"A gallery is constructed along laws as rigorous as those for building a medieval church. The outside world must not com ein, so windows are usually sealed off. Walls are painted white. The ceiling becomes the source of light. The wooden floor is polished so that you click along clinically, or carpeted so that you pad soundlessly, resting the feet while the eyes have at the wall. The art is free, as the saying used to go, 'to take on its own life.' The discreet desk may be the only piece of furniture. In this context, a standing ashtray becomes almost a sacred object, just as the firehose in a modern museum looks not like a firehose but an esthetic conundrum. Modernism's transposition of perception from life to formal values is complete. This, of course, is one of modernism's fatal diseases...
Unshadowed, white, clean, artificial - the space is devoted to the technology of esthetics. Works of art are mounted, hung, scattered for study...Art exists in a kind of eternity of display, and though there is lots of 'period' (late modern), there is no time. This eternity gives the gallery a limbolike status; one has to have died already to be there. Indeed the presence of that odd piece of furniture, your own body, seems superfluous, an intrusion. The space offers the thought that while eyes and minds are welcome, space-occupying bodies are not - or are tolerated only as kinesthetic mannekins for further study. This Cartesian paradox is reinforced by one of the icons of our visual culture: the installation shot, sans figures. Here at last the spectator, oneself, is eliminated. You are there without being there - one of the major services provided for art by its old antagonist, photography. The installation shot is a metaphor for the gallery space. In it an ideal is fulfilled as strongly as in a Salon painting of 1830" (O'Doherty 15).
|Rachel Whiteread - Embankment at the Tate Modern|
On the level of image, this accidental or intentional frame of the exhibit captures an erosion, through the stepping of white cubes and their organization into discreet masses, and the interspersion of darkly clad visitors within the composition. On the level of content and context, the subject of the exhibit also constructs the exhibit space by virtue of its scale. Its whiteness contrasts the dark walls of the hangar-like space of the Modern, and the wall-like vertical sides of the clusters of white cubes invite a modernist interpretation of the installation - alla Brian O'Doherty. On the other hand, the slightly accidental placement of each cube evokes a tactility that almost invites the visitor to shift the wall's composition. The objecthood of the white cube vacillates in Whiteread's installation and questions itself through the act of haphazard packing.
30 JULY 2010
Courtesy of Malati Shah, India
The house was on fire and the choice was: grab the cat or grab the Rembrandt?
Picasso said, "Cat! What would your answer be?"
|In his painting Les Romains de la Decadence, he captures a composition, that at first glance resembles Rafael's The School of Athens, but depicts the decadence of Roman culture.|
|What happens when we see a similar treatment (by slashing) on canvass to which the artist has applied color?|
|What happens when we compare Fontana's red painting to Matisse's Dance?|