Monday, March 3, 2008

Your turn #7

I've posted a little late (Monday). This post covers from Dada to Constructivism. Go ahead!

17 comments:

ChoCkada said...

Vertov was criticized by others not from the kinokis movement, which rejected any theatrical and literature nature of film making. What is interesting though, is that it is musical, the patterns of the segments, the symmetry in his angles, and the rhythm he used to edit this piece are so poetic. Undoubtedly that is why it has inspired so many composers of today and orchestras to make their own soundtrack of this movie. Even the shot of the simple street in the morning inspires song. It is hard to believe it was done in 1929 because of its avant-garde techniques and it is therefore no surprise it was so controversial during its time. Vertov stayed true to the film's title Man with a Movie Camera since that is precisely what it is. It is a silent film depicting life, and it is evident that there are no actors in this movie, the expressions are so human, it provokes the viewer to feel either love, happiness or melancholy. The reality in this film is what is so attractive to me. It cannot be said that this film is successful only because of the effects, because the subject matter is extremely interesting yet common. It also cannot be said that this film is successful because of the subject matter, since contrast he creates in the layout of the elements in the pictures from one scene to the next is fantastic.

- Belen Estacio

Arries99 said...

Vladimir Tatlins design for a huge monument, also known as Tatlin's Tower is an amazingly beautiful and ingenious design. Not only is it astatically pleasing but its functional. The main framework would contain four large suspended geometric structures. These structures would rotate at different rates of speed. At the base of the structure was a cube that was designed as a venue for lectures, conferences and legislative meetings, and this would complete a rotation in the span of one year. Above the cube would be a smaller pyramid housing executive activities and completing a rotation once a month. Further up would be a cylinder, which was to house an information centre and would complete a rotation once a day. At the top, there would be a hemisphere for radio equipment. It’s a shame that High prices prevented Tatlin from erecting such a beautiful monument.

Gaby! said...

It's a political day! Go Obama...!!!
Given the day and insipired by the fresh material posted on Soviet art forms I wanted to talk about photomontages as an art form and political tool.



Photomontage, as a visual form of art and representation has been used throughout history to mix diverse images and portray them as a single photographic image. Joseph Stalin’s materialization as the ultimate Soviet leader by the end of 1927 was a pivotal moment on Soviet photography and photomontage.

The historical conditions in which photomontages developed examined the intricate relationship between creativity and political atmosphere and analyzed the mythical portrayal of USSR’s Joseph Stalin during the 1930’s.

The stacking nature of photomontage allows for a stronger showcase of multiple themes to be conveyed and provided an infinite amount of ways to describe someone or something.

The basic nature of the photomontage relies not on juxtaposition or obvious confrontation but rather on a planned sharing of the available space. The photomontage technique appeared in Russia and Europe during WWI.

Following the October Revolution their work of the previously mentioned artists experienced a boost.
One must not forget that approximately 70% of Russians were unable to read and images was or some the only way to communicate.

The photomontage came in a great tool to portrait a cheerful "reality" and even brighter future, all based in the socialist promise and ultimately directed at its base, the working class.

As a medium, photomontages were perfect for the time, providing a combination of the realist and “legitimate” value of photography but being able to re-direct and enforce it with an agresive revolutionary rhetoric.


A pivotal moment in efficient production of photomontages was when Klutsis, Lissitsky and Rodchenko joined IZOGIZ by the end of 1932. Lissitsky joined as a designer, Klutsis (a Latvian artist who claimed to have made the first political photomontage) in photo and Rodchenko in the poster department.

They were specially chosen to lead the photo-heavy magazine called SSR Na Stroike (meaning “USSR under construction”) and help portray to the pro-communist supporters the advancements of the socialist promise in the USSR.

The constant Soviet debate over art, photography and images and their social purpose leads to one certainty. That intense political debate over art and propaganda, ultimately decided that the images and carefully, though-out montages would serve to support the Stalinist regime.

Avante-garde photography never had a controlled tendency up until that time and the experimental trends that developed after the fall of the Soviet Union are an example of its consequences.

The art of photographic construction(aided by the talent and prominence of experienced artists like Klutsis, Rodchenko and Lissitzky) along with the Soviet Unions’ ability to control mass media illustrate the deep and mutually reliant relationship that social dialogue and image production developed at the time.

Lisa Kaplowitz said...
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Bruno R. Matamoros said...
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Bruno R. Matamoros said...

I really enjoyed the film Un Chien Andalou by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. I had not seen it before and even though it was about 50 year that it was first released, the film is still very shocking and bizarre. In its time it must have been scandalous. The objective of the authors was to immerse the viewers in a state of mind that would vary depending on each person’s mind, playing with the unconscious element within people. Luis Buñuel said he used the first scene, where a man with a razor cuts someone’s eye slowly, to help people get into that state of mind. It is probably the most disturbing image I have ever seen, and it worked.


Jan Svankmajer has been one of my favorite film makers ever since I saw his work. The idea behind his films is never obvious, which is why I think it is rather surreal. His view of human relationships seen through his stories is delightful and he manages to build them with objects of any kind, from stones, meat, vegetables, metal to clay etc. I really enjoy the sound effects he uses, always exaggerated and even funny contrasting sometimes whit rather sad or melancholic subjects.

jaqi_tumas said...

Kandinsky's idea of blending the senses is what life is all about. Hearing colors and seeing sounds makes you perceive the world in a more sensitive, yet released manner. Kandinski felt that art should no longer represent the world around us, but change the way we think and leave gravity behind. He was much more concerned with the aura a person emits or the emotion a person has, then the person that is painted in a picture. He wanted to make art for the sake of art.

This is totally visable in his paintings, early and late. He took the canvas and turned it into a symphony. Moving the eye around the canvas, fast then slow, rythmically and musically. He named his work accordingly, calling some peices compositions, rehersals, and improvisations.

He wanted to see what color could do when it was freed from it's obligation of dipicting an image. If you saw the color yellow, could you hear a trumpet? This was his goal, to challenge and stimulate all of the senses. This is what art is all about.

Lisa Kaplowitz said...

Vertov's film was fascinating and very well thought out in terms of art and film making. The music starts off guiding the viewer through the scenes. The scenes/clips in the beginning of the film start off showing the quiet time of day when the streets are still fairly empty, the street sweepers are out, people sleeping on benches, a clip of babies sleeping in their hospital beds, a woman getting dressed in the morning (putting her shirt on), the flight of the birds to me symbolized the break of day and start of people coming out for work, etc. The film then changed into the business of everyday life along with the monotony of everyday life. The moving train with people running around in the background, the busy crowded streets, horses galloping, planes in flight, moving cars, even the music starts to speed up a bit. The greatest and most symbolic thing to me was the rotating door that was shown a few times with people "spinning" through. There were images of people grooming themselves and even sewing. I thought this film was genius in showing society interacting with the modern world and industriulism. This film is the apitomy of everyday life and is amazing for it's time. (i also like the scenes that repeated, to me it showed how everyday seems to be a repetition of the last). Great film!!!

rhettbradbury said...

dali has always been a fascination for me, and usually for anyone else i come across. he comes up the most whenever most people ramble off their favorite artists. i was lucky enough to see his most famous piece, the persistence of memory, in person. and the fascination has continued from there.
for whatever reason, his work resonates with an incredible amount of people. art lovers and art moderates alike. a true master. the sense of reality he creates in his paintings is amazing, and made even more so when he's breaking all sense of reality at the same time. the forms and landscapes want to exist. they are brought to life by his hand, but cannot function in the reality we are forced to endure day in and day out. was he a crazy person? was this his reality? whatever the case, once i see a dali, its never a short read. i believe that is where he is so effective. there is always so much going on, so much intellectual manipulation and information given that you cannot help but take it all in over and again.

Lisa Kaplowitz said...

Chokada - I agree, the film is successful in both its subject matter AND its effects, and yes, hard to believe it was done in 1929.

xjagannathx said...

It surprises me that the surrealist painting techniques died off. At first glance it seems like some obscure form of folk art, but after learning about the technique the piece is more interesting. This technique allows the artist to convey his imagination to the viewer. It is human nature to find representative objects in abstract designs, but such things are difficult to verbally communicate. For example, if I see a rabbit in the clouds, another person may only see a duck. I would never be able to show another person what I see, without the help of art. The use of techniques like frottage and grattage, an artist could precisely communicate what kind of patterns. This technique is unique in that can share an experience that is brought on by the serendipity of imagination and creativity, with a precision that normal drawing and painting would lack.

--Raymond Mathews

Ruth said...

John Heartfield’s photomontage “Adolf, the superman, swallows gold and spouts tin” was the first example of Dada that I had ever seen (back in middle school from my art teacher). Using a very popular photograph of Adolf Hitler giving one of his speeches and manipulate it to be an anti-Hitler work of art is truly amazing. It is definitely an image that speaks for itself. Showing Hitler with a heart of Swastika and vertebrae of gold reaches out to the public with his anti-fascist feelings towards the Communist Party. The money being fed to him with industrialists shows that made him a tool. Therefore, the X-rays demonstrate that nothing is like it appears to be. This is the artistic way of saying that you should never judge a book by its cover since the heart of the book may be either amazing or unbelievably dreadful. This piece as well as his other works are all showing a strong yet straightforward representation of what he wants to portray which makes him an amazing artists.

Maggie McClurken said...

The composition by Kandinsky featured on the site has a geometrical rhythm. The forms created are very powerful. The use of line is strong and minimalistic. Many of Kandinsky’s earlier pieces were color dominant, whereas this piece’s principle elements are the forms. He does use color to emphasize the geometrical forms. For example, the blue halo around the yellow circle. The neutral background sets the scene as an undefined space. The various colors in the background (the faint blue, yellow at the top, and the white in the center) help define the depth of the painting. This color aids in creating a more dynamic piece with a push-pull effect between the different forms.

Bruno R. Matamoros said...

I just found Man With The Movie Camera with a different soundtrack.
maybe someone is interested. This one sounds really good.

1996 – New composition performed by the Alloy Orchestra, based on notes left by Vertov. It incorporates sound effects such as sirens, babies crying, crowd noise, etc. Readily available on several different DVD versions.

http://www.youtube.com/v/PmWu7hGyYbk

artsrfr5 said...

Dadaism challenged the establishment of what art was "supposed to be" and what its duty was. The preconceived and widely accepted notion was that all art should be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. But by the turn of the century a fast growing school of thought began to rise in the art world. Artists from all mediums began to produce works that consisted of nonsense, travesty, and incongruity. It was shock value at its decadence. Many elitists rejected this new wave of expression. Believing that the soul purpose of art was to elevate us above the beast, not to be an encyclopedia of perversions of distorted images etc. Collages and montages of similar as well as dissimilar images juxtaposed against one another to create an a singular work was unheard of. All throughout Europe and the USA Dada influenced many movers and shakers of the time, and it's power resonates even to today.

Emma said...

The bizarre surrealist films of Jan Svankmajer are striking examples of the skill necessary for stop-motion animation, puppeteering, and live-action production. Jan's style is so utterly dark, it's horrifying nature becomes almost humorous. You see in "Darkness/Light/Darkness" a glimpse of his twisting of perception in that the hands are like bodies within themselves at first, functioning as man would: exploring its surroundings, absorbing what information it can, changing with the introduction of new parts -- adapting to its environment and slowly becoming a "real", at least in form, human being. It parallels the development of man in a way, from simple organism to what we are today. I think the film, despite its uncomfortable moments, is completely beautiful. I was mesmerized by the film, not just in its content but the quality of Svankmajer's mastery of craft. You don't really see films like this anymore these days, and that's an awful shame.
Another thing that brought me to watching this short film was its origin: Prague. After living there for a month this past summer, it's easy to pick out the influences of the era and place. The colors and eerie nature of his work are both pretty dead-on when it comes to Czech culture and landscape. It was nice seeing something amazing (and relatively modern) spring to life from Prague, which seemed to be such a old, quiet and unchanged city in my experience.
Apparently Jan is still making art in Prague to this day -- man, I wish I could have run into him on the street when I had the chance.

mick304 said...

During this time period, the connection between music and visual art began to become more obvious. Magritte’s work was used on album covers, Kandinsky desired to visually display the sounds of music, and music is added in the films in order to help evoke the correct emotions from the viewer. Painting and music are both art forms that Kindinsky combines into one. To me, his interpretation of music’s emotional power makes sense. The variation in shapes, colors, thicknesses, edges, etc. visually represents the variety of noises you hear in one composition. His work reminds me of an immense, abstract sculpture at the Museum of Science in Boston. There are wheels turning, balls droppings, bells ringing, and many more metallic, yet musical sounds. I can picture that sculpture and Kandinsky’s work in the same room; his work as a motionless representation of what the viewer was experiencing (visually, auditory, and emotionally).

-Michaela