March 20, 2012
Eleanor Antin’s work is kind of surreal, probably because it takes scenes out of their context and plops them in a modern day complex. The photographs look like paused movie screens. I disagree with her assertion that America is a colonial power when it never really had that many colonies, especially compared to Britain. America was too isolationist for too long…but I digress…The fact that she has a persona reminds me of David Bowie and his character Ziggy Stardust. I question if she gets a little lost in her character as Bowie did in his. I admire her passion and commitment though.
So David LaChappelle is straight up my new favorite person. He creates such accessible pieces that can also be read more deeply. I’m a firm believer that art doesn’t just have to be for intellectuals. Pop art is my favorite kind of art because of its layers. I’m all for making art and other aspects of culture accessible to the masses, which pop art does, but I also like that it provides a commentary on mass culture if you look more deeply. The “Rape of Africa” piece definitely is an example of this layered work. The every-man can point out bright colors and pop culture symbols while the intellectual can determine exactly what he’s commenting on using their knowledge of African history. (I also like how he’s such an awkward public speaker. I can relate.)
The Vanessa Beecroft pantyhose piece was really striking. I have to say, I still don’t get why they were wearing pantyhose. What I found most striking was the confidence of the girls in the project. It takes a lot of courage to be able to stand nude in front of countless visitors to a gallery. It’s one thing to do it for a little while for a few people, but for such a huge audience for so long…that’s really vulnerable. It’s crazy how a photograph or painting of a group of nude women wouldn’t have the same impact as being in the room with the women. Bodies are certainly powerful.
March 6, 2012
I’m pretty fuming right now because I lost 12 videos I took at rehearsal last week. This is the second time I’ve saved clips to the Mac Drop folder and come back to not find them. I’ll briefly explain what they were to the best of my memory.
I took the suggestion of trying different music so I played a different song in every video based on what I could get from just my iTunes. If you want you can watch some of the old material while listening to these songs I used: “Highway Star” by Deep Purple, “Battery” by Metallica, the Russian trolololo song KK wanted me to use, “Ol’ Faithful” by The Villebillies, “Mangoes” by Rosemary Clooney, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” by Andy Williams, “Lemontech” by BLAST!, “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, “The Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd (I used this one on a previous video but most of the movement from it isn’t really applicable) and “Superunknown” by Soundgarden. I really hated it with Deep Purple, Metallica, Soundgarden and the Villebillies but the rest worked decently. I’m going to look into different music while I’m home.
Additionally, I worked on doing basic duets (holding hands and spinning for instance) and I had them all run across the floor holding hands and serpentine and whip each other around. It was SO FUN to watch so I’ll definitely tape it again to put up.
In other news I lost a dancer this week so I’m thankful I haven’t really arranged anything yet.
February 25, 2012
I don’t know what happened to my video from last week…I can’t find the files. But anyway:
I have more to be tacked on to this (also movement for the two girls on the left while the other three do their thing) but it hasn’t been filmed yet.
Music Credits: “Bargain” –The Who & “Heart of Glass” –Blondie
February 14, 2012
A couple of notes: The first phrase is intended to go along with the clips from week one (Sorry I totally failed at keeping the beat). I was having issues synthesizing actual phrases, aside from the first few seconds of section two, so I messed around with more movements to add to my vocabulary. I’m having my first rehearsal tomorrow so we’ll see how everything works on dancers other than myself. Continue describing the movements if you would.
Music credits as they appear: “Jessica”-The Allman Brothers Band; “Say That You Love Me”-Fleetwood Mac; “Because the Night”-10,000 Maniacs; “Born Under Punches”-Talking Heads
February 12, 2012
I was just going through the reading assigned for this week regarding the body and what sorts of things are attached to bodies. Naturally, I began to think about how I view bodies and what they mean to me. First of all, I was totally drawn to a statement made at the very beginning about post-modernists seeing a body as “an empty vessel,” free of a soul. That pretty much sums up my feelings about bodies. A body is a body; there’s nothing more attached to it, there’s nothing deeper inside of it. When I view art and create art, this is the mindset I am in. I don’t analyze; I take everything at face value. Knowing that I interpret art in this way, it is unsurprising that I make art in the same way. A challenge that I am constantly faced with is trying to analyze my work from an outside perspective. That’s certainly a benefit that comes from creating in a class environment like this. I get insight from others that I can’t see for myself.
Later, as I read Doris Humphrey’s manual on The Art of Making Dances, I began thinking about intent. I like that she says the subject of the dance is the concern of the choreographer (27) because I feel that the artist’s purpose is more important than how the public perceives it. However, I realize that it’s kind of impossible to ignore the interpretations of the audience. People like to analyze and therefore most of an artist’s audience will analyze their work. We live in a time which gives a lot of power to the public sphere and therefore even an artist is not immune to public opinion, although I sometimes wish they were. On a totally separate note, it just irritated me that there is a manual for making dances, as if there are rules one should follow. I was particularly drawn to the diagrams on pages 86 and 87 that showed the “right” and “wrong” ways to have movements in a space. It wasn’t “right” unless the dancer was facing forward. Now I want to put my entire piece in the space with the “front” being the side, just because I can. Granted, I don’t think that would be a most aesthetically pleasing performance, but if my audience wanted to analyze, that would be a piece built for analyzing. I wonder how many “rules” I can break in one piece…