Posts Tagged ‘gallery’

Project Completion Report

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My Master’s Final Report: Introduction:

This cumulative report will attempt to establish to what degree I have fulfilled the proposal put forward at the beginning of the year. Along the way, the paper should demonstrate an advanced reflective sensibility more suited to a professional than a student. Having said that, the paper omits much of the documentation of the experimental content that remains an integral part of the practice.

After a review of the specific production information for each of the relevant projects, the paper will provide an overall critical evaluation of the year, try to contextualise my current position and describe in detail how the direction of the proposal has changed.

As the report dives immediately into a description of the projects, the report structure assumes at least a general knowledge of the background of the practice. The year has seen an attempt at an integration of some of the tenets of the world’s wisdom traditions into suitable content for short films. I have investigated the function rather than the content of religion. The narrative and historical base of religion that make up content seems less able to integrate with a syncretic philosophy.

Download PDF: Project Completion Report

Tacit, Spiritual and Artistic Knowledge

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The premise of this paper is that non-dual spiritual knowledge can be equated on a limited level with tacit non-verbal knowledge-in-action. The paper takes a general conceptual and philosophical approach to the issue, using writers such as Schön, Polanyi, Wilber, D. T. Suzuki, and D. Tacy.

The author offers a list of conventional types of spiritual knowledge and compares one of the types (spirit-in-action) with Schön’s definition of tacit knowledge-in-action. The paper presents the idea that both spirit and tacit knowledge lie somewhere at the foundation of everyday personal experience. To that end, several examples are given to illustrate how tacit knowledge manifests in specific wisdom traditions and by extension how those forms can be carried into everyday life.

The paper concludes with an attempt at relating these ideas to the author’s artistic practice and by proposing some potential theoretical problems with the premise. The scope of the sampled wisdom traditions is limited to the selection of Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta and Neoplatonism.

Download (PDF): Tacit, Spiritual and Artistic Knowledge

Tim Lee, Lisson Gallery

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I was silently proud to enter the impressive Lisson Gallery. Its stark white walls and matte smooth cement floors seemed to possess a highly finished quality that whispered of success. I was proud because I was seeing a Canadian who has reached that level of success on the international stage.

The laser A4 press release accompanying Lee’s work asserts “Tim Lee presents a series of new works that operate within the loose confines of an artistic-social laboratory/studio experiment in order to offer a complex inquiry into the connection between highly charged socio-political movements and their transformative impact on the artistic avant-garde.” I quickly translate this into, “Tim Lee makes work about Public Enemy.” Is such an unpacking unfair? Surely this is what the author meant? The irony is that somewhere in the journey this phrase took from the specific to the general, we’ve included the art galleries’ brand of sophistication.

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Natural History Museum Exhibition

A few more Canadians artists were featured than last year. Of the 17,000 entries to the competition, 84 images were selected, and on display, depicting animals and nature from the city parks in Rome to the snowy Transylvanian mountains. The room was dark, illuminated mostly by the backlit photographs themselves and the stock atmospheric nature CD played from hidden speakers.

The images are examples of photographs which come from hours of waiting and waiting and shooting and shooting, and living out of a tent and cooking over an open flame for three weeks in wild solitude. Often the elements would compose themselves from chance as a bird positioned itself in front of the full moon, just before the weather becomes too spectacularly inclement to continue.

Somehow I felt that the photos I was looking at did not fit within the rubric of contemporary fine art. They didn’t enter the discourse with the same propositional irony, or inferences of meta-narratives that characterize the exploratory nature of today’s practice. Perhaps in contrast to the self-reflexivity of leading practitioners, these photos are simply about compositional beauty – which on many accounts presents a rather naive and old-fashion subject matter for art. As a consequence, I felt oddly guilty for enjoying it so much.

The show made me realise that the urban environment does not provide all of the compositional beauty that I would ideally be able to include in my work.

Dryden Goodwin

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Flight, Chisenhale Gallery

The residential area in which the Chisenhale gallery is situated seemed to be an unusual location for a gallery. The exterior location didn’t make much difference, however, once you were inside. The exhibition was an installation of inter-related elements that included some wonderfully frenetic Indian ink drawings. They were small and repetitive as if frames from a film. (more…)

Gothic Nightmares

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Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination, Tate Britain

Both Oliver and I observed how popular the weird, supernatural and fantastic themes of the 1770-1830s are during our three-hour visit to the Tate Britain. The landmark gallery was packed full.

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Jungles in Paris: Henri Rousseau, Tate Modern

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It’s clear that Rousseaus’s work is dominated by a fascination with the primitive, the exotic and the savage. From all accounts, he led a difficult life. Not only did he survive the deaths of two wives and six of his infant children, his life was marred by poverty. As an untrained, self-taught painter, he was rejected by his contemporaries. His style was at odds with the French Academy’s conventional approach to perspective and realism. Thankfully, the younger generation of his time championed his work.

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Jeff Wall, Tate Modern

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Of Jeff Wall’s contribution to contemporary photography, including everything from his ‘micro-gestures’ to his ‘accidents of reading’, nothing strikes me more than the exquisite production that demonstrates his mastery of the field. Wall has an inspiring theoretical and technical foundation at every level from pre- to post-production. This form of expertise, this technical virtuosity, is something to which I aspire.

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Francis Alÿs

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Seven Walks, Artangel

Trained as an architect, Alÿs turned to a visual arts based practice in the early 1990s as a more immediate, direct, and effective way of exploring issues related to urbanization, to the ordering and signification of urban space and to the semiotics of its use. The show displayed documentation of some amusing works. I found their humour to be witty and whimsical. As implied by the title, the exhibition focused on walking, but specifically within an urban setting. For example, one slideshow documented his Paradox of Praxis (1997) piece in which the artist pushed a block of ice through the streets of Mexico City until it melted. Alÿs also had several short films that displayed the same tongue-in-cheek style: Railings, that depict a walker tapping rhythmically on the gates and metal fencing around Regency London. (more…)

Frieze Art Fair

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Regents Park

A fellow student, Oliver Pope, and I attended the Frieze Art Fair in Regents Park together. It featured over 150 international contemporary art galleries and indeed, I have never been to such a large display of contemporary international art in quite the same way. (more…)