Wednesday, 6 February 2008

that one


As a method of storing my heads or indeed, to form part of the piece itself, I'd like to make a rack and box, preferably wooden lined with black velvet.

The virgin vents

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Gillian Wearing Masks

Wearing questions how much we can determine about someone's personality by looking at a person's face and facial expressions. She makes a point to show that the face does indeed determine one's personality. In "Self-Portrait 2000", Wearing takes a photo of herself wearing a mask. It is intended to be deliberately misleading because one cannot establish what she wishes to express. The use of the masks is not a new phenomenon; the photo is an allusion to Oscar Wilde's The Truth of Masks, whereby he explains that the mask conceals, yet allows for more. In fact, one may be more truthful through the use of a disguise.
Wearing exploits this idea in "Trauma", where she allows people to choose a mask and confess on video. Through the concealment of people's identities (with only the eyes showing), her subjects talk about things that they normally wouldn't. It is unnerving to see tragic and depressing stories told through dispassionate masks. At the same time, however, the mask is liberating in a sense, because it allows the people to say what they want, and not what others want them to say.

Ed Kienholz - The Beanery

One of his most famous tableaus is "The Beanery", a sculpture based on the famous bar called "Barney's Beanery" in West Hollywood, near Los Angeles. Done in 1965, the tableau is one of the first to actually be chemically impregnated to produce an odor. As you look into the tableau, you smell the odor of beer, and hear the sound of barroom chatter and clinking glasses from an audiotape. The room is filled with people who are represented by store manikins with clocks set at 10:10 for faces. The women in the bar are wearing old and badly worn fur coats and the men are slouched at the bar drinking. Outside the tableau is a newspaper vending machine with a paper headlining an article titled "Children Kill Children in Vietnam." This is clearly an antiwar statement at a time that saw great resistance to the Viet Nam war, although the sculpture is less a political indictment than a condemnation of a culture that ignores brutality in it's everyday life.