Critique response round 2. I was not getting crited this week, but still very helpful for me.
So we did critiques for Denise, Dan, and Nellie tonight. I think they went relatively well, it was nice to not have the pressure to have the answers. I do love Dan’s view on it that it his not his responsibility to dictate the emotions and moods of the people in his pieces, it must have been his wording and confidence. So I am just saying me also. It’s not your job to tell the story; even with an obviously narrative piece he stood strong on that concept. I think there is a strange disconnect that comes with this and I want to explore this more in my own work. This is where Marco would say, find out why people started explaining their work in the first place, and learn about why people don’t. Don’t hold me to what exactly Marco would say because he would pose the question/challenge a lot more eloquently and maybe not at all. Then you will have a stronger idea on why you don’t want to be the one giving answers. As an artist that thinks audience involvement is huge and almost the point of art, I think it’s important to follow this advice and actually find out why.
Then again how much does that say about us as artists, are we lazy? Do we have nothing to say? Are we just making decoration? I don’t think so, but do we need to defend why we don’t give the answers to questions that the audience wants?
This next subject kind of overlaps in all of our critiques tonight and it’s in everyone’s art. The level of audience participation is actually visually filling in the blanks. Leaving spaces or parts open-ended makes the audience fill in the rest of the pieces. The degree to how much involvement the artist wants the audience to participate. I am going to use Randy Teal’s example of the rock band Queen. They started out just wanting to perform for the audience and as they grew the audience was singing the songs and partaking in the event rather than being spectators. They helped the whole thing become a spectacle. I want to be an artist where my audience is metaphorically jumping up and down, getting sweaty, and yelling my lyrics. That is the kind of music lover I am, maybe that’s a connection that I am making right now, maybe it’s nonsense, but maybe it needs to be thought about more.
There is a point to where the viewer shouldn’t dictate our music. Bands like this are NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and countless other bands that let the companies control their music. They are letting the market control their art, their music. I think this needs to be avoided at all costs.
Again, moving onto the parts of art that the audience needs to fill in. We saw two kinds of separation in presentation tonight. Both interesting and both could be explored in various ways. Denise said she just put them up there, but from past graduates it brought up the ideas of vision in general. Like I said in critique I started looking around the room and I focus on one thing at a time, the rest become blurry or fractured. Its really apparent if you pay attention to it. We were discussing the camera as an eye. It is a subjective eye, it will capture more in one photo than we actually experience with our own eyes. When our eyes are viewing, its subjective so the things we focus on are totally different from person to person and day to day. So this view that is objectively captured gives us a single moment in time. Its time travel folks, its exact optical time travel. I bring this up, because it seemed like there was a goal of capturing exactly what the person saw with their eyeballs. Obviously, that is quiet impossible. Memory is not so, its refracted just like our vision. Our memories hold a huge bias though, we try to remember the good or the incredibly bad, and it’s a blur. It may have a focal point, but the rest is blurry or completely undefined. The motion in the photos created some sort of blur, some sort of nostalgia or reference. People were able to reflect upon it and possibly have a direct experience it reminded them of their past. The more documentary photos were just that documentary. It was a place and people we have never seen before, unless we have been to that guys dog jungle. It would be awesome to see documentary photography that people can still connect with on a memory or emotional level, which is possible. Maybe that isn’t what you are going for but it may add a fun twist to documentary.
Nellie’s sections were quite different and quite planned out. In both, pieces or compilations the viewer is required part of her art. First she had a bunch of juxtaposed “characters”, I think I can quote that. It seemed like they were piled up for us to find a similarity. The second was one drawing split between many planks of wood and arranged appropriately. There was not much for a background so the focal point was dominant in every section. I am still frustrated with not necessarily what you intend them to mean, but how I interpret them.
So it’s a really interesting comparison between the artist’s intentions for the audience. This is something I am struggling with so that is why I am focusing on it. We covered that the audience is the one that makes the decision, the audience is invited to make the decision, and the audience is scared to mess with a decision (jk Denise). Leaving things open-ended and finishing the story with dot dot dot is important.
Art is an emotional communication through vision, through optics. It is a language outside what we can actually explain in words, its something the audience needs to determine for themselves. When they seek answers right away without doing any work, they are lazy. Then you have the audience that just wants a pretty picture. Give it to them, but try give the audience that wants to work something to look at as well. Or not. Giving the audience too much information limits your art to just that, your explanation. Which is not the way to go, everyone brings in difference views and experiences, and experience your work differently, even though visually they view it relatively the same.
Another quick kind of on the side issue that was brought up is the audience. This is more of a light hearted conversation and inquisitive, more than a real indepth discussion. So we go to school in Idaho, quite conservative. I have lived in North Dakota and South Dakota also, quite conservative. Why am I not painting pheasants and deer? Its pretty clear that these areas are not very into abstract art, or anything not handed to them. For those of your from these areas, how do you deal? Eric your from a more populated area, was finding a place where your art fit easy? I know I can search galleries all over the place online, but I am just curious where you guys see your art, what kind of galleries, what kind of spaces. The only place I see mine is in my studio and storage haha. Please answer if you have advice or a good/bad experience.