Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Makeup #6 Miranda July

Miranda July- who changed her last name to July because it was her most productive month- is a film artist, musician, and actress. I was most impressed with her films so I will dedicate this post to her most impressive productions. In 1996 July began a project called Joanie4Jackie that turned out as a compilation of videocassettes of short films by women connected by a theme of a chain letter. She sent the cassettes to the series subscribers and offered to sell them to other people as well. In addition to the chain letter series, July created Co-Star Series, through which she involved her friends from larger cities select a group of films outside the ones of the chain letter and added them to the mix. The Joanie4Jackie series also screened at film festivals and DIY movie events. Named number 1 in "25 New Faces of Indie Film" from Filmmaker Magazine in 2004, July won a slot in the Sundance workshop and developed her first feature-length film called Me and You and Everyone We Know. It won great prestige in the Cannes Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and the San Francisco Film Festival.
July stated, "What a terrible mistake to let go of something wonderful for something real." Had she let this reality take away from her creative ideas that lead to her success, she would not be the prominant woman she is in today's society. 

Makeup # 5 Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian is an American conceptual artist and interacts themes of mapping, translation, and public space with his artwork. Her works vary from sculpture, to video, sound, and photography, many of her creations contain “a careful yet ironic attention to systems and processes characterizes her work”. Many of Katchadourian's pieces connect order and impromptu coordination. In the "sorted books" series involves an unarranged order of volumes on the shelves of friends and transfers to “commissioned photographed orderings of books in museum and library collections”. She also has a series of pieces where she mended the natural rips in real spider webs. However, Katchadourian also has a series of maps an charts which portrays her explicit obsession. One of her works called "Family Tree" involves made up genealogies for objects like stones and airplane and fragments of maps. She also had a fascination for public space and had a piece where she sorted vast numbers of cars in more than a dozen parking lots by color. She also installed a telescope on street corner in New York Manhattan street corner, which was focused on the office of a lawyer on the 17th floor of an office building, who would arrange objects in his window to send coded messages to the observer.


Makeup #4 Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson is a Denmark native artist known for his sculptures and diverse installations. He uses lights, ice, heat, and other aesthetic to manipulate your sense. The installations embody a connection between technology, nature, the industrial, craft, and technology. One if his installations from 1999 called Your natural denudation inverted uses steam. Denudation is basically a sum of the process of decomposing and reduction in relief or elevation of landforms and landscapes. In this installation a natural geyser (natural phenomenon in his homeland Iceland) was imitated by piping a stream of steam through the museum’s heating system. Steel framework was comprised of steel scaffold trees, an aesthetic geyser, and an eerie mass of water that pierces every sensory of the body. Wood, rubber, water, and steam were the key components in creating this 8 x 48 x 83 ft installation. The installation actually began grew icicles off the tree and Eliasson commented that the “quality of the phenomena that ice can create has for me something to do with the process--that it changes all the time”. I got this sense of purpose in every single aspect of the installation. The title of the piece came from Eliasson’s idea about simulating some sort of geothermal action. The meaning of “denudation” made him think about the “curatorial ideas of the show” and since his installation wasn’t actually a natural denudation and was artificial, he titled it “unnatural denudation”.
"Your natural denudation inverted." Pointing out that "your" experience is central rather than my ideas about it. – Olafur Eliasson

Monday, November 29, 2010

Makeup # 3 WIlliam Kentridge

William Kentridge is an artist I actually heard about over Summer 2010 in my 2D Design Class.  The subjects to his pieces remind have deep touchy roots in sociology but usually posses some sort of capricious undertone or comedic relief that portray his self-expression to a T.  The first piece of his I saw was actually a video animation he created completely using subtractive and additive methods to a series of charcoal drawings. Motion was given to a 2D charcoal drawing by just wiping certain areas of the charcoal off the paper. I started looking up more of his videos and found that ALL of his animations were constructed through a process of filming a drawing. He would make changes to the drawings, by either subtracting or adding more charcoal or involving small other objects, and film it again. This type of skill takes much practice and painstaking attention to detail- even more difficult because he does everything by hand and not through a CAD program. In this way, using these methods, Kentridge can defy reality in his 2D drawings by opening their eyes and create a pulsating animation. When it comes to displaying his work, Kentridge involves both the media animations and the original drawings together in an exhibit so all can appreciate his mastered technique.

Video recorded while Kentridge was recording motion using strictly shredded black construction paper swirling with handmade wind to portray "Breathe".

William Kentridge - Sobriety, Obesity & Growing Old (1991)

Makeup #2 Karen Yaskinky

Karen Yaskinky is an artist known for her animated installations and drawings.  She teaches in Film/Media Studies at Johns Hopkins and at MICA in Baltimore.  Film festivals have screener her animations worldwide. Her animations have been showed worldwide and gained notoriety at various film festivals.  I checked out one of her animations titled “Enough to drive you mad” which she unveiled in 2009.

This video began with the spookily intricate cartoon of a young girl hugging a horse or donkey. Yaskinky gave the girl blowing hair in the wind and poised eye movement, which allowed her to be portrayed young and innocent. The sound track and animation changed and startled me- the young girl now transformed into an old woman with a bandana covering her hair. The donkey turned red and the only remnants of the girl that you could see were her white hands rubbing and hugging the animal. Yet again, the figure of the girl was present and she now had a clowns face. A small 2D cartoon-like drawing of a man trailed him up the donkeys back and back down. The film ended with the little girl with a swimming bonnet on and walking away and disappearing from the camera’s viewpoint. These characters are used in many of her other types of artwork like paintings and such. During the film, colored dots moved eagerly around the screen at some moments that made me research the method behind this theme. In an interview Yaskinky stated “I feel like we humans are all tiny dots in the huge scheme of things and in this realization, there is freedom and beauty”. This film is eccentric and I can’t say I understood fully the meaning behind it- yet again that IS what made it so interesting. 

Makeup #1: Saya Woolfalk

As soon as I clicked the link for Saya Woolfalk's website, I was enthralled. The sudden sensation of color and obscurity in the illustration on the Home Page excited me. Before looking at her artwork I wanted to find a bit more about the artist because I feel that I can grow a better insight on the work before I even view it. In this disclaimer she stated, "My work considers the idea that symbolic and ideological systems can be activated and re-imagined through collaboration, imaginative play and masquerade. To effect this re-imagining objects, bodies, and landscapes are constructed to immerse us in the logic of another place”. I peered through her portraits and eventually stumbled upon pictures of her 3D and 4D work and immediately dove into her folder “No Place”. Woolfalk created this realm that reflected the future of human life in a place of possibilities and impossibilities. A series of colorful, whimsical, and intricate designs using gouache on paper and replicated installations portrayed landmarks in this hypothesized “utopia”. Woolfalk also worked with an anthropologist and filmmaker and created a 30-minute video titled “Ethnography of No Place” which I just had to see. Her work isn’t an eye sore what so ever- I actually feel like I would get mentally lost in her installations and almost did in the video below containing video excerpts from “Ethnography of No Place”. 

INSTILLATION: No Place (pre)Constructed: Portal, 2007 

PAINTING: Gouache on paper, 20" x 26"
Fertility Gate, 2006


A very popular denim brand, Levi's, has used Walt Whitman as their muse for commercials and adds. This use of historical literature from a great and notable poet and essayist. His poem "Oh pioneers" has been embedded into the Levi campaign to capture the souls of wanders and revolutionaries worldwide. This was a great strategic idea by the Levi team to enhance their marketing and exposure. The light hearted yet meaningful slogan has been used in commercials, billboards, and other advertisements. The artwork here collaborated literature and poetics to become the label name for revolutionaries and young souls.