Archive for 30 abril 2010

Dead dad (1996) – Ron Mueck

30 abril, 2010

Especialista en la elaboración de muñecos y marionetas, el escultor hiperrealista Ron Mueck irrumpió en el mundo del arte en la polémica muestra Sensation, que tuvo lugar en la Royal Academy de Londres en 1997, con su obra Dead dad, una escultura que, a diferencia del resto de su obra, marcada por el gigantismo, posee unas dimensiones ligeramente más reducidas que su modelo original: el cadáver de su padre.

Distortions (1933) – Andrè Kertesz

25 abril, 2010

La obra del fotógrafo húngaro Andrè Kertesz (1894-1985) suele dividirse en cuatro períodos: el húngaro, el francés, el americano y el internacional.

Esta serie de fotografías pertenece a su período francés, el más  productivo e interesante. En 1925 Kertesz se traslada a París, donde entra en contacto con la vanguardia que bulle en los cafés de Montparnasse. Allí  se interesa por los experimentos del dadaísmo y el cubismo y coincide con Cartier Bresson,  Brassaï, Man Ray, Germaine Krull…

En estos años se decanta por la reproducción de imágenes reflejadas, desnudos distorsionados y escenas urbanas cargadas de lirismo. La serie Distortions se publica en las revistas “Sourire” y “Arts et métiers graphiques” en 1933 y se convierte en una referencia obligada de la fotografía surrealista.

Se trata de un conjunto de 200 desnudos femeninos y masculinos distorsionados por espejos cóncavos y convexos. La serie completa fue publicada en Nueva York por Alfred A. Knopf en 1976  en un libro titulado Distortions.

Sex pictures (1992) – Cindy Sherman

9 abril, 2010

I would hope that these images would make people confront their own feelings about sex, pornography, or erotic images and their own bodies. Cindy  Sherman.

In the 1993 ‘Sex Pictures’, Sherman considers similar themes to the ‘Disgust Pictures’. By now, Sherman is completely absent from her work, replacing herself with mannequins and prosthetic body parts. While Eagleton discusses postmodernism’s preoccupation with body parts, such as “[m]angled members, [and] tormented torsos” (Subjects, 69), Brehm discloses that effigies are a recurrent motif in postmodern visual work, explaining that “this new ‘physical art’ sets out to question traditional images of the body and the human being” (108). Sherman’s mannequins are imitations of human beings, standing in to represent human life. Thus, the “idea of the individual is countered by a standardized replica of the body” (Ibid. 110), the mannequin, who is synonymous to all others and, as a depiction of humankind, denies the possibility of individuality and spiritual depth. Furthermore, mannequins are “already stamped with the sign of DEATH” (Kantor 253), acting as a stony reminder of human corporeality, and enabling artists to explore their metaphoric doubt in “autonomous subjects… Rather, this construct is merely a philosophical and cultural mystification” (Jameson 168).

A good example is Untitled #258 (Sherman 206), in which a mannequin, seen from behind, lies on its front. This doll is fully assembled except for the genital area, which has been left empty, creating a gaping hole that reveals a hollow interior. This view, like the disgust images, perturbs the demarcation of inside and outside, while indicating “man’s degeneration into an empty shell, a thing” (Brehm 112). Sherman demythologises enlightenment conceptions of subjectivity, decentring them by using the artificial figure to expose the reality of human identity in its many contexts. This in turn “exposes us to the artificiality of what we call reality” (Ibid. 120), constantly threatening to cast attempts to define the self into ambiguity. Untitled #258 (Sherman 256) has additional implication for sexual identity. Even though the mannequin’s genital component is missing, the viewer cannot help but assume that the figure is female. The viewer’s inescapable association of the black hole with female genitalia divulges the extent to which binary sexual identities are embedded in the western cultural mindset. Certainly, conventional thought “links our genitals to our social position (as women or men)” (Jackson and Scott 14). Sherman progresses to challenge this in Untitled #263 (Sherman 212) with a mutilated, dislocated, hermaphrodite pelvis, on one side a penis, the other a vagina. In this image, Sherman dismantles the absolute categorisation of an either/or sexual identity. By depicting a body that is both male and female, Sherman contests social/sexual identity divides, “creating the kind of slippage that is meant, precisely, to blur their meaning, rather than to reify it, or better, to create meaning itself as blurred” (Krauss, Cindy Sherman, 208). In her postmodern art, Sherman creates images of identity that resist categorisation, thus keeping with postmodern dogma by representing the unrepresentable.

Non fiction, Alison Gibbons, Route

Therese Lichtenstein: Your work has always been engaged in the relationship between fantasy, play, and the world of gender and sexual stereotypes. The sense of process and play comes through in your last show in that the poses and arrangements of the mannequins, accoutrements and settings did not seem preconceived. It reminds me of how children play with dolls. Could you talk about how fantasy operates in your work and why you stopped using your own body?

Cindy Sherman: My ideas are not developed before I actually do the pieces. It’s good that you see it in that way. I never thought of the whole childhood thing and playing with dolls and dressing them up in regard to the newest work. For me it was out of boredom from using myself in the work, and feeling tied to that way of working. I became more interested and fascinated by the basics of what these prosthetic body parts were and I was just trying to use them without having to wear them myself. The whole series evolved from two mannequins — one female (the one positioned animal-like on all fours with the doll) and the other one male (the guy with the axe in the S-M scenario). These are the two most basic mannequins. It could almost be my other work except for the fact that they are mannequins and they are showing their sexual parts. I’ve done nothing abstract with the figure, and it’s just a basic pose. I started out with these basic poses and it started to develop into different directions. I started taking apart the mannequins — just throwing body parts here and there. You know, if I wanted breasts I would just drape some breasts on the mannequin.

Entrevista con Therese Lichtenstein en Journal of contemporary art.

Hybrid utterance

5 abril, 2010