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Sheila Pepe - Hot Mess Formalism

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posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:00 PM
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One of the other threads is a current events thread about a modern art piece that had to be pulled because of threats of violence. The piece in question was "Dogs Cannot Touch Each Other" or something like that. It was the video of pitbulls arranged on treadmills so that they could see each other but never actually reach their opponent to fight. It is apparently a training technique used with fighting dogs, and some who saw it felt it was cruelty to animals and actually threatened violence to the museum if it wasn't pulled down.

Long story short, the thread itself started a discussion about what is art and what it isn't. What was the purpose of that particular piece keeping in mind that art isn't always about making you feel good while it is about provoking emotions in the beholder.

So I have a new position at work, more editorial centered, and one of my new functions is to sift through local events. This particular exhibit caught me eye in light of that thread and that facet of the discussion: Sheila Pepe: Hot Mess Formalism. This will be an upcoming exhibit you folks down Phoenix way can go view this fall and winter at the Phoenix Art Museum if you want to personal, up close perspective.

For some background, Pepe claims her art is inspired by

feminist and craft traditions to counter patriarchal notions of recognized or accepted forms of art making. Because Pepe’s works are often site-dependent, there is a critical relationship to traditional boundaries of museum display that are essential to her sculptural practice. While personal and cultural narratives often play a vital role in Pepe’s artistic practice, her work is left open to multiple interpretations.


So I am looking at her work what I can find, and her notions of subverting patriarchy and feminist craft traditions produce this:







Which more or less translate into giant, multi-colored tangles. I'm not sure how that's supposed to read sticking it to "The Man" because she didn't make a sweater with her yarn and instead created a tangle. And I'm not sure how I am supposed to be emotionally moved upon walking into or up to one of these pieces.

I am sure she finds the process extremely emotionally gratifying and freeing and thus worth doing.

But in light of the recent discussion on what constitutes art, I'm not sure how this is it. I actually found the piece with the dogs on treadmills more emotionally impacting in the manner of a YouTube video and I'm not sure I'd call that art either. This is the problem I have with much of modern art. It seems to exist to gratify the artist and not to bring anything of real beauty or worth or profound truth to the world.




posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:25 PM
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Its actually a very a accurate rendition of an average woman's thought processes. You should see the ones with a woman on caffeine and one on alcohol.




posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Just about anything could be considered art. Piero Manzoni famously canned something like 80-90 1oz tin cans of his own feces and some of these numbered tins have sold for over $100k. It actually works on multiple levels. One could see it as commentary on how the superficial nature of the art scene — anything produced by a known artist, no matter how crappy, takes on undue value.

At the same time, it's arguably a brilliant work of art as it certainly elicits a reaction, gets people thinking and it's not even required that somebody sees one of the tins for that to happen. Just knowing that it was done is sufficient. So maybe it was a really a statement about how anything can be art in the proper context.

Or maybe he was hanging out with his friends, getting high and said, "Duuuudes. What would happen if I pooped in tins and called it art? Wouldn't that be funny?"

It could be interpreted in even more ways but I digress, your OP is about these tangles.

I don't think it's particularly provocative, original, imaginative or effective. It doesn't do anything for me.



posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Yeah, but at the same time, don't you feel insulted when someone parks a cardboard box in a space, gives it a name and because it's in a gallery, it is dubbed art and people wax poetic about how it's a deep commentary on this or that bit of existentialism?

Any one of us arguably do the very same thing every single time we move.



posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I once (a long time ago) painted my naked behind with latex paint and slapped a canvas on it to make an image.

I then took a small can of neon spray paint and angled it to represent a fart.

I called it "Fart Art".

They sold within the hour on Ebay.

Two of them.

One I called, "One Cheek Sneak" and the other "Taco Tuesday".

Made 100 bucks. Sold both for 50 dollars.




edit on 28-9-2017 by DBCowboy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

If you honestly had a racket like that, why on earth did you quit.



posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:41 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: DBCowboy

If you honestly had a racket like that, why on earth did you quit.


The bride got tired real quick of helping me wash latex paint off my ass.





posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 07:46 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

I guess I can understand that. I wouldn't want to clean off my husband's butt either.



posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 08:09 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Here in my neck of the woods we have an event that has gained popularity worldwide. It's called ArtPrize.

www.mlive.com...

This seems to be the current favorite.



posted on Sep, 28 2017 @ 08:34 PM
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Where is the line drawn between censorship, acceptable art and freedom of expression?

Bill Henson is a contreversial photographer in Australia he takes photos of underage boys and girls in some fairly risque positions naked. Some view the work as art others are offended.


Bill Henson model speaks out in defence of controversial photographer.




Henson is regarded as one of the most important photographers of our times.

But his work also sparks controversy, particularly with those who do not believe that an underage model can grant informed consent to be depicted naked.



Police close naked teen photo exhibition.



A controversial exhibition in Sydney featuring nude photos of underage girls has been cancelled.


Some photos where removed from his 2008 exhibtion. Henson has a 2017 exhibition that has the art world divided, although the current exhibtion has had no censorship.

I would have posted some of his less risque pictures but even those may offend or breach T&C.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 10:50 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: theantediluvian

Yeah, but at the same time, don't you feel insulted when someone parks a cardboard box in a space, gives it a name and because it's in a gallery, it is dubbed art and people wax poetic about how it's a deep commentary on this or that bit of existentialism?

Any one of us arguably do the very same thing every single time we move.


You forgot a few adjectives.
Screwed, hoodwinked, irate, PISSED, lastly I'm left googling the definition of modern art, frantically. I believe the Elephant Poo exhibition was the winner of questionable "Art". At least the most publicized.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 10:54 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko


Once I had eaten like 20 to 38 Barbacoa tacos w some green chile death sauzz.

The festive stringy diarrhea that followed produced images very similar.

Did I act all snobby?

Slightly, when I ran out of TP.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 02:52 PM
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Honestly, this thread is not specifically to call out this one artist. I mainly used her because of the title of exhibit. I just think it takes guts to do modern art and call your work a "hot mess" because that's really what so much of modern art looks like.

Have we gotten to the point where art is more about how the process of creation has emotionally affected the creator than it is about how we as viewers are impacted by it?

Because when I compare stuff like this to works like David or Botticelli's Venus or some of the great Medieval tapestries, I have to wonder where the "art" aspect comes in.



posted on Sep, 29 2017 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I know absolutely squat about fine art.
Modern art is supposed to evoke a response by the audience, last I heard, or so it's said? I think by using the qualifier "Modern" people have been taking all kinds of liberties with "Art". Kind of a catch-all for whatever an artist feels like doing.

For instance look at Bjork. Is it Art? is it Music? Is it Theater? Is it all of the above? Then you have Christo draping landscapes in fabric. Is that truly Art, or littering? Or Jackson Pollock, some see Art, I see crap on a canvas. Probably a response that isn't much appreciated, but since Art is subjective that just makes me uneducated & unappreciative.


I agree that this whole deal of the creative process and whatever someone pukes up being Art is pretty self indulgent on the Artists part. I don't care how may "feels" you got bringing me this ugly piece of crap, but if it's crap I can't lie and say it isn't. On the other hand if it's a piece that you "Crafted" spent time on and needed physical specific techniques to make I respect the work even if the piece looks like hillary's hind end.

Stringing rope or yarn or whatever Sheila used isn't Art since any one of us can hang stuff from a ceiling.
Guess that's where I have to draw the line.

Had she spent hours polymerizing it, or dying it, or used an actual technique she learnt that most of us can't I'd go with Yeah, it's Art of some sort. Actually looking at it again I'm totally not getting the "Sticking it to the man vibe" but more a "Spider-trickster" type imagery. But that's still just me projecting something, ANYTHING onto her installations to sort of mythologically make sense of her work.



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