Orlan and the Fine Art Criticism

April 27, 2009

orlan2

To be a fine art critic the only thing you need to have is eyes and maybe a little knowledge about art in general.  Orlan is an artist who has undergone a lot of different plastic surgeries to morph her face into a “piece of art.”  Orlan describes her work as “Carnal Art” which is “a self-portrait in the classical sense, yet realized through the technology of our time.”  If fine art is a visual medium, then Orlan herself is a walking exhibit.  Orlan embraces the technology of the time by undergoing these procedures but rejects everything they stand for.  Instead of making herself “pretty” by my standard she makes herself grossly disfigured. 

orlan4

Although it is easy to take a step back and ridicule an artist, being a critic isn’t as easy as it seems.  This is a community where you can be ridiculed for not liking an artist that turns out to be the next Picasso, or liking an artist who is just a drip in the pan.  Being a critic you have to keep up with the new movements, because in the world of art you never know what’s going to be coming out.  Orlan sells pictures and painting to help pay for the next procedure.  At this point in time Orlan is very famous and has left her mark on the art world forever.  You can vote for her to become the “Golden Woman of The Art World” here http://www.connaissancedesarts.com/


Doll Clothes vs. Feminism

April 27, 2009

A connection can be easily drawn between “Doll Clothes” by Cindy Sherman, and second-wave feminism. In the short film, a doll representing a Caucasian woman in the 1970’s (when the movie was made), comes to life and starts choosing an outfit to wear. After flipping through many more masculine outfits, such as t-shirts, pants and shorts, she comes across a dress which she is very happy to wear. After having made her choice, hands of a woman pick her up, strip her down to underwear once again and put her back in the box. The significance and connection between the two are imbedded in several parts of this film, but the three moments that are the most significant are: First, when she leaves the box and searches for an outfit to wear, second, when she chooses a dress to wear, and last when the dress is removed from her body and she is put back in the box. 

Initially, the first exemplification of feminism to be analyzed is when the doll searches for an outfit to wear. Since she is naked to begin with perhaps Cindy Sherman is trying to show us women as blank canvas. It seems she is also indicating that the choices they make are what lead them to these socially constructed gender roles. The doll flips through shirts, pants, shorts, all clothing articles that both men and women can wear. However easy it is for the doll to choose one of those and be equal to men, she still chooses to be a “pretty doll” and wear a dress, much like the women of the time.

Next, the decision of the doll in wearing a dress symbolizes why it was such a struggle for feminists to acquire equality. Sherman is basically saying that women boycott themselves. Women can choose to be like men but because of the gender roles imposed on them culturally they still choose to be delicate and pretty (in a dress), in order to attract a man to care for them.

Lastly, feminism is depicted when the dress being removed from the doll and it is put back in the box. At the time in the film the doll is happily wearing her dress when these hands of a woman remove the dress and return the doll to the pocket. These hands seem to represent a larger force, a more powerful one that could be identified as feminism. It is perhaps implying that only a strong force with many women combined is strong enough to remove women from these roles and take them out of their comfort zones. As a result women will be turned back into a blank canvas much like the doll, stripped of all these restrictions imposed on them by men.

In conclusion, the movie “Doll house” by Cindy Sherman has a strong feministic influence. The three main moments that were evaluated were when the doll choose what to wear, when it chose a dress, and when it was put back in the box. After evaluating these three moments in the film we can recognize the social influences on women, and as a result see the stance taken by Cindy Sherman, in relationship to feminist thinking.  


Henri Michaux and Gaze Theories

April 27, 2009

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So after reading up on the different gaze theories I thought it would be interesting to relate it to Henri Michaux “Images du monde visionnaire.”  Without reading about what this film is about or where it came from, the normal viewer would depict this film as trippy.  In fact Henri Michaux was inspired to make this film with the help of such drugs as LSD and hashish.  The wildest part is that the film is supposed to be an educational film demonstrating the effects of hallucinogens.  I could imagine seeing this film being blasted on a huge wall at a rave with everyone tripping on different sort of drugs.  But getting back onto the gaze theories this film would fit in a few different categories.  Since Henri was inspired by his actual experiences this would be the film director’s gaze because we are seeing what he is seeing. 

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We are now in his head looking through his eyes or his camera eye.  We are also seeing the editorial gaze because there is obviously editing that had to go into the film to get specific effects etc.  Since Henri did not edit the film himself, the gaze transforms into what the editor wants or has the ability to perform. Any speaking parts are in a different language, so the viewer who doesn’t speak the language only has the images to go on.  This is a completely different experience for the viewer because instead of letting the narrator tell you what you are seeing you use your imagination.  This would be considered the spectators gaze, the spectator viewing the text and deciphering it for themselves.  The gaze of this film is interesting because the viewer is watching the screen and viewing what it would like to be on a drug, when they really are not.  If this film was to make people not want to do drugs, then it defiantly did the opposite.  


Speculative Media Mashup-Night Of The Living Dead

April 27, 2009

01:56 Camera shot of American flag in cemetery with car driving by in background

Paul

I wonder why there are so many American flags here in Canada? 

Cindy

Put out that joint, we are still in the United States.

Paul

Whaaat?

Cindy

We are going to see spike.

Paul

Oh yeah, I don’t know why we always have to come visit our dead dog! 

Cindy

You have his name tattooed on you butt!

Paul

Oh yeah, well I should be at the beach right now not a graveyard.  Sitting on the beach with a cooler full of coronas.  

Cindy

Its looks likes its gonna rain.

Paul

I got the munchies is there anymore of that candy? 

Cindy

No. 

Paul

Look at this thing, we still remember.  It’s a dog, he cant read.

Cindy

Obviously, they don’t sell ones that say, “Ruff” 

Paul

That’s a good idea; maybe we should open our own company that sells dog-burial reefs.  Or a company that sells doggy caskets! 

Cindy

That’s a horrible idea Paul

Radio comes on.

Radio

The current beach weather is sunny and wonderful!

Paul

Bummer..

Paul turns off the radio and exits the car.

Paul

The radio says it’s sunny at the beach. 

Cindy

Get over it! 

Paul

Have you seen that movie Pet Cemetery

Cindy

Yeah, it was really scary. Thanks. 

Paul

Lets drop this thing off and get out of here.

Cindy

There it is!

Paul

I wonder how much money we are wasting on this grave spot.  The dog was cool but not that cool.  Maybe we should get a new puppy?

Cindy

What the point they just die. 

Paul

Well. But. No I guess your right.

Cindy prays on the ground.

Paul

You never get on your knees for me anymore.

Man in background. Paul putting on his gloves.

Paul

Hey do you want to play OJ Simpson? 

Cindy

We haven’t role played in awhile. 

                                                                    Paul

Well we can do something about that.  Do you remember that one time we were out here, right over there I jumped out at you and made love to you on that gravestone? Remember that? Right over there.  We’ve had some good times here.

                                                                  Cindy

OJ?

Paul

I’m gonna kill you!

Cindy

Stop it OJ, I mean it!

Paul

I’m coming to get you Cindy!

Cindy

Stop it! Your Ignorant!

Paul

You can’t run! I played Pro Football! 

Cindy

Stop IT! You’re acting like a child! 

Paul

I’m coming for you!

Man comes from woods.

Paul

I got you! Oh your lucky you have witnesses, I must flee!

END 06:30


The Production of Meaning & Semiotics

April 27, 2009

Logo SemioticsSemiotics is the study of signs and symbols and the way we interpret them.  In the short film Adbusters there is a whole section on the brands that we take for granted everyday.  Company logos like McDonalds, Fritos, Marlboro, CNN, Ford, and Apple are all symbols of some aspect of the American way.  In the film it says we are targeted by over 3000 marketing messages everyday.  The way semiotics is used with these companies is for example the symbol of the “golden arches” automatically is associated with Mcdonanalds, Big Macs, fries, milkshakes, etc.  In fact the golden arches are more recognizable then the Christian cross.   In the film they make it seem as though we are just a walking advertisement for all these companies when we consume these products.

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  There is another section of the film that goes through a few different products such as Tommy Hilfiger cologne, Calvin Klein underwear, Mac computers, and Marlboros.  It is a direct mockery of the semiotics of the brands, because the commercials for these products make you feel a certain way.  For example Calvin Klein underwear will make you look all buff and in shape, because everyone in the commercial is buff and in shape.  Another example is Marlboro cigarettes they say they want to be more rugged so they started smoking Marlboros, because all the ads for these cigarettes are with cowboys doing manly things.  The connection we have between these products and brands is a semiotic connection.  The message I got from this film was to stop buying these products and look at the consequences of our actions, over consumption is the problem for all the environment problems.  

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Power Ball Comes To Florida!

April 1, 2009

January brought the start of Power Ball to Florida, and in only three months the jackpots have reached over $100 million dollars. Floridians rarely have seen jackpots this big but in the past couple months they seem to be happening more and more. With the economy in shambles, Lottery ticket sales seem to be through the roof. People trying to solve there money woes, by buying lottery tickets in hopes of beating the odds. Just think about it, hitting the jackpot and after taxes and such depositing a check for $50,000,000 in your bank account! What would you do first?