Friday, January 28, 2011

Beuys Art

Joseph Beuys is complicated. There is not one word that can really describe him as a person, or his work. The idea of Fluxus is basically any and everything in life is art. As an artist, I can appreciate other artists and their works, but the idea of Fluxus is hard to accept as true art. Perhaps I look at life like I am human first, and an artist second. The very things that humans take for granted in everyday  life is what some consider to be art. I can appreciate this idea, at the same time I firmly disagree with it.

What is art to one person can be complete garbage to another. Take for instance my project; Many people can agree with me that a music video and poetry are both pieces of art. The type of music that I recorded for this project is Hip-Hop. Some people truly admire the music and really enjoy it, while others can not stand the very sound of it. Similar to Beuys, although some do not enjoy Hip-Hop, they can not deny that it is a form of art. Outside of this, there is not much of a connection between my piece and Beuys's style of art.

Beuys has my respect as an artist, but I dislike his work. One piece I just could not wrap my head around is the "Dead Hare" piece. I did not see any point at all in this piece, and it was rather disgusting. Here is a picture.    

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stroszek Similarities

Last week I briefly discussed Werner Herzog and one of his many films, Stroszek. Last week I had seen majority of the film with commentary. This week, I viewed the film in its entirety without any commentary. It had a different affect, however, I couldn’t help but remember side notes the director said in the commentary when I was watching the film throughout. The ending of the film was quit clever to say the least. The impact that Herzog left on viewers, both American and to other’s worldwide was out of the ordinary. It was far from horrible, but not necessarily your “fairy tale” ending. I say this is brilliant because of a few reasons. Americans are known to be accustomed to the “happy ending syndrome”. We love it when two people fall in love and live happily ever after, like in Notebook.
We admire films when fathers are willing to sacrifice their life to stand up against the system like in John Q.  

What Herzog said was, No! America is not all peaches and cream. Sure, it is the land of the free, and the perfect place to go from “rags to riches”, but life does not always happen that way.
In my project, I can relate to the message that Herzog was trying to convey. Gentrification is a serious issue, but some do not look at it as such. People have certain ways of thinking that tearing down buildings and homes in poverty stricken areas is a good thing because the new buildings will help those communities. That is not always the case. Building new buildings and raising taxes creates the issue of people not being able to afford their homes, and being evicted. Some people get a little money from the government, but that money is only going to go so far.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Influences from Herzog

Werner Herzog is a German filmmaker with a different style of directing. As a potential director myself, I find Herzog to be rather intriguing, to say the least, particularly with his approach in the film Stroszek. A few days ago I viewed this film with the commentary and discovered so much in depth of his vision. There are major sections in the film that is improvisational, completely off script. There are different locations in the movie that Herzog decided to capture in the spare of the moment. To put the cherry on top, out of all places in America to film a movie, Plainfield, Wisconsin was where he shot much of the film. Why not Chicago, Illinois? Why not Los Angeles, California? Why not New York City? I think Herzog had a perception of America being this place where immigrants come for that typical “Rags to Riches” story. Interesting enough, our main character’s dreams of success in America didn’t come true.
  In chapter 5 of a reading titled, “Herzog on Herzog”, Werner said, “Musical influences have always been very strong, maybe the strongest. He went on by saying he does not read much, but when he does, it is always a very intense experience. He especially likes poetry by Holderlin. I thought that was ironic because I too am influenced by music. For the purpose of my final project, both poetry and music are deep elements to the entire project. Music and poetry does not just influence the piece, it is my piece. Herzog collaborated with magnificent artists, such as Bruno S, so will I. Jinglei Xiao, who is a classmate of mine, has agreed to collaborate with me on this project. With his extraordinary editing skills, and both of our creative minds, there’s no telling what the finished project will convey. However, I can say this much, it will be revelating.          

Friday, January 7, 2011

Do Everything - Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol is an artistic genius to so many people worldwide. His witty intellect and stylish domineer influenced so many artists during his time, as well as now in the 21st century. I recently viewed the last hour or so of a documentary about Warhol’s life. His life choices were daring, risky, and I am convinced that that mindset rewarded him with successful films and paintings, as well as the issues that come with being famous. Like many famous people, Warhol experienced a near death experience that briefly blocked his creative juices. After Warhol was shot, he created a project that accumulated millions of dollars. In his early days, he created the painting for the Campbell’s soup Ad. 

He made money from simple art people take for granted. Later in his career, after he was shot, he used a similar pattern, creating famous celebrity paintings that reined at the top of pop art culture. He made 100 million dollars for a 1963 canvas titled Eight Elvises. Pablo Picasso and very few other artists have only reached that mark. 

Warhol said, “Do Everything”. He said it, and firmly stood by it, as he created paintings, digital pieces, films, worked with rock bands, and more. My digital project is a lot like Warhol’s “Do everything” theme. For approximately five minutes I plan on presenting a poetry performance piece about different issues I think are significant in America, then it will fade into a music video related to the same topic. In my short video I will have directed, produced, performed, and edited a project that the world could view on the web.  Warhol said everything, my project is very close to that.