered) stuff that would hope to add up to Art has no choice but to wish a higher worth for the "grouping". So the pretentious tweaking hopes for big statements achieved by quantity (but not proliferation). Authenticity goes down the toilet with the de-valuing of the "object" in favor of the set dressing.

An installation is what happens when a sculpture is put in its place.

"installation art" is a living-room of the un-commital, a wishful variety store, a packing and un-packing of boxes, a hoping for some strength in the whole, when the parts are anemic, and a stroll amongst some waist-high curiosities begging you sheepishly to listen.

Thus spake Evald with a roll of Tiphany.

RD
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:07 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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It is in the art of salesmanship.

rderr, you should hire evaldart. His seemingly casual musings can sometimes cut to the core faster than a hobo to a handout, which is great for making a sale. And he can embellish with the best of them, although I don't know if even he can transform an assembly of disjointed objects into a one-stop Larousse Encylopedia of Mythology. Or, more to the point, would want to.
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Old 01-29-2009, 11:23 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Why can't an installation be considered a step inside the head of the artist? It could give context to single snippets/sculptures by showing the whole picture in (potentially) its whole volume. Part of a composition is the blank space you leave in delineating convex/concave. Why can't that be extended to the environment and the viewer even becomes part of the composition? Granted some do it better than others; one is mere decoration while some understand the manipulation of perception to the artist's advantage.
It's just another tool in the toolbox.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:07 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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rderr, you should hire evaldart. His seemingly casual musings can sometimes cut to the core faster than a hobo to a handout, which is great for making a sale. And he can embellish with the best of them, although I don't know if even he can transform an assembly of disjointed objects into a one-stop Larousse Encylopedia of Mythology. Or, more to the point, would want to.



Yes, I want to and that is what I'm trying, and believe that all art tries, to do. Art is the act of creation. Mythology is the story of creation. They have in common the big bang moment when all that was before becomes all that is after-that place where all exist for all times.

In this "universe" we are bound by binary explanations of natural phenomenon. Our cosmologies are binary; our moral structure binary; our daily lives limited by binary light and dark. My installation, Congregation, is composed of binaries; creator/created, adored/adorator, speaker/listener.

That's all he wrote folks
Robert
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:20 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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[/b]


Yes, I want to and that is what I'm trying, and believe that all art tries, to do. Art is the act of creation. Mythology is the story of creation. They have in common the big bang moment when all that was before becomes all that is after-that place where all exist for all times.

In this "universe" we are bound by binary explanations of natural phenomenon. Our cosmologies are binary; our moral structure binary; our daily lives limited by binary light and dark. My installation, Congregation, is composed of binaries; creator/created, adored/adorator, speaker/listener.

That's all he wrote folks
Robert
i feel gravity now.
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:10 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Despite being interested in the installations of Damien Hirst et al, I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that installation artists are really only the adult equivalent of the 13-year olds in art class at school who found painting or modelling too demanding, and who were diverted by their teachers (to keep them out of mischief) to “just make something, with anything you can find around the studio.” And here they are, now adults, convinced somehow by what their teachers encouraged them to do as children, that it REALLY IS art they are making (or by some spirit of perversity trying to make up for what they learnt as children they could not do). So, where is the ART in installation art?
So....Where's the beef? Is it the notion of using the bits and pieces that may be within arm's reach or is the issue one of installation as a lesser expression because of a perceived lesser effort or skill? I think the discussion is a good one, I just don't understand where your "13-year old in art class" comparison is heading. Frankly, most installations I have encountered are most certainly not of the "cobbled together from the loose bits of the studio" variety. With regards to effort, surely, the "demands" of playing classical music doesn't belittle the efforts or value of three-chord rockers? Why should it be different in art.

I am pretty critical of installation works and have seen many that make my eyes roll and stomach turn. Usually this is due to what seems like a fear to let key constructs stand as singular object - the set dressing that Eval mentioned above. Even so, I have been blown away by an equal number of installations and most have SOME part worth experiencing or investigating.

Like usual around here, sweeping statements aimed at criticizing an entire genre of art making is just more fartin' in the wind.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:06 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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So....Where's the beef? Is it the notion of using the bits and pieces that may be within arm's reach or is the issue one of installation as a lesser expression because of a perceived lesser effort or skill? I think the discussion is a good one, I just don't understand where your "13-year old in art class" comparison is heading. Frankly, most installations I have encountered are most certainly not of the "cobbled together from the loose bits of the studio" variety. With regards to effort, surely, the "demands" of playing classical music doesn't belittle the efforts or value of three-chord rockers? Why should it be different in art.

I am pretty critical of installation works and have seen many that make my eyes roll and stomach turn. Usually this is due to what seems like a fear to let key constructs stand as singular object - the set dressing that Eval mentioned above. Even so, I have been blown away by an equal number of installations and most have SOME part worth experiencing or investigating.

Like usual around here, sweeping statements aimed at criticizing an entire genre of art making is just more fartin' in the wind.

Cheese we are real sculptors here. And we all quite undestand that REAL Sculpture is leaps and bounds better than any of the other light fare served up as Art. So sweeping truths do their duty in keeping our Sidewalk to Illumination clear of wistful clutter and wasteful chatter. So own up to it, reap your rewards and let the underachievers flounder. You cant save them.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:20 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Cheese we are real sculptors here. And we all quite undestand that REAL Sculpture is leaps and bounds better than any of the other light fare served up as Art. So sweeping truths do their duty in keeping our Sidewalk to Illumination clear of wistful clutter and wasteful chatter. So own up to it, reap your rewards and let the underachievers flounder. You cant save them.
Gotta love the royal "we". That one-size-fits-all attitude seems like a far greater detriment to REAL art than clutter or chatter you perceive.

I do like Sidewalk to Illumination though...akin to Stairways to Heaven, Escalators of Life, Bridges over Troubled Waters and Roads to Nowhere.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:27 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Gotta love the royal "we". That one-size-fits-all attitude seems like a far greater detriment to REAL art than clutter or chatter you perceive.

I do like Sidewalk to Illumination though...akin to Stairways to Heaven, Escalators of Life, Bridges over Troubled Waters and Roads to Nowhere.
Yes, "Sidewalk to Illumination". There is definitely a song there, or a poem. I'll be sure to save THAT creative effort for later when I'm stricken, withered, withdrawn, depleted, defused, dormant and...dead.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:32 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

I'm getting the sense that you two don't agree on this topic.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:59 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Disagreeances are the way we humans can advance each other to REAL thoughts. Little concurrings, by contrast, only give us the easy, effortless way...slightly reinforcing, but not stimulating. So as we assert our various points of view (here and elswhere) we are ever being sat-down for an instant at the place of our opposer. Discourse. It is the thing that we all have to offer each other that is better than civilization and culture.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:04 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Disagreeances are the way we humans can advance each other to REAL thoughts. Little concurrings, by contrast, only give us the easy, effortless way...slightly reinforcing, but not stimulating. So as we assert our various points of view (here and elswhere) we are ever being sat-down for an instant at the place of our opposer. Discourse. It is the thing that we all have to offer each other that is better than civilization and culture.
In other words - yes (chatter indeed! )
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:46 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Disagreeances are the way we humans can advance each other to REAL thoughts. Little concurrings, by contrast, only give us the easy, effortless way...slightly reinforcing, but not stimulating. So as we assert our various points of view (here and elswhere) we are ever being sat-down for an instant at the place of our opposer. Discourse. It is the thing that we all have to offer each other that is better than civilization and culture.

Discourse? I prefer dialogue. That removes the soap-box and leaves it at the Derby where it belongs. Dialogue is also the glue of couples.

Robert
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:06 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

I'd like to make the sweeping statement that believing sweeping statements is detrimental to an individual's art, but does keep the way clear for people who prosper by ignoring the pointless rules and sweeping statements..
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:25 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

All you defenders of diet genres, mixed-up medias, dimensionally challenged morsels and damn near floating visual wannabes had better realize just what you've got at the edge of your fingertips. And own up. I know its sometimes fun to play down there in the little-leagues and rock some homers off of those children...but its not fair. To them OR to yourself. Stay up where you belong, I know its tougher, but the rewards are far greater. Believe me, the prancer on the stage and the flautist do NOT get kept awake at night by the glorious thoughts like the ones that race in OUR heads. And the scribblers succumb to carpal tunnel, take ibuprofen and cry themselves to sleep.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:23 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

"Installation" is largely considered a bad word...With some good reason.
In this discussion, however, part of the folly is painting the entire genre with the Unmade Bed brush.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:42 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Some installations are very challenging like Joseph Beuys at Dia Beacon, others that I have seen are more accessible like Sara Sze, Jessica Stockholder, Ann Hamilton. I think installations are concerned with ideas, feelings and also changing the context of an object, i.e. the best of them transform the mundane object into an experience that transcends the visual identity of the individual object into another experience, or when the parts become the whole.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:06 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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"Installation" is largely considered a bad word...With some good reason.
In this discussion, however, part of the folly is painting the entire genre with the Unmade Bed brush.
Quite rightly so, Obseq. I've used it for lack of a better. I consider Congregation as a group-as I would any other gathering of like minded individuals. They do not loss their identity in the group-they give the group an identity. Once we have finished dithering over definitions, I think that I can illustrate what I mean. Just bear with me-I've yet to work out all that I wish to say and am using this forum to formulate my ideas.

What I've done has nothing to do with the assemblages of butterfly wings, or objects soaked in rusty water and stacked to dry, or soup cans stacked. They are each time a created object from brut materials that stand alone and as such tell their individual stories. It is just that they have a common ancestry and are still very close to the place and time of origin.

Robert
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:20 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Recently I have been doing installation arts and oil paintings. For those who are interested, one of the galleries in my new website, see below, is about my installation arts. Some of my installation arts have been on display at more than one public buildings.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:24 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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And here they are, now adults, convinced somehow by what their teachers encouraged them to do as children, that it REALLY IS art they are making...
Maybe it's just natural, as we get older and learn more about art, the less Art we see. We get jaded and cynical (and I'm not using the royal "we" or whatever) or perhaps just more demanding and more aware of what qualifies as good and bad and serious and not serious and mediocre etc.. I used to watch T.V. when I was a kid and can't bear the thought of it much at all these days. Maybe art is similar somehow..

One of my all-time favorite heroes was Jose Raul Capablanca, world chess champ from Cuba back when Cuba used to be something and before the nutter commies trashed it. Think it can't happen to the rest of the world you're dead wrong. Anyway, Capablanca told someone [It could have been a reporter (Ya, chess was actually popular like poetry and art and stuff, once upon a time) or it could have been a student, I don't really know]-
"A man must lose 10 thousand games of chess before winning a single brilliancy".. A brilliancy would be a work of art to a chess player, sheer genius etc.. Well, what he was saying essentially is that you're going to suck for a long, long time before you play like a Grand Master, never mind world chess champ and that it takes infinite patience and practice before your art can attain a level of genius and this is not by merely stumbling around and making haphazard guess-like moves, but actually studying the strategy of the game. Tactics, time, space, combinations, swindles, traps and so forth.. I always assumed it was the same way with sculpture or art in general (or anything else for that matter) and perhaps it is true that too many try the big stuff before they've satisfactorily accomplished enough little stuff.

Me personally; I'm gearing up and have been for years, learning, practicing and studying and it is my highest aspiration to make the one "big one",.. but I ain't there yet. Maybe a few more, I don't have time for ten-thousand sculptures, but I have even less for a ten-ton flop.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:17 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

I've made some installation art and it was neither good or bad, it was just a means to communicate with my intended audience.

To much emphasis is put on the valuation of artistic expression. The arts to an artist are just another set of modes to exchange thoughts and feelings with the self and others. It's about effective communication between a sender and a reciever. Many fail to appreciate the intentions of an artist because they have not internalized the code that an artist has developed to communicate with their recievers. Every transmission gets distorted in translation to one degree or another. If the art wasn't made for you, chances are you're not going to get it and you'll give that art a low score. A waste of time unless one invests in understanding the nature of the parties involved in discourse.

The dialogue between the maker and viewer/reciever/experiencer of installation art ......if followed ......will provide insights concerning their character. How that effects you will give you an insight concerning yourself. That's how all art can be a benefit to everybody.
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