For any who have ever experienced caving, you will remember unsure footing, tight squeezes and low-hanging rocks and the claustrophobic feeling that can come in the moist earthy air. You will be aware of how extraordinarily dark it can be in the gloomy underground. It can be stifling and unsettling in the depths of a cave, but with light to guide the way, the experience can instead be extremely fulfilling. Continue reading “Illuminating the Grotesque: Crawling into political satire”
Future Shock! – How popular culture views the future
The future is coming, or so they say. And as it approaches us head-on, we can do little to avoid collision with its impending certainty. I for one am looking forward to the invention of hoverboards in 2015, but am still nervous every time I turn on my computer of the day when robots rule the earth.
There are various artistic visions of how the future will pan out. In films and books we have been shown everything from sleek space-age technological dreams to dark, zombie-infested post-apocalyptic worlds, from grim cyberpunk metropolises Continue reading “Future Shock! – How popular culture views the future”
Sixteen Years for Fifteen Seconds: How long should you view a work of art?
In 2010 James Elkins, Art Critic and Historian of the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, wrote a piece entitled How Long Does it Take To Look at a Painting? for The Huffington Post. In this piece the author describes an encounter with an elderly lady who he estimates, over decades of visits to the Art Institute of Chicago, spent at least 3,000 hours looking at Rembrandt’s painting Young Woman at an Open Half-Door (below).
Last year the online version of the tabloid The Daily Mail published a biting piece about the brief moments that viewers spend viewing contemporary art, leading with the jaundiced headline We all know what we like, and it’s not modern art!
The basic premise of the Daily Mail’s piece was to prove via observation that viewers spend an average of as little as 5 seconds looking at works by important contemporary artists such as Rachel Whiteread or Tracy Emin in the TATE Modern. Their conclusion was that viewers do not like looking at modern art.
Far be it from me to accuse The Daily Mail of canny journalism, Continue reading “Sixteen Years for Fifteen Seconds: How long should you view a work of art?”