One of the great pleasures of my job is getting to hear student responses to the art that we present. I recently received a selection of excellent essays about our current exhibitions from Candace Stout's Writing Art Criticism class in Ohio State's Department of Art Education. Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing three students' insights on Human Behavior, Double Sexus, and The Tender Room.
First up is Travis Poe, a junior from Columbus, who is studying fashion and retail consumer science.
This was my first time visiting the Wexner Center and I was very pleased with my experience. The claymation videos by Nathalie Djurberg in Human Behavior were very provocative. Her use of childish objects to convey adult content was rather unsettling. There was absolutely no way of misunderstanding the messages that Djurberg was trying to convey. She had absolutely no reservations or hesitations in tackling daunting issues such as slavery, corruptness in church, and women's self-image and fashion.
For me, the Double Sexus: Hans Bellmer and Louise Bourgeois exhibit was not as awkward as I was expecting. Even though it seemed obvious what Bellmer and Bourgeois were showcasing, there was still a sense of ambiguity. The titles of their work left if open to interpretation. For example that polyurethane sculpture by Bourgeois seemed obvious in its content, but when she titles it Fillette, meaning little girl in French, you kind of look at it differently. I found myself examining that work of art trying to see something other than the obvious. Another aspect that impressed me at this exhibit was Bellmer's drawing skills. His drawings were so intricate and detailed that it almost looked like they had been done on a computer. His obsession with dolls was apparent in his drawings and sculptures. The works of these two artists coincided very well creating a cohesive exhibit.
Shockingly, even to myself, I felt the most uncomfortable in Pipilotti Rist's The Tender Room. The guide was telling us that this was a place where we could just relax and space out, but honestly I felt very uncomfortable watching those screens. It was like a distorted view of reality, almost as if I was seeing life through someone else's perspective. For me it felt as though I was peeking in on something that is very private; like I was seeing someone's inner thoughts and images, that at any time I would be yelled at by a security guard for watching those screens.
All in all I really enjoyed our trip to the Wexner Center. It made me feel comfortable to return whenever I wanted. In fact I have every intention of returning to better study the artwork that we got to look at Tuesday. I am glad I took this class, if for no other reason, because it got me in to a building that I have been wanting to go into for the last three years but haven't been brave enough to do so.
Complete Image Caption
New Movements in Fashion (still), 2006
Clay animation, digital video
Courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, and GiÃ² Marconi, Milan