“[F]or the viewer the question arises as to whether the wearer of a Ritchie ornament is being adorned and their personality expressed, or instead, whether the wearer’s body operates as a mobile gallery, showcasing Richie’s expressive material poetry, inviting approach and contemplation. Paradoxically, like much fine craft today, Ritchie’s work is more often seen in a pristine gallery setting or published photograph, without the modifying effects of wearer, garments, or other objects, or particular social contexts of use. While the gallery setting focuses the viewer’s attention on the works, it does not indicate the idiosyncratic and complex manner in which the jewelry will be incorporated into socia life.” (26)
Andre Woodward: My work is definitely time-based. There are about three different timelines going on in each piece. The tree grows. In the sound pieces, you need to consider the duration of the soundtrack, and in the pieces that incorporate lighting systems, you have that time going on as well. And then you have the time during which you are interacting with the work. I produce sculptural work because, with sculpture, there is you and the piece. There is not a flat divide—you and the piece occupy the same space. Once you realize that the sculpture is alive, something happens. You start to be sympathetic to the life-force. It isn’t merely an object. It’s a living thing. (29)
This week, being the final week of Spring Semester and a celebratory and exciting time on campus as we congratulate our graduating students (and admire their work and talents), our thoughts have turned to the educational experience students have at OCAC and in art school more broadly. Because we’re a small, mentor-based art school, many of us have and have had the privilege to watch our students develop as makers over the course of many years. It’s certainly the most rewarding part of working at a library that tries to help serve them as they progress as makers and fine artists. With these thoughts in mind, we’ve elected to pick Art School edited by Steven Henry Madoff as this week’s library pick. It is a fascinating book — especially for anyone who has attended art school or has been involved in teaching art. Not only can it serve as a means of contextualizing an institution’s efforts, but it also helps identify a school’s successes as well as providing ideas worth considering for growth opportunities to serve the emerging artists of the 21st century!
Here’s how the publisher describes Art School: “the last explosive change in art education came nearly a century ago, when the German Bauhaus was formed. Today, dramatic changes in the art world–its increasing professionalization, the pervasive power of the art market, and fundamental shifts in art-making itself in our post-Duchampian era–combined with a revolution in information technology, raise fundamental questions about the education of today’s artists. Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) brings together more than thirty leading international artists and art educators to reconsider the practices of art education in academic, practical, ethical, and philosophical terms. The essays in the book range over continents, histories, traditions, experiments, and fantasies of education. Accompanying the essays are conversations with such prominent artist/educators as John Baldessari, Michael Craig-Martin, Hans Haacke, and Marina Abramovic, as well as questionnaire responses from a dozen important artists–among them Mike Kelley, Ann Hamilton, Guillermo Kuitca, and Shirin Neshat–about their own experiences as students. A fascinating analysis of the architecture of major historical art schools throughout the world looks at the relationship of the principles of their designs to the principles of the pedagogy practiced within their halls. And throughout the volume, attention is paid to new initiatives and proposals about what an art school can and should be in the twenty-first century–and what it shouldn’t be. No other book on the subject covers more of the questions concerning art education today or offers more insight into the pressures, challenges, risks, and opportunities for artists and art educators in the years ahead. Contributors include: Marina Abramovic, Dennis Adams, John Baldessari, Ute Meta Bauer, Daniel Birnbaum, Saskia Bos, Tania Bruguera, Luis Camnitzer, Michael Craig-Martin, Thierry de Duve, Clémentine Deliss, Charles Esche, Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Hans Haacke, Ann Lauterbach, Ken Lum, Steven Henry Madoff, Brendan D. Moran, Ernesto Pujol, Raqs Media Collective, Charles Renfro, Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Michael Shanks, Robert Storr, and Anton Vidokle.” From (here)
Check it out!
“Of course, big corporations are just as adept at manipulating the rhetoric of sustainability as young makers. But craft does have a special advantage. In the effort to promote more self-aware ways of living, the simple act of making by hand signifies direct engagement with an object, and therefore a degree of personal responsibility. Certainly, not every craft object is made sustainably; we have to get real about that. But the lesson of postmodernism is that the power of the image is not to be denied. It’s not enough to make things responsibly; we need to call on mass media to constantly remind the public of what responsibility might look like.” (023)
An excerpt from Glenn Adamson’s response to the questions: Is there a sustainability aesthetic? If so, how would you describe it, and which artists exemplify it?
Peter Shelton: This whole figurative versus abstract stuff comes from faulty thinking after World War II, suggesting that Modernism was fundamentally a battle between representation and abstraction. I don’t see it as one leading to the other or exceeding the other. It comes down to achieving some core expression, and the “hows” of getting there follow from that.
MDD: Do you mean that idea trumps process?
PS: Nothing is that simple. I mean that it’s inaccurate to see my work as growing linearly from abstract to real or simple to complex, or the reverse. Unlike many of my formalist predecessors, I don’t work linearly, evolving from project and situation to the next project and situation–ideas continue to circulate [...]” (41)
This Wednesday, April 25 @ 6:30pm, Maria Elena Buszek will be giving a guest lecture for the the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Program. The event is co-sponsored with Museum of Contemporary Craft at will be held their location at 724 NW Davis Street.
Maria Elena Buszek is a scholar, critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado Denver, where she teaches courses on Modern and contemporary art. Her recent publications include the books, Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture and Extra/ordinary: Craft and contemporary art; contributions to the anthologies It’s Time for Action (There’s No Option): About Feminism, Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism and Contemporary Artists; catalogue essays for numerous national and international exhibitions; and articles and criticism in such journals as Art in America; Art Journal; Photography Quarterly; and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. She has also been a regular contributor to the popular feminist magazine BUST since 1999. www.mariabuszek.com
The MFA in Applied Craft and Design is a joint degree program offered by Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art.
For this week’s library pick, we’ve selected Buszek’s extraordinary publication, Extra/ordinary: Craft and contemporary art! It is a must read for anyone interested in making and issues in the contemporary art scene today.
Here is a brief description of the work from the publisher: “Contemporary artists such as Ghada Amer and Clare Twomey have gained international reputations for work that transforms ordinary craft media and processes into extraordinary conceptual art, from Amer’s monumental stitched paintings to Twomey’s large, ceramics-based installations. Despite the amount of attention that curators and gallery owners have paid to these and many other conceptual artists who incorporate craft into their work, few art critics or scholars have explored the historical or conceptual significance of craft in contemporary art. Extra/Ordinary takes up that task. Reflecting on what craft has come to mean in recent decades, artists, critics, curators, and scholars develop theories of craft in relation to art, chronicle how fine-art institutions understand and exhibit craft media, and offer accounts of activist crafting, or craftivism. Some contributors describe generational and institutional changes under way, while others signal new directions for scholarship, considering craft in relation to queer theory, masculinity, and science. Encompassing quilts, ceramics, letterpress books, wallpaper, and textiles, and moving from well known museums to home workshops and political protests, Extra/Ordinary is an eclectic introduction to the “craft culture” referenced and celebrated by artists promoting new ways of thinking about the role of craft in contemporary art.” (found here)
Contributors include: Elissa Auther, Anthea Black, Betty Bright, Nicole Burisch, Maria Elena Buszek, Jo Dahn, M. Anna Fariello, Betsy Greer, Andrew Jackson, Janis Jefferies, Louise Mazanti, Paula Owen, Karin E. Peterson, Lacey Jane Roberts, Kirsty Robertson, Dennis Stevens, and Margaret Wertheim.
If you haven’t come across this book already, it’s time you do so now! Especially for anyone working the fields of Art and Craft today.
Also, don’t miss her lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Craft this Wednesday!
Triple Candie: The movement is a topical subject and one we believe in. Most art that is deemed culturally significant is the property of, or controlled by, a wealthy micro-sliver of the population. For art (with a small a) to become Art (with a capital a), it must enter this
territory of privilege. This process is fundamental. Arte Povera has been thusly transformed, its dirt and stones now sleeping under bulletproof glass. It is a wonderful illustration of an age-old problem that has become only more acute in our lifetime.” (12)