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  #76  
Old 02-09-2009, 07:18 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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By the way, the issue of the realness of the cow’s head in ‘A Thousand Years’ – yes, it IS real. I was at one of the early exhibitions in London, and it is actually quite important to the piece that it is real.
Hmm, I did some quick googling but could only turn up one mention that might support the “fake” cow head: from an article in the Gaurdian about artists who are hired out by "bigger" artists to help make their work.

Mayer's work for other artists began when chef Marco Pierre White asked her to preserve him a pike. He introduced her to Hirst. Mayer's first piece for Hirst was a huge stuffed bear: she bought the skin from a Canadian taxidermist, spent two days at Heathrow filling out paperwork, and created an orthodox piece of taxidermy, which towers over an unmade bed in Hirst's Last Night I Dreamt I Didn't Have a Head. Mayer also made two "rotting" cow's heads for Hirst's 1000 Years, using "erosion moulding", a process that gives extraordinarily lifelike results.

The full article can be found here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2008/mar/05/art

Of course, citing the internet don’t make it so and, in fact, I seem to remember that originally the piece used real heads – so many “truths” might be out there.
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  #77  
Old 02-09-2009, 07:28 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

I don't know what erosion moulding is (and don't really care enough to read the article), but if it cannot sustain generations of flies over a six-week exhibition period, then NO FLIES. OR, one way or another, it is being proposed that the exhibit is a cheat, and I see no reason to think this, given Hirst's commitment to using real animal flesh/bodies elsewhere. Close up, putrefaction, and the mess, is very convincing, I have to say. In any case, WHY fake the head?

Actually, having seen that it is a 'Guardian' article, I have now read it. The Guardian is pretty reputable, so I may have to rethink. Right, having rethunk at speed, this blows away the meaning of the piece for me. Fake doesn't work for me. Fake is fake, art is something else. It's either 'A Thousand Years' in some sense or it isn't - seems like it just isn't....
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  #78  
Old 02-09-2009, 09:13 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

This is an unexpected blow...a work of this magnitude loosing credibility on a technicality. How to go on...what is left of goodness and decency in the world... if Hirst is being at all insincere?
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  #79  
Old 02-09-2009, 09:31 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Ah, sincerity is crucial, and a thousand years is either an actual thousand years or it is a metaphorical thousand years (as in 'fly-time'). If it's neither, it's fraud.
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  #80  
Old 02-09-2009, 09:53 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Ah, sincerity is crucial, and a thousand years is either an actual thousand years or it is a metaphorical thousand years (as in 'fly-time'). If it's neither, it's fraud.
Naw, sincerity is waaaaay overrated. I see absolutely no difference. Increasingly the supporting text - the labels - are an extension of the piece. There is absolutely no reason that the information contained there needs to speak a "truth".

All symbolism is a "fraud" of sorts - not the actual thing but a representation of an idea. A real cow's head conveys the same symbolism as a fake one.

Alternatively, perhaps the "fake" cow head version is simply a re-creation of the original piece that used "real" cow heads - like a 3D documentation or simulation of something that ran its course.

Why does it matter? Your experience when seeing it hasn't changed in light of this new information. I find it odd that you feel cheated.
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  #81  
Old 02-09-2009, 09:58 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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This is an unexpected blow...a work of this magnitude loosing credibility on a technicality. How to go on...what is left of goodness and decency in the world... if Hirst is being at all insincere?
Actually, I wouldn't consider this particular piece as having all that much significance compared to some of Hirst's stronger works. Although we haven't discussed it, there are probably as many things that don't work for me in A Thousand Years as do.
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  #82  
Old 02-09-2009, 10:05 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

The 'cheat' lies in the experience of the work. Almost everone I know who has seen this piece has been awestruck, and the whole notion that a series of generations of flies were living out their lives in this lab-style context, and that we could see the process at work, AND it could also be art, is what the EXPERIENCE was all about. Take that away, and it's fraud. Simulation in art is always evident, in any case. A painting of a landscape is always only that. What Hirst seemed to have done was to take REAL LIVING creatures and put them directly into an art work - therein lay the magic of the work. So, no, the idea I took away, and the 'experience' we were having, is now better than the work....

Having said that, I find it hard to believe that Hirst actually did do this - I still see no point in siimulating what elsewhere he shows no instinct to do.
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  #83  
Old 02-09-2009, 12:38 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

First, we find out that the man behind the curtain was the actual Wizard of Oz, and now this! What is left to believe in anymore?
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  #84  
Old 02-09-2009, 03:08 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Art is an experience. Nothing more. What more could there be? Does anyone really want to invalidate an others' experience? One of the dumbest installations I've ever seen got rave reviews at the Henry Gallery in Seattle. But I am absolutely wrong in calling it dumb. Many people apparently learned or thought they learned something. I can't deny their experience. I wouldn't know how. Its that damn freedom thing again.
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  #85  
Old 02-10-2009, 05:30 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

One of my favourite artists is an installation artist - Cornelia Parker. Her 'An Exploded View' is attached.
Mind you, could be a sculpture....
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  #86  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:02 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Parkers a one trick pony. Always after the tedious suspending of stuff that occupies space more like a narrated hologram than as a sculpture. Yes, I've enjoyed a few over the years. Theres a WOW factor. But the trick is old and perhaps dead. No forward movement. Its a weakness that causes an artist to keep dancing that same ol jig...for those same peanuts and pats on the head.
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  #87  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:24 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

One-trick ponies? - Rachel wins on that one. Like her too.

AWFUL installation in the Tate turbine hall, a shapeless mess (attached). Form has died as an artistic concept. Wander among the detritus of the packaging world (cast, of course), think arctic for 10 seconds and get quickly nostalgic for the empty hall, then wander off for more meaningful 10-second experiences on four floors.
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  #88  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:26 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Portoro,

The thumbnail was interesting. I read it as a city-scape reflected in a pond of ice cubes. How deceptive the enlargement.

Robert
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  #89  
Old 02-10-2009, 09:54 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Having not been too distracted by other topics on this slow day at the ol' forum, I thought some more about the Hirst piece, and this reaction:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesepaws View Post
I especially like the way that time plays into the work with the suggestions of the temporal spanning the generational (the life cycle of the flies), the momentary (the frenetic actions of the flies themselves) and the immortal (with the still-life referent of the cow’s head).

And I thought, you could probably get a lot more out of visiting High School science fairs than comtemporary art museums, and no admission fee.
Isn't that pretty much what that exhibit boils down to? Science fair experimentation with some window dressing?
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  #90  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:20 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

There's the potential for "finds" anywhere. Sometimes objects out of context or that challenge your ability to perceive them are what cause you to appreciate them, see them anew.
Go to all those places, bring your popcorn, and give out your own ribbons for "best of show".
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  #91  
Old 02-11-2009, 06:52 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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And I thought, you could probably get a lot more out of visiting High School science fairs than contemporary art museums, and no admission fee.
Like Grommet already wrote – context does influence meaning. That said, I am glad you picked up on the way Hirst borrows from science. In fact, when you think about his other work - a “science aesthetic” emerges: stainless steel/pill displays, anatomy educational kits, butterfly collecting/mounting, and – of course – the preserving of animals in formaldehyde. I like when an artist offers some consistent connections in a body of seemingly dissimilar works. Makes you wonder why – doesn’t it?

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Isn't that pretty much what that exhibit boils down to? Science fair experimentation with some window dressing?
In a way – yes. I think Hirst would be proud that you linked his work to science so effortlessly. Of course, you are an artist and bound to arrive there more quickly than a general public. Also, keep in mind that any work of art can be reduced to some base and mundane idea or effort - including the figure. It is only a disservice to one's self to let the observation or experience stop at the lowest common denominator.
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  #92  
Old 02-11-2009, 07:24 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Consider also Hirsts’ interest in medicine (hospital waste; pills and chemists' storerooms; his restaurant called ‘Pharmacy’; the catalogue of the innards of creatures – dissection, in fact), even the biology student primers like that attached here (‘Hymn’). But I don’t think it is just that Hirst LINKS his work to science, or borrows from it – his work has always offered a grim dissection of modernity, and the dependencies/underpinnings and processes of applied science that characterise the modern. Remember that those pretty polka dot spot paintings are also pictures of PILLS. This is I think a reason why Hirst cannot commit to modern art either – everything has been contaminated, it’s all waste. There’s something going on in his work that points to a chilling pure biological process, and that makes everything meaningless. Note that even his Mother and Child points not to transcendence but to the brute fact of biology. There’s nothing personal going on in modern life for Hirst – the pills point to psychosis, not to character, to management of distress, (the pretty colours of the pills are deceptive, just like ART). Even Hirst's exploitation of the art market is a part of this realism, I suspect. Hence also the drift towards the religious in his work – what sort of hymn IS that model?! And how do we escape this horror?! This is Hirst's art-playground, and it's central to his achievement.

You see, this is why I also argued earlier that sincerity was important. I see Hirst’s work as honest in the grimmest sense.
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  #93  
Old 02-11-2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Also: this piece is a work that only exists when it is installed in an exhibition space. When not on show it is a pile of glass and metal framing in some warehouse…..
Says who...you or the artist?


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The superiority of the point of view of the artist. I entirely agree with this superiority – the serious artist committed to the consciousness-expanding model of art practice unavoidably stands for something finer, better.
something different maybe - but better?...that's just a point of view. It's part of the human condition to think we are destined for something - that there must be meaning to it all and there's something special about it. Also, better than what? better than it used to be or better than something else?

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People should have to pay a price for occupying the same space as artists, 'scribblers', professors and all the writers and poets who have made life bearable, better, even safe.
Are you sure about this?

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  #94  
Old 02-11-2009, 11:32 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Sometimes objects out of context or that challenge your ability to perceive them are what cause you to appreciate them, see them anew.
Sometimes I think that is the main legacy of late 20th/early 21st century art: Challenges to preconceived notions by virtue of art that is "out of context".

Maybe it is symptom of our age, a response to historical events. Such as:

Turning Jews into soap and lampshades in Nazi Germany.
Turning a millenia-old culture of Tibet into a Chinese theme park.
Believing that growing the government and taxing businesses will aid the prosperity of a free market economy.
Treating Muslim women like dogs or slaves to maintain moral purity.
Hoping to convert the world to Islam by blowing up innocent people or destroying cultural artifacts sacred to others, thereby showing the moral superiority of said religion.
Killing 20 million Russians and 60 million Chinese to establish totalitarian regimes "of the people".
Rewarding irresponsible financial institutions and other reckless entities with money borrowed from the future, so they can waste that as well.

Etc., etc.

I don't find the out of context to be particularly enlightening. Billboards along scenic highways don't impress me as being very thoughtful or respectful to others. Shouting in the middle of a someone else's golf swing or parking a car on a sidewalk might draw attention too. What is gained? It is almost as though the object d'art is not worthy of consideration in and of itself, it is merely the introduction of it as a discordant element upon the environment that gives it percieved value...as a disrupter. What matters is not the object, per se, but the level of "out of contextness" that it provides.
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  #95  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:40 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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Rewarding irresponsible financial institutions and other reckless entities with money borrowed from the future
Has someone pinched Outsiders time machine and tested it properly - he will be pleased.
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  #96  
Old 02-11-2009, 12:47 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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I don't find the out of context to be particularly enlightening. Billboards along scenic highways don't impress me as being very thoughtful or respectful to others. Shouting in the middle of a someone else's golf swing or parking a car on a sidewalk might draw attention too. What is gained? It is almost as though the object d'art is not worthy of consideration in and of itself, it is merely the introduction of it as a discordant element upon the environment that gives it percieved value...as a disrupter. What matters is not the object, per se, but the level of "out of contextness" that it provides.
More seriously though - I kind of know what you are getting at but you put it in such extreme emotive language. Some of it out of context itself as we are on the subject
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  #97  
Old 02-11-2009, 05:07 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

Limecutter quoted Portoro:
Also: this piece is a work that only exists when it is installed in an exhibition space. When not on show it is a pile of glass and metal framing in some warehouse…..

Says who...you or the artist? -Limecutter

You mean to say, he keeps it all going even in the warehouse? The supply of dead cow's heads, the flies, the cleaning up, the health risk - to what end?

As for the 'that's just a point of view' position. I get tired of the regularity with which people default to this, as if everything said is just somebody's point of view. Let me just say that I certainly didn't offer it as a point of view. By the way, when I stated that "the serious artist committed to the consciousness-expanding model of art practice" stands for something "finer and better", I have no doubt that there are people who possess finer and better states of conscious life than others. We should aspire to better perception, finer feeling, a fuller, better understanding. For example, when I admire the work of Henry Moore, I invariably find myself admiring the quality of perception, the understanding that went into the work, the maturity of vision. This is finer and better, not just "different" as you propose. Equally when I find myself reading the work of the late John Updike, I am aware that I am reading the work of a 'sage', a fine mind at work, offering an understanding that makes him special in some sense. I used to love the work of Paul Klee when I was a kid - what a mind! What perception! The sheer range of his technique alone speaks of the quality of his understanding. Klee is all about finer, better. I still boggle at what he achieved on his little pieces of paper, and what it says about him.

I like your posts on this thread, by the way - thoughtful stuff....
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  #98  
Old 02-11-2009, 06:09 PM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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I don't find the out of context to be particularly enlightening. Billboards along scenic highways don't impress me as being very thoughtful or respectful to others. Shouting in the middle of a someone else's golf swing or parking a car on a sidewalk might draw attention too. What is gained? It is almost as though the object d'art is not worthy of consideration in and of itself, it is merely the introduction of it as a discordant element upon the environment that gives it percieved value...as a disrupter. What matters is not the object, per se, but the level of "out of contextness" that it provides
I guess those weren't your lessons to learn this time. Your rut is of a different color than mine and perhaps it is not the moment to peek over the edge yet. It will only have value for you if you get it or think others might.
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  #99  
Old 02-12-2009, 09:21 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

I note that the Tate Modern glossary includes installations as a form of sculpture,
http://www.tate.org.uk/collections/g...sp?entryId=267
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:55 AM
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Re: So, who makes installation art?

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I note that the Tate Modern glossary includes installations as a form of sculpture,
It would be fun to start a poll for the naysayers: how many will change their minds based on the Tate ruling? My sense of fun can be sick, but zero is such a beautiful round number. And who wudda thunk--they even cite David Smith--like he is notable.
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