I was part of the constellation group looking at how to “puzzle out contemporary art” so we looked at subjects ranging from the YBA’S and new forms of art being installation art, art done through video and also socially charged art and art based around politics and post- feminism which are topics that i’m already interested in. . During classes I found that the way we would address and discuss topics during lectures would help a lot with critique as we would usually talk about our own opinions on the work or what we saw when we looked at the work and how it would relate to the main point of the particular lesson and in doing this we would get to gather different opinions and not be worried about being wrong or having a difference in opinion compared to others because it all contributed to picking apart the source of discussion and puzzling it out. We also went on a trip to London to view contemporary art which was nice as the few times I’ve been to London I hadn’t gone and seen specially contemporary art works and stuck to places more like the Tate, we went around as a group discussing the work we seen while also experiencing it and showed just how helpful it is to experience the art work you’re looking in person rather than just behind a computer screen.
An example of this could be the Magnus Plessen works I seen in the White cube as in photographs of them I find that my eye just tends to be drawn to the aesthetics of the work or the texture from the media he used where as in person seeing them at the size they were and how they were presented I could find meaning in them even if it wasn’t the meaning the artist intended for people to get from them. 83.So these works in particular had a lot of human form mostly that of women with large rounded stomachs and many of the works had smaller heads, so to me I found these works to be about pregnancy, and although there was quite a pastel and neutral colour scheme which through the form of photographs is seen just as a aesthetic thing when witnessing the work along with the collaged bits of painting and seeing the texture of the work I found the work to appear more violent and dark and when discussing it with other students on the trips my feeling is that it was about pregnancy and how in some ways it can take control away from your body and that your body isn’t seen as just your own I also found that it portrayed pregnancy to be a frightening thing, but then we also had to take into consideration the context around the painting so who painted it and how that affected our explanations of work.170.So for example Magnus Plessen is a father so may have painted his works in the white cube about pregnancy even though he could have had the same or similar explanation for his work as I did he has only ever witnessed pregnancy rather than experienced it and has never had to think about experiencing it so it might not be as likely that he shared the same opinion about the stomachs in his work that appeared pregnant compared to me and the mostly girl group of students on our trip, further research into him and his work you can see that most of his work is inspired by books with the ‘1914’ painting being based around “war against war” written by a German pacifist Ernst Fredrich which contains photographs of mutilated soldiers which could explain the abstract look of the bodies in Plessen’s work, but without that knowledge I seen a completely different thing and could use his work to back up a completely different point.
This way of working continued into class where in the lecture on post feminist contemporary art the main source that I contributed an opinion with was Lisa Yuskavages’ piece “Half Family” which without an explanation I found to be about women sexuality but also that its something which women art expected to be very open about and with a statement from an interview the artist did about it I found that it confirmed that and also made me think about how women are expected to be sexual but also women who do what they want sexually are discriminated against “the knowledge that you want to fall” this quote from the article next to the piece of work made me think this especially as she describes acting on her desires as falling as it can be seen as a fall from grace almost but also with her knowing she wants to do these things and could end up acting on her fantasies she fears repercussions possibly in the form of slut shaming. I also feel that I was drawn to this due to the this being very similar subject to previous works in my studio practice so when I do give opinions and explanations to art work I take it into consideration that my interest could give a bias on my opinion. Due to this when looking at sources I explore every single part of them so with video sources looking into not only what you see in the video but the title and what that implied and also music and looking at the context of the lives of the artist and authors compared to the language and imagery in their work and how and if it can contribute to the points i’m using them to back up and I take into consideration how my own personal bias can affect my written work when writing about things such as gender and sexuality and media that is about these sort of subjects.