Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"Skill, craft, technique, knack, facility, ability, know-how."

  Hmm... I suppose that can encompass just about anything. 
  Earlier this evening I entered the Centre Pompidou and sat on a bench reading a post that was to explain the art show I was about to view. Understand that I am one of those people that has to "be in the right mood" to really enjoy or have the patience for a given exhibition, especially one that is abstract such as the one I was on my way to... Well, as it turns out, I was in the "right mood" so just know that I went in with a very open mind. Anyway, the post I was reading went on to state that the pieces from artist Christian Bonnefoi are... Insert list of overly intellectualized oxymoronic adjectives here... I remember somewhere in the jumble of words it saying something about this man's art going against subjectivity. Wait a second! What? Now, I'll openly admit that I don't "know" the first thing about this sort of stuff, but something I've always felt that I solidly understood is this: Art, especially abstract art, is ALWAYS subjective. I believe this because that art can only be made by that artist and, for me, art always has some layer of personal emotion.  In either case I felt a little skeptical and a little intrigued at the same time. So I moved on to the show.
  Now, I'll tell you, I gave this my honest and best effort. I exercised patience along with keeping an open mind. I looked at the details and tried to think about what I'd read. Tried to figure out what it meant when he used tissue paper with yellow paint right there, then painted a jagged red line going across and over the top. I will admit that in the end I didn't "get it". I thought some of the pieces were pleasing look at... And I thought some of the pieces were not pleasing to look at. For me, it felt like total chance. Our class assignment in going to view this work was to write about something in the show that made us feel something. I don't know what the hell I felt. I think it might have been nothing. It seems to me that there are two possible scenarios. One, this artist is just getting his shit out in the best way he knows how. Two, he's just playing on the fact that people over analyse his work and going with it. In the first scenario communication doesn't really matter cause it's just him doing what he does. In the second scenario he either believes he's actually communicating with his audience or he knows he's not. Maybe I just don't speak this dude's language, but I didn't feel communicated to one bit. Oh well, it was sure interesting to think about though. 
  As it turns out, however, I did have a "favorite" piece. It was this piece that used some wooden framing with see through canvass or netting of some sort over the top. Then the canvass/netting was painted on in certain places. The displacement was, I think, supposed to give a 3-dimensional quality to it. Well it just so happened that the way the light in the museum was shining on it gave the illusion of almost pencil shading, but it was really just the shadow cast on the wall behind. Really cool, but unfortunately I think this was an accident... Or did this Christian Bonnefoi guy actually create and place the piece keeping in mind the exact angle of the light that would illuminate it during it's time in presentation? Hmmm...