Good Life Tour of the Harn Alexa Heilman

sebastiao salgado: "Cemetery of the town of hualtla de jimenez, mexico" (1980)

This piece causes me immediately to think of death. It is a photograph in gelatin silver print, which I feel is a very tangible piece of art because of how the chemistry of photography causes a visually exact impression of light. To me, this medium is like a permanent trapping of a moment. The subject of the photograph is also very striking to me. I first saw this image in a book of Central American cemeteries, but seeing a print in person is personally staggering. The sepia and gray tones, combined with the parallel and perpendicular lines provided by the graves themselves give a sort of austere feeling; like that of an actual funeral procession. The colors are muted but the photo still captures real life in the four burning votive candles, the seemingly posing dog in the near center, and the praying women in the background; all dynamic and alive. To me, this piece communicates how death is a sobering and serious thing, but that life continues because of its own momentum; never stagnant .

Audrey Flack: "Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters" (1988)

Intra-Action: Women Artists from the Harn Collection was a really moving exhibit to me. The whole design made the experience empowering and an emboldening. The end of the exhibit included a series calling attention of the lack of representation of woman artists in major galleries and museums. My favorite piece in this exhibit was a sculpture of a contemporary goddess figure: Islandia, Goddess of the healing Waters. The procession of the exhibit led the individual through various stages and variaties of troubles faced by the female gender; ending with a radical call to action in the series by the colllective of artists: The Guerilla Girls.

Martha Rosler: "Semiotics of the Kitchen" (1975)

This work was in the form of a video, depicting the artist, Rosler, demonstrating various kitchen utensils. but with each 'demonstration' her actions become more violent and vigorous and angry; it's a metaphor for how she feels as a woman in society. I feel this piece really speaks to women's empowerment, which is something I value deeply. The video itself is a critique on society and that is why it causes the viewer to think more deeply on what the artist is trying to convey; how gross the commodification of women in the household and society has become.

Boardman Robinson: "Excavation" (1926)

This piece shows men working, it seems mundane but, to me this conveys a 'good life'. A life of fulfilling work and camaraderie. The scene is colorful and slightly abstract, and the poses of the men seem full of energy and vigor; to me it radiates a feeling of fulfillment and meaning.

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Alexa Heilman

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