Friday, December 1, 2006

(post)Installation art

Let’s see (post)installation art as entertainment, interior design, architecture, tableau vivant, hyperreality and interactive theater all at once! Who would’ve imagined that space and observer could become part of the art experience? We crave new experiences. A painting alone is Ok, but it’s not enough for our ephemeral compressed time. Too oppressively flat. Only if one could bring art into a vortex of n dimensions. How about multiplying the observer’s viewpoint so that the observer is observed by him/her? Art for time/space and string theory. There’s always a relationship between void and mass. Art is about producing illusion, whether as a flat rectangle -as in painting- or as sculpture. Ancient pyramids are huge geometric solids (there’s no division between Amun and the Pharaoh). Athens’ Parthenon brings forth the idea of order, symmetry and scale in function of the citizen. Fast-forward 500 years to Rome’s Pantheon; we find a redefinition of the space (private/public) in the stability and permanence of the empire. In Romanesque architecture the inside means worship and domesticity, serfdom, while the outside remains dangerous (thus the fortress). Modern science redefines our relationship with space. With the invention of the elevator, buildings can go up dozens of stories. The car (a little room on wheels) takes our intimate living outside. With quantum mechanics, space becomes non-Euclidean. 20th-century art erases the boundaries between object/subject, inside/outside, private/public with Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau, Duchamp’s ready-mades, the vast canvases of Pollock, Newman and Still, Frank Stella’s shaped canvases (which broke the hegemony of the rectangle), Sol Lewitt’s wall drawings, Carl Andre’s flat sculptures, Smithson’s Earth works, Kaprow’s happenings, Claes Oldenburg’s The Store, and the tableaux of Segal, Kienholz and Tom Wasselmann. Today, buildings look sculptural (Gehry's Guggenheim Museum), while interiors are designed as exteriors (Zaha Hadid)


intophoto said...

I don;t know why people don't come here more often to talk about art now that there are no alternatives to really talk about art in Miami.

maya aujla said...

I absolutely love the idea that the boundaries of tradition art are becoming more and more blurred. I think the idea of installation art is the solution to traditional art not being fulfilling enough. People are always going to be more interested in a piece of art if they are a part of it, such as video installations that include the viewer. I think the transition of flat art into new media is a positive move for society. When art becomes boring, people start to become uninterested. It also allows artists more freedom for self-expression with their work. Artists are not confined to the traditional flat surface for a painting. They have the option of choosing what surface they want to paint on and how they want to present the piece of work. As far as other areas than installations and paintings, I think its great that our entire environment we live in is also transforming. People have the need to be individuals and the whole idea that one can design their homes and customize their living environments to their likings is what appeals to everyone.

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Ernie Marc Selditch said...

Installations of the Video Persuasion.

I guess installation or post installation art gets its DNA from Marcel Duchamp, who broke the “In Case of Fire” glass on Pandora’s box and raised the question author or object? This tore the space-time continuum of artist-craftsman with a wormhole jump to artist-intellectual. I still think it should incorporate a trinity; artist-intellectual-craftsman. With my background in cinematography, it hurts to see bad film-making under the guise of installation video. Trombone zooms, flash cuts and stomach turning lack of content are bad film. Film can do so much more than it is being employed for. It would be better if video artists were actually were capable of doing traditional narrative film. To me mastery of film-craft would lend more credence to their later film experimentation. It used to be that film was limited to the few with resources to buy expensive motion picture film stock and the ability to assemble a crew in a fully equipped sound stage or with a grip truck and generator on location. Throw in a caterer and there begins an aesthetic potential. Now anyone with a computer can become (in their mind) a film director or a recording engineer. Don’t get me wrong, this has liberated talented people to become masters of their craft, but the many video installations, to me, when I look at their content lack depth.

intophoto said...

Cool ideas on installation. I would not think of my photo inside a conventional setting.