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where nihilism is the new structuralism
"A" is for Affecting 
4th-Apr-2007 08:20 am

I haven't always been fascinated by Rothko's work.

Early on, I figured art in museums should be about drawing something. It never occurred to me it could be about hue and stroke and texture and juxtaposition and blending -- in the absence of a drawn form.

Now I dig it.

Now I can stare at it for a long time.

Now it can transport me (if not astrally or existentially, at least to another level of understanding or a new perspective).

But, when we recently took our daughters to the Dallas Museum of Art, the piece I left talking about and literally enjoying was by Felix Gonzales-Torres. It was an installation piece that created a sidewalk of green hard candy wrapped in clear plastic along one wall of a room. At first glance, it appeared to be a bed of glass shards. Striking. It shouted "Don't Walk Here!"

But, curiously, it was quite the opposite of its initial caution against approach or touch. The small panel that provided artist information explained that the public was invited (against conventional museum etiquette) to take a piece of candy. This involvement of removing candy made the viewers into contributors to the ever-changing installation. By consuming candy, you participate in the exhibit, noting the cycles of change and rebirth (as the curators replenish the supply after closing and return to the art to its original form).


It's left me considering it days later -- nurturing the meaning (or possible meaning).

I like that manner of art.
22nd-Apr-2007 11:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah I totally know what you mean. Rothko was one of those ones where I always liked him but never really understood why as I tend to go for less abstract, minimal painting. Seeing his work in person can have a really profound, almost trance-like affect on you. I don't think his paintings are the kind of thing words can do justice for; trying to write about his art, ie. to theorize it in any length is trivial.
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