Playing to the gallery – democracy has bad taste GRAYSON PERRY

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In this podcast that is part of series with the Tate Modern, the artist Grayson Perry who is know for his ceramic work that explore themes such as sexual abuse or death he is also know  as the ” transvestite potter “. Here, he analyses our society and our  beauty standards in the world of art.

What  are the standards and criteria for a piece of art to be “beautiful” ? How does a work of art  find itself in a museum – and what kind of “test” did it have to pass . With humor and a touch of irony , the potter states through a number of exemples and stories to make ourself question how the world of art works.  Going through art critiques , the public itself, art schools and even his personal work.

Throughout the podcast, we realise that our taste in art not only has been shaped by society but we realise the difficulty of the appreciation of art. In fact, so many factors have to be taken into account : the value, the price, the size , the media, historical meaning … This is why art is so difficult to grade : as it is also down to personal taste.

27 Club

Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones and Amy Winehouse. All these rock-stars have something in common : they all died at the age of 27. The deaths also seem to all relate around suicide, drugs, homicide or some unknown and mystery reasons.

A growing myth has resolved around that number, age of the death of the greatest and most iconic musicians. The common belief is that it’s the best ones who go first.

Thus the creation of a term for the legend of the doomed number the “27 club” that is also called “the forever 27” or even, “the curse of 27”. It has become a real everyday myth and a legend in the music industry, an elitist club. We can find references to the club in a couple of books, articles and there is even a movie that came out “ the 27 club”.

Is this a simple coïncidence or some sort of malediction ? Whatever it is, the myth has only grown and revived with the sudden death of Amy Winehouse in 2011.

There is a long list of musicians that died at the age of 27 such as Robert Johnson, Chris Bell, Alexandre Levy and the list goes on..

here is more information :

http://fdrmx.com/musicians-members-27-club/

Disobedient Objects

The exhibition of Disobedient Objects, that is currently on at the V&A museum ( for free!) explores through art and design various forms of protests that took place all over the world these last few years. Disobedient Objects is quite small but has managed to condense quite a range of installations  and of all types, mixed medias – such as scupltures, posters, drawings, videos and so on. The space is very rich in colors, sounds and information so we don’t really know where to start! Each section of the exhibit shows us a different protest, and fight and what «  object » was created to protest. It is interesting to see how simply most of them were made, with common household objects fro instance – i’m thinking of a gas mask that was created out of a water bottle . It shows us how powerful the human mind can be, and what we can do with limited ressources, time and pressure. Depending where the object was created, we can see the backround and culture of where they come from. I am thinking of the « arpilleras » for instance, that were made through stitching.  They were created not only to support each other through this difficult time, but mainly to denounce the violence of the Pinochet régime. Arpilleras spread across the world and more and more people started sharing their stories with this form of art. One piece that particulary struck me was the posters made with book tittles, the idea of « Book blocs ». The protest was against severe budget cut in the education system in Italy. This idea of fighting with books, with each one of the protesters taking their favorite book as a « weapon » is very powerful, fighting with words. This idea spread through the world as well and is often used in protests concerning education. To conclude, this exhibition is interesting not only to show us the importance of activism and fighting for rights, but it also shows us how we can make make a change in times of crisis and the significance of the DIY spirit. It is great to see that people fight for the values and defend causes, such as deforestation, protests against homophobia, equality for both genders, peace and so on. The idea of innovating, using art and design can make us wonder what kind of designer we want to be ( made me think of the lecture we had on Tuesday.)

Here a a few pictures of the exhibit

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and here is a link to the V&A exhibition page : http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/disobedient-objects/

Stefan Sagmeister

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Sagmeister is a renowned graphic and media designer , typographer and artist. He incorporates into his work his own emotions and life experiences.

He has worked for a great number of musicians such as Lou Reed, the Rolling Stones or the Talking Heads – Designing their album covers. Sagmeister is know for incorporating humour into his work. He is also famous because of his offbeat style and adding a personal touch to each piece of his work .

I discovered him in Paris last year, through his exposition « the happy show ». An interactive exposition that explores the conception of happiness throughout our society.

The exhibition did not give us the key to find  « hapiness » , and the definition of happiness itself ( because happiness is individual and each one of us feel happy in different ways and for different reasons) but explores through a number of graphs, illustrations and installations how hapiness can be symbolized, and how personal the concept of happiness is as well.

You can find more of his work on his website : http://www.sagmeisterwalsh.com

and here is a link to one of his TED talk, that you might find interesting :

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