Good Life Tour of the Harn UFI1000 By sydney liggins

All photos below were taken by me at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

Audrey Flack's Islandia, Goddess of the Healing Waters sculpture (1988).

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

The medium of this art makes this sculpture almost impossible to appreciate through picture or video. The Polychrome and gilded plaster that makes up this sculpture helps you experience this Goddess in the present. You have an individual experience with her. The way the sculpture is posted so high up you're basically standing under her. This experience I think is exactly what the artist, Audrey Flack, was going for. As the viewer you feel inferior to the beauty and power of the artwork and the Goddess it portrays. The flower head piece and gold clothing presents power and tradition. The way the light from the opening windows hits the Goddess gives the artwork even more spirituality and beauty. Something you wouldn't feel from the sculpture if you were simply looking at a picture.

Marilyn Minter's artwork called Prism (2009).

Design of the Museum

My favorite wing of the museum was the feminist wing. The shout for equality and respect is illustrated through the art. Not only was it feminist movement acknowledgment but there were art pieces that dove into social constructs of gender. The photo above represents the idea of "glamour". Artist Marilyn Minter studied the "pathology of glamour". What makes someone glamourous? How do become glamourous? Does this photo look glamourous to you? Can a male be glamourous? This wing seems to ask more questions than give answers and it intrigued me. With each piece of art you could feel a story behind it and passion from artist. This part of the museum had little to no windows therefore keeping a serious, "down to business" vibe that matched the art.

Louise Bourgeiois's hand-sewn book, Ode a' l'Oubli (2004).

Art and Core Values

Louise Bourgeiois didn't use just any old cloth to make her book she stitched cloth that had meaning/been apart of her life. The book showcases her conflicted relations and traumatic memories of her life. This resides deeply in me because one of my highest values is literature. Without my journal, without writing I wouldn't have gotten through half the things I've been through. Writing is my escape. Writing helps me further evaluate myself and my experiences, good and bad. Looking at this artwork makes me appreciate the intersection of art and books. I appreciate the medium the artist used to "write" a book. It's inspiring and influences me to explore other ways in my own writing.

Photograph by Rineke Dijkstra (2000).

Art and the Good Life

Dijkstra follows the tradition of straight portrait photography that deal with issues of group and individual identity formation. This photo provoke deep thought for me. The straight on aspect gives the photograph a sense of vulnerability, and I think that's the theme of this art piece, vulnerable to the social constructs concerning identity . Dijkstra's subject are usually during a transitional moment such as infancy or giving birth, vulnerable times. The reserved girl in the photo seems self conscious with herself. She seems to be struggling to appear "natural". We want to break out of this social construction of individual identity and social image. The head on photo feels as if it's making an uncomfortable statement, kind of like "hey the harder you try to fit in the less you do", "see the discomfort of this girl? Well don't be her." Be you and self evaluate yourself here and there to analyze who you are and why you do the things you do. What makes you, you?

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