Introduction

Serendipitously Finding ‘Reflect 2009’

Serendipitously Finding ‘Reflect 2009’

So, yesterday afternoon, as I was rushing to the UC Junior Common Room to buy some kind of lunch/dinner-for-later and worrying about what my soon-to-be-late blog post would be about… I wandered into an art show.

Apparently, today was UC’s ‘annual socially conscious art show’, ‘Reflect’, held in the JCR as mentioned above. I was only there for a couple of minutes, stifled by my giant bags, but I now feel I haven’t missed out on all the wonderful artsy-ness that I ranted about last last week. 🙂

As the show was socially conscious, I unintendedly ranted on my opinions on certain pieces.

Some highlights!

  • ‘Untitled’ : a chalk pastel drawing of the human female torso. Or female human torso. In greens and reds, on orange paper. I feel admiration and j-e-a-l-o-u-s-y towards those who can accurately draw the human figure in proportion. Done from a live model, to convey a sense of the real body and not an idealized version. Forgive me if I butcher your vision in my attempt to relay it through words…
  • ‘The Dreamer’ : Digital artwork. A man, with kind of a feminine face (from my perspection though), so I was a little confused at first, lying on a bed… but in such a way that he looks upside down to the viewer… He’s holding up a cigar, as if he’s kind of daydreaming about the smoke.. or just reminiscing in general. The smoke trails off next to him and forms the shape of a lady with white hair lying next to him. The description of the picture in the pamplet says,* “Art can also be used to fill a void, a space that when ripped open due to [the] death of a loved one can be filled by no other thing.”
  • ‘Contemporaneity’ : A series of banana paintings! Rather, paintings of bananas. The point? (refers back to pamplet) The artist experienced bananas as a precious fruit growing up, as opposed to now, when they are relatively cheap, and often genetically modified and mass produced (even when out of season), along with other fruits. I quote “Is there any difference between “fresh” fruit and microwavable instant food then”?  To throw in my own two cents; years ago, European settlers and Bob-knows-who-else travelled to “exotic” countries, belittling their way of life and offering modern solutions to the way they live, fertilizers, different ways of processing foods, “Don’t breastfeed”, etc., that kind of thing. Now, we have super expensive organic foods from Noah’s and Dr. Oz and Oprah** travelling to ‘blue zones’ where people live to be 100, because they eat ‘natural’ foods.
  • ‘Never Again’ and Number 14 : The first was a video installation, addressing the fact that humanitarian atrocities still continue today, despite the world’s declaration of ‘Never again’ after the Holocaust. The second was a (huge) charcoal drawing that seemed to have the theme of ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’; three figures cover their ears, eyes and mouth (respectively, no multi-armed people) as the familiar images of kwashiorkor-afflicted African children are shown behind them. I agree with the viewpoints of these artworks, but some part of me wishes the world saw more than just the images of skinny children and poor families and dusty villages in Africa. The continent is a bit more than that, but North America is severely accustomed to the ‘World Vision’ images. Not to say that the artists are the typical ignorant North American, or that the humanitarian issues should be ignored in favour of a more positive image of African countries, but… If people saw and understood what African nations were actually like, societally, economically, culturally and in terms of all their complex factors, I think people would be more inclined to respond to the atrocities happening there. And Sarah Palin would finally learn that it is a continent and not a country.
  • ‘Abstract’ : I do not understand abstract art. Although, I DO understand that it can be frustrating to get globs of different colours to do what you want when they mix.:S
  • ‘Happy Valentine’s Day” : A black and white photograph of a hand damp with something dark. You realize what when you read the description in the pamphlet: “Who are you, really?”

(I hate that question, as I see myself as one who doesn’t mind finding out. Why is everything confrontational to me? :S :S :S)

Other pieces addressed such issues as a personal connection to the Quran, homelessness (quoting again; “Ask yourself if you’ve consciously decided to stare straight ahead of if you’ve sped up; wonder “Why?”), walking as alternative transport (it would eradicate the high heel in the office), plastic, environment/man-made conflicts, and even ‘life itself as a beautiful vibrant dance amongst an infinite horizon’.

Lesson? Wander randomly around campus whenever you can.

– Liesl

On a side note, I apparently overlooked a piece entitled ‘Malestream’, a project part of a Gender, Race and Class course. 🙁 DARN.

*No copyright/reproduction infrigment intended!

**This is where my mom comes in with her tag line for organic food conversations. I will leave this redundant statement as an inside joke only for her.