Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Hint of Spiritual


At certain point of his career Robert Hughes called the attention to the fact that museums (especially contemporary art museums) are getting bigger tha churches. The way people enjoy the works of art there exhibited has all the resemblance with the spiritual experience when one takes part in a religious rite. In the videos we can see people from the public lying down on the ground enjoying the work before their eyes. Others take part on the work of art itself, becoming part of it. In these new cathedrals people feel that, for some reason, they are before something bigger than themselves, even though it was fabricated by one of his fellow individuals...
"Standing Waves, Moving Ears (Lazy Afternoons), Antonio Della Marina and Alessandra Zucchi, 2012 (Sound and Rural Architecture festival) - via Binaural

Maybe because religions - especially the catholic - are going through a crisis? Maybe because religions are beginning to find some obstacles in fulfilling the spiritual gaps that us individuals feel or have? Or maybe because art has always been inside us (God knows in what way) since the dawn of human kind...

"The Weather Project", Olafur Eliasson, 2003
To know more:

Another Question of Aesthetics

"September", Gerhard Richter, 2005, oil on canvas, 52 cm x 72 cm

The questions of aesthetics can be aproached under what one could call a environmental perspective which can be understood as the fact that one can find the occurrence of an  aesthetic undercurrent - in the sense of aesthesis (see "A Question of Aesthetics") - even though it may not be predominant[1]. A work of art,  and in particular a good work of art, can be identified and understood in one of such occasions when we recognize the work within three criteria: proportion, balance and complexity of the occurrence of the aesthetic current[1]. One example that can illustrate this reasoning could be the painting "September" of Gerhard Richter. When the 9/11 attempt took place in New York, Gerhard Richter would have probably noticed the beauty of the flames' colors when one of the planes hit the building. It is obvious that to declare such thing can be seen as something horrible. But we are in presence of one of those occasions within which undoubtedly occurs an aesthetic undercurrent. By painting  "September" Gerhard Richter took to the work those three aesthetic criteria - proportion, balance and complexity - transposing a terrible occasion into a work of art.
By opposition to the Gerhard Richter painting we have the images of that event that bombed our mind in a constant manner - and which are an icon of today, moreover - by the mass media where every characteristics of formalization of a work of art could be present if it wasn't for those three criteria dictate something else: at least when it comes to balance and proportion of the occurrence of the aesthetic undercurrent of that occasion we can find that we are not in the before a work of art but just being informed. This "imagetic bombardment" from the mass media take us to another base-concept of the aesthetic experience: the concept of perceptual commons[1]. A perceptual common is, so to speak, a right which can't be claimed juridically, of direct access, and any restriction to that access is considered a deviation from that condition. For illustration sake: I have the right, although I can't claim it juridically, of walking down the street without being bothered by the bad smell carried by the wind from a remote sewer. Another example: I have the right of being at a cafe and not being bombarded with horrible images of a catastrophe, all the time, by the TV news. The concept of perceptual commons take us to another field of the aesthetic experience. The field that doesn't merely concern the critic and analysis of art but moves us from there in the direction of a wider sense of the aesthetic experience (always whereas aesthesis): the way of being in the world by the man and his human condition[1]. Art can "only" be one of the ways man is in the world and one of the ways that the human condition can assume.
[1]Arnold Berleant, "Sensibility and Sense",2010 

To know more:
Arnold Berleant, "The Aesthetic Field", 1971
Arnold Berleant, "The Aesthetics of the Environment", 1992
Arnold Berleant, "Sensibility and Sense",2010

"Gerhard Richter in the Studio", an interview with G. Richter in Youtube (click here).

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Question of Aesthetics

It's not rare that a lesser instructed person questions an artist about the aesthetics of his work. And lesser rare it is to question it on the grounds of his (or hers) own taste, misleading the two concepts (aesthetics and taste). There is a lot of artistic work scattered around in museums and exhibitions which I also definetely don't like but that I see myself forced to agree that, damn', they are art! And moreover, evolved art!
But what do we speak of when we speak about aesthetics?
In any dictionary we can find a first definition for aesthetics as it being the branch of philosophy that studies the beautiful; or the science whose object is the judgement of values refering the distinction between the beautiful and the ugly. The etymology of the word however tell us a more embrancing thing: [from the greek] aesthesis, the perception by the senses. This is a definition transversal to several cultures and whose object - the beautiful - it's the quality that causes an emotion, i.e., the attribute that qualifies the objects and the works tha are offered to (our) perception. In the artistic domain those objects or works don't require understanding until subjectivity (i.e., the interpretation, the personal sentence) is requested by the appraiser of those works or objects. For example: a coffee machine and a painting from Cy Twombly (so it can be very abstract, so to speak) are offered to the perception of an individual. The coffee machine does not request any subjectivity (at least not immediately) of the individual because it's of common sense what the coffee machine looks like and what it does. The Cy Twombly painting however, and because it's abstract, immediately requests the subjectivity of the observer: he will have his very own interpretation of what his eyes see and most probably it will be very different from other observers interpretations of that same work. And it's after that subjectivity has been requested - and therefore, the request of an emotion - that the work of understanding a work of art begins.
In art the beautiful proposes works that always aim to please the appraiser even though many of those times they are unpleasant. It is what I often call The Pug* Principle: they are so ugly, so ugly that they become beautiful. Therefore it's assumed that there is an intention from the creator of the work of art in providing an aesthetic experience even though sometimes is is not of our liking. I may not like a Dalí painting but the way such work embodies its aesthesis lead me to admit that it is art.

* Pug: breed of dogs originary from China (they can been seen here)

To know more:
[From a dictionnary of philosophy from which i've had access through photocopies but that unfortunately wasn't given me to know the original edition]

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lubitel 2

It's an original Lubitel 2 and it was thrown inside a chest along with other analogic photography items. It's been a few years now  I have it and it's been a while since I wanted to try it. But it was not until recently that I gave it more importance, when my eyes stroke here and here. I already knew the concept of Lomography but I had never explored it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


"Angeline, Vitoria and Nicole"
Watercolour on paper
21 x 29,7 cm


"Dogmatic Cumulation"
China ink, watercolor and acrilyc on paper
21 x 29,7 cm

Moving Forward

I imagine that the sentences most read in the blogosphere are something like "I'm sorry by not posting something on this blog for a while now" or "It's been a while since I don't give proper attention to this blog in a while" or yet "I've been so busy that bla, bla, bla" Well, one thing I can almost asure: you won't read anything like that in here!...


HAPPY 2013!