Week 6 Assignment Post

Here is what you need to do before class on Monday:

Read pages 133-173 in the Fusco book, have your Social Intervention projects ready to perform/present, add four links to your del.icio.us site, and make at least two considered comments on the reading. Here are some considerations:

  • Respond to and critique one specific work by Mendieta, Clark, or Oiticica. Given that your experience of this work is solely description in an essay and possibly documentary photographs, what elements of your response do you think are owed to this written perspective?
  • Consider the end notes–what information contained here is provacative to you? Why was this not contained in the body of the main article in your opinion? How does it elucidate the information primarily presented?
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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Week 6 Assignment Post

  1. proverbs3v18

    I actually responded more positively to the work Mendieta participated in by Breder – the one with the naked bodies entwined while holding mirrors. The work was less confrontational, not dealing with the violence that most of Mendieta’s work implies or represents. In all likelihood, I would have been just like those people she photographed responses of – while reading descriptions of these projects, I found myself making faces of disgust and confusion. Those that implied a crime-scene or act of a human violence/violation were more disturbing, because the scenarios she presented played out inside my head, whereas her standing naked with a chicken did not suggest to me the actions of rape, murder, etc., more readily. It is the human capability for this violence put within the context of an artwork that makes it disturbing to me, because we are taking these normally WRONG actions of rape, murder, etc., and giving them more thought/consideration in an ambiguous, non-negative way…as if rape and murder weren’t wrong…

    In terms of my “experiencing” these works through text, perhaps since it is in text form I am able to think the above, instead of merely reacting negatively to the works if I had seen them in person. And if I had seen them in person, my strong disgust and confusion would likely stop me from giving this work the kind of consideration I just did above.

  2. proverbs3v18

    Here are-

    example of Hans Breder’s works:
    http://www.stephenfosterfinearts.com/artists/breder/index.html

    examples of Ana Mendieta’s works:
    http://www.virginiamiller.com/exhibitions/1990s/AnaMendieta.html

    http://reconstruction.eserver.org/072/boetzkes.shtml – near the middle

    http://chicanafeliz.com/vlog/?tag=latina – just the picture, text on the side being the blogger’s views.

    There was a YouTube clip of her doing that thing where she uses her arms to smear blood on the wall, but it didn’t seem that interesting to me. It was Sweating Blood #2 I think, and it was posted in another language.

  3. ladywood

    Mendieta’s idea of ‘facial hair transplants’ and ‘facial cosmetic variations’ is an interesting concept. Gluing facial hair to her face as an homage to Duchamp’s “Mona Lisa”, I think asks the question of what defines femininity. Looking at a woman, all traces of facial hair are to be removed, waxed, tweezed, or bleached. If even the Mona Lisa can be turned into a man, it is a scary discovery.

  4. ladywood

    I have always hated endnotes, because I think we are missing out on a lot. In the endnotes we have citations, of course, but we also have snippets of stories and experiences that we have probably never heard of before. By putting them in the endnotes, you immediately tell the reader to skim over them, if not read them all at. I think it is better to have footnotes, but it is like going on a little adventure to find out what the numbers in the text mean, and then we learn what we would otherwise miss in an endnote.

  5. cleasure

    I could say that I believe Clark’s piece entitled “Baba Antropofágica,” in which people pulled thread from spools that were held in their mouths, is effective in its portrayal of losing a portion of yourself to an outside source. The idea of reading about a performance without any visual documentation is problematic, however, because the essence of the performance comes down to a more conceptual analysis of the actions and visuals the performance included. I don’t think you can fully analyze a performance without being present because the concept is revealed to you without an analysis of whether the performance effectively exemplified the concepts.

  6. cleasure

    The endnotes to the essay about Oiticica and Clark contain many controversial issues that affected the societal climate that surrounded the artists and the work of the artists themselves. One of which, was the “hierarchical gap between South American and Euro-American artists that Clark and Oiticica struggled to overcome” (Osthoff 170). Leaving this information out of the essay seems like representing the artworks without the proper context. For instance, in light of this information, the fact that Oiticica had an installation, “Eden,” in London becomes more significant because it meant he was exhibiting among the “Euro-American” artists which he had struggled to prove himself equal to. Oiticica’s “Tropicalia” was also presented out of context because the essay mentions that it “called attention to the dangers of a superficial, folkloric consumption of an image of a tropical Brazil, stressing the existential life-experience that escapes this consumption,” but fails to connect this information with the social climate and the tropicalist movement as a vehicle of national pride in Brazil (Osthoff 164).

  7. thehankfuldread

    as much as i think the idea of mendieta’s work is interesting, i think that it stops there. i don’t find in any way a naked woman holding a slaughtered chicken as a constructive commentary on anything. in my opinion, it is all shock. i believe that writing about it, or even making art (in a different fashion, that doesn’t actually involve dead animals) would be far more productive. people give this kind of art way too much credit. though images are moving, the sheer, and ridiculous absurdity of most of these types of… “pieces” shall we say, far outweighs any true artistic validity that it may have had.

  8. thehankfuldread

    i found all of clark’s ideas to be wonderful. a brilliant approach to many issues that we face as humans, friends, family, society, etc… i think that the idea of restricting physical activity to very certain movements, and abilities so intimately tied with another is a wonderful and thought (and emotion) evoking thing. for it is within those tight situations in which we are forced to do things with people we might not otherwise. the goggles example i find to be the best of any of them, because of the sheer intimacy of eye contact, and the messages that it can convey. as opposed to mendieta’s works, which are pure shock value, and absurdity, clark’s works are fresh and invigorating.

  9. desibrink

    Lygia Clark’s Diálogo interested me with it’s intriguing concepts.
    Clarks idea that by dissolving the visual sense it brings a heightened awareness to the body sort of plays with the rumors that a blind or deft person get heightened other senses. It’s almost like the part of our brain that deals with these sort of activities cannot be completely dampened and needs an out somehow, even if that means a higher concentration on other senses.
    The only visual element I was able to use was the photograph in the book, and although it helped me get a better picture of the piece, I feel I would have understood it a lot better if I could have either witnessed or participated. Its hard to base things off of written word, describing is so much different than experiencing.

  10. desibrink

    The purpose of the endnotes is to flesh out the ideas a little more. In the written text it gives more of a broad overview in hopes of introducing the piece. The authors have included in all the information they deem to be vital in the main body of the article, and the other interesting facts are stated in the end notes so they don’t just dump every little thing at once on the readers.

  11. heidirides

    I found the endnotes to be particularily informative. Instead of weeding through perspectives and opinions of the author or reviewer of an action, the endnotes seemed to be more of an account of what took place. They were more detailed and less subjective, which I find helpful. Often, the writer or reviewer tries to interpret the action in some deep and profound manner and play up the significance of it. Just having the facts, allows the reader or viewer of the performance to interpret the action for themselves.

  12. heidirides

    I found the “Dialogo” piece by Lygia Clark to be of great significance. In this case, while the photograph of the apparatus is certainly helpful, the perspective offered by the writer beyond the circumstances was a little less helpful. One cannot fully understand the piece, typically, from one picture alone. I understand the intent of the piece that by fixing the eyes of two people on each others eyes, suggests a level of intimacy not often found in everyday social interactions. But the purpose of the piece to ” merge the body’s interior and exterior spaces stressing the direct connection between the body’s physical and psychological dimensions,” seems a bit wordy and unnecessary.

  13. molly

    I really liked the short exerpt in the osthoff essay about Clark’s “Bichos”. The idea of a sculptural painting turned interactive, giving the participants a chance to discover synesthetics, is what a lot of children’s museums are doing nowadays. Childrens museums seem to have a lot of great ideas that can and should go beyond educating kids about art and the world around them and I think Clark knew this before the childrens museums were even popularized. I know I like to play in the childrens area of the DAM, who wouldn’t?

  14. molly

    I think what I like most about Clark’s work is the sheer simplicity of it. The concept is clear and easily understandable to outsiders, although when one does participate, the concept and experience changes to a more personal one. Especially in “Dialogo”, we can clearly visualize where she is going with the idea but participating and wearing the work adds a whole new and personal dimension.

  15. Isaiah D

    First, performance art of the americas seems to be the wrong subtitle for this book. Performance art of south america would fit better. Mendita’s use of blood as her medium is a very strong tool to make her messages stand out much farther than using other red liquids. While reading this piece I was trying to imagine myself being covered in blood and how uncomfortable it would make me feel. She obviously had a strong enough passion for what she was doing so it didn’t bother her as much or at all.

  16. Isaiah D

    “The scene of a crime” was particularly moving for me. The fact that she was able to put a visual picture to what the crime of rape is should be more than enough to cause a social disruption among people. The word rape is tough enough to say but “seeing” through her performance of what it can be like or the aftermath should be enough too sway all people to do everything in their power to keep rape from happening. She was able to use art to create a social awareness.

  17. Cheri Soulia

    I do no think Mendieta’s work is very interesting to look at and probably to experience but I’m not completely sold on what it is trying to get across to viewers. Personally it is not “solid” enough and you really have to struggle with the meaning. But, at the same time if it was changed to a less dramatic interpretation I don’t know if people would even give it a second look.

  18. Cheri Soulia

    I would have to agree with cleasure about clark’s spool piece. I think it was very intersting and new. It reminds me a lot of the artist (can’t remember his name) who uses paper in stacks to portray aids and the toll aids has on a person’s body. In this case the spool represents a part of that person. I think the spool of thread is very intriguing because it kind of represents the inner…which nobody really knows what that is but we continue to question and dream.

  19. kkomaenge

    Mendieta – she holds the dead a chicken, and she did not wear anything, so her work is kind of hard to understand. Why did she hold the chicken upside down with her body having blood on it. Is there a relation between her naked body and chicken, or is the dead a chicken more meaningful to her work? Her work makes more questions.

  20. kkomaenge

    Extra information. Just information artists’ work and it explains how other people feel about artist’s work. It also explains process. Mendieta’s work explain, how she work for it, and how people understand her work that information very more clear to understand her work from other people’s view. Also, it change my mind because I was disappoint her work because it does not show clear point of her work but end note has explain more about her work.

  21. Trinityblk

    First I have to say “ugh” at the use of real blood in art work. There are many other “realistic” synthetic materials to simulate blood (hello hollywood) and that would give the artisit a safety net. I do not believe in sacrificing my own safety for reality. Using the right materials no one would know any different unless I told them it wasn’t real blood.

    That being said I feel that Mendeieta’s work is very powerful and impressive artisticly speaking. It is humanizing to see her quoted that she did have fears when performing some of her more controversial pieces. Performance artist are rarley represented as having felt fear in their art pieces. Most seems like the are out to prove a point, estabilishment be damned. It is refreshing to see her other emtions on her pieces.

  22. Trinityblk

    The interesting thing about Clark’s work is her use of many different items and technology. It seems that modern performance artists have settled on one or two theme/material sources. Clark used everyday items and then re-constructed them for artistic participation. This to me has a more in-depth thought or motivation process. It requires more than a nude person and a dead animal. It almost plays on a person sense of whimsy to intrigue the viewer.

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