“Simon Peers explains the spectacle before us. ‘If we hadn’t made this permanent, this silk would be webs in the wind. That’s part of the magic. Something so ephemeral and yet somehow we’ve managed to capture it.'” (24)
“[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!
“An annual tradition for Big Lebowski lovers and White Russian-starved alcoholics alike, Cinco de Lebowski—hosted by local podcasters cortandfatboy—screens the Coen brothers’ classic film, encourages Dude-approved costumes, and offers live music from Here Come Dots and Rich Layton and the Troublemakers.” By EH from the Portland Mercury (here)
Where: Bagdad Theater |3702SE Hawthorne
When: Fri, May 4th, 8pm. | $3-10
“A collaboration with the Northwest Film Center, Miracle Theatre Group, and Write Around Portland, Object Stories addresses the subtle but vital power of an object to compel a narrative and provides an interactive platform meant to transform the public’s perception of “the archive” and their relationship to it. The show includes a soundproof booth, where you can bring in a personal item to speak about, having your voice recorded and photo taken, and then have your story added to the museum’s archives.” from the the Portland Mercury (here)
Where: Portland Art Museum| 1219 SW Park
Phone: 503 226-2811
“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)