Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thinking About Art





My family and I finished up our ArtPrize tour with a special trip to see Young Kim's salt & earth, an installation of portraits comprised entirely of salt and clay. I saw it, I heard how he did it (think silkscreening), yet I can still hardly believe it's possible.

Transitory art, photography of the moment. These portraits of local people, already deteriorating from humidity and vandalism, will be swept away in a few days. The enjoyment of the piece is fleeting, as are the lives represented there, and those viewing them.

Our local paper has done a nice job of covering ArtPrize and acquainting the unfamiliar with how to experience these creations. The tips offered in today's edition were particularly helpful as a guide to voting by tonight's final deadline.

In my words:
-Go with your gut. Does a piece move you?
-Look for evidence of skill. How well is it crafted?
-Search for significance. What's the larger meaning?

These "local experts" thankfully put aside their own tastes to help foster public dialogue on art. The presence of ArtPrize throughout the city has wakened right brains everywhere: you've got people thinking past the obvious, wondering what something means, why it's there. That's not just any 73-foot doll leaning on the side of a downtown restaurant--it's a giant symbol of hidden emotional scars. Or it's something else entirely for you.

Oh the debates my kids have had over which piece of art should win the grand prize! How incensed they are that I voted for the Children's Museum mural and not the giant monster in the Grand River! They yell playfully at me before returning to their drawings and collages, to the serious pursuit of their own art.

4 comments:

  1. As I walked through the salt & earth exhibit, it confirmed for me that art is like life: beauty is fleeting; destruction is easy; humans have an incredible capacity for both.

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  2. http://www.mlive.com/artprize/index.ssf/2009/10/young_kims_salt_earth_2009_awarded_surprise_5000_prize_at_artprize_event.html


    Yay! He won something!

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  3. Sweet!

    I participated in Bloomington's largest documented game of telephone today. We were trying to go for the world record, but we needed... oh, about 1200 more people. But I saw an old friend who was visiting her brother, so that made it all fine.

    Remember that oh-so-lovely B&N graduation gift? Tomorrow! Pride & Prejudice! Narnia! Maybe even the graphic novel versions of two of my favorite books! These are all among my favorite books! I'm excited!

    I went there for a NaNoWriMo meeting today and split my $10 (I started the day with a $20, but I got honey, flowers, and pears at the farmer's market) between my first Starbuck's (not a coffee person, glad I got a tall) and a bargain copy of Girls of Riyadh, which (I infer from the cover) is to Saudi Arabia as The Awakening was to America. The Awakening was depressing. So far this is, too, but the cultural aspects of it are fascinating and (unfortunately, one might say) gel with the other nonfiction books I've read about women in Saudi Arabia.

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