Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Know What I Like

The exhibition itself sounds like a little bit...not little, really; a great big yawn:
"...most of the objects in this exhibition, which covers both iconophobia (hating images) and iconoclasm (doing something about hating images: namely, bashing them with something hard, corrosive, explosive or sharp). It is an engrossing lesson in the ways that the clash of ideologies can produce violence and concentrate it on a work of art, like the sun through a magnifying glass."
One of the objects on display, though, is anything but a yawn.


Ridiculous? Yes.

Uncomfortable, both as furniture and as the-woman-as-household-object?

Yes.

But not a yawn.

I'm afraid where much post-Impressionist art is concerned I'm more than a bit of a Philistine. I just Don't Get It. The Portland Art Museum presented an exhibition of the work of an artist that included four vacuum cleaners inside a plastic rectangle and a circular pile of bronze-colored sacks of something that was functionally indistinguishable from a sandbag mortar pit.

I laughed.

The point of the Tate Gallery's exhibition is that artwork like the contorted lady above was once considered anything but laughable - that it was and is at the heart of this clash of ideologies:
"...on 8 March 1986, International Women’s Day, two angry activists poured viscous paint stripper on the face and neck of the figure in Allen Jones’s Chair, a caricature-sexy female lying on her back and forming the base of the eponymous chair. The result looked distressingly like the effects of an acid attack on a real person; one thinks of the awful experience of two young British women in Zanzibar at the hands of Muslim extremists only this summer."
That's all very tidily awful but, sadly, I can't look at Plastic Clarisse, the Semi-Nude Chair, and have any other thought than "Gee, the spiky stripper boots sure look like an uncomfortable headrest to me."

I guess I just don't know about Art.

4 comments:

Ael said...

Ya, I have the same defect.

I look at a sculpture depicting a chair and think about how good a chair it is. It is just like Ceci n'est pas une pipe

It takes me a second to realize what is going on.

Syrbal/Labrys said...

LOL...I look at that chair and think how the thighs are the biggest strongest muscles in a female body....and I think what a real woman, in that position, could do to anyone sitting on that seat, and I want to go to a Republican convention in THAT get-up.

Not artistic, no....but FUN!

FDChief said...

Sort of a variation on the vagina dentata, eh? The only real drawback being that your average Republican is such a slimy little freeper the mess would be truly squickworthy...

Blogger said...

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