Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Death Metal: Extreme Weapons

For project number 5, as a curator, my exhibition will feature weaponry from different time periods and different countries across the globe. The theme of my exhibition exclusively displays hand held weapons including swords, daggers, partisans and hammers. All of the weapons shown were made of different kinds of metal material such as iron, steel, gold, and copper. As a curator, my primary focus would be to grab the attention of individuals who appreciate historical weapons and the detail and craftsmanship that went into making them. My theme was also inspired by the fact that I enjoy listening to death metal music. My goal with this exhibition will also be to target the attention of other people who also enjoy metal music as a genre, and who have an interest in detailed weapons that are themed similarly to the death metal music genre. Some of them appear very heavy, and downright brutal. The weapons in a sense reflect the theme of the death metal genre. Many of the weapons displayed could possibly be used as a prop for a death metal concert, or if the band would enter into battle, these would be the weapons they would choose to take with them in my opinion. I think this exhibition will be a great opportunity to bring in new visitors to the museum. I believe it will grab the interest of others who enjoy metal music as well as people who would be interested or curious about historical weapons and fine craftsmanship.

Head of War Hammer 

"Head of War Hammer", completed in the year1575, Italy (Not on Display)



"Hunting Knife Combined with Wheelock Pistol" Completed in the year 1546, Germany, (Not on Display)

 "Dagger and Sheath" Completed in the year 1627, India, Gallery 463 

"Hunting Sword of Prince Camillo Borghese" Completed in the year1813, Paris France, Gallery 375. 

"Blade and Mounting for a short sword (Wakizashi)" Completed in the year 1839, Japan, (Not on Display)

"Partisan" Completed in the year 1600, Austria, (Not on Display)






 "Partisan of the Bodyguard of Vittorio Amadeo II (1666–1732), Duke of Savoy". Completed in the year 1700, Italian, Gallery 371

"Halberd Head with Nagas and Blades on Tortoise" Completed in the second half of the 13th century, Indonesia, Gallery 247

"Halberd of the Swiss Guard of Johann Georg II (reigned 1656-80)" Completed in the year 1680, German, Gallery 371

"State Partisan" Completed in the year 1732, German, (Not on Display)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Performance Art at the Whitney Museum

For our fifth field trip, we visited the Rituals of Rented Island exhibition at the Whitney museum. Many of the temporal arts displayed here reflected events that occurred between 1970's through the 1980's in Manhattan. In my opinion, many of the pieces give off a strange energy as if there was a lot of negative emotion behind the art. Many of the pieces seemed to be inspired by dark times.  

The first piece I selected was titled “Passing Through” by Sylvia Palacios Whitman completed in 1941. The piece is a pair of giant paper hands that the artist wears over her real hands and moves as if she is walking. Her giant hands move up and down creating this weird robotic movement. In an interview with the artist, she mentioned that the hands were like an extension of herself. In my opinion it seemed that she was interested in the exaggerated hands to bring attention towards her as an artist or as a person, maybe she felt she was unnoticeable without the big hands and that her message was not getting across to others.   

The second piece I had selected was the “The Original Lou and Walter Story” by Jill Kroesen completed in 1978. This piece was another video of the artist sitting in the center of a bunch of pyramids. She begins to tell a story about a town that is controlled by a sheriff and all the women from that town live in the outskirts by themselves. The story seems to be a metaphor for women’s rights until she begins talking about her death. At that point, the story gets strange and seems to lose any connection to other references.

The third piece I had selected from the exhibit was titled "Claim" by the artist Vito Acconci, completed in the year 1971. The piece was a sixty-minute video recording that displayed the artist with a blindfold guarding a basement with two metal pipes and a crowbar. The recording was also shown through another television in front of the entrance of the door  as a warning to potential visitors. Throughout the video, the artist repeats to himself “I’m alone in the basement. I want to stay alone in the basement.” making him appear extremely hostile and mentally unstable. In an interview with the artist, he discussed how he used the repetition as a form of hypnosis to keep himself going, because he did not like what he was doing. He also said he needed the blindfold to help him view anyone coming in as abstractions in his mind, because he knew he could not do such a thing to anyone while being aware. He also stated he created this piece to “claim” the basement as his own in the face of society.

Finally, I think all of the pieces from this exhibition were completed during difficult times. They seem to send out a message without directly saying what it is. It is like the artists wanted the viewer to put the pieces together and figure out what was their inspiration. During the interview video with Vito Acconci, he mentioned some people said his piece was a response to the events of the Vietnam war. He said his inspiration did not come from the war, which was occurring at the time even though that is what it appeared to be. This further proves my understanding that all these works of art never truly specify if the events of their time period truly affected their art work. 

Sylvia Palacios Whitman                                        Jill Kroesen
"Passing Through"                                      "The Original Lou and Walter Story"
Acrylic on paper                                                   Unknown medium 
1941                                                                        1978

Vito Acconci
pipes, crowbar, blindfold