Wandering in Barcelona
So last weekend, I decided to take a spontaneous trip to Barcelona:
Fundaciò Joan Mirò
Example of his work: Joan Miró Morning Star, 1940 Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona Photo: Jaume Blassi © Successió Miró/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011
I was intrigued by the motivation behind his work. 'Anti-painting' or rather, the assassination of paintings seems a rather specific way of dealing with the concept of painting. By taking techniques and materials that are not usually associated with painting, Joan Mirò erases their previous relations and creates new one, with painting. His technique of constructing a painting through first making preliminary collages made me reflect on how much freedom the painter actually allows in his work - whether his work is truly about innovation, or about a way of dealing with existing ideas and frameworks.
I feel inspired by painting, but instead of finding new ways to paint, I would like to explore the medium of paint itself - can that be applicable to contemporary conceptual art?
Museu nacional d'art de catalunya
Only went to modern art section, but was astonished to see the abundance of work. (The ticket is valid for two days, even if that means I come back on Tuesday as tomorrow, Monday, the museum is shut) Buying the 'art passport' was a great investment, it allows me (single) entry to 6 museums for a year.
Overall, I felt very shocked at the painterly exhibit, perhaps because I had just seen the work of one of if not the most anti-painting artists in history. This has given me great doubts about what is considered art and what is considered valuable art. What determines how successful a piece of art is? It being acquired by a museum? It being sold with multiple digits? What is the purpose of art? Does does art fulfill its purpose?
I feel very inspired by the mummies of cats and fish. The way in which something ephemeral is preserved through the ritual of mummification and then 'painting' to distinguish and characterize the interior. I wouldn't know which phase is more important, the death or the reincarnation/preservation, but I certainly think that the new appearance and display is truly symbolic because it gives birth to a second life. I would like to continue explore the theme of death and reincarnation - perhaps of painting?
'I speak, knowing it's not about speaking'
The title of the exhibition enraptures the work perfectly. It's more about the perception of what is being communicated. I enjoyed Juan Lopez's Push the Envelope in particular because of its 'camouflage'/direct response to the environment. I also felt inspired by the overall theme of taking familiar iconography and re-contextualising them in the space of an art gallery.
The work on show was exhibited under the theme of 'space'(our relationships to somewhere). I couldn't appreciate great part of the work - the materials used were very construction-based (from wood to cement and iron); the presentation was very sculptural and traditional; finally I felt that they required a better introduction/contextualisation in order for the work to be understood(or not).
I was intrigued in particular by a virtual maze that an artist created, through which the viewer navigated using the PC controls that one would use when playing PC games such as COD and Halo. As our physical surroundings are changing, so is our metaphysical environment, namely the virtual world. I wonder how we can relate to a space that is intangible, and how that differs to our attempt to understand the concepts of religion, culture and art.
The exhibition was about our 'cyborg era': HUMANS+. The work explored many ideas and arguments about the human transition towards artificially intelligent beings, but one that interested me the most was whether we are still maintaining our 'humanity' despite all these major changes. This links to my exploration of essence and fundamentals - what makes something 'something', what makes humans 'humans', what makes art 'art'?
Another thing that I really liked about this exhibition was its interactivity, inviting viewers of the exhibition to become participants and to experience the work first hand. I felt that not only did it make the work more accessible, but also more stimulating and thought-provoking. While the artists have come up with these experiments and this 'artistic exhibition', the response and the experience are fundamentally subjective.