Archive for April, 2010

01
Apr
10

A GUIDE TO VIEWING ARTWORKS (PART II)

Looking at the artwork from a holistic view, and realising that in isolation the meaning and language is not always idealistically, visually and conceptually comprehensive.

“The first mistake of Art is to assume that it’s serious”. Lester Bangs (1948-82), U.S. rock journalist. Who Put the Bomp (Winter/Spring 1971; repr. in Psychotic Reactions & Carburetor Dung, “James Taylor Marked for Death,” 1987).

Viewing the individual artwork in isolation can be problematic, especially when the item goes beyond our immediate experience.

A view to experiencing in a single artwork:

• Simultaneous vision – this is when the experience hits you in the face with singular force. It’s the aggrandisement of Americanisms and advertising, coming out of the 1940’s and 60’s like jazz and rock music.

• Consecutive vision – the artwork is slightly retentive. This view goes against late modernist principles but is popular amongst contemporary architects and hobbyists.

• Interactive vision – definitely geared for the post schematic ages, and cultures discovering themselves. This means that the buzzing and popping is sort of controlled by the user. Gets rid of the viewer and keeps every-one enthralled.

• Time-based vision – These works really bring out the voyeur in the viewer, but then we don’t have enough time to stand around till the end, which we are not even sure will arrive if it does at all.

• Non-vision – in these works you’re not sure you know what you’re looking at, never mind the why. They are most beautiful when they resemble some youths cum on a magazine pin-up. This type of vision has many variations that fall into marginal oxymoronic categories: maxi vision; sensual vision; auditory vision; tactile vision and self-vision.

A view to understanding concepts in artworks:

• Traditionalism – when the government or any sector thereof is interested in or has recently purchased artworks with similar meanings or forms.

• Contemporary – when confronted with the contemporary one knows it’s contemporary because it is much mis-understood. Fads and fashions start under this auspicious title.

A view to a sense of being:

• Realisations on the way to the gallery coffee bar:

Enter the neon fish dream gallery electric space and I realise as I glide past each artwork that all we’ve got here is a collection of individual perspectives that portray tastes of curators at specific times that are limited by ‘this’ summer-time ‘that’ is out-there.

After slipping through the collection-s I realise that most of the time the message is the same: we have been ‘listening’ to tales of drunkenness and cruelty, without understanding the context, nor having the time to learn the language offered by so many ‘cries’. Is this place a place of angle-soup turtles where we have caught ‘them’ messing around with another man – who was shot down – it is easy to marginalize the significance of this cacophonic-choir that hangs on the walls in niches of isolation and despair.

We all know that these places of angel-soup turtles are situated in euro centric-western facades with vestiges of festering compost served with extra large chips for R1 more. The place of the angel-soup turtles is tainted by government-pubic stains that exist somewhere between theatre and drive-through self-service with a deco that appropriates the local cultures curio industry.

As we head to the stairwell, on our way to the coffee bar and a piece of cheese-cake, the music that comes from the video installation may not be airport music or supermarket music but it does sound familiar. It breaks into our consciousness like nights on white satin offering us the promise of fairground attractions around the next corner, in the next room. There is always the potential of the bearded lady displaying herself – waiting for our animosities.

Sitting sipping cold coffee and eating sour cake opens us to the possibilities of the meanings of South African Art Galleries and its Art. We the gallery visitors are the bearded ladies – we have become the artworks in this dysfunct and obsolete colonial quagmire with our handbags strapped across our shoulders (to prevent bag snatchers) and painted faces. The gallery is the place for painted atrocities. Gathering my shopping bags I move on to the VodaCom store to buy more airtime. The clerk tells me: “Girl you really got me now” and I say: “this girl’s got a ticket to ride and I don’t care”.

Advertisements