Medium of the Art
At the entrance of the Harn Museum I saw an artwork on display, called "Old Man's Cloth". While I had seen it in pictures before hand, being there in person really allowed me to appreciate the art. The piece, created by Ghanaian artist, El Anatsui, was composed of discarded bottle tops for popular brand-name liquor bottles that were first introduced by colonists. The artwork had so much meaning and love poured into it. The artist managed to combine the culture of his people by creating a ceremonial kente cloth, with a striking topic of the colonial legacy in Africa, and the effects of consumerism and waste, by using wastes as the material. From afar, the art looks like a beautiful, golden blanket. Up close, one can truly see the the old scraps of metal and detailed stitching. This artwork communicated to me how strong an influence the British colonies had on people around the world. Although it did make me feel distraught thinking about the colonies taking over these countries, it was reassuring to see that this artist could mold the beauties of his people culture into something that tells a story.
Design of the Museum
The Asian Cofrin Exhibit was extremely appealing to me. To be honest, the exhibit felt like a room in wealthy person's house; I felt very fancy just standing in there. The large windowed room felt spacious and natural. Taking a walk outside in the "zen garden", my friend and I felt extremely peaceful and rejuvenated. It was a nice space to take time to appreciate the surrounds and sit in peace. Walking back into the exhibit, we were able to appreciate the sculptures a lot more. Another special thing about the Asian Exhibit, was the large, protruding sculptures. They was very conspicuous, and definitely needed our attention. The sculpture below, called "Pli Selon Pi" by Akiyama Yo, was eyecathcing. We took time to analyze it and create our own ideas as to what it means. This exhibit made me feel scholarly, and like I had a purpose in the world. It made me feel like I could be creative and make art too.
Art and Core Values
The artwork created by the Guerilla Girls were the most powerful pieces I had seen at the Harn. One of my core values is committing myself to stand up for those marginalized, and learn to become less ignorant. I am constantly trying to learn more abaout the world and the struggles certain groups of people face. The Guerilla Girls art strikingly attacks injustices common in the art world. Beginning in 1985, this group of anonymous women worked to shed light on the disparities in the art community. The artwork itself, is eye-catching and tells a story through its bold text. All at once I felt anger, fear, and sorrow. I felt anger that the majority of nudes in the Met. Museum are females but only a small amount of artists in the Met. Museum Modern Art sections are women. This demonstrates, that even today, in modern art, women are not given the same opportunities as men to display their works. I was fearful and sad, in knowing that many see this injustice and disregard it, calling it dramatic or foolish. I appreciate that the Guerilla Girls do not just spur out white feminism ideals, but also advocate for minorities through intersectional feminism. This artwork definitely makes me think more about the struggles female POC have to go through to get a chance, and not just be an "art world token".
Art and the Good Life
Seeing the photograph "Cast of thousands" taken in Serra Pelada, Brazil was truly eyeopening. The black and white photo from afar could look like a bunch of ants crawling around an anthill. Peering at it closely, one can see the thousands of people mining ore by hand. It is noticeable the lack of technology, but excess of human labor. Researching further into it, I learned that there is so much more behind the photo. The gold mine was found on a man's property in January 1979, and within a week of the discovery thousands of people arrived at the property to mine. The military government actually banned alcohol and women at the mine, and a nearby town became heavy with underage girls prostituting themselves for gold. Furthermore, unsolved murders occurred often in the town. This photo evokes the Good Life theme of "Seeking the Good Life". People flew from all over the world to get a chance at mining, a chance at achieving a future of bliss. This photo depicted seeking, pilgriming, and suffering. The people are so desperately trying to find something, literally they are trying to find gold. They make this long, treacherous journey, to reach the sacred space, similar to a pilgrimage. They suffer in their attempts to achieve success. This photograph tells a story. I think that the fact that there are so many people searching for the same thing shows that we are all on out own journey to the Good Life. This challenges me to appreciate what I do have, but also continue to strive to build myself up.