Friday, March 27, 2009

Painful Art

Though I wasn't able to attend the lecture, which I've heard was fantastic, I was able to read about and research some of the specific artists and pieces that were to be discussed. I was about 12 when my sister was watching Bully and I, of course, was rushed from the room. The glimpses that I caught, however, left a lasting impression. The roughness and grittiness that Larry Clark poured into his film gave it a very realistic and harsh tone. The fact that he refused to harness the pain that the situation needed, despite conventional film standard showed a true dedication to using his films as art, rather than producing romantic comedies for teen aged girls to throw money at. Films are always considered a form of art, so why should all art be happy, when it is truly meant to be expressive?
The Tracy Emin piece brought up a great deal of questions about the relativity of pain. Obviously the destruction of her art which was a piece of who she was is something very devastating. By comparing it with the Iraq war in her text message she really managed to throw many people's every day painful experiences into a bigger picture. Should we really worry about breaking a necklace or breaking up with a boyfriend when, in the scheme of things, our experiences are relatively pleasant? Is it worth crying over spilt milk?
Finally I read about the art created by Sue Williams. Her art explicitly shows grotesque sexual situations influenced by her experience with rape and abuse. I was shocked to hear some of the criticisms that her work has recieved, both from men and women. While feminism is clearly not a universal sentiment, the female experience, in every form, deserves to be displayed and interpreted. For them to see it as a cry for attention or as an attack on the male gender is an example of people creating excuses for feeling uncomfortable. But the female experience is very uncomfortable and it is refreshing to see art that reflects the reality rather than the fantacized ideals.

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