Monday, 28 November 2011

New York, I miss you.... (Part 2)

So I love, love, love where art is going but I also love where it's been, and for this there's MoMA, The Met and the Guggenheim. One of my all time favorite art movement's is Futurism, and MoMA has quite a nice collection of Futurist pieces, one of which I was quite excited to see; Umberto Boccioni's 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space', 1913. I'm not going to pretend that I know absolutely everything about this piece but it is such a beautiful work and I can never figure out how such beautiful flowing and smooth shapes can be created out of a metal and manipulated. I think I also prefer not to know as it adds a certain mystique to the sculpture for me.

Now although I have just gushed over futurism but for me the only piece of work that can move me beyond anything is Monet's "Bridge Over a Pool of Water Lilies". The Met has one from his extensive series on display and quite honestly I think I stood there for about fifteen minuets just looking in wonder at his dream-like perfection of the scene. Of course he had a lot of practice with this scene before but the power of the work is quite astonishing when your actually standing in the grand rooms of The Met in front of it. This painting was definitely a highlight of the New York trip for me.

Ahhh the Guggenheim! My favorite piece here is actually the building it's self designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is a continuous gentle spiral going upwards with small rooms off to the side as you go up that display the art, as walk around/ up you can see right down into the entrance hall and up the glass roof/ window at the very top. While we were visiting they had hanging in the void a collection of works or one whole work, I'm not too sure of Maurizio Cattelan hanging from the celling and the higher you got the more you saw as there was ton's of stuff all hanging at different heights. The Guggenheim is possibly the absolute perfect size as you don't get too exposed to too much stuff you can easily do it in 3 hours while The Met was just far too big to do in a day and you begin to become numb to it all after 4 hours of walking around, as much as I enjoyed it.

Also while we in New York we were fortunate enough to be able to visit the studio's of great artist's, one who stands out clearly to me is Nina Katchadourian who does fantastic photography and at the moment all of it is taken on her IPhone while she is on a plane the concept behind the work is pretty cool. It all about being constructive while your travelling instead of wishing it could all just be over. She uses the materials around her to create her costume and set's so quite a lot of it is toilet seat covers and plastic cups. She also uses images from magazines and mixes them with other material's to create new pictures. You can check out her work here.

Oh you can see pictures from our trip on Jake's Flickr.

Lot's  of Love
                         Audrey Megan

New York, I miss you.... (Part 1)

View from the Empire State

So as mentioned way, way back Jake and I were lucky enough to go to New York for a study trip that lasted around 19 days. The city is simply stunning and I feel like we definitely left far too soon. Because it was majority an Art's trip we spent ALOT of time visiting museums and artist's, amongst the list of many that we visited I think that the art museums that had the biggest impact on me were, PS1, The Met and The Guggenheim. 

If you haven’t heard of PS1 it's part of MoMA, which we also visited however I found the work at PS1 much more interesting as the artist's are less well known than those at MoMA. Also the work I found was generally more interesting. This is not to say that I dislike MoMA because they had some very good futurist pieces there. However that's beside the point. At PS1 the work is very diverse, socially challenging and epic. Diverse obviously as there were many different medium's and style's used, socially challenging as one artist's work who I will go on to talk about confronted the viewer with explicit sexual references and talked about male dominance. And epic, now don't take that as how the word is usually used i.e.: "last night was epic!" but actually so astounding as the work took over your senses and surrounded you, transporting you to somewhere else, this refers to an installation piece.

Socially challenging: Clifford Owens

Clifford Owens spent his summer at PS1 working with video, photography and lives performance. When we got to PS1 his live performance pieces has stopped as it was November but they had video's of his performance's playing. In his work he played a lot with our idea's surrounding sex in one prominent piece I remember him using his hand's on vegetables, especially a halved artichoke as if it was a girl's clitoris as well as using a egg plant as a ghetto flesh light. Another one of his performance pieces that sticks out to me was one where he had a room lined with people and would slowly chose a person (male or female) and then go up to them and decide to kiss them or not. The experience of being in that room must have been bizarre the awkwardness of being both chosen and not would have been crazy. 

I've heard that sometimes art can be so beautiful you cry, and until this trip I had no idea what it really meant, I mean who cry's for beauty? This trip took me to two pieces where I found exactly how true this statement can be. Ok I didn’t actually cry but I definitely got teary. One of these mentioned pieces is by Janet Cardiff and her sound installation 'Forty Part Montet'. The installation is in a huge, more hall, than room space in PS1 and features a huge circle of free standing speaker's all facing in, two benches sit in the middle and you can chose to sit on these to listen to what can only be described as epic. The sound that emits is 40 human voices all singing in close harmony, the piece is "Spem in Alium" a Latin Renaissance motet composed by Thomas Tallis. Composed in 1573 it was to be sung by 40 people split into five groups of eight arranged into a horseshoe across the floor and balconies in a cathedral so that the music bounced off the walls and windows, undulating around the worshipper's below. It has been thought to have been written for Queen Elizabeth's birthday and WOW it would have been the most amazing birthday present ever. Jake and I were very lucky arriving at PS1 on a very empty day and had the whole hall to ourselves when we got this piece we just sat in the middle, shut our eyes and let the music wash over us. It was the most amazing sound, it reaches every part of you and I felt like I was up in the clouds, angel's and all the experience is un-writeable you really have to experience it yourself. 

And now I've got a load of washing and cleaning to finish grrrrr! So wait for Part 2, perhaps tomorrow.

Lot's of Love
                    Audrey Megan

Saturday, 5 November 2011

This is Ted

Or Teddy, he's an androgynous bear and he’s 19 years old. No, I am not ashamed that I still love my Teddy he’s been everywhere with me and has the hole count to prove it. Now the reason I'm introducing Ted is because tomorrow we leave for The Big Apple. Jake, Ted and I. And as Jake and I plan on having the time of our lives there won't be much time to blog, however Ted will be making regular appearances on my Tumblr of himself at various NY spaces and places so make sure you keep an eye out.

Also if you happen to be in Wellington, Auckland, Los Angeles, or New York airport or on any of the flights in between keep an eye out for the Lace Knickers Zine hanging around. There are only 11 made so finger's crossed they don't all get thrown out by airport employees. Oh and also a few will be scattered around Wellington and New York. So if you find one, comment! I'd love to know who picked them up!

Ok, I'm sorry it's such a short post but I’ve got a bag to pack, zine's to bind and a new skirt to hem.

Going to miss you all!

Lot's of Love
                 Audrey Megan