Thursday, 27 October 2011
Kiki Smith Untiltled 1987-90
In this work, twelve water-cooler bottles, silvered to a mirror surface, are each engraved with the name of a different bodily fluid: blood, tears, urine, milk, and more. The piece was inspired, Smith has said, by the medieval book of hours, the volumes of Christian observance that provided “some kind of meditation, something you could think about or believe in,” for every hour of the day. Choosing “fluids everyone knows about that come out of the body,” Smith found physical substitutes for the intangibles of religious belief.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
"Oppenheim’s verbal ”Self- portrait from 50.000 BC to X” (1980), the last of her published poems, maybe to be considered as her final stance. The poem starts with the feet. In a stalactite cave, naked feet washed by the warm currents of a prehistoric sea stand on stone, worn down by many steps. The poem then proceeds upwards until it reaches a stomach full of bear’s meat, and goes on towards her breasts and arms, covered with scales of leather armour. It ends with her hands, holding a white turtle, made of marble. 11 The person in the poem looks on red walls surrounding a distant city. Finally, the poem reaches the head, where thoughts buzz as in a beehive. The thoughts are shut in, whereas the thinking person is shut out, looking at the promised city from afar. All this can be understood as a comment on the position of women in the surrealist group or the world of art, and so far the poem deals with identity and self. From then on the focus shifts towards ideas in history, and the passing of time. The person in the poem writes her thoughts down, but the fire of the library of Alexandria consumes the written text, and a black serpent with a white head, kept at a museum in Paris, is also lost in a fire. The apocalyptic atmosphere is enhanced in the last stanzas where all the thoughts of the world circle the earth in a colossal sphere of ideas. The earth explodes, the sphere is shattered, and the thoughts are spread out into the universe, continuing to exist on other planets. 12
This poem travels from toes to thoughts, and encounter many of the elements often used in Oppenheim’s artistic work to explore the relation between touch and ideas. The sense of womb-warm water against skin and stone reappears in Steinfrau (Stone Woman, 1938), an oil-painting of some boulders in the form of a woman resting on the shore with her feet in a passing stream; strange and abundant food, but sea-food rather than bear-meat, forms an essential part of her Frühlingsfest (Spring Banquet, 1959); and the protective clothing borrowed or robbed from animals––made of fur, hide or feathers––returns in various items, often masks and ornaments, of fur or feather, and the serpent, preferably the simultaneously black and white snake, is another powerful symbol in her artistic work.13"
"Fingertip Knowledge" Elizabeth Mansen
Saturday, 22 October 2011
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Sunday, 16 October 2011
While we talk, Finley's daughter peeps in, wanting to be tucked in. "You wanna go to sleep, honey?" And, there, I have my answer. Honey.
It's more than the aphrodesiac effect or the look of an Adam-tempting toffee-apple body gilded and dripping in amber. It's about love and affection. About good old fashioned sweetness.
Friday, 14 October 2011
Different Plant Dyes:
- Catechu (brown) - from resin(sticky substance that comes from plant) of acacia tree.
- Fustic (yellow) - from the wood of the fustic tree.
- Henna (orange-red) - from leaves of the henna plant.
- Indigo (blue), is from leaves and stems of the indigo plant.
- Logwood (black) - from the core(heart) of the logwood tree.
- Madder (Turkey red) - from the roots of the madder plant.
- Quercitron (yellow) - from the inner bark of the black oak tree.
- Saffron (yellow) - from stigmas of the common crocus.
- Turmeric (violet) - from roots of the turmeric plant.Major Animal Dyes:
- Cochineal (red) - from bodies of cochineal insects.
- Tyrian Purple (purple or crimson) - from the bodies of some types of marine snails.
- Sepia (brown) - from secretions of several types of cuttlefish.
- Chrome Green - from a compound of chromium and oxygen.
- Chrome Red - from a compound of chromium and lead.
- Chrome Yellow - from a compound of chromic acid and lead.
- Prussian Blue - from a compound of iron and cyanide.
Thursday, 6 October 2011
This work was made at the time of Kounellis’s first involvement with Arte Povera. The carefully dyed but loosely wrapped hanks of uncarded wool epitomise Kounellis’s choice of simple materials at this time. Linked with Arte Povera’s exploration of basic media, they also suggest Kounellis’s attraction to earlier civilisations. Although he had abandoned painting at this stage in his career, he later suggested that the structure of this work had been partly inspired by Jackson Pollock, with the hanging wool teased out to mimic dripped paint. (From the display caption April 2009)