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   Undertoad  Tuesday Oct 4 09:24 AM

10/4/2005: Schizophrenic's carving becomes art



via We Make Money Not Art

Jeannot was a farmer in France in the 70s. He was schizophrenic, so much so that at one point he actually took potshots at his neighbors due to the voices in his head.

He lived with his mother, but his mother died - a natural death, we assume. Instead of burying her under the earth like one would normally do, he stuck her under the kitchen stairs. And then he moved next to the stairs and started carving up the floor.

'Religion has invented machines for commanding the brain of people and animals and with an invention for seeing our vision through the retina uses us to do ill (...) the church after using Hitler to kill the Jews wanted to invent a trial to take power (...) we Jean Paule are innocent we have neither killed nor destroyed nor hurt others it's religion that uses electronic machines to command the brain.'

After seven months he died of starvation, having apparently not et after his mom died. And now his carved rants are Paris' controversial new art exhibit.

Although art critics want the work to continue to be seen by a wide audience, Benoit Gallet, a spokesman for the company which owns Jeannot's Floorboards, said: "We intend to offer the work to the Hopital Sainte Anne, a psychiatric centre in Paris. We feel that placing the work in that environment will help fight against the stigmatisation of mental illness as people will want to go in and see it."

In my opinion: I think it's very important to understand why this carving was made, and what it says. But I don't think there's any room for interpretation. There's nothing astonishing about it, and definitely nothing profound. It's illness, plain and simple. Doesn't merit artistic exploration - it only merits scientific and medical exploration.



BigV  Tuesday Oct 4 10:45 AM

What makes it art?

I seriously doubt "art" was on the mind of the carver when it was made. Does the discovery or display make it so? If I were to sweep up the shards of glass or the gouge in the wall where it hit and broke and put it on display, would that be art? How could the physical evidence of mental illness be considered art? Or even the result of any other labor? I pruned some branches last weekend, is the brushpile art? The now squared off tree? What about some of the expository postings of mine you've all had the (mis)fortune to read? Art? I really doubt it, but then, what do I know about art?



wolf  Tuesday Oct 4 11:57 AM

That story is very unusual, even for crazy people.

Sad that nobody checked on him and fed him, though.

We get cases like that (without the floor carving ... just the not caring for self parts) every now and again.



smoothmoniker  Tuesday Oct 4 12:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
What makes it art?
Welcome to the post-modern quandry. Does intentionality matter? Does context? Does perception?



Art?



This?




What about this?



Or this?

What makes the difference?


mrnoodle  Tuesday Oct 4 01:15 PM

On one hand, art is whatever the viewer perceives it to be.

On the other hand, artists get too much credit -- I think most reaction to modern art doesn't come from the heart. I think people know what they're "supposed" to think about something, and play off each other's reactions and comments to form a consensus of opinion -- but the end consensus is rarely what one's initial reaction to a piece would be (i.e., "hey, that's just three stripes on a canvas")

It's the same mentality that made trucker hats come into fashion. No one thinks they look good, but people think everyone else thinks they look good. You think this mentality disappears just because someone starts sipping chardonnay and attending exhibits? If anything, it gets worse.



Elspode  Tuesday Oct 4 02:22 PM

Whenever schizophrenic stuff comes up around our house (and it does more often than one might think), we end up stuck at the whole "what is the nature of reality" thing.

Just because an individual's perceptions and interpretations thereof differ from everyone else's around him, does it necessarily follow that what the individual is experiencing isn't real? Maybe we just can't see/hear/experience what they do, and it actually *is* going on somewhere/sometime/somewhen?

Quantum physics + brain chemisty= Confused Old Hippie.



Elspode  Tuesday Oct 4 02:23 PM

Oh...and, just for the record...Art is whatever I say it is.



dar512  Tuesday Oct 4 02:37 PM

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad"

Salvador Dali



dar512  Tuesday Oct 4 02:42 PM

Oh, and one more opinion - I don't think it's art. Not to say that we don't want to look at it. I think it's more like looking at the result of a car crash. We look while our mind ponders what happened to cause such a thing.



Silent  Tuesday Oct 4 02:52 PM

Art is all about presentation.

It has been proven that dog shit can be art if presented the right way.
I don't know much about art, but I know what I like



BigV  Tuesday Oct 4 02:54 PM

That's a link about dog sh*t, right? Hey, look at me NOT clicking on that, like goat s e and t u bgirl. Who says I have poor impulse control?



Elspode  Tuesday Oct 4 02:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512
We look while our mind ponders what happened to cause such a thing.
However, if *that* was the intent of the artist...voila! Art!


BigV  Tuesday Oct 4 02:58 PM

If you say so.



Silent  Tuesday Oct 4 03:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
That's a link about dog sh*t, right? Hey, look at me NOT clicking on that, like goat s e and t u bgirl. Who says I have poor impulse control?

Yeah, but it's done tastefully....


Elspode  Tuesday Oct 4 03:21 PM

http://www.cellar.org/showpost.php?p=189664&postcount=13]Infinity![/url]



Promenea  Tuesday Oct 4 05:30 PM

Quote:
That's a link about dog sh*t, right? Hey, look at me NOT clicking on that, like goat s e and t u bgirl. Who says I have poor impulse control?
Actually it is pretty good but it is more a political statement than art imo


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 4 06:48 PM

Quote:
Doesn't merit artistic exploration - it only merits scientific and medical exploration.
Doesn't merit artistic exploitation - it only merits scientific and medical exploration.


capnhowdy  Tuesday Oct 4 08:28 PM

It caught my eye and it held my attention briefly. If it had had been on the wall at a gallery I may have been in awe. Art , IMO, is way deeper than a visual perception. It is when one expresses feelings from their inner self. It intrigues. I can't help but wonder what the " artist" was thinking when he transfered the thoughts from his head to the floor. Obviously it was something he felt the need to share. I didn't share it but it did raise questions and points of interest in my mind as well as most of us. We felt it worthy of conversation and opinionated input as well as ....the big word..... CRITICISM.
Could it be that any statement that provokes criticism COULD be art?
Too much grey area in art to actually define it. I guess if you catch the wave you ride it enjoyably and if you don't, you just stand on the beach and look.
And anyway, "Crazy" people can be HIGHLY ARTISTIC. I am not highly learned in this area but I'm sure those who are would be at least in partial agreement .
It is very sad that he starved to death. Seems like SOMEONE would have given a f@#k. Sometimes the world is a cruel environment.



wolf  Wednesday Oct 5 02:58 AM

I was showing this off at work tonight and realized what had been bothering me about this all along ...

It should have been written in crayon.



xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Oct 5 04:00 AM

Or carved in flesh.



ferfanerd  Wednesday Oct 5 11:49 PM

Art is whatever you say it is, for you. and for me, it is whatever I say it is. it doesn't matter what the artist intended most of the time. It matters that something speaks to you or draws you to it. and BTW, somtimes what makes it "important art" is a new approach based on what had been done previously (i'm talking history). and if a guy wants to explore color or giant running fences and the critics or general public rave about it for whatever reason, you don't have to look if you don't want to. don't limit your understanding of something based on your first impression. if you don't like it find out why someone else does. -Art Teacher



elSicomoro  Wednesday Oct 5 11:54 PM

Carla was on her break from the
Graveyard shift at the mayonnaise factory
She sat at a teetering picnic table,
There was a toxic orange moon
And it was slightly cold
Carla took out her knife and began etching
Random words into the table's surface
Then, she thought of her co-worker Jack
Carla liked to think of Jack
As a luscious apparatus
He was meaty but graceful
His flesh seemed folded onto his body
Like a suit made of meat
Carla started to think of Jack as a
Luscious apparatus in a meat suit
Thinking this gave Carla a dreamy smile
Her mouth was small to begin with
But dreaming made it even smaller
That's just how some people are,
Their mouths get smaller with dreams
Carla's small mouth was dreaming
As her knife began carving a poem into the table
I like hot voids, smooth pants, lazy beds in the rain
I like tongue petals, lather, a blistering sun
But what I like best is the worship
Of a luscious apparatus

When Carla was done carving
She went back to her work station
And scooped shiny white goop into jars
That's just how some people are,
Their mouths get smaller with dreaming

The next day Jack took his own 1am lunch break
At the same picnic table
He noticed the poem carved into the wood
Although he didn't know who had written it,
He coincidentally thought
'Luscious Apparatus' aptly described him
So he took out his own knife and wrote
'Luscious apparatus was here'

After a few days both Jack and Carla
Happened to sit at the picnic table
At the same time
They both started to look
At the things carved in the table
Then they looked at each other
They knew who each other was
Carla's mouth got small and dreamy,
Jack's eyes got round and hot
When they got done
With the graveyard shift
They went back to Jack's apartment
And had sex
Wordless sex, slow sex,
Fast sex, talking sex
Sex like animals have,
Sex like boys have, sex like girls have
Sex upside down, sex inside out
Sex with grins, sex with tears
Sex, sex, sex
Then she noticed the knife by the side of Jack's bed
Jack picked the knife up And Carla knew at once
That Jack's wounds were from carving himself
Jack was trying to carve poems into himself
And now he wanted to carve some in her
This was where she drew the line
She'd have any kind of sex but not with a knife
When Carla refused to let Jack carve her up,
Jack felt cheated and misled
He felt that by carving a poem in the table
Carla had been begging to be carved upon
Carla didn't see it that way at all
She got up and started putting on her clothes
Jack went nuts, he was coming at her with a knife
Carla was scared, Carla was shaking and sweating
Then, because she was small and could move fast
She ducked and Jack tripped and fell
And impaled himself in the arm with his own knife
He howled and howled and Carla got the hell out of there fast

Carla didn't think of Jack as a luscious apparatus after that

written by Maggie Estep



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Oct 6 05:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferfanerd
Art is whatever you say it is, for you. and for me, it is whatever I say it is. it doesn't matter what the artist intended most of the time. It matters that something speaks to you or draws you to it. and BTW, somtimes what makes it "important art" is a new approach based on what had been done previously (i'm talking history). and if a guy wants to explore color or giant running fences and the critics or general public rave about it for whatever reason, you don't have to look if you don't want to. don't limit your understanding of something based on your first impression. if you don't like it find out why someone else does. -Art Teacher
Welcome to the Cellar, ferfanerd. Don't worry about Sycamore....he's mostly harmless.
Art is a pretty broad topic but being a non-sophisticated sort, when I see something that's been presented as art, I know imediately if it appeals to me.
I hear people say, "It'll grow on you" but I've found that not the case. Sometimes a piece that I immediately dislike will, in time, become tolerable. But that said, I will never like it.


elSicomoro  Thursday Oct 6 09:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
Don't worry about Sycamore....he's mostly harmless.
Notice that Bruce had to put a disclaimer on there...mostly.


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