Below is an archive of Fall 2020 work from the Art & Society course by Vasilina Papadimitropoulou.
I’m at the computer
What I want is to materialise a practice. What I do is first document my daily practices. Then choose one for some reason. Compose the picture of my past experiences doing that. Think with verbs. Think with objects. Write what I was/am doing. Write through me and through the objects. Impose to myself a specific task that is blended with my now-practice and is form-making. Drag the outcome out of its environment and bring it in an empty room to exhibit.
Reading response to Alfredo Jaar:
The way Alfredo Jaar links art with political issues I think opens an interesting discussion about this relation. “Jaar advocates for the political power of culture”, “all art is political”, “culture can effect change”. I am not going to debate on the ability of culture to enter and affect all aspects of life, thus also the political. I am most interested in the way Jaar chooses to create art. He is an artist totally aiming towards direct political subjects and meanings. His art, I feel, has always the goal to ‘move’ its audience, to raise awareness with a direct way. That’s one approach. This didactic approach actually turns my interest towards different approaches. All art is political, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with current affairs, even if it’s not politically aware. The phrase “The personal is political” is actually on my mind while I’m writing this. And maybe nowadays more than ever, we should consider more the political aspect of art through any context and way of communication. Nowadays, that even the word politics creates a general feeling of mistrust.
Reading response for ‘What Art Is and What Artists Do’ by Jerry Saltz:
‘You have to work for what we’re all working for -credibility.’ Why? Isn’t art first and foremost the expression of personal creativity? What would Pessoa say?
In my mind there is this figure of the saint artist. The saint artist has no other motives than his willingness to create. The saint artist creates and is fulfilled by creating. The saint artist does not have an audience. The saint artist is not known as an artist.
‘What art is and what artists do’. Let me tell you. Art is as broad as I want it to be, either from the point of view of the artist or of the receiver.
Every act done consciously is art.
Whatever I want to receive as art is art.
I don’t care about art history. But my critical judgment does without asking me.
The situation imposed in the art world by the pandemic is one of the many aspects of this really big change that we all experience. As in so many other fields and industries, the art industry is forced to face the consequences that come along with the lockdowns, limited number of audiences, restriction policies etc. Art, as in its literal-actual form of course will continue, as it always did. What I feel is worth bringing up is the matter of its audience. The places where today you could come in touch with contemporary art, that is the museums, galleries, exhibitions, are now guarding their doors. You must think of it twice before going since you need for sure to reserve ticket earlier, hurry before the number of visitors is complete, sign the needed papers. People that are into the art world will continue being in it, that is for sure. But all the others- the ones who previously might have found it interesting to check this gallery or drop by an exhibition cause hey it’s here nearby or include in their touristic to-do’s this contemporary art museum- will now not get into the trouble probably. And I guess we can say that this is a consequence coming from the reality of the pandemic, but we can also see here the problematic way art is reachable to the public. The vast industrialization of art served well until now, building a strong, close relation with the art elite and creating a kind of funfair-touristic situation for the general public. But now, if the situation continues, it’s a good question to phase where the attention of the people, the need for art will move towards.
Intro Unit Projects:
Response to Rebecca Solnit’s ‘The Blue of Distance:’
I like this idea of something that is distant. Something that is not reachable and when it does become reached, it’s not the same anymore, it’s something else. Distance in this way acquires a value of maintenance, of protection of the elusive. About the memories especially. There is a kind of beneficial distortion, this oneiric perspective of a memory. It’s what makes memories so personal, integral pieces of us. Storage of personal perception of the real. And this intimate sense of the memory is lost for good when the distance between the memory and its real subject is eliminated.
Tempo Zulu response:
Walk of Destiny: