Sunday, October 14, 2007

Artist on crack?

One of the big pieces of news in the art world this week has been the new 'Crack' installation at the Tate Modern in London. Doris Salcedo's "Shibboleth 2007" is a 500ft long and 3ft deep crack in the floor.

I for one think that this is a really impressive piece of sculpture. What I'm not so sure about is the way the artist describes the work.

Colombian sculptor Salcedo, says that the piece "symbolises racial division", and "represents the gap between white Europeans and the rest of the world's population".

Has the artist really done this work in the name of racial divide? Or because it's just a very cool installation? I suspect the latter, so why go on about the former?

A piece of art can be interpreted in many ways, by both the artist and the viewer. That's fine. But I just think Salcedo should let the art speak for itself. What do you think?

6 comments:

MyCharlieGirl said...

i say let the art speak for its self! it is a really cool piece of art, but when i read what the artist had to say about it, i got a real negative vibe!!

Dan said...

Hahhehahh ... gosh you crack me up sometimes (no pun intended!)

If you read abit more about Doris and looked at more of her work, you'd realize that her work is often entwined with political comments and has historical references, focuses on memory of events etc. Alot or even most Latin American art is about that, mainly because they have had a very long history of political turmoil and colonization. The big Latin American show which just closed at the MCA http://www.mca.com.au/default.asp?page_id=12&content_id=2924 is testament to that.

Saying "Has the artist really done this work in the name of racial divide? Or because it's just a very cool installation? I suspect the latter, so why go on about the former?" is really such a big insult to the artist, but mainly shows abet of ignorance in your part. Why don't you just take out a gun and shoot her?

I mean its like having some cake which you really like, and when you compliment the chef and ask whats in the cake, and she says orange. Then you back to your table and say that the chef said that it was orange but you think its ridiculous because you 'suspect' its just a really good cake, not knowing that this chef has always had orange in his cakes, but you just can't taste it .. get it .. lol .. maybe its not so clear, but I really can't think of another right now.

Not alot of artists like to talk about the meaning behind their work, because its often personal. And yes its good to allow things open to interpretation, but the one person who should be able to make a comment about the work which can't be refuted is the artist, because its theirs!!! Regardless of whether you like it or not .. you can think it might mean something else .. for yourself .. but that has to work in conjunction with her interpretation.

Ben Rowe said...

Fair comment Dan ... I think I get where you're coming from.

I don't mean to insult the artist. Really I don't. No shooting required.

Using your cake analogy though ... one could argue it's like the artist has produced a cake. Everyone loves the cake, and complements the chef on it.

"But it's not a cake", she insists, "It's a horse!".

Everyone is confused, because it's clearly not a horse, but a delicious cake. lol ... my explanation not that clear either.

Love the debate guys ... thanks.

art4friends said...

hmmmm different
i like that you are discussing works here!!! good to get some perspectives!

Jason said...

ok .. now you're making it sound like she's crazy! .. cake and horse?

This is getting disappointing .. get your facts together and then say something.

Sorry but im officially removing this blog link from my daily reads .. lol

Ben Rowe said...

Sorry to hear that Jason,

The horse thing was me not taking things too seriously. It's only art remember.

I guess it depends on which way the artist came up with the idea.

If her approach was, "I'd like to do a piece on the theme of racial division", and then she chose to do the crack, then I guess it's OK.

But if her ideas was to do the crack installation, and then try and tie it to a theme - I don't really see the point.