Part 1. Project 3. Research Point

Make a list of the artists mentioned in Dean and Millars essay. Look up at least one piece by each of the artists mentioned whose work incorporates text. How many of these pieces are relevant to the theme of place and how do they reference place?

  1. Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid I’ve listed these two together as they worked together so closely that even when just one of them made an image they chose to sign them together. They created a series of paintings called ‘Peoples Choice’ where after using questionnaires by country they would identify the factors most and least wanted in a painting by that countrys demographic. Below is Americas Most Wanted.

Deadword.com. (2019). painting by numbers. [online] Available at: http://deadword.com/site1/pay/komar_melamid/index.html [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

This is relevant to the theme of place as in the majority of countries, it was a place or location which the questionnaires respondents listed as a desirable scene. It is also relevant to place as it is an accumulation of views taken from one specific geographical location. The responses will be governed by the different living conditions, economic hardships and political structures present in each particular country.

2. Graham Guissin

Blurred, Vague, Unstable
Paintings, T. and Image, M. (2019). Blurred, Vague, Unstable | Graham Gussin. [online] Grahamgussin.co.uk. Available at: http://www.grahamgussin.co.uk/work/blurred-vague-unstable/ [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

These neon letters bolted to the wall seem to be something of a contradiction as they are neither blurred or vague nor unstable. I imagine that they could be deemed as relevant to a sense of place as something like a comment on the fleeting nature of an average lifespan and everyones quest to leave the planet, their place, in better shape than they found it. I struggle with this as I really do not see how neon lettering can be thought of as art.

3. Roni Horn

Tate. (2019). ‘Thicket No. 1’, Roni Horn, 1989-90 | Tate. [online] Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/horn-thicket-no-1-t07178 [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

I’ve read the blurb that accompanys this image on the Tates website. The blurb itself does not mention place at all, I had a different thought process entirely when I looked at it myself.

To me the references to place are quite heavy despite being unspecific. The nearest thing to philosophy that I have seen that I like is the old question ‘when a tree falls in a forest does it still make a sound if thee is no-one to hear it’. This piece with it’s two lines reading “to see a landscape as it is” “when I am not there” reminds me of that old question. I think of trees and forests which I love, of deforestation and the relentless spread of humaity over the planet and into the wild places which I hate. It’s quite sad.

So, for me, this piece invokes a sense of place.

4. Doug Aitken

Time for me to chew some humble pie. I’ve found a piece of contemporary art that I love.

fuck you
Putting Text Into Context. (2019). Text as object : Doug Aitken. [online] Available at: https://textintocontext.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/doug-aitken/ [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

For me, this piece is class. It summarises rebellious spirit, adventure and daring to push the boundaries of whats possible. In terms of place there is the obvious reference to Planet Earth, this itself refers to outer space. In terms of the viewer it took me straight back to being 18 with the world at my feet, when anything was possible. More of a time in life than a place.

5. Ian Hamilton Finlay

Ft.com. (2019). The conflict connection | Financial Times. [online] Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/375726b4-e60e-11e1-bece-00144feab49a [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

This is one of Finlays stones from his garden entitled Little Sparta. It references the Romans which immeadiatley gives the viewer a sense of context, it gives us a sense of time and place. It also makes a clear and easy to understand statment. The Romans (as Monty Python explained) did a lot for us. We have not had an era of such innovation yet which could possibly compare.

6. Alec Finlay

5 poem-objects (detail) 2012 hand embroidered linen handkerchiefs, with Jean Malone 5 parts 48 x 48 cm each (unframed); 57.5 x 57.5 cm each (framed)
Ingleby Gallery. (2019). Works | Alec Finlay: 5 poem-objects. [online] Available at: https://www.inglebygallery.com/exhibitions/2047-alec-finlay-5-poem-objects/works/ [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

This collaboration work references a sense of place in a broad sense. It gives the viewer the option of regarding where they are right now, where they were previously or where they intend to head in life. I like the idea that everything is connected, I dont think that anything is pre-ordained but I do think we can choose which route we take.

7. Marine Hugonnier

Artmap.com. (2019). Marine Hugonnier at Max Wigram London – Artmap.com. [online] Available at: https://artmap.com/maxwigram/exhibition/marine-hugonnier-2010 [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

I found that with a lot of Marine Hugonniers work it was the isolation of previously established text which formed the artwork. In this example of a newspaper front page depicting the moon landing the star of the show should be the image of Neil Armstrong stood on the moons surface. Instead the text is all that remains so the viewer is forced to imagine the scenes for themselves to fill in the blanks. In this sense, we are forced to generate a sense of place for ourselves.

8. Robert Smithson

Image result for rob smithson ta heap of language
on site review. (2019). Robert Smithson: a heap of language, 1966. [online] Available at: https://onsitereview.ca/miscellanea/2014/3/11/robert-smithson-a-heap-of-language-1966.html [Accessed 17 Jul. 2019].

In Robert Smithsons ‘A Heap of Language’ in a very basic sense it gives me a sense of place. It visually looks like a hill and when walking in the hills I always find that they make my mind more eloquent…wordy. It vaguely reminds me of the opening sequence of Star Wars (the angle of the text) which in turn takes me back to being in our ratty local cinema. Except when it’s the only cinema you’ve ever been too and the biggest screen you’ve ever seen, it’s more of a palace. If I shut my eyes I can see the pink lights on the walls, smell the popcorn and feel the tackyness on the floor.

9. Guy Moreton

I could not locate any work by this artist that used text and referenced a sense of place. Whilst reading through his bio I did learn about a collaboration project that he carried out with Alec Finlay and Micheal Nedo entitled Ludwig Wittgenstein – There Where You Are Not. It explores landscape and the architecture of landscape, but from what I could see, without text.

Guymoreton.org. (2019). Guy Moreton | Biography. [online] Available at: http://www.guymoreton.org/biography/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

10. William Blake

An artist that I have heard of! I knew that Blake was famed for being a poet but I had no idea that he also painted, exhibited at the Royal Academy and opened a print shop. I read a lot about his various work and found that he released a series of poems called ‘Songs of Innocence’. It seems that these poems were originally presented with watercolour paintings. I have not been able to locate examples of the two together but I did find the poems themselves online.

Poetry Foundation. (2019). William Blake 101 by The Editors. [online] Available at: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/91570/william-blake-101 [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

11. Caspar David Friedrich

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place.

Caspardavidfriedrich.org. (2019). Caspar David Friedrich – The Complete Works – Biography – caspardavidfriedrich.org. [online] Available at: https://www.caspardavidfriedrich.org/biography.html [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

12. John Constable

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place.

John-constable.org. (2019). John Constable – The Complete Works – Biography – john-constable.org. [online] Available at: https://www.john-constable.org/biography.html [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

13. Martin Heidigger

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place.

Martin Heidegger. (2019). Biography – Martin Heidegger. [online] Available at: https://thegreatthinkers.org/heidegger/biography/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

14. Poussin

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place although I did find a large catalog of paintings which featured a lot of landscapes.

Nicolaspoussin.org. (2019). Nicolas Poussin – The Complete Works – Biography – nicolaspoussin.org. [online] Available at: http://www.nicolaspoussin.org/biography.html [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

15. Dan Graham

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place.

Tate. (2019). Dan Graham born 1942 | Tate. [online] Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/dan-graham-1200 [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

16. Joachim Koester

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place.

Koester, J. (2019). Joachim Koester. [online] Widewalls. Available at: https://www.widewalls.ch/artist/joachim-koester/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

17. Jane Wilson

I could not find any examples of work by this artist using text which referenced a sense of place although I did find a large catalog of landscapes.

Artnet.com. (2019). Jane Wilson | artnet. [online] Available at: http://www.artnet.com/artists/jane-wilson/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

18. Jane and Louise Wilson

I wasnt sure which Jane Wilson I was supposed to be looking at so I also checked out the work of the identical twins Jane and Louise Wilson. Again, I could not find any examples of work that included text and referenced Place.

Artsy.net. (2019). Jane and Louise Wilson – 32 Artworks, Bio & Shows on Artsy. [online] Available at: https://www.artsy.net/artist/jane-and-louise-wilson [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

19. Alexander Maris

I struggled to find a decent information source for Alexander Maris. From what I can see he is primarily a photographer and does not appear to use text in his work.

CULTURAL POLITICS. (2019). CULTURAL POLITICS. [online] Available at: https://newsgrist.typepad.com/culturalpolitics/alexander-maris/ [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

20. Susan Maris

Again I struggled to find a good information source for Susan Maris. On one website under ‘biography’ all it said was “Alexander and Susan Maris is an artist” ! There is evidence of photographic work attributed to both the Maris’s but no solo work that I can see, and nothing that uses text.

https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Alexander—Susan-Maris/E1D4F8F159634F66/Biography

21. Mette Tronvoll

On exploring the artists website I found that she has a lot of photographs which give a sense of place but none that use text.

Tronvoll.net. (2019). Mette Tronvoll–Biography. [online] Available at: http://www.tronvoll.net/biography.html [Accessed 18 Jul. 2019].

I found this exercise quite frustrating. Although it was interesting looking at the different artists work and learning some new things, to find that so many of them do not use text initially made me think that I wasn’t reading around enough. After spending a couple of days exploring different sources and satisfying myself that my initial impressions were correct I do not feel that what I have submitted for this research point reflects the amount of time I have put into it.

But, on a positive note, I’ve found some Contemporary Art that I quite like. I’ll be looking at more of Doug Aitkens work at a later date.

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