Good Life Tour of the Harn Madeline Borcyk

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

Graves, Nancy. II-06-94. 1994. Bronze with patina and glass. Harn, Gainesville, Florida.
  • After seeing II-06-94, I realize that viewing it through a photo does not do it justice. This sculpture is has many elements, such as, human bone and teeth, a horseshoe crab, music notes, and stars, that aren't even close to being captured thoroughly by this photograph. The different pieces along with the dimensions and 3-D shape of this art are also left to the imagination due to viewing it in this form. Seeing it in person helped me understand the contrast between the themes of death, early life, and the whimsical nature of whatever occurs after through the bones, horseshoe crab, and stars and music notes, respectively.
  • The medium of the work is what interests me the most since no section of the piece is exactly the same. The seemingly random placement of the different objects and the presence of the lines of music drew me to the art in the first place. The sculpture also takes on different shapes from different angles of the viewer. For example, in the picture, the sculpture almost seems to be shaped like a ship, yet, the sculpture certainly had an indefinite shape when seen from head on or above.
  • This piece communicated a whimsical take on the average lifestyle of humans. As life moves on from the fossil-like horseshoe crab and even past the bones of humanity, the stars still shine above in the sky and our music is remembered far after the humans have left. There are distinct references to botany, music, astronomy, and other things that also communicate an interest in the sciences.
  • Despite the implications of the horseshoe crab and the bones and teeth of humans, this art made me feel happy and intrigued with the cyclical representation of life on earth. Stars are my favorite basic shape and I am a member of the Gator Marching Band so music has always been a part of my life. I felt a certain connection to the medium of this piece that made me admire it even more.

Design of the Museum

The Water Garden outside of the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing
  • The Water Garden was particularly appealing to me due to the fact that it included nature with the art of the man-made waterfall and the plants surrounding the pond. I am typically an outside person and was searching for a portion of the museum like this with the purpose of using it as my "Design of the Museum" topic.
  • The natural lighting, use of space, and arrangement of the "art" created a very peaceful and serene atmosphere in which to relax and take a break from the sightseeing of the art inside the HARN. I appreciated the placement of the bridge and of the waterfall in the background. The fact that it was a sunny and breezy day made the lighting just right for a photo.
  • This "exhibit" made me feel very calm and relaxed as I made my way throughout the rest of the museum. Going alone to the HARN and being able to witness all of the art and the garden in peace was a magnificent way to spend the day. The garden delighted me and helped to focus on the task at hand.

Art and Core Values

Navab, Aphrodite D. I Am Not a Persian Carpet #2. 2001. Gelatin silver print. HARN, Gainesville, Florida.
  • This artwork appeals to my core values as a woman who is growing up in a world that treats my gender as an object. This artwork appeals to my anger, hate and sorrow about the way women are viewed all over the world.
  • The visual representation of a pattern similar to a Persian Carpet stamped to the artist's midriff is extremely powerful. Navab is highlighting the fact that her body is not a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder. Also, after being born in Iran, this art is very shocking to the religious views of women in the East. This piece commands and challenges the visibility of women in public since they are normally covered up by burqas.
  • Navab's work makes me appreciate the culture and the society that I live in where women are free to dress and behave however they choose. However, it also makes me aware of the difference in cultures regarding women all over the world.
  • This work instills a sadness that women are still treated as lesser beings when we have come so far. It also creates a passionate anger that women should be treated like objects in the first place.
  • Navab's piece helps me understand that despite the wage gap and the sexualization and standards of women in the media, I am still lucky to live in America where I have the freedom to decide my own actions and course in life. I cherish these freedoms deeply.

Art and the Good Life

Guerrilla Girls. Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met Museum? Update. 2012. Print. HARN, Gainesville, Florida.
Guerrilla Girls. Women in America earn only 2/3 of what men do. 1985. Print. HARN, Gainesville, Florida.
  • The multiple print pieces made by the Guerrilla Girls convey the theme of injustice in the Good Life since they represent the over-sexualization of women in art and also the under-representation of female artists. Finally, the print represents the wage gap between women and men of all occupations and then specifically between artists.
  • The Good Life theme depicted in the art is the inequality of the female gender based on the representation of women in the artistic sphere and also the wage gap between men and women.
  • These print pieces communicate the theme of inequality bluntly and broadly. "Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met Museum?" was stretched before the entrance of the exhibit and was extremely large. Fortunately, there was also a smaller version that I could take a picture with. The certainty that it strongly represents the facts in an "in-your-face" manner adds to the understanding that many people look over the inequalities that women still suffer. I appreciate the abrasive manner represented by the pieces and the feminism and passion that they invoke.

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