1:1 Tutorial

Through the 1:1 tutorial with my tutor we discussed about projects that I am thinking of doing. One of them is Walking on the ceiling that I have previously mentioned. She suggest me to look at Bruce Nauman and especially his work Slow Angle Walk (Beckett Walk) (1968).

Using his body to explore the limits of everyday situations, Nauman explored video as a theatrical stage. Adopt his body as an art object, executing repetitive performance actions in his studio. Exploiting the phenomenology of the medium, including its immediacy, space, and intimacy, his real-time gestures investigate the very process of making art through his playful frames.

This work definitely connects with the project Walking on the ceiling. The use of his body and the disconnection from the daily routine that escalates in space is exactly what I am interested in. I found really interested also his piece Bouncing in the Corner and Dance or Walk on the Perimeter of a Square.

 

Lygia Clark is also one of the artists that my tutor also recommended me. I read the essay ‘Lygia Clark: In Search of the Body’ by Guy Brett to learn about her work. In his essay he says how Clark from monochrome paintings and neo-constructivist sculptures, she explored sensory perception and psychic interaction. The final phase of her work is actual psychotherapy and healing. One of her works, ‘Baba antropofagica’, it was inspired by her dreams. I found many similarities with her work and the piece ‘When I am underwater I feel free’ that I have made. Clark is dealing with art like psychotherapy and she believed that an interaction is possible with experiences locked in the body’s memory, in a nonverbal or preverbal level. And how this process can also have therapeutic potential.

 

Franz Erhard Walther ‘Activation’ . The formal simplicity of his sculptural objects created out of textiles, paper, and steel are reminiscent of Minimalism. However, for Walther the so-called work sets also become part of the work with the aid of the artist or the viewer—predefined sequences of movements that can be performed with the objects.

T.L. / Site-Specificity

In this lecture we talked about practices that deal with particular, singular sites. Lawrence Alloway in his essay: “Sites/Nonsites,” from the book “The Writings of Robert Smithson”, he states  “The relation of a Nonsite to the Site is also like that of language to the world: it is a signifier and the Site is that which is signified.

Walter De Maria created the earthwork, The Lightning Field, 1977 in New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles – two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height – are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time. The maximum number of visitors is six and the field is so big that is possible to not see each other if you want. De Maria selected this part of New Mexico precisely because of the relatively high incidence of electrical storms. Although lightning storms typically occur in this area from mid-July through August, and may also occur at other times during the visiting season, the probability of lightning during your visit cannot be predicted. Walter De Maria created an experience in a specific place that you can go for as long as you want and live the whole experience. You may also not see the ‘act’ of her work as you don’t know what the weather is going to be. The work cannot be moved. It is made for this specific place and the viewer has to travel there to see it.

In Measurement Room, 1969 by Mel Bochner the gallery space itself becomes the art-work. The measurement allows the viewer to become aware of their surroundings while being literally framed. For Bochner the measurements were an objective and rational system of knowledge but essentially meaningless. Although they allow a reduction of the world to the condition of human understanding, they are transparent and reveal nothingness. Once again the artwork cannot be moved and is made specifically for this room/space.

 

Theory Lecture / Material and Dematerialisation

Untitled 1967 Richard Long born 1945 Purchased 1976 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T02065

Through the Theory Lecture, ‘Material and Dematerialisation‘, at Chelsea College of Arts, we talked about art as an idea and we looked at several artists. One of them that got me interested was Richard Long. One of his pieces is Ben Nevis Hitch-Hike. He walked and hitch-hiked from London to the summit of Ben Nevis and back. The journey took six days, and at 11am each day he took two photographs. For one photograph he pointed the camera straight up, and for the other he pointed it straight down. The photographs which appear in the work are the only ones taken on the journey. I found many similarities to this work with my art practise. This different journey through these images that the artist captured. Some unexpected photos from a trip and these are the only images that he has from it. This is what he chose to capture with his camera. Looking up and looking down. Not straight ahead.

A Line Made by Walking 1967 Richard Long born 1945 ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/AR00142

One of the other works of Long is A line Made by Walking, 1967, the artist made this work while he was still a student. Long(Tufnell 2007, p.39.) commented about his work, ‘Nature has always been recorded by artists, from prehistoric cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking … My first work made by walking, in 1967, was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art.’

Although no human figure appears in Long’s photograph, A Line Made By Walking presents a trace of corporeal presence and bodily action.

Equivalent VIII 1966 Carl Andre born 1935 Purchased 1972 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01534

According to Bourdon (1968, p.107), when not on exhibition, the pieces are dismantled and cease to exist except as ideas. The dematerialisation of his sculptures makes it impossible for Andre to indulge himself in wasteful activities like polishing and shining and leaves him more time for the creation of his “shaped” poetry, analogous to his sculpture in that it consists of monosyllabic words blocked out in regular, orderly arrangements.

Each of Andre’s Equivalent series consists of a rectangular arrangement of 120 firebricks. Although the shape of each sculpture is different, they all have the same height, mass and volume, and are therefore ‘equivalent’ to each other. Andre’s sculptures are often assembled using common industrial materials, which he arranges into a simple geometric pattern. His sculptures are always placed on the floor rather than on plinths. Not simply objects to look at, they become part of the environment, altering the viewer’s relationship to the surrounding space.

further reading:

Battcock, G. (ed.) (1968) Minimal Art: A critical Anthology. New York: E.P. Dutton.

Tufnell, B (ed.), Richard Long: Selected Statements & Interviews, London 2007, p.39.