Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

NYC 2013 cont.

"The Four Seasons: Winter" by Francois Boucher

"The Four Seasons: Fall" by Francois Boucher

"Comtesse dHaussonville" by Ingres

"The Lake" by Jean Baptiste Corot



and this

and other beautiful, breathtaking pieces of art such as this

The poor man gave himself a concussion running through all that paper. I guess bad philosophy makes your skull a bit soft. 

The majority of the art at the Guggenheim was Gutai art. A snippet from the Gutai Manifesto:

"With our present awareness, the arts we have known up to now appear to us in general to be fakes fitted out with a tremendous affectation. Let us take leave of these piles of counterfeit objects on the altars, in the palaces, in the salons and the antique shops.
These objects are in disguise and their materials such as paint, pieces of cloth, metals, clay or marble are loaded with false significance by human hand and by way of fraud, so that, instead of just presenting their own material, they take on the appearance of something else. Under the cloak of an intellectual aim, the materials have been completely murdered and can no longer speak to us.
Lock these corpses into their tombs. Gutai art does not change the material but brings it to life. Gutai art does not falsify the material. In Gutai art the human spirit and the the material reach out their hands to each other, even though they are otherwise opposed to each other. The material is not absorbed by the spirit. The spirit does not force the material into submission. If one leaves the material as it is, presenting it just as material, then it starts to tell us something and speaks with a mighty voice. Keeping the life of the material alive also means bringing the spirit alive, and lifting up the spirit means leading the material up to the height of the spirit."

So if art is supposed to be "presenting [material] just as material" according to Gutai theory, where's the incentive to go see their "art" is museums? Why not just go to a Sherwin-Williams and look in a bucket of paint? Surely it will speak "with a mighty voice." It would save you an entry fee and perhaps save a poor artist the trouble of giving himself a concussion.
Gutai pretty much says, "Screw you, transcendence. Ain't nothing to see here but an artist shaking hands with paint"...or rolling in the mud, skinning a boar, whatever.

And the most priceless part of the manifesto:
"What still keeps that vitality, even if passive, may be primitive art or the art created after Impressionism."
i.e. the only art that's worthwhile is found etched in caves and made in post 1954 Asia. Might as well just burn the Louvre. All of Europe while we're at it. 

Speaking of arson, I left the museum with a headache and a strange urge towards vandalism. 

Link to the full manifesto here

Excuse the font mess. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

NYC 2013

Some dumb phone photos from this spring's aesthetics trip to New York:

I saw my first Broadway show. Though the performance was (of course) amazing, I was slightly surprised at how human the play still was. I always imagined Broadway shows to have a quasi-film quality because everyone and everything is nearly perfect. However, I immediately realized I was still just watching people on a stage, acting.

An espaliered (new vocab!) tree at the Cloisters.

You either have to pay more or just be famous to go higher on the Empire State building than we did. I'd like to go up again during the day, but I think nighttime is the best if you could only go once. As impressive as the building is, its lobby fails. There is nowhere to sit. So as certain chaperones had to go back through security to buy the green-screen, souvenir photo of the group's adults (because two moms' attempt at running up the down escalator was foiled by security), the other 40 or so of us had to deal with the guards telling us, "You are not allowed to sit on the floor," and "You cannot lean against the wall," or something ridiculous like that. 

The view from the Salvation Army's roof. A recent/upcoming Spiderman movie had been filmed at a neighboring building, and we could see a modeling session on a lower roof. 

Photo credit: not me

Central park seen from inside the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was really enjoyable. I was there roughly from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 


Yeah...not possible. I was sprinting at the end to get through the American section. Something about the way I walk through the museum kills my feet. Walking all day doesn't bother me, but casually going through a museum makes my heels feel like cracked hardboiled eggs. 

Le trip was fun, though I left hating the North and the lack of Southern politeness. Sleeping in Laguardia airport's food court was fun, though rats probably were crawling over me while I slept. No one got lost or separated (pretty impressive considering our goup's size). And though D.C.'s  metro system is nicer, in New York we didn't witness any fights, nor were we delayed because a person was killed on the tracks like what happened during our Junior year trip. I prefer no fatalities, but witnessing a legit cat fight is pretty entertaining. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Alexander the Knotty

I don't claim to know the myth of Alexander and the Gordian knot very well. However, I've always considered Alexander a bit of an ass for cutting it and being proud of his accomplishments. I'm also annoyed that people glorify him for this act of cheating.

I don't know how many people would share my view, but recently I've come to feel a little more justified in my opinions:

Hey Alexander ....

.... Mary Undoer of Knots is not impressed.