My Photo

October 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad

« Stuff You May Have Missed | Main | Ready or Not,... »

April 26, 2009

Comments

Paulhw

1. Public art (or art for the public) exists in public space. Some of it is disturbing on a more adult, less gratuitous level - and stays with you, and hurts - whereas others more directly references pop culture and instant-effect.

2. To make exceptions for children is - in our identity politics-ridden age - to make exceptions for everyone: icons that depict slavery, genocide, the treatment of elderly in homes, child abuse.

3. Are you worried that it'll have a lasting effect, or that they'll sleep badly for one night? To be scared occasionally is part of being a kid, and should still happen to adults quite often. They won't be traumatised. Despite postmodern rhetoric, we all know the difference between reality and representation.

4. Are you concerned about kids and others seeing adult images, but you photograph - and celebrate - those associated with pretty trite juvenile messaging (kill yuppies, fuck the police etc)? In front of kids or whoever, I would rather account for something resembling the thought put into art, than something resembling trendy agitprop.

5. If it's meaning you're after, look towards your own enjoyment of slasher films etc. What is this artist saying about our (your) ability to enjoy cartoon violence? What is the relationship between this, album cover, certain video games, and youtube-searchable depictions of Saddam being murdered?

Alex in NYC

Finally, some dialogue on this. Okay...let's dive in.

"Are you worried that it'll have a lasting effect, or that they'll sleep badly for one night?"

Neither, really. I wouldn't expect either to happen, but I'm simply objecting to the needlessness of it. Would it bother my (and other people's) children? Possibly. But to what end? What is achieved?

"To be scared occasionally is part of being a kid, and should still happen to adults quite often."

Fair enough, but -- again -- in this instance -- what is being achieved? As much as you decry the images I'm arguably "celebrating" (I don't espouse the killing of yuppies, nor the fucking of police, I've just documented elements of an eroding culture), I find the message of this piece to be pretty trite. Moreover, I don't think any five year olds are looking at my weblog.

"In front of kids or whoever, I would rather account for something resembling the thought put into art, than something resembling trendy agitprop."

Is there a difference here? I find Adam Parker Smith's statement here as cliched as the most hackneyed of agitprop.

"If it's meaning you're after, look towards your own enjoyment of slasher films etc. What is this artist saying about our (your) ability to enjoy cartoon violence? What is the relationship between this, album cover, certain video games, and youtube-searchable depictions of Saddam being murdered?"

My own enjoyment of such material has been filtered through years and experience. As such, I can better contextualize the images/messages. I'm not suggesting that this artwork should be banned, but in the same way I don't think the grittier depictions of violence in "Faces of Death" or "Last House on the Left" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" should be projected randomly on a wall in some public space, I don't think this stuff is ripe for just putting out onto the street. Put it into the gallery where those who are interested in experiencing it can go see it. This just smacks of -- once again -- needless shock simply for the sake of shock.

Thanks for your input. Keep it coming.


Paulhw

Hmm, as I clicked submit, I hoped you wouldn't challenge me on the art itself: I haven't seen it in person, and yes, it looks banal, lacking in depth, and - to be honest - like the work of a 22 year old who hasn't filtered the world much beyond shock-value, art trendiness, and showing something off to art-school friends. If I've just derided a 55 year old with a serious past and present, sorry.

But Alex, I guess my larger point is: in a city where people walk the streets in uncommon numbers and variety (and carry with them what I still see as an admirably public qualities of sexuality, ugliness, anxiety, pantomime, fun etc), and in a city whose history virtually begs for comment (ie, NYC as a canvas with a knowing, art-ready quality), then don't we expect this? And want it? If it's not in your neighborhood, then whose? One where careful studies of resident surveys are carried out for a year first? One where the dominant cultural message is gauged against the racial / homo/heterosexual / ethnic makeup of the 'hood? In other words, what is public art unless it intrudes?

And if your kids aren't disturbed, then why are you on their behalf?

KathleenD

"what is public art unless it intrudes?"

Why does public art necessarily have to intrude? I think the idea of public art (and I'm sure I'll get blasted for this) is that it is appropriate for the public at large, even if the public at large doesn't necessarily understand or appreciate it. Art that is shocking, or could be deemed inappropriate for young children (or adults, let's be honest, I'm 26 and find those heads completely repulsive) should be consumed by choice not by force. The second part of this is, does intrusion have to mean in an offensive way? The gates "exhibit" was intrusive because you couldn't avoid seeing them if you were anywhere near central park, but I doubt they actually offended anyone (unless someone had beef with the saffron color, I guess).

What if the "art" in the window were more graphic? When do we draw the line? I actually think a lot of posters for thrillers and scary movies are inappropriate too. I have no interest in seeing creepy ghost faces staring out at me when I'm riding on the subway, for example. (Full disclosure: I'm a complete baby when it comes to scary movies and hate gratuitous violence in movies also). But that's just the point, I can choose not to watch those types of movies. I can't choose not to see art that's in a window on a street I have to walk on.

Toomey@jmtmediagroup.com

This is GARBAGE! If the artist can even cut a circle in a piece of plywood, and paint it to cover the price tags.....why is it being displayed!

But to be serious, if possible. I think your missing the point.
I agree with Alex.
There is a place for this artwork, and I agree with your description that it looks like that done by a 20-22 year old. I was in those classes once too.

But to display these items near a grammar school, without justifying the merit or the intentions behind the artwork is sloppy, and frankly....just weak!
Tell me WHY this artwork SHOULD be there and what is the artists' intent was (if possible). Then perhaps it would be justifiable.

Also to group this trash in with anything "racial /homo /heterosexual / ethnic make up" is just a cop out. And a huge stretch.
I belive a resident of the neighborhood in question who happens to own the apartment, pays TONS of taxes, is raising a family, in a local school and supporting the neighborhood totally justifies a comment about this work in his or her backyard. It's why we all pick the areas where we live!
The student will be gone in 4 years.

Also, if a parent isnt "disturbed" and protecting his kids from things like this then he or she is a lousy parent! Lack of sleep? Who cares, that normal, bad dreams. Wrong!

Let me guess.....you don't have kids, and you rent an apartment?

Just a thought or two....

Peace.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)