Monthly Archives: October 2012

Home…

… and it’s pretty boring.

I’ve been home for 3 weeks now. I’m finally over mandatory virus I always catch whenever I get back home from a stay abroad. So now it’s back to classes and back to my old project, with some new ideas and stuff. It actually feels exciting again which I’m very glad about – before I left to Sweden, I was starting to get kind of fed up with it. I don’t know whether it’s the new stuff or maybe I just needed a break. Either way, it feels good.

The only problem is my class schedule. It sucks. It wouldn’t be so bad, but some classes also have mandatory attendance. I mean, I understand if they are seminar or practical exercise type classes, but listening to stuff I could easily understand by reading at this point in my studies just feels pointless. I could use the time I spend commuting to classes much better.

This is actually a pretty big deal for me. Up until now, I never thought I could ever stop liking classes. It’s not that I don’t like learning new stuff. I love it. I just like doing it myself having an opportunity to talk to the professor if there’s something I can’t understand. It just feels a bit weird. I guess I’m growing up,

Noodle.

P.S. We’re having a Parliament election here. And, after like 5 years or so I’m kind of interested in the political shenanigans again. They do make me mad quite often, though.

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Thoughts From Stockholm Modern Art Museum. Part 3

This is part three of my thoughts about Stockholm Modern Art Museum. This will actually pretty understandable without reading part 1 and part 2.

When I finally felt that I had taken in all the little details of my favourite Picasso sketches and stared enough at my soul or at the upside-down wheel, I went up to the permanent exhibition. It was mostly Swedish artists and after Picasso and Duchamp, I couldn’t care too much about them, but I enjoyed the works from the second half of the 20th century. And then, passing almost absent-mindedly into yet another hall, my eyes caught ‘Andy Warhol’ on a sign next to the door. Oh, yeah, I thought.

It turns out that Warhol visited the museum in 1968 and they had a hilarious poster with an excerpt from what looks like an interview with Andy Warhol:

Do you think pop art is…

No.

What?

No.

Do you think pop art is…

No… No I don’t.

So, apparently, Andy Warhol’s pieces are also one of those that don’t have any idea behind them. At least, he himself claimed to want be more like a machine, and thus, made his art very impersonal. And that became an idea in and of itself, if that makes sense. I mean, you might not like this sort of art, but there’s no denying that Andy Warhol is a very important artist, people see all sorts of meanings in his works, even though he himself claimed not to want to think about them.

The museum actually owns one of his earliest prints of Marilyn Monroe, a huge black-and-white piece with 25 Marilyn heads. Apparently, Warhol started making those prints after her death, and he himself was fascinated by death and catastrophes (or so the informaion piece next to his paintings said). It would appear that his work wasn’t as impersonal as he wanted after all. I don’t have much to say about it, except, add yet another Duchamp quote (which is probably my favourite):

I force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.

Wow, I didn’t expect to get so much out one museum, perhaps I shouldn’t be allowed to go see art on my own after all – I get to think about it too much, and we know how dangerous that is. Also, I seem to have a bit of a crush on Duchamp, erm, yeah,

Noodle.

Thoughts From Stockholm Modern Art Museum. Part 2

This is the second part of my thoughts from the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm. The first part is here. This part probably won’t make much sense unless you read the first one.

My Art Academy friends always tell me how it’s all about ‘the concept’ of the artwork these days (i.e. they don’t only have to make an artwork but also explain the concept, the idea behind it), but until visiting the Picasso/Duchamp exhibition I never fully understood what that means. I love ‘art of ideas’! Even more so, because, again, it seems a lot like science to me.

However, one might argue, how can we know what was an artist’s original idea? If we don’t know the idea, there’s no point in the art. Maybe s/he didn’t think anything of it, at all. For instance, I rather think that it was the case with the bicycle wheel, which apparently was constructed as a distraction when Duchamp was upset after he was snubbed by a Cubist exhibition. But that doesn’t really matter, in my opinion. We can still look for meaning – that’s what humans do, don’t we? We can still see something that we wouldn’t see if we were just looking at a stool or a bicycle wheel. Maybe we can even (gasp!) see something inside ourselves.

Picasso, who apparently hated Duchamp’s un-art-like art, said that “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” In my opinion, Duchamp takes that pretty much literally: he takes everyday objects and ‘washes the dust away’, he makes us look at a snow shovel hanging on a wall, for example, and not think of the annoying chore (the title “In advance of a broken arm” can give a few fun ideas). However, I think, the problem might be that he, and modern art in general, sometimes makes us work a little hard, so to speak. He doesn’t present us with anything like a beautiful romantic landscape. Looking at a urinal on a pile of bricks and calling it ‘Fountain’, it may seem that a clean soul isn’t very pretty at all. But that’s how it is, isn’t it? It’s not all pretty inside each of us, and modern art makes us look at it. Or not. No one makes us look at art, and even much less actually see anything in it.

That being said, Picasso’s works don’t really hold up to the ideals of beauty either, do they? Weirdly distorted faces and body parts angling in weird directions, and, in later works, just piles of square shapes called ‘A Guitar Player’ or something. However, I find the process of the Cubist painting delightfully scientific. The idea being that in order to represent a three-dimensional shape on a two-dimensional canvas, you have to be turning your object full circle as you paint it. But we see what sort of weirdness comes out of this – this is also interesting from a science point of view, when we discuss how the object of our research is changed upon the act of measuring its properties. Maybe all we get is just weird distorted projections?

And here I’m going to insert another Duchamp quote that I picked up at the exhibition just because I like it so much:

If a shadow is a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional world, then the three-dimensional world as we know it is a projection of the four-dimensional universe.

I’m going to stop here, and save my thoughts on Andy Warhol and some other works from the permanent exhibition for part three,

Noodle.