wtc memorial winner

World architecture... what's happening generally....

Postby alan d » Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:28 pm

I agree with you What? but Sandy Stoddard would probably fight you over this assertion as S.I. could verify.
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Postby FIN » Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:32 pm

yeah i think i agree too. conceptual art makes the viewer think. so it's a step up the evolutionary ladder.
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Postby notjim » Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:25 am

the heroic memorials in russia partly reflect the over-blown stalinist style, i haven't been to russia, but i have been to minsk in belarus, it was completely destroyed in ww2, almost everyone was killed and the town was rebuild in the soviet neo-classical style. minsk has some amazing memorials, huge things, usually with a figurative and an abstract element, and these vast edifices do fit in with the architecture.

there is another point though, there is a cultural difference; russians value heroism, it is one of their cardinal virtues, i know lots of russians through my work and even in a scientific field they place emphasis on heroic effort and scientific valour. the british admire a different form of valour; they admire gallantry and spirit. i think these difference are reflected in different memorial styles. in our case, the national ethos demands people should die for the love of it and our memorials are often romantic, even naive: the cuchulainn in the gpo, the swans in the rememberance gardens, the split hill for 1798 and the murals on falls road.

america is more confusing, as i said before, they used to be very figurative, figures of soldiers looking heroic, maybe natural in a country that values the individual, but, since mia lin, they have changed completely and now they are obsessed with the naming of names, lists and times and symbols. what's that about?

i don't agree with what? about there being a progression from the figurative to the abstract; in art maybe there is, there is an exploration, where particular modes become exhausted and a new mode superceeds it. not so with memorial art, it is influenced by contemporary artistic fashions, and by trends in memorial art itself, but it also reflects its own meaning and the meaning of the event being memorialized.
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Postby alan d » Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:05 pm

http://www.theithacajournal.com/news/stories/20040112/localnews/209720.html

Interesting comments here I think about telling the story, related to the first part of the thread.

I've been thinking about monumental figurative sculpture as used in the west.

The only example I can think of which absolutely matches those examples from totalitarian regimes in the east is in Belem in Lisbon. Monument to Discovery, celebrating Vasco de Gamma. Not easy to think of others?
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Postby what? » Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:13 pm

statue of liberty?
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:16 pm

nelson's statue

although technically it's to his war efforts... ok i'm sure their is a statue of raleigh somewhere
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Postby notjim » Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:57 pm

nelson's statue doesn't count, hard to think of war memorial before the boer war here and the civil war in america, before that the monuments are celebrations of victory.
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:18 pm

ok the figure of that religious person in rio de janerio, brazil.
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Postby alan d » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:23 pm

It's a strange dichotomy that totalitarian regimes like the Nazis or Communists reached always for technical achievement and innovation in science but had a narrower, restrictive appreciation of the arts, literature and architecture.

The piece you are thinking about S.I. is La Passionara, a memorial to those from Scotland who fought in Spanish Civil war
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:27 pm

freedom of thought has a lot to do with that and how much a government is going to allow the public to express it. if ur lets say"encouraged" to think a certain way in fear of death then i don't see too many people going against that.
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Postby space_invader » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:58 pm

thanks for that alan. There's actually an excellent book on Glasgow's Sculptures which came out a few years ago.

Concerning the Lobey Dosser statue on Woodland's Road in the West End of the city:

supposedly its the only one legged equestrian sculpture in the world.

For the record, it's a comicallly heroic effort too.

Got to say that while I generally prefer abstract sculpture to figurative, I do think it's a bit simplistic to consider it less intellectual and that abstract expression is an evolutionary leap.

Cave paintings were an abstract expression (or a magical spell) of the materia vital to cavey's survival. Bowls, were abstract expressions of wombs, totems of male genitals etc.

Most art starts out abstract and tends to veer towards lifelike representation when the technology develops.

Look at computer games:

We started out with the binary simplicity of Pong, a tennis simulation, moved on to the almost aztecan space invaders, then the pill munching simplicity of pac man before we got anywhere near the 'figurative realism' of Grant Theft Auto and Lara Croft.

And yes, Sandy Stoddart is the biggest classical-fetishist this side of Troy but his Beider-Lally in Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art is hilarious.
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Postby what? » Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:06 pm

i think you are re-inforcing rather than rejecting my proposal space, cavemen painted "abstract" paintings because that was all their primitive tools and education allowed them to do. abstraction for tham was less a concious decision, more a simplicity imposed on them by lack of tools or ability. as time progressed so did artistic ability and artists were able to create more and more lifelike forms (culmunating in my opinion in bernini's david) which expressed the values of their times, through poise and nuance of the human form.
since then society has changed and shared values have lost their omni-relevance. this is a reason why art had to develop into something that could convey the multiplicities of a comlpex modern life. representation could no longer convey messages of individuality and difference. and hence we move into an abstracted landscape of art, a vessel capable of dealing with modern issues.
i have every respect for figurative art but i think we musnt get blinded by a haze of reverence for the old.
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Postby space_invader » Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:45 pm

what?,

I also have no truck for the old. I love to study it, rather than recreate it, but perehaps you are right regarding developmental cycles.

I actually tend to think that it swings from one to the other depending on the media and the technology currently in use.

Hence, now, with say the Lord of the Rings movie, we are striving for realism and figurative representation BECAUSE the technology allows for it. Once we have mastered CGI realism, we will fuck around with the same tech in order to create abstractions. (much like the impressionists, cubists etc., who had the luxury of 2000 years of paint technology and figurative representaion behind them)

Then, we will no doubt extend our technologies to provide new kind of experiences, which by the very fact that the technologies will be new to us, will render most early examples of expression within this new paradigm as abstract' rather than 'real'.

Soon, when we have mastered those technologies, stuff will be look real again. Then, just to show our mastery, well do some abtract stuff before inventing more new technologies to create more mediated experiences.

Which will naturally be abstract at first.........

and so on

(I was just a bit wary of the evolutionary leap comment to be honest)
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Postby space_invader » Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:50 pm

so yeah, I take your point!

although, maybe, just maybe, we should entertain the thought that patterns are so lovely to the human eye that primitive man was addicted to producing these forms out of fun too!

yes - he was copying from nature, so it could be considered figurative, but the old cup and ring markings eh? those scribbles which litter the neolithic landscape of Ireland and the UK:

They are bloody abstract, OKAY!

:)
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:57 pm

very good point on the technology aspect..i was the one who said evolutionary and so i take it back. i never thought of it that way...very interesting. but i don't think early man had the capacity or the time to think of abstract art. my feeling on this is that it was a learning tool of which animal tasted better.



don't know about the cup and ring markings though. they could have been ritualistic items so maybe not best described as art. kinda like old gothic churches.
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Postby space_invader » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:00 pm

religion is an abstraction of space-time.

man tries to give meaning to atomic chaos.
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Postby space_invader » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:04 pm

also, I persoannly never underestimate the meandering, wandering mind of the cavemen.

even when out on the hunt, he may have been thinking about the lovely justaposition of zebrahide to long-grass.

I mean, it was they, after all, who birthed this dumb world we're in now!
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:08 pm

hmmm! i think religion is a tool to keep the populace in tow...some king created these "god's" to keep the loyalty of his people as soon as his people were more than his family group and it sprang from there.
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:09 pm

lol.....
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Postby notjim » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:10 pm

i am actually reading a book about aboriginal art at the moment, it is mostly about modern aboriginal art, but many simularities can be observed in ancient examples. the abstraction is present for quite sophisticated reasons, they allow the elements to have different, ambiguous meanings, many tied to their myth cycles and only comprehensible with reference to them. a single figure or abstract shape can have a narrative meaning, a tribal meaning, a religous meaning and a secret meaning, a geographical meaning as well as a decorative function.
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:14 pm

oh! i underestimate our primative cousins.... that's actually very interesting. did it profilerate into different aspects of their life?
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Postby notjim » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:39 pm

their art is part of their ritual enactment of their myth cycle "the dreamtime" and this, through observance, and a complicated hierarchical, tribal and land use structure, regulated their society. its kind of amazing actually.
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Postby FIN » Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:54 pm

so it help's express their "religion"( loosly and not in the terms that we know it now) and their history?
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Postby notjim » Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:48 pm

as i understand it, part of their religion involves the retelling and re-enactment of the dreamtime, their creation myth, their art is involved in this. through retelling and reinterpreting the dreamtime, and through the possession of knowledge of secret parts of the story, or secret intrepetations of an art object, the society is organizied, heirachy in different areas is established and land usage rights are apportioned.
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Postby FIN » Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:01 pm

yeah! much like early christianity...those who could read latin were in a position to read the bible and therefore in the church. position of authority. with all the land that the church owned at that stage and their influence in the holy roman empire etc... there is a linkage from those time through out the ages. this means that art has an imoortant place in history. this means that conceptual art was recongised for what it is by them.
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