Thursday, August 9, 2007

Perspectives offered by contemporaries

Museum of Glass Presents Mining Glass (June 16, 2007 - February 3, 2008)

The Museum, in its press release claims,"
Glass may have been disregarded by twentieth century art as decorative, but today it is not simply a major medium in its own right, it is also one that opens new visions for the artists who are approaching and mining it."

Another excerpt: "Mining Glass is the first major survey to examine how the rich and unparalleled material of glass has expanded beyond its traditional application in decorative and functional art in the early twenty-first century.The installations are organized around eight narratives that act as suggested passages to help viewers see beyond the technical matters associated with the medium.By moving through the themes of artifice, boundaries, desire, enchantment, excess, identity, intersections, and landscape, the exhibition concentrates on the deeper issues that concern artists, allowing the meaning of the work to take precedence over the technique of how it has been executed. The featured artists, none of whom are glass artists, thus present a stunning diversity of approaches to the material to reveal the multiplicity of glass--precious, magical, and mystical, yet common, practical, and functional--while challenging the notion that work in glass is merely pretty."

Question is: "Merely pretty" ??? Heyyyy, what's wrong with pretty?

Question 1: How does our standpoint (in terms of "mining") differ? Is our take but a variation on postmodernist multiculturalism and hybridism? Are we interesting in the fundamental redefinition of glass through artistic practice? Or is it something else?

Image credits:
Jean-Michel Othoniel (French, born 1964), Black Hearts, Red Tears (detail), 2006-2007,
Blown glass and glass beads,
108 x 132 x 4 inches (274 x 335 x 10 cm)
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris. Photo by Russell Johnson

1 comment:

yukanjali said...

(The Ideal of Transparency)
29th June - 16th September 2007

Excerpts from their press announcement:

The ideal of transparency...encompasses new relations with society, politics, aesthetics, psychoanalysis and the intellectual. On the one hand exists the metaphor of an omniscient perspective enabling us to see everything, albeit from a sheltered, unexposed position, whilst on the other hand exists the metaphor of a body that allows the filtering of light and therefore the truth that prevails in all our minds. Glass is more than a systematically used resource at the heart of social space.

What asserts itself is the value of transparency as an essential progressive model, analogous to absolute virtue. But is this virtue really indisputable? Does the blind trust in infinite visibility not poke fun at meaning and reason at the same time as it nourishes them?

Transparency is not invisibility, and its transformation of object into subject, and of matter into value, is determined by the ambivalent characteristics of glass as a physical body, not only with regard to reflection and opacity, but also to estrangement, excitement, frustration, isolation and the potential virtualisation of the world.

The relationships between transparency, reflection and opacity constitute the basis of the exhibition, constructing these notions not so much as material reality, but in terms of value, thus transcending all the ideological.

Gliding between substance and moral, the exhibition is particularly interested in the fascination brought to bear by the 'dematerialised' aesthetic of the tertiary economy, represented in many contemporary art works, with the eroticism and the hygiene of transparency. This follows a movement that goes with the ideal and its divergence; the opacity of an economic emptiness, the frustration of separation, and the confinement of the subject.

Through this voluntarily ambiguous and polymorphic display concerning the thematic (including films, installations, painting, photographs and performances), the exhibition aims to expound certain modern attitudes and contemporary links to the notion of transparency through several chapters; positive celebration and ornamentalism, economics and politics, eroticism and the organic, discolouration and disappearance. This game of free associations brings about a sensuous journey, from absolute visibility to black-out, from dazzling dawn to muted dusk, from purity to contamination, from appearance to evanescence.