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Old 03-04-2009, 04:06 PM
Portoro Portoro is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 342
Re: Nude Britney Spears Giving Birth Statue - Monument to Pro-Life

Black Cat - if you're referring to me about symbolism - Yes, the bear has to be symbolic. But I come from a literary background, and artists have to have a pretty profound understanding of how symbolism works to pull it off. (like writers), and writers, of course, can spend a LOT of time doing it badly in the learning process. The bear is BAD symbolism because it can be NOTHING ELSE but symbol. I also see nothing here to suggest that the symbolism of the work adds to its status as sculpture. In fact, if anything, it diminishes it by turning the work to 'text', inviting the audience to 'puzzle'. Symbolism, in any case, should not be a 'puzzle', it is used by the great writers to add complexity to the text that, in any case, should stand on its own two feet as art. I also see a lot of young artists taking up symbolism as if it adds a kind of intellectual dignity to the work. (What does this mean? What does that mean?). This kind of symbolism is also very old hat (like that metaphor) and leads not to a fuller response to the work but to separation from it (puzzle, puzzle). Unfortunately Hirst has indulged in this too, to the detriment of his best work. My advice would be to steer clear of symbolism. You could get away with it in the religious periods in art history, where art was a kind of illustration (of stories and text). Quinn is returning art to illustration here (of some kind of POINT), and after the 20th century suceeded in releasing us from all that, it's a pity, and a retrograde step on his part.

Personally, I also see no deep relationship between the bear as pure symbol and the rest of the work, although I do think that the pose Spears is given offers various readings (it is of a childbirth, but is also clearly suggestive of the pose of a female seeking either anal sex or penetration from the back). This set of readings of the pose may relate to the bear, which must at least be read as representative of sexuality (bears take females from behind, as do most creatures in the animal world). Reinforcing this is the particular weight given to the way the hands hold the head of the bearand the manner in which the eyes are directed to it (affectionately? Invitingly?). The bear as rug or as trophy? The bear as female? There are issues here too - puzzle, puzzle. A bit of a tangle, and, in any case, the meaning may lie elsewhere. Personally I think it is the piece of stone that's got f****d.
The forum member formerly known as Cantab