My tutor has identified that I have not fully engaged with the course in this part and have put up barriers rather than working out how to fit the exercises to me. I need to find a way in to take risks with my drawings and complete a fuller body of work in the next stage.
My research needs to be expanded, placed in the context of its time and linked more to contemporary practice. I need to research wider to find a way into the exercises and assignments
My tutor suggested I look at a number of different artists and I researched two of these.
Looking at his work initially, I thought that this was an artist I wasn’t going to be able to understand! His early work which formed on of his best known series (Guggenheim.org, n.d.) was ‘untitled 1990 (pad thai), 1990’, where he cooked for the audience. Said to be blurring the boundaries between art and life, making art come alive and making the audience part of the work, I struggle to see how this work is art.
However, on watching this video (Bloomberg, 2018), his work ‘untitled 2010 (who’s afraid of red, yellow and green), 2010’ where he collected newspaper images of protests in Thailand and got local art students to cover the wall in drawings of these, which was added to each day. In the gallery, he served red, yellow and green thai curry, referencing the colours emblematic of the opposing sides in the political unrest at the time of the exhibition, asking why people are afraid of each other. He took no side, but asked people to think about the issues
For ‘untitled 2015 (14,086 unfired), 2015’, bricklayers were employed to work in the gallery to produce bricks stamped with the message ‘Stop to work’, highlighting the irony of modern day life in our quest to get higher and higher paid jobs without questioning why we are doing it.
I see more of a point with these later works (and appreciate that the earlier works fed into these), but I do struggle with accepting these kind of works as ‘art’ and read them more as philosophy. I accept that the modern art world doesn’t agree with me here, but my belief is that there should be some form of visual beauty in a work for it to be ‘art’. Interesting to research into, but not the direction I wish to take my work in.
Hatoum started out with performance art and now works in a wide variety of media. Three of her pieces I particularly like are looked at below.
‘Map (clear), 2015’ has an obvious appeal to me with my love of maps. As an installation it work very well and it seems to be saying that all places are equal, but borders and divisions are unstable and liable to move.
‘Impenetrable, 2009’ reminds me of Cornelia Parker’s work, although it is actually referencing Jesús Rafael Soto’s series of Penetrables (Lūse, 2016) and turning his inviting interactive work on its head by replacing plastic tubes with barbed wire rods.
‘Light Sentence, 1992’ also reminds me of Cornelia Parker’s ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View’, with the moving light bulb throwing interesting shadows on the gallery walls.
I like Hatoum’s work. They have a message, but it isn’t too deep to be impenetrable like many modern artists I come across in my research, and appearance and form are important to her and this comes across in her work (Cooke, 2016).
Bloomberg (2018). Rirkrit Tiravanjia on ‘Brilliant Ideas’. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2018-04-16/rirkrit-tiravanija-on-brilliant-ideas-video [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].
Cooke, R. (2016). Mona Hatoum: ‘It’s all luck. I feel things happen accidentally’. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/apr/17/mona-hatoum-interview-installation-artist-tate-modern-exhibition [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].
Guggenheim.org. (n.d.). Rirkrit Tiravanija. [online] Available at: https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/rirkrit-tiravanija [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].
Lūse, P. (2016). “Oh, Mona!”. [online] Arterritory.com. Available at: http://www.arterritory.com/en/texts/interviews/6124-oh,_mona/ [Accessed 4 Mar. 2019].