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"expectations" Tag


Change the system, a consequence or a cause?


Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Change the System show left a feeling of good-willingness. A presentation of their good-willingness towards the world, and how they want to change the system with the use of their work. With this the show can be placed on a long list of strongly socially-engaged exhibitions. Going with the hype is one thing, but using your work as a tool to change things is another. This has everything to do with the relationship between the work and the maker, in relation to the work itself. When I came to discover that Martin Margiela is known for, besides of course his designs, his strong opinion on the importance of the separation between creation and creator, I knew that this would be a subject that I would like to address in relation to the show in the Boijmans.

In the ‘Change Maker’ show was a strongly visible parting between the participants; those who want to use their work to change the system and those who change the system as a consequence of their work. This was something I could immediately feel when seeing the work.

By giving a work a certain expectation, a goal, the central point, as it were, drifts towards a purpose and away from the work itself. You will always end up with following the ethic, the moral. Because of that the end result is always limited, it will be something you already know, something everybody already knows. In a way propaganda. For me, the function of an artwork can be connected to the function of a dream. This raises the question: what do you get from a morally correct dream?

That is the reason why it is so tricky to use art or design, if you want to make that distinction, to reach a certain goal. Reaching for a certain goal, apart from the work itself, is like starting from the opposite direction: first the shape is made, where later is made an attempted to insert a tenor. But in the end it feels like only a shell remains, which never had a content. Richard Serra made a clear comment about this issue when he was told that his work was not socially engaged enough; “art doesn’t need justification from outside”. To go a step further, you will kill the power of an artwork by making it justificational.

The motivation of doing this can be multiple things; with a lot of these kind of socially-engaged artists their own ego plays a big role, in the sense of: yes, also I am concerned about global warming and the extinction of all kind of animals. And others have financial motivations; one way to have a lot of shows these days is by presenting yourself as the engaged artist. This became clear when doing some general research into the participants, an image-search on the participants, no works came up, just the nice promotion pictures of their faces. Is it for creator about making a good chair, or is it more about other things and is the chair just a tool/consequence of those things? And how important is your work to you if you put you self in front of it?

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Martin Margiela also saw this; at a certain point in his career he decided not to talk to the press anymore and not to appear in public again. For some the statement was simply seen as an advertising stunt, but Margiela did not care about that, it was the content of the interviews that bothered him. For him, interviews had to be about the collection, not about Margiela the person. Only what he created was of importance, only that, not the man or goal behind it, the work stands on his own. The attached publication photos have an obvious connection to that standpoint. By leaving the models in anonymity, the attention is drawn even more to the designs. (We Margiela, the just released documentary about Maison Margiela and their way of working can be seen [here]).

Margiela did things that were never done before, but not because he wanted to be a changemaker. Margiela’s works are ground-breaking, because of the steps he took he found necessary for his work. With this Margiela belongs to the other kind of participants in this show. The contribution of these artists and designers made the exhibition interesting as a whole. With the changemaker show, the Boijmans van Beuningen makes, consciously or unconsciously, a clarifying distinction in a long tradition of border-seeking artists.

This text is not only about my research into Martin Margiela and his view on the relationship between the creator and the creation, but also a research about my personnel point of view. The further I went in the research on Martin Margiela, the deeper the research into my own ideas developed. Two focus points that together form one research. The work of Margiela got me thinking. Thinking is one of the things I always hope that art can offer me.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING NAIVE


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

 

 

Casper Braat and Bára Bjarnadóttir* talking together about the importance of being naive

 

Each project that students initiate, makes them into temporary experts on given topics. Art & Design schools then become knowledge hubs where different expertise cross fertilize. By looking at what types of research students engage in, Designresearch and UnBornLab organized a 'workshop' to investigate design matters from a students' perspective.

Through a series of short video's students from both the Foundation Year and the DesignLab department share ideas, focusing on the temporary expertise gained as part of their projects, rather than the outcome. The workshop was articulated around one of their given assignments. Students were asked to develop a specific object or context to help focus or explain content.

The format is clear: two persons, discussions, filmed from above.
the space is : two stools and a table.

* Foundation Year

 


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Due to sickness, I was not able to attend the excursion to “Beauty in Science” in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The name of the exhibition though really triggered my interest but I had heard some rumors that ‘checking the web page of the museum would not be any different from paying the exhibition a visit’. I had a look at the Boijmans website and classmates’ contributions on our design blog and I came quickly to the conclusion that the rumors were likely to be true. I had hoped for stuffed animals, old education books, fascinating scientific tools from out of space and paintings as ‘The anatomy lesson of Dr. Nicoleas Tulp’ – things that I had seen on my favorite floor of the beautiful Naturalis (Leiden) very often and that inspired me every time I had visited this museum. And though I don’t need stuffed animals and fetuses in jars every time I visit something science related – I’m also very open for new experiences – the things I saw on the website were pretty dissapointing and above all, nothing new. Something on the web page of “Beauty in Science” says it all, actually:
In his essay Hans Galjaard writes about how he was moved by a film of 4D ultrasound images of the development of the human foetus made by the gynaecologist Stuart Campbell. This was the beginning of his plan to collect aesthetically pleasing scientific images. In his quest for images he has asked many researchers if they have also experienced such a moment of overwhelming beauty – a so-called ‘Stendhal moment’ – but this was not the case.
So how should we experience this ‘overwhelming beauty’ if even the researchers who contributed footage for the exhibition did not feel anything of this themselves?

The hands of Nicoleas.


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