Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What is Sculpture?

Instructions: This project must be a simple activity. It could be using your body as sculpture. Be aware of TIME, endurance. You may involve repetition and some element of the absurd. Be aware of ambient sound. Be aware of TIME and rhythm. Can be collaborative. Research Fluxus artists and/or conceptual artists using their bodies as sculpture. Experiment! Use sound in a creative way by using software and editing. Post the video to your blog. You will do a live performance in class and have someone document it for your blog or re-create the performance and document for your blog using video or digital stills.

For this project, I wanted to make some sort of statement about the process of making art. Sculptures that were created in antiquity took years to create with the skills of a trained artist. Whereas, some modern sculptures, like the one I created in my performance, were created in minutes, without the need to carve or mold with special tools. With this performance, I explore the idea of what art is, specifically sculpture. Do you have to be trained to be an sculptor? Do you have to know how to build something? Do you have to know how to carve something out of marble? If not, can anyone be a sculptor?

In order to express this idea, I created a performance in which I poured a bag of flour into a pile on the ground. Then, I spread it out with a large metal ruler. At first, I spread the flour out into a circular form, but then I made it into a long oval form. Next, I laid down on my back in the flour. This made an imprint on my all-black outfit, which I rubbed into my clothes. I then laid on my front side, making the final imprint in the flour, and made a pile for an imprint of my face. I finished my performance by walking over to a stool and lamp that I had set up in the corner, turned on the lamp, and perched on the stool, like a statue (I should have posed longer than I did). 

The performances that inspired me for this piece were Live Sculpture by Gilbert & George, Flour Arrangements by Bruce Nauman, and Loving Care by Janine Antoni. 

During the performance, I felt pretty nervous because I didn't know how well the flour would stick to my body, or how much flour I would need, and how well it would spread out. I ended up using two bags of flour, but I think I would use more, if I would re-create the performance. I also didn't know if I wanted to re-create a famous sculpture or just come up with a pose on my own, which is what I did. I might want to pose in some sort of feminist way in a re-creation, as someone had made the comment that my performance leaned in that direction, which I had not even thought of. I am a woman, making art and displaying it at the same time, which is not how it has traditionally been done.

1 comment:

  1. Rio - wonderful reflection. The video is perfect. Good shooting! You took a very simple idea of creating a real sculpture out of your body --- using flour! I like how attentive you were to all of the details. You were very focused on your work. It was a beautiful piece. I was very interested in watching you work and listening to the sounds. Bravo!