Tuesday, March 27, 2018

your turn #7


we covered a pretty good stretch: constructivism and its heroes: malevich, rodchenko, vertov, eisenstein. dada, heartfield, ernst, neue typographie, and the neue sachlichkeit and its figures: george grosz, otto dix, beckmann, rudolph schlichter, etc.
go ahead!

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Through my studies as an art history major, I’ve learned that it’s always important to ask what is art? Is there a definition for art? In my photography class we are learning about appropriation and how, for example, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure or in this case, art exhibition. I often question what is considered art when looking at ready-made art during the Dada period. One artist who baffles me continuously is Marcel Duchamp. He must have had a fascinating mind in the way he looks at art. The Fountain which is a urinal on its side is one of his most famous pieces but all he did was write those little words and then called it art. Did he take this ordinary object and transform it by signing a few letters? Is that possible? One could debate who the original creator of the work was Duchamp or the person or company that created the urinal. Again, one man’s trash in another man’s treasure. Also the bicycle wheel is another example of ready-made art. Its interesting to debate whether the objects themselves are art or the are considered art because they are in a gallery and Marcel Duchamp put them on display.

Kim Diaz said...

One of the things I found interesting this week during class was Malevich and Suprematism; prior to this time period most artworks were representational, they had figures, landscapes, and other elements one can easily identify; the artworks were about what was on the canvas. For the most part, they relied on what they thought the audience knew and went from there which is interesting and smart as an artist because one wants the audience to engage with the piece. Suprematism is a step into the complete opposite direction, it is a step closer into non-objective art; this is interesting to me because it no longer relies on intellect but on feeling, instinct and the elements/principles of design. Because Malevich stripped away the representation from these pieces and used only shape it gives the audience the chance to engage and think about all possible meanings for the piece while allowing the design itself determine whether it is a successful piece. This was so different from anything that had happened before and it is interesting to see how the geometry of these pieces is later incorporated into future designs like those of the Die Neue Typographie and is still used in graphic design.

Denise O. said...

For some reason throughout this course, the politically related graphic design pieces we have looked at have grabbed my interest. Last class, Dada collage, and specifically the political form was fascinating. The genius minds of the creators and the way they were able to evoke certain emotions or ideologies was inspiring. To a certain extent, looking at all these Dada collages in class, I cannot help but think that these creations are unmatched in our times. The collages are very well thought out and do require certain amount of knowledge to comprehend. Heartfield’s posters are extremely old, however, still applicable and relevant. Equally as impressive and different was Rodchenko’s amazing constructivist photography. The abstract means he uses in his photographs is incredible and draws the viewers in. They are such simple photographs but their abstraction carries complex meanings. Because it is encouraged by the belief that art had to match the revolutionary transformation taking place in politics and society is truly remarkable. I think some artists still have this mission and his work is still relevant.

Estella M. said...

After last week's class, I was excited to see such a drastic contrast between the Constructivist and Dada Movements. It was amazing to see the film "Man With the Movie Camera" and see how Vertov carefully constructed a day in the life of film. The use of such mundane human activities actual depersonalized them and gave me the sense of watching an army of ants building a nest. The use of montage and straight cuts creates an almost trance-like feeling after watching the full movie. The images of the film start with people sleeping (including babies) and evolve into this fast-paced visual and even more so mental collage of man being part of the big machine which was Russian society. It's propaganda at its best and yet scariest because of this amazing ability for image makers to create a mark which blackens out one's need to be an individual and unique.

While the film eventually brings back humans exercising and playing, there was one thing that I noticed in this film that is minimal but a departure from my perceived intent of the film. At approx. 7:42 into the film, amongst the images of people at leisure, there is a street magician entertaining kids by changing an inanimate object into a white mouse. The kids are laughing and taking it in, all the while images of healthy vibrant people falling in line with their leisure activities are abundant. Add to that the chess and checker games referenced towards the end and it makes me wonder if really the film had a second message in the film about the illusion behind the big machine. Also, there was a return to the liquor store image that bookended the film with a final shot of the man with the film camera emerging from within a cup of what I assume is liquor, as if this whole film was a reminder that the way of life under an authoritarianism regime is merely an illusion.

Sara P said...

Although I couldn’t attend last week’s lecture, I decided to utilized the topics covered by my classmates to base my discussion. From what it seems, we covered the Dada Movement that arose as a reaction to World War I and the nationalism that many thought had led to the war. I have always admired the wildly diverse output of this movement as it ranged from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting, and collage. Dada's aesthetic, marked by its mockery of materialistic and nationalistic attitudes, proved a powerful influence on artists in many cities. I love how it’s kind of an anti-art movement while also being art in itself. I also appreciated Elizabeth’s comment on the paradox of art and how we define something as “art”. Is it art because of its context and placement in a gallery? Is it art even if it’s a reproduction of another’s work? Is art an umbrella term for any sort of human output? I love debating on it’s definition, and am often baffled by artists like Duchamp who pass off as artists. Like Elizabeth stated, is he really an artist because he decided to put a urinal in a gallery? I wouldn’t think so but it is paradoxical in the way that he is an artist, to some extent

Sondra Pearson said...

The Dada movement in art history is one of my least favorites, mainly because growing up I struggled to grasp why artists would rebel in such a way. My first experience with modern art confused and angered me because I always saw art as a highly sophisticated skill. I actually saw one of Duchamp's urinals and laughed out loud because I couldn't understand why it was in a museum. Paintings and sculptures fascinated me, so to see Dada art caught me by surprise. I now understand the point they were trying to prove in making these strange pieces. Art isn’t just pretty pictures; now that I’m older, I get that. It still is one of my least favorite periods to talk about, though, mostly because I’m a very technical person and appreciate meticulous pieces opposed to those that make a statement. I gravitated towards the constructivist pieces more than the Dada ones. I appreciate the sharp constructivist angles, the bold use of color, and attention to detail.

Ryan Deering said...

I found the Dada movement to be compelling for a variety of reasons, the invention of the ready-made art object being one of them. Art, and especially high art, is defined by its time, the stifling nature of rules and theories that often restrict progress being different throughout time as art continually evolves in response to these rules. Within art history there is almost always either a rejection of the past, or a continued innovation of it, the Dada movement being an extreme example of the former.

I think the invention of the ready-made allowed artists to move outside medium, the work always being inherently conceptual. To move from a Duchamp urinal to a modern work like David Hammons' Bliz-aard Ball Sale, it seems entirely an conceptual evolution.