Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Self Portrait Article

What's stronger in the world of art, body art or self portraits?

This article talks about art and the self in two ways. One, being the self-portrait and the other being body art. It primarily focuses on body art, but that subject covers a broad range of art. Many of these artist that were mentioned used themselves as the canvas for their art, but photographed it and put that up for display. The differences are very slight, to the untrained eye, but they do exist. Marcel Duchamp's "Tonsure" 1919 was one of the beginnings of body art, where he became the canvas and ManRay's photograph was the art. But, what is stronger? Self-Portraiture or body art? I want to say self-portraiture is stronger, but it really all depends on what the body art or the self-portrait is of. I see body art as more of a performance, while self-portraiture is more like self-documentation, in a way, but it can also be surreal and not a document, but rather a play on documentation. I enjoy the performance aspect of body art, because one must do something to one's self in order for it to be body art. But, then again, I enjoy the self-portrait as well, like Samuel Fosso, Sam Taylor-Wood, and Mike Parr. I really can't decide, but I am glad that I read this article and found out some differences that I had no idea existed.

This article made a few references to the "Elementary" in order to communicate, why?

This article was mentioning that a a few times, such as elementary symbolism, I want to know why and is it even elementary? I don't think when you get into the art world and into the sub genre of body art or self-portraiture that there is really anything elementary about these ideas that they want to explore and reveal to the viewer. They mentioned that things should be elementary to communicate with the broadest range of people, but in art I don't think that you're reaching that broad of a range regardless so what's the point of making it elementary. First, I want to say, that these references to the "elementary" aren't even that elementary, they make one analyse the photograph completely and deconstruct it entirely. Unless you're showing a big corporate logo or something that everyone will understand right off the bat, i don't think elementary exists that much in art. And secondly, why be elementary in art? There's not really that much of a point. They said it was for communication, but when you're showing this art, you're only showing it to a select few in a gallery or something. You will be able to communicate with the people that understand art, and that's who they should be talking to, the ones that give them money. I feel that you can make your messages easier to understand, but to describe them as elementary is unnecessary.

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