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   Undertoad  Tuesday Jan 14 12:11 PM

1/14/2003: Scars exhibition

Nothing weird about this image. Except that it's part of an art exhibition in Chile.

The exhibition is called "Damages" and features artist Sebastian Utreras, who said:

"Through the observation of scars, it is possible to know the darkest and deepest hideaways of the human soul.

"Every time we look at a scar we tend to wonder how they got them. I am attracted to the idea of surrounding myself with those stories."

It's intriguing. I'm sure Ogg will require clarification, though I wouldn't put this in the same category as the words and sheep. It's less pretentious, because there is something weird about scars.

elSicomoro  Tuesday Jan 14 01:37 PM

Is this all I have to do to get attention? Shit, I could have done this years ago...maybe I'll take pictures of bellybuttons instead.

dave  Tuesday Jan 14 01:50 PM

With or without the lint?

elSicomoro  Tuesday Jan 14 02:26 PM

Oooh...good point. I could break it down by lint and lintless. I could also break it down by innie and outie.

dave  Tuesday Jan 14 02:29 PM

I think breaking it down kind of ruins it though. You need to choose - lint or not. And then you need to just go with it.

elSicomoro  Tuesday Jan 14 08:06 PM

Now that I think about it, I don't think I can choose. It would

wolf  Tuesday Jan 14 08:18 PM

Just let it happen. Anything else would violate the artistic integrity of your work.

SteveDallas  Tuesday Jan 14 08:43 PM

Hate to tell you sycamore, but taking pictures of belly buttons has been done. Haven't you seen Britney Spears and her ilk?

elSicomoro  Tuesday Jan 14 08:54 PM

But that's exploitation, commercialism...IT IS NOT ART!

I want to capture the natural essence of the navel...fat, skinny, white, black...all navels are welcome.

wolf  Tuesday Jan 14 09:15 PM

You can do this as a side-project when we do the living poetry experminent.

elSicomoro  Tuesday Jan 14 09:21 PM

Maybe after we do the poetry thing, I'll take photographs of all your navels...with permission, of course.

gossard187  Tuesday Jan 14 09:29 PM

Brussels Navels

Not the first post I imagined, but nonetheless somehow on topic?

elSicomoro  Tuesday Jan 14 09:32 PM

Fucking bastards! Now what am I supposed to do?

Hmmm...people with obvious forehead veins...

Griff  Wednesday Jan 15 07:11 AM

...prostetic foreheads?

Beletseri  Wednesday Jan 15 08:35 AM

"Fucking bastards! Now what am I supposed to do? "

C-section scars. You could get really creative and show the kid that was the cause of them in the same photo.

elSicomoro  Wednesday Jan 15 01:11 PM

Originally posted by Griff
...prostetic foreheads? friend back home had a very obvious vein on his forehead...whenever he'd laugh or get angry, it would bulge looked kinda creepy.

paranoid  Wednesday Jan 15 02:37 PM

Bad Art/Good Art

Originally posted by sycamore
Fucking bastards! Now what am I supposed to do?
It is really funny to read all your comments about this "art is doing what noone has done before". You are obviously all infected with the virus of Modernism. It might not seem like a really big problem when you are just having fun, discussing it on Cellar, but this is indicating of something much worse...

I recommend you to read the "Bad Art/Good Art - Pulling Back the Curtain" speech by Fred Ross, Chairman of the Art Renewal Center. In that speech he explains just why the approach to art selected by Sebastian Utreras is intrinsically wrong and harmful.

I am afraid that Cellar anti-spam system will not allow me to post a link, since this is my 1st post. But you can just google for "Bad Art Good Art Pulling Back the Curtain" and click on the first result.


Undertoad  Wednesday Jan 15 02:42 PM

And away we go!

Elspode  Wednesday Jan 15 04:16 PM

Originally posted by sycamore
But that's exploitation, commercialism...IT IS NOT ART!

I want to capture the natural essence of the navel...fat, skinny, white, black...all navels are welcome.
I should be your first subject, then, as I combine both a hideous scar *and* an unusual bellybutton. Due to a rather nasty wound infection following abdominal surgery about 12 years ago, my belly button is way off center and now stationed next to an incredible crevasse running the length of my abdomen...

A picture of this would either result in you being hailed as a genius in the art world or just stoned in the streets for being disgusting.

warch  Wednesday Jan 15 08:28 PM

Welcome Paranoid, and thanks for the link.
It was interesting, and I found much to question in his "philosophy".

Ross hates Modernism as much as he seems to think the modernist armies hate 19th c academic art. The lines are drawn...Ross vs the Clement Greenberg jugernaut. There is trickery, deceit and just plain meaness in modernism. Good thing that was the last 100 years.

Both nazi views are narrow and stupid in their attempts to define taste. There is lots of crap and lots of delight in both camps. And the artmarket is no indicator of artistic greatness just crazy market value, demand, flavor of the month.

Ross sez, "You cant really like "modern art" it must be propaganda". I was 8 yrs old on a brownie fieldtrip to DC and saw Calder's mobile. We blew at it and it floated around. It was beautiful to me, I remember it to this day, but I guess I was being fooled. He needs to allow me my own judgement. I dont like everything in a particular museum, I dont love all books or all music Ive been told are great. Last time I checked at the Institute of Arts, the Bouguereau was not in a closet. It was a featured piece along with Picasso, and Matisse, hanging peacefully together.

Now Ross's idea that art (actually hes just talking an academic definition of painting) needs to be about life...How can a painter in 1910 not react to the impact of photography? to political and social shifts, to science, mass media, and technology when creating visual art about life? How can an artist in 2003? What if an artist doesnt look to ideals of western European beauty like those from the victorian era? What if its not paint?

The point about "the new"- the 20th c life was all about progress, innovation, evolution, marketing. the art, art processes, and approaches reflect that.And were still there. What is valued is innovation. Ironically that innovation my involve rediscovery of "exotic" or lost knowlege. (See FENG SHUI, or BOUGUEREAU).

Ross is too reactionary and narrow for me.
Representational vs non objective, who is #1?
A cage match.

Now about the buttons, Im an innie with a small bump, currently no lint. I have a scar on my knee from using scissors unwisely.

wolf  Wednesday Jan 15 08:47 PM

Syc, you could do moles ... (the lesions, not the rodents, unless you wanted to do lesions on rodents)

elSicomoro  Wednesday Jan 15 09:32 PM

Hairy ones or non-hairy? Hmmm...

For anyone that wants to read a fictional tale about modern art gone crazy, I highly recommend reading the liner notes to David Bowie's 1995 CD Outside.

Art doesn't have to be about what has never been done before. I practice a very old art that has been done for millenia. Maybe it's groundbreaking, maybe it's's still art.

Good art I might add.

Griff  Thursday Jan 16 08:01 AM

Burp singing?

elSicomoro  Thursday Jan 16 11:02 PM

Farting on command

paranoid  Thursday Jan 16 11:39 PM

Thanks for the comment, warch. Personally I never encountered the problems that Ross describes, for the simple reason that I was born in the Soviet Union, where "socialistic realism" was government-supported and Khruschev once even went as far as to destroy the abstract art exhibition with bulldozers and claim that all abstractionists are gays. But during my visits to "civilised" western countries I encountered such masterpieces as, for example, glassroom with pots with live roses and chamber-pot with relatively fresh shit (they pour water on it) inside. This one found in Helsinki museum of modern art.

Ross is an extremist, I agree with you, but he has the reason to be one and I see his point very well. AFAIR, on the 2nd page he has two portraits by Picasso and two very similar (composition, etc) ones by "real artists". Just look at the attached image (I know that there is a mistake - none of the portraits there is by Bouguereaus) and honestly say which do you think are "real art".

The most important and rational point that Ross makes is that originality itself means nothing at all. It can be valuable in our Internet age to entertain millions of people with another cool pic to be virally spread by e-mail. But this is not art. Playing tetris with the lights in the large apartment building is a cool hack, but it is not art. Of course, that doesn't mean that you can't make a similar project that would have artistic value, just that by concentrating on originality instead of artistic quality you decrease your chances to succeed. Speaking of Cellar examples, things like "sheep poetry" are not art. You, as a viewer, can inject the meaning into it, but you can do it with a real art much more effectively.

Art is a craft like any other activity. It can be taught and learned. There are tools, methods and techniques that are used to create art. Of course, it also requires some spark of imagination and inspiration, but to deny that there are established and effective techniques would be foolish.

When you basically say that "tastes differ" and refuse to objectively judge art, you fall into a dangerous trap. This is a cliche, a dangerous one and actually one probebly supported by modernists. You try to equate to different propositions "tastes differ" and "all art is created equal". The first one is correct, while the second is not. I am not an art critic - the best use I have for a Bouguereaus is to resize and crop the scan, courteously provided by artrenewal and place it as a wallpaper on my desktop. Sorry. But (simplified a bit) I can see that there is no intrinsic value in modernist art and there is value in classical art, when I am shown this. This is not true about the opposite.

Ross is not against innovation per se, and there are obviously some nice paintings about modern urban life, industry, etc. He is actually urges artists in the very same speech to create art about things in everyday's world, not repeating paintings on mythological topics.

I am also not against innovation. I appreciate art (when I can see it) in computer games, demos, creative digital images, modern architecture, etc. I like artists' renderings of space, I enjoy photography, including hi-res photos of Sun, fleas, etc. I don't think that there should be any media- or subject-related limitations. I just think that being original for originality sake doesn't make you work good.

I appreaciate artistic explorations, but you must admit that one might fail in his explorations. You try something new and original - good. But in 90% the result is utter crap and has no value whatsoever. We must admit that it is crap and move somewhere else.

P.S. Another thing. We can slightly disagree about Ross' attacks on modernists, but I think we must agree about his defence. I never seen anyone criticise Bouguereaus (because I lived in USSR/Russia), but if someone does, he is just an asshole.

warch  Friday Jan 17 12:56 PM

I was born in the Soviet Union, where "socialistic realism" was government-supported
I think its so cool that you have popped into the cellar. I find Russian and Soviet art very interesting, and the history there kinda shoots old Ross further in the foot. Stalin forced a return, redirection back to academic "real" "quality", and he got Soviet Social realism. Like Hitler, he found free thought and expression of those degenerates to be a threat.

I'll see your Bougereau (whose work I do appreciate) and raise you a Kandinsky (whose work I quite love). Kandinsky who was chased out of the USSR by Stalin.

I feel for your Helsinki (stinky) experience. Yes there is a lot of art, from all ages that I dont like, that I find boring or silly.

which do you think are "real art".
d. All of the above. And all have been regarded as real art by some sorts of experts. I think they are all art because that is what makers intended them to be.

My defense of Picasso, my appreciation for these paintings will be countered as proof of my indoctrination into Modernism. I think art can be ugly. I dont think poems have to rhyme. I think music can be improvisational.
Do I want it hanging over my couch? no. do I want it to exist in the world to spark discussions like this, well....yeah.

Here's my question...What is this Art For?
Thats when it connects with life.

by concentrating on originality instead of artistic quality you decrease your chances to succeed.
Originality being a unique idea? Well there are interesting ideas, and stupid ones. So there's quality in the concept as well.
Artistic quality I am reading as "craft", skilled technique. Very important. Very teachable skill. Yes. I appreciate both. Both need to be strong. There are thousands of beautifully crafted paintings. Some I find empty and boring, others rock my world. The difference, then isnt craft.

There is such a thing as the artistic one-liner. Boom, thats it, youve got my meaning. End of curiosity.

things like "sheep poetry" are not art. You, as a viewer, can inject the meaning into it, but you can do it with a real art much more effectively.
Hey, I like sheep poetry. More fun, life-like, affective, than that dreamy young lass gazing off into space. And one of the things art is for is to delight. (there was the whole helicopter aspect)

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