PAINTING PERFORMANCE LECTURE: Helena Sands – Material, Mark and Trace

Within this lecture, Helena introduced three artists who use their bodies in conjunction with materials to address ideas of ephemerality.

What is a Trace?
A mark or residue left behind after a performance has taken place

There is a tension in performance art and it is difficult to contain the performance.

“The possibility that something substantial can be made from the outline left after the body has disappeared”



Silueta – works in Mexico 1973-77

Ana Mendieta’s works are autobiographical and touch upon the fact that she felt no sense of belonging. Themes of spirituality, ceremony and ritual exist within her practice. Ana creates multi textural pieces that combine her own body with organic materials. The materials remain static and work in conjunction with the landscape. Echoing the ephemerality of the body being in the performance. The materials she uses will decay over time.



Body Tracks 1974

This piece consists of a work being made with blood on the hands and forearms. She is the instructor and the participant in this piece – controlling her own movements and the marks that are made. Leaving a trace allows the viewer to reimagine the action. It has a relationship to place and explores ideas between permanence and impermanence.



S/Kin, Tempting Failure 2014

This artist questions the boundaries between her body, materials and what is left behind (the trace). She becomes immersed in the materials and almost disappears with them. An installation is left behind after the performance work has taken place.


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“The space between you and me” – Experimentica, Cardiff 2011 & Tempting Failure London 2012

This performance addresses the contrast between the use of ink with charcoal. The charcoal starts to disappear and so what remains? She is Leaving a trace of what happened. This performance shows the building up residues and the leaving of a mark behind the performance.

Key elements to produce a performance, where to start and what to plan
– Idea and Inspiration – What are we trying to say and why?
– Mapping/Planning
– Duration
– Space/environment
– Audience – Number/Positioning
– Documentation
– Making conscious decisions – constructing elements to make a performance
What do you do with the marks and traces after?

Only a few people see the live action performance, it is important to document it. Without an audience/documentation. Unless only for you, a performance might not as well exist.

This lecture has given me more information of how to plan our performance and we will be meeting as a group to discuss the points and finally plan the outcome.


CONSTELLATION: Contemporary Art Lecture: POST-FEMINISM by Jon Clarkson


Modernism and Feminism


Alexander Rodchenko, Make way for the women 1935 – Geometry symbolising fairness and rationality. There is a socialist/realist element within the work. Making a statement about men and women but from a mans perspective. Male photographer, positive image, portraying a solution to womens equality, but the women are still kind of objects for the men to look at, being seen through the male gaze. Womens action is at the centre of the image. Propogandistic intention.

If the photographer was a women, the image would be viewed really differently and there would be no thought of the women being objectified.

Questions of Identity


Marc Quinn – Alison Lapper, Pregnant 2005 – It is a sculpture of a working class disabled single mother produced by a middle class able bodied man. Which of these facts is most important? He chose her as an image to sculpt. There is a valued place for women in the world. The sculpture has a heroic element. Bringing equality of women, people with disabilities and single mothers etc. Using language of classical sculpture to comment on the place of people with disabilities in society.


Sarah Lucas – Get hold of this 1994-5


Sarah Lucas – Where does it all end? 1995
What are the signs of masculine and feminine in these images? Feminine – Pink, red, lipstick, the opposition between white teeth and red lips. Look like womens arms. Masculine – Snarl, gritting teeth on a cigarette. Takes offensive elements of male culture and asks how poerful it is if a woman does it.

Post-feminism as a term, often comes up in the 1990s.

Feminism and Post-Feminism

Katy Deepwell – 3 popular mis-conceptions about feminism-

That Feminism = Women + Power
That Feminism = Bra burning lesbian separatism
That Feminism = is only a question of gender.
(These are only half truths)

Julia Kristeva outlines the 3 moments of Feminism-

Feminism = Equal Rights
Feminism = Advocacy of a separate women’s culture
Feminism = Total re-evaluation of Ideas of Masculine and Feminine

Equal Rights

One strand of feminist art avoided images of the sexualised female body because in the past these images have been objectified and exploited.


Mel Ramas – Miss Corn Flakes 1964

Barbara Kruger – What are you looking at 1994
In small print it says “This is not a mirror”. Targeting the women that look at fashion magazines, saying that you are not looking at what you should aspire to become, it is just another woman.

Another strand produced generalised images of the sexualised female body.

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Judy Chicago – The Dinner Party 1974 – 9
Strong Statement of the cultural status of women. All of the crockery in this piece is stylized female genitals. Falic symbols are normalised in culture, female ones are not as normalized and so she is putting them out there. The idea that Biology is destiny is hindering on Women. A lot of art uses imagery of the female genitalia within it. Is that all that women have in common then? They all have vaginas? Virginia Wolf is one of the women at the table here, aren’t her books and achievements more important than her vagina?

In the 1990s, many artists started using highly sexualised imagery again.

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Helen Chadwick -Vanity 1986
Tracey Emin – Self Portrait 2001
These images can be contrasted with imagery of the Page 3 model.

Pipilotti Rist – I’m not the girl who misses much 1986

She is using the language of titilation, but using video technology to prevent that happening. Wants to deflate through humour. Slowing and speeding up time up to get a state of conciousness. Pipilotto Rist is interested in an innocent sexual experience, a bodily experience. Her work doesn’t talk a page three language, more like a dream state.

Re-evaluation of Masculine and Feminine?

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Jenny Saville, Passage 2004-5
Collier Schort, untitled 2011

Is it possible to transcend ideas of gender in art?
Maybe in these images, the intention is that they are not labelled as a particular gender – equalizing man and woman?


This label remains problematic, it suggests that it comes after feminism and can be used in several ways:
– It comes after feminism because feminism has been successful
– It comes after feminism because feminism has failed
– It comes after feminism because it is the antidote to feminism
– It comes after feminism because it is the opposite of feminism
– It comes after feminism because it is the continuation of feminism
There is no definite answer and so the label Post-feminsim is still difficult to determine.

Nan one month after being battered 1984 by Nan Goldin born 1953

Nan Goldin – Nan one month after being battered 1984

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Sarah Lucas – Two fried eggs and a kebab – The male and the female rediced to sexual symbols.
Sarah Lucas – NUDS 2010 – Bodily experience



John Carran – The Wizard 1994
Lisa Yuskovage – Day 1999-2000
Does knowing the gender of the artist change the significance of the painting?

Lucy Lippard in Deepwell p.157
Does the fact that a woman paints a woman neutralise the pornographic source or is it still pornography?


Lisa Yuskavage – Half Family 2003
This isn’t an image directed at men. It gives off a feelnig that is significant only to women. About the feeling of having a body, not what it looks like.

Masculine and Feminine


Helen Chadwick – Piss Flowers 1991-2
They peed in the snow and cast the imprint. Some represent the male and some represent the female. The longer, more falic like stamens actually represent the females, this is because there is less movement in the female pee stream. Stereotypically we would think that the more falic sculptures represented the male so this piece is clever and interesting.

Images from the Bad Girls Exhibition 1993


Helen Chadwick Glossolalia 1992
Contrast of Hard and Soft. Small Falic Symbols, Making a falic symbol in the middle. An image like this would be picked for an exhibition called “Bad Girls” because there is an appeal to the body, Tongues and fur. The togetherness of hair and tongue is often quite repulsive. We reject it without thinking about it. Unconcious Reaction.


Before this lecture, I had never really considered issues of gender very deeply before. I certainly had not discussed whether the gender of the artist changes the way that the art work is viewed. I have been encouraged to think about certain connotations that certain materials and imagery has in terms of masculine and feminine and been shown how art can cause a divide in opinion. To me, it doesn’t matter whether the artist or subject n an art work is a man or a woman, I would consider the art work itself and the concepts behind it. It is always interesting to learn how art is used to convey messages or comment on a life situation. Within this lecture, we talked about whether Jenny Saville’s Passage piece equalizes the rights of a man and a woman, I can see the evidence for this opinion, but for me it highlighted the fact that individuals are scrutinised for being different in some way and that she was making difference accepted and depicting it in a aesthetically pleasing way, Similar ideas were running in Marc Quinns sculpture of Alison. Feminism has been portrayed in art for many years and it was interesting to learn how it has changed.

An Introduction to Painting Performance: Lecture by Andre Stitt

This purpose of this lecture was to give us an insight and introduction into painting performance and performance art as a whole.

Paul Hurley – “I fall to pieces” – Experimentica, Cardiff Nov 2014


Human form with some sort of substance on the body. Creating a context. Many contain a narrative. The material is paint. What do all these signifiers mean? Interested in abstract movement. We are drawn to what happens to the material on the body. Personal experience of grief. There is sound. Many things are being put togetether in a live situation that we would not get from looking at a photograph. The music playing Is Patsy Klein. Is it a strange abstract dance? It is not rehersed and it is taking place in actual time. His eyes are closed, so he cannot see the viewers. Inspired by the loss of a friend, past lossed and future ones.

In this module, we are looking at a history of engagement between material substances and the human body. A kind of painting performance.

What is painting?

The practice of applying colour to a surface. The use of this activity in combination with drawing. Used to represent, document and express.

Painting as evidence – a document of the performance of painting

Painting as Process – event, performance

The focus shifts from the self contained and autonomous art towards emphasis on process and motion in art, the inclusion of the environment, as part of the artwork. Thought becomes form.

Post WWII – Painting becomes action

Jackson Pollock – 1912 -1955


When we look at pollock, we are drawn to the act of painting. The press document with photographs and reviews. A shift from painting as an object to a spectacle. Before, paintings had tended to conceal the fact that their works were the result of process. In the 1940s and 50s, it shifted to portraying a piece that embodies themselves into the work. It becomes about process more than the outcome.

Performance Art – An action, designed and executed by an artist that takes place in time and space with or without an audience.

Kristine Stiles, American academic – “Artists who began to use their bodies as material of visual art repreatedly expressed their goal to bring art practice closer to life”. “Process over product” – Experiencing the work immmediately in the moment, presenting the work in real time. “They sought to reengage the artist and spectator by reconnecting art to social and political events”

Ideas came out of action art and performance – Fluxus, Dadaism, Futurism etc.

The Gutai Group – Japan 1955

Holes 1954 by Shozo Shimamoto born 1928 PP5 PP6

Expressed aim: To create a new type of painting.

Saburo Murakami – Work being painted by throwing a ball dipped in paint – Draws out attention to process – using paint as a material.

Shozo Shimamoto – Throw painting 1958


Kazou Shiraga – Feet painting 1956


Using their body, testing the limits of the body. Painting is all about test and control. Here the body is being tested and controlled.

Georges Mathieu – demonstrating action painting in a department store. It is interesting to think about the locations that action art can be made. What does it mean to make art outside the gallery? Different spaces change the context.


William Green – deomonstrating “action” painting at the royal college of art in 1958.

There was a humour around gestural painting, William Green, A british man had only 5 minutes of fame. His work was documented by the media. Challenging what art can be and what it means to make art.

Tony Hancock – The rebel 1961 – almost becomes a parody in the press. Mocking what action painting represents. Tony Hancock was a major comedian at this time. Action painting under ridicule but becoming entertainment for others to look at those “silly artists”.


Afrons Schilling – Paris 1961 – What is original in performance art? Has it all been done? What can a material on the body actually mean? Nowadays. Damien hirst has done similar. These early works had as much to do with style as it does with embodiment.

Yves Klein – Anthropometry 1960 – Living Paintbrushes

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This performance could be looked at as containing the objectification of naked women. It involved a male participant controlling the body of a naked woman and using her as a paint brush to paint with Klein Blue paint. Here, paint possibly has a relationship with bodily fluids.

Lee Wen – Anthropometry revision 2008

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He is talking about skin, notion of paint as skin. Links between chinese and british, colonialism. Looking at chinese identity in singapore. How you display a metaphor for something without painting an image of it.

Carolee Schneeman – puts her body where her thoughts are. Woman working in the 1960s, questioning the notion of the female body. A relation to feminine fluids and objectification. Based on the male gaze, not female gaze. The master painter points at the female and controls how he wants to see her. She reacts against this.


Gustav Metzger – auto–destructive art action – london 1961


“a desperate last minute submersive political weapon” – an attack on a capatist system – “performance as anti-comodification” – I am making the work, it is not for sale, it is made and that is it. Idea of destruction within it.

Nikki Saint Phalle – Shoot paintings – paris 1961

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Filled things within an assemblage with paint in pots and shoot them to make the paint drip and create the final outcome. Slightly ephemeral – early feminist artist.

Anish Kapoor – shooting in the corner London 2009


Performative installation, canon like weapon shotting peletts of paint. In relation to the present day, this is far more accepted.

Shigeko Kubota – Vagina painting – Flux Fest


Paint brush is loosely related to a male falice. It looks like the brush is inserted into the vagina and then being used to paint with.

Action Art – “It is rather, far more, the desire to delve deeper into the enigma of painting in order to experience it ever more richly”

How do you use paint , a material substance as a metaphor?

Gunter Brus 1964 – Viennese Aktionist – Artist placed in a vulnerable position and drawing attention to that.

Herman Nitsch – Painting installation – Jerusalem 1995 – conflict, relations to blood

Stuart Brisley – Performance, Poland 1975 – After the performance, he created a more traditional painting illustrating elements of the process. All of the rags used to clean the body are painted realistically.

Paint as a substance that becomes a mediator to channel ideas and concepts.

Robert Smithson – Asphalt ran down, Italy 1969 – work is more spectacular in the process to create it. It is about environmental issues.

Ian Mckeever – Painting for a hole in the ground


The gestures and marks on the painting have a correlation with the landscape.

Richard Jackson – from a series of 100 drawings 1978


Imagery of a clock spreading paint, and windscreen wipers spreading paintbrushes. In 2003, he drove a moped through paint on canvas

Paul McCarthy – Face Painting – Floor White Line. Architectural Surfaces and the human changing the space. Whipping a wall and a window with paint 1972. People would just happen upon this piece. How do you control a blanket. Is it about human control or not being able to control it?


Paul McCarthy – Red Penis Painting 1972 – If we didn’t know It was painted with a penis, would it be as interesting?


Paul McCarthy – Painter (Film) – reference to William Dekuning – What does it mean to make art? Is it an illusion? Can it be both serious and humourous?

Janine Antoni – “Loving Care” 1992-96 – strong relation to hair dye. Using her hair to paint with. A context with women’s cosmetics.


Keith Boadwee – Inserting paint into his anus an squirting it out. Paint Enema’s. Making asshole abstractions.


Performance artist – John Court 2006 – Had buckets of paint poured on him and lay there still until it dried. It took 8 hours to performance. Text as gesture is evident here, it is about communication. He is incredibly dyslexic. Writing Art forwards and backwards. Writing with left hand. Making the work more difficult to make. Disability/Inhability to communicate, so he is doing it through action. In terms of documentation, he creates time lapses, condensing a six hour performance into 10 mins.

There is a relationship between performance and contemporary drawing. 

Painting Performance – Belfast 1977 – Andre Stitt Himself put black plastic down and flung paint around, for him it was about anger and using paint to embody the anger at civil war. He didn’t have a knowledge of a history of performance, he just thought about the relationship between the body and paintings.



Andre Stitt – Burning Paintings Performance 1978. It is important for us to think about why we make art.

MODERNISM – intervention in art.  With its avant garde advances, and the development of gesture as a performative intervention in art, in the form of an autonomous construct – achieved.

Making a performance is a precious thing. Freedom, Childs play, imancipation, being in a moment. An awareness that we will break the idea of self-conciousness creating performance painting.

 Cy Twombley: Untitled No.10 – textural mark making 2004

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Anastasia Ax – Paint Performance, Oslo 2010 – Space, Architectural concerns, self contained worlds in which we as observers experience the live act and the material artefact, whats left.

Alexis Harding – paint falling off the canvas onto the floor – pulmonary 2006

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How do Artists use materials to create contemporary performance and bring it into the art world?

Performance > Interaction > Painterly Mobility

Painting Performance Key Words – Surface, Tension, Skin, Pigment, Viscera, Fluid, Emotional Expulsion, Pushing/Pulling, Dipping, Dripping, Spilling, Flinging, Layering, Coating, Spraying, Dragging and Sloshing

These are all ways of experimenting that could be applied to any practice, whether it is painting or sculpture or performance etc.

Many Ideas about performance art have arisen to me from this Lecture. I gained Ideas from both the tutors own work and the work of other artists.

I have learnt about:
The Gravity of the body and How the Body Works
The use of unconventional materials
Getting art made quickly and the speed of documenting performance
Photography capturing action, paint in mid air etc
Using your experience in performance to create art on canvas
When to make work, the time of day
Weather conditions controlling outdoor performance
To think about how a performance can portray concepts and people can make their own interpretation to the work just as they would when viewing a painting.

Lynda Benglis: Studio, New York 1968
Concerned with conceptualism
Painters started thinking of new ways to apply paint and incorporated unconventional materials.


There are many interesting ideas as work in performance art and paint performance – to unpack thinking about the human body, materiality, paint as a material, how the paint is applied, movement, etc.

CONSTELLATION: Post- Colonialism, Multi-Culturalism and Globalisation


Art Basel, Miami Beach 2012
Globalisation is primarily business driven. In the art world, there’s international art shows and fairs. Art is now on a global scale.

Should art look like the place that it comes from? Should Welsh art look welsh? Should chinese art look chinese?

Is international art becoming bigger, making it freer for artists to express themselves or is it taking work away from it’s heritage?


Multi-Culturalism is the idea of looking for art that might reflect different experiences of members of society without prioritising one over the other.


Brian Jungen – Prototype for new understanding #16 and #21

Native american masks made out of Nike Trainers – Doesn’t judge Nike and is in favour of local comprimise.


Same Perspective but from people outside Europe

Shigeyuki Kihara – Culture for sale 2012


Brings a relationship between the west and the non-west into the subject matter of the art. Often, an acceptance of Loss is present in post colonial art.

Diaspere – people moving across the globe, leaving their culture behind. People have more than one identity. The thought of “Where do I belong?”

Identity is at the heart of all three of these elements.

To what extent is a person’s ethnic identity a matter of choice? When do you decide to call yourself an ethicity? Is it heritage? Where you live? Has It been highlighted because you moved from your birth country or family country?


Adrian Piper – Self-Portrait – Exaggerating my Negroid Features 1981 – untruthful in a sense. It is her, but it also isn’t.

Jimmie Durham – My Blood 1991 – Interested in notions of authenticity and what is means to make native american art. The question of where people belong is often a subject matter of their art.

Jitish Kallat – Humilation Tax 2004-5, Pain, Pleasure, Pause, Proceed 2002. Rickhawpolis 2006-7.


This artist finds an artistic expression for the city of mumbai as a whole. In his eclipse pieces – He depicts street children and each of them carry the city depicted as their hair. Some people are uneasy about the smiling children – Bartoleme Esteban Murillo – Peasant boy resting on a sill 1670-80. These painting were made to show the rich who bought the paintings that the poor were alright. People have related this to Kallat’s work as mostly a criticism.

Amrit Singh and Robindra Singh – Nyrmla’s Wedding II 1985-6. Born in London but brought up in a Sikh household. Highlighting the issues of multi-Culturalism. For example, one twin is painting Hena on the brides hand and the other is recording on a western digital device. All hands on deck 1997 – within it, a man whering a man united shirt and a turban. Draws on serious issues.


Robindra Singh – Some like it hot (Burning Desire) 2003 – The twins don’t have a very high critical reputation and it is claimed they are not serious enough. Theme of bringing western culture into sikh tradition but also bringing co-existence to light and doing it in a humourous way.


The pattern paisley – Traditionally is both a scottish and indian pattern

There is also an official singh tartan – a connection between the sikh and the scottish culture

Imran quereshi – Blessings upon the Land of my Love, 2011

An enclosure full of blood stains. A way of memorialising the dead in pakistan.

Roof Garden Commision – Metropolitan Museum of Art – Something horrific and beautiful at the same time. You can only understand the horror if you can comprehend the beauty of what has been lost.


Chris Offili – Afrodizzia (2nd Version) 1996 – Abstract decorative pattern routed by elephant dung. Real depth within the piece. He also made works called shithead and shit sale pondering what to do with elephant dung. He came up with the idea of varnishing them, making them into a decorative object and making them functional by using them to hold paintings up off the floor. He tries to make people laugh and is happy to offend and exploit white stereotypes of black people.

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Chris Offili – Blue Rider’s, 2007

Kandinsky and others published a journal called Blue rider that didn’t distinguish between anything. European and non european for example. In the artworld or not. Intimidating – thinking about the white viewer in the gallery and putting us in a position that other cultures have been in for centuries.


Yinka Shonibare MBE – Double Dutch 1994

They are minimalist in layout, size, but not In colour or ethnicity. They are paintings of african textiles that are self-conciously exotic. Victiorian Couple 1999 – reproduces european tailoring with material significant of africa. “His work tricks the mind, by first making it comfortable with its own contradiction, innocence and ignorance and then by quickly deflating these sentiments”. Big Boy 2002 – as well as african/european, he mixes up male and female and his newer work is more flamboyant. The richness of Britain is built on the exploitation of other colonies. These works bring this to light.


Sharin Neshat – Women of Allah: Rebellious Silence 1994. Speechless 1996 – Looking at western ideas of muslim women. Covering up and secrecy. Some of her works are herself. Offered eyes 1993 – The writing and photography do not fit. The poem isn’t about eyes or sight, it is about a garden and articulates the space between. Turbulent 1998 – Two Screens on either end of the wall – facing each other when in the space. Non-hemoginisation. Heightening tension between the man and the woman. Each Video is a direct contrast to the other. The woman’s body is talking rather than a mans mind. Camera still on man, moving on woman. Making us aware of the space between them.

Mona Hatoum – The negotiating table – 3 hour performance – 1983

Contrasted with Yinka Shonibare’s scramble for africa. Mona Hatoum’s piece – Present Tense has cultural significance. It is made up of Lumps of Soap with beads pressed into it. These materials are both characteristically palestine. It shows a map of occupied terrotories in Israel. Left in the air in palestine, it would deteriorate and when the soap disappears, the beads no longer follow the lines. Signifying liberation to a better future.


Mona Hatoum – Measures of Distance – 15 mins 1988

Full of Indexical Signs. Things that could only be made by a particular person. When we miss someone, we turn to indexical signs.


This lecture has given me an insight into the relationship between cultures. It has also showed me how powerful art can be in getting a message across about the contrast between cultures. The visual allows us to understand the lives other members of society with different ethnicities and the things that they face.

ROMANTIC LANDSCAPES: A lecture by Jon Clarkson

What is my place in the world?

Do I belong there?


Caspar David Friedrich – Monk by the Sea

white monk

Comparing it to a classical Landscape – Richard Wilson, The White Monk 1760-65

Caspar David Friedrich – Morning in the Sudeten Mountains 1810-11


How does Friedrich’s painting differ from wilsons? Colour palette, mood.

How do the painters think about religion?

Wilson seems more distant from religion than Friedrich. Friedrich is thinking of religion organising our relationship with the natural world.

In Caspar David Friedrich – Monk by the Sea – What time of day is it?

Written about as a lightless dawn. For the monk, the dawn isn’t important as it is for the pair on the mountain in the other piece.

Do you think that this place is real or imaginary?

It is a culmination of experience . Long flat horizon. Empty paintings.

Jan Van Goyen – View of Harlem 1646


Alternating pattern of light and dark, Colours lighter in the distance, more full of colour in the foreground. There is more cloud perspective than in friedrichs work. Friedrich’s is much flatter. Distance becomes flatter and more immense because there are no markers in it.


Mark Rothko 1969 – Is there still distance in this picture? Does it look like a place to you? There are similarities to Friedrich’s work. It is stark and there is a fluctuation between flatness and deep space.

There is a lot of fine detail in Friedrich’s Monk by the sea. It makes it look more like a portrait of the place. When you notice a painting has fine detail, you walk in closer to it. Having an intimate relationship with the work. The artist must be thinking about where he wants the spectator to be. The monk isn’t entirely resolved in himself.

What is the relationship between these figures and their surroundings?


Caspar David Friedrich – The wanderer above the sea of mist

The figure is taking possession of a view, dominating the landscape. He wants to be there and he is in control.

Caspar David Friedrich Chasseur in the Forest

The Chasseur in the Forest 1814

The landscape is dominating the figure here, he has no horse, he is lost and not in control. He’s french, the forest is german. Friedrich is a nationalist. German land rising up against the french invaders. Vulnerable.

Romantic Woodland circa 1824-5 by Francis Danby 1793-1861

Francis Danby – Romantic Woodland landscape 1824-5

Will nature accept us? Romantics think of nature in a more psychological way than an ecological way.


Anselm Kiefer, Varus 1976 – For Kiefer, Germany begins with Slaughter in the forest.


Marina Neudecker – Things can change in a day 2009

Models in vitrines suspended in liquid. Does the vitrine intensify the situation or distance you from it? Like a cinema screen, they encourage you to project yourself into the scene.

How does a group rather than a solitary figure alter the confrontation with nature?


Caspar David Friedrich – Chalk Cliffs at Rugen 1818 – less vulnerable, more people – However, not a strong sense of communication.

CLASSICAL LANDSCAPE: A Lecture by Jon Clarkson

Is the Visible World enough?

Classical Landscape is a name given to a type of painting – developed in the 17th century. Related to History Painting. Some have narratives and some don’t. Mood and atmosphere is conveyed within the paintings

Is the artists job simply to record the appearance of the world, or to transform it?


Nicolas Poussin – Landscape with a Calm 1650-1. Based in Rome. Peaceful/neutral. More movement in the sky, contrasted with a static lake and a still and calm foreground. The people are small and insignificant in comparison to nature. A vision of an ordered, harmonious society.


Nicolas Poussin – Landscape with St.John on Patmas 1640
Is the relation betweeen humans and nature the same as in the Landscape with a calm? How is history represented?
It is more like land left behind. Have humans taken advantage? Have they moved on? Even though, John is sitting, he is not really entwined into the work like the people in the other piece.


Nicolas Poussin – Landscape with the body of Phocion – carried out of Athens 1648. This has a narrative. Alternatiing bands of dark and light. Neverending path it seems. The city is close enough to be important in the painting, but far enough away that we stop being able to see how we could get there. There is a complicated visual access to the city


Nicolas Poussin – A Roman road. An announcement of technological Power. Political, This kind of depth, perspective is highly technologically advanced for the 17th Century


Charles Sheeler – Classic Landscape 1931
Where is the nature in this Landscape?
It has gone, However: there is natural organisation in the pile of earth and sand


Charles Sheerler – American Landscape 1930
Is he being ironic calling this a landscape? Even though there is no nature within the picture, it is a man-made landscape. Does he want us to find these scenes beautiful or ugly? Brighter lighting, reflections, some bright colours, making it look more appealing but very geometric.

Scenes from the Passion: Late 2002 by George Shaw born 1966

George Shaw – Scenes from a Passion: 2002: Paints areas where he grew up. A question is posed about the conventions we use to describe reality

George Shaw – The blocked Drain – 2010
(not a version of Poussins roman road) but does our knowledge of it affect how we view this?
The first road seems new and innovative. George Shaws seems barren and disregarded.


Gregory Crewdsen, The madison 2007
Takes still photos, but like a hollywood movie. The road is always the same road continuing. Imagining the thoughts of the landscape from the figures perspective.


Gregory Crewdsen, untitled (Beneath the roses) 2007
What is the relation between nature and culture here?
Organic elements separate from man made, degraded nature. The nature is not lush greenery, it is weeds. Could be hopeful after destruction, is nature reclaiming it?


Gregory Crewdsen – Beneath the roses 2006
Beneath the surface, looking deeper, a metaphor?
Relationship between the two people – could they be lovers? Could be an attacker and she is a victim. Soothing or disturbing? Degraded nature again and disturbing elements.
Nicolas Poussin – Echo and harcissus 1630


Eduardo Manet – Le dejuner sur (l’herbe 1863)
Do these paintings change the way that we look at Crewdsen’s photographs? In what way?

CONSTELLATION: Contemporary Art Lecture: New Forms: INSTALLATION by Jon Clarkson

INSTALLATION – installation can be found in contemporary art shows across the globe. Installation does not rely on any particular materials or working processes. Any arrangement of objects or images can be claimed as installation art.

What kind of thing is installation? Is installation a distinct artistic practice?

Carlos Bunga, Mausoleum 2012 – Improvised cardboard architectures, within Artes Mundi, which we will be going to see.


Anything arranged in a space can be claimed as installation.
Where did Installation begin?
Arguably, cave paintings in Lascaux could be seen as the first form of installation. Or Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel because they are site specific paintings and the way that people move through the space is in his thoughts. Some people also argue that Marcel Duchamp’s fountain could be the first form of installation because by existing in a gallery, it included the space around it.


Anon: The Rhinebeck Panorama c.1810 – The first panorama was painted by Robert Barker and was a 360 degree view of Edinburgh, viewed from the centre creating a more thorough illusion. Viewing it more as a 3D object/Installation.
Hendrik Mesdag – The Mesdag Panorama 1881.
Real sand/rocks/netting in front of the painting. Real environment/nature blending in with the painting. It is lit entirely by daylight which changes during the course of the day. A total art environment with no outside view.

panorama mesdag

Mass spectacle – Play Bill for Astley’s amphitheatre 1854. Panoramas were not the only form of entertainment.

(The total work of art)
The gesamtkunstwerk was an attempt to bring all the arts together in one overwhelming spectacle. The nazis drew on this idea when staging and filming mass rallies

Danny Boyle – London Olympics opening ceremony 2012 – An example of how these notions are still carried on.

Robert Wienie – Film: The cabinet of Dr.Caligari 1920 – Wiene’s film is an attempt to find a modernist  version of the gesamtkunstwerk. It draws on expressionist painting and shows the exterior world warped and twisted under psychological pressure.

El Lizzitzky – Proun Room (reconstruction) 1923. – Moving beyond painting. Changing the goal of art from the representation of the existing world to the creation of a new one.


DADAISM: Posters and slogans on the wall as well as paintings. Think of a wall as being one work of art. Put a mannequin in the international dada fair in Berlin, wearing German army uniform and a pigs head, they wanted to offend.


Kurt Schwitterz – Merzbau 1925. Built in his studio in Hanover. It can be seen as an abstract walk in sculpture. A complex and shifting narrative, not just an object. Contained drawers/cupboards where mementos were kept of friends and family. He would relay his stories while people walked around.

Marcel Duchamp – Coal Sacks 1938
1200 coalsacks were suspended from the ceiling. The viewer is invited to imagine them as being full of coal. A threat to the visitor. Part of the international surrealist exhibition, Paris 1938. Designed to overwhelm visitors. The floor of the exhibition was not even, it was covered in earth and gravel. There were rotating doors with pictures hanging on them. Coffee was roasted in the gallery and one of the surrealists has got hold of a recording of maniacal laughter. The exhibition was shown in darkness. This created an environment that stimulates all the senses not just sight. Duchamp did a piece called a mile of sting that interfered with the conventional running of an exhibition.


Yves Klein – The void, 1960
Opposite of Duchamp, Rather than filling the gallery, he emptied it out entirely. Each visitor was given a vivid blue cocktail. The drink would turn their urine blue. The work had a shared moment and a private dimension, where the artwork returns in your urine, taking an immaterial trace of the art with you.

Claus Oldenberg – The store 1961
Got a shop as a studio, made replicas of ordinary consumer goods. A messy quality to it. Limp, Inadequate and often oversized sculptures. Starts painting on the wall itself, display cases. All making up a total environment.

Allen Kaprow, words, 1962.
Active. Visitors use the words to make new poems. There are a number of record players. Visitors become activated by the environment and become an artist themselves, chaotic and unlike a standard gallery.

In the 1960s, photographic reproduction became cheaper and more widely used. Reviews of shows were accompanied by a general shot of the gallery known as the installation shot


Joseph Beuys – The Pack 1969
Collective nature of the artwork is transparent. It is clearly a single thing although made up of separate objects. Made to look good when it is reproduced in the press.


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Richard Wilson 20:50 1987
Made out of oil. It appears deep but only a thin layer of oil. The viewer has a sense of vulnerability, reflective.
Displays a material as a material but on a massive scale. An imbalance between the viewer and the work.


Olafur Eliason – The Weather Project 2003
Plated the ceiling of the turbine hall in mirrors to massively increase the sense of space. Many people lay down on the floor to contemplate the reflection above. Light is made up of street lights and water vapour is sprayed, a relational work.


Yayoi Kusama – Installation scene for mirror room 1992
Uses reflection in a more aggressive way. The box is only reflecting what is already there. She often photographs herself as an object disappearing into her environment. Protecting herself from it.


Mona Hatrum, Marbles carpet 1995
The glass marbles force visitors to walk around the edges of the room. In a similar way – in her piece Light Sentence, the moving light at the centre of this installation creates threatening shadows which tend to keep visitors towards the edge of the room.


Cornelia Parker – Cold, Dark, Matter – She’d taken away and blown up by the army and all the pieces exhibited. The material is constant, only the form has changed. Light tends to draw visitors in.

Cildo Miereles, Missoes 1987
Spectacle is not always about an end in itself. The work consists of coins, communion wafers and animal bones. This work is about the power of religion and how lives are transformed through ritual to money.


Ilya Kabakov – The man flew into space from his apartment 1981-88

How do we know that we are being shown a narrative? In these works, we are normally shown a habitable but non usable space. When a viewer is kept out of a space, we view the objects within the space and start to read them. You construct a narrative by putting together the objects that you can see.


Louise Bourgeouis – Cell XXVI 2003
These cells are more abstract that Kabakov’s apartments, but they present us with an enclosure and a sense of habitation. She makes many cells that possibly portray the idea of being trapped?


Relational aesthetics – all works of art produce a model of sociability

Helio Oiticica – Tropicalia 1967
Environments that you could explore.

What kind of behaviours are possible because of a certain work of art?

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Ernesto Neto – Walking in Venus’ Blue Cave 2001
Wants people to play with the objects he makes and have interaction with them and each other. In his work “Humanoides” 2001 – People put the odd suit like seats on and shared foolishness and laughter between them.


Pipilotti Rist – Pour your body out 2009
A social space is being created and she wants people to relax and be grounded by sitting on the floor


Lap Lamp 2005 – Lamp is a video projector. You sit on the chair and watch the video projection on your lap. Quite personal, makes you vulnerable and potentially uncomfortable

Rirkit Tiravanija – cooks food in a museum or gallery space. Highlighting the unwritten conventions of gallery behaviour. He exhibits the leftovers of a social happening – displays the dirty plates etc.

Thomas Hirschorn, Bataille Monument 2002
created on a rough housing estate. You had to get in a cab and be dropped off in the turkish estate to find out that the monument was closed. All the people could do was go to the local bar. He is using the fact that he is an artist to force people to interact. Poses the question: “what do you do with art world insiders?”

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 Felix Gonzalez – Torres, untitled (placebo) 1991
a floor full of sweets. Infact enough sweets to weigh the same as the weight of his dead lover. A memorial to them. People are invited to take a sweet and so the work has a relational quality. Also, makes you think about a piece of a person touching other peoples lives

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Ai Wei Wei – Sunflower Seeds, 2010
People walking over it, sitting on it, conversing with it and interacting with the seeds.



Berlinde de Bruyckere – Cripplewood 2013
Made out of wax… takes a while for your eyes to adjust to the environment. Interested in how the unorganic can suggest the organic. Suggests more that it actually shows and is quite theatrical

Theatricality can have a negative charge. If the reaction and actions of the viewer become part of the piece, in some way it must be quite theatrical



Caspar David Friedrich, The Sea of Ice 1823-4


Anya Gallacio, Intensities and surfaces 1996

CO EXISTENCE CRITERION – The way we behave in relation to an artwork can be used to judge its quality

Liam Gillick – Discussion – Benches 2010 – Quite happy for people to ignore his artwork


Carsten Holler, Test Site, 2006 – Slides that you can go down. You become part of the artwork.

Santiago Sierra, A 160cm Line tattooed on 4 people. 2000
Volunteers/prostitutes/drug addicts. Paid the equivalent of a round of Heroin to do this


This Lecture definitely encouraged me to think about installation a lot more in depth. When wandering around galleries viewing installations/ I tend to struggle to understand the artists intentions, what the reaction of the viewer should be or could be and why things are arranged or placed in a certain space or way. Learning about the different kinds of installations that are around, encourages me to be more open minded about them. I now understand that sometimes they can be made to convey a meaning or portray a narrative. It may be an experience that they want the viewer to have. However, they may want the viewer to form their own opinions. It may be about a physical form, or a suggested concept. INSTALLATION covers a wider spectrum that I thought and it is intriguing to me that it seems really that any arrangement of objects or imagery in a space could be considered as an installation. I think the installation world can be very clever. Some of the artists mentioned within this lecture have used minimal materials/imagery but the message is highly powerful. I wouldn’t say that this lecture has made me instantly think about creating installation but there are definitely elements within it that I could tie into my work.