Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cathy Wilkes

On my lookout for inspiration I hunted for the one artist that would inspire me on the website. From random flicking, I wasn't very successful so I decided to do a research by Nationality and being Irish, it kind of made sense to search for Irish artists.
The result was..Should I dare to say it? Hollow, empty and disappointing. I am not saying that all Contemporary Irish works are so. But from the ten Irish artists that uploaded their work on the website, it certainly wasn't very inspiring to me.
I thought it was either so avant-guard that I felt like a chicken having found a computer or so experimental and abstract that I was pulling my hair and asking myself :"Why? Why are they making their art so out of reach or obscure that you're feeling stupid."
I mean I am open minded when it comes to Arts.  As long as I am being given some kind of explanation, I am willing to accept the artist's intent but often enough, you are not given anything.
Some will say it is open to interpretation. And I would disagree with that. Arts is a mean to communicate something. It shouldn't be ramdom. The artist shouldn't shrug it off and say "oh well look at it and take  whatever rocks your boat out of it!"
It's like they don't care. And art is about caring. You care for you do, for what you believe in.
If they are not taking responsibility for they are doing, then to me, they might as well give it up.
So often in those comtemporary galleries, I feel like looking for a manual or a guide or some sort of enlighting text coming with the painting, the sculpture or the display but most of the times, there isn't any and so you are looking at something and it feels like you are looking at nothing.
Here is an artist that I picked. Cathy Wilkes. She is from Northern Ireland.
This installation is dated from 2004 and is called Moons.
Don't ask me.

Description says: Painting (She's Pregnant Again), sink, pram, grinding machine, cup, SIM card, bottle, lace, DVD box, glass, lampshade, toothbrush, steel parts, silicone, wood and battery; dimensions Variable.
Well I will let you the judge of that.

To the left, Figure with left arm raised - 2003

To the right, we are Pro choice -2008

  Alone - 2004
Broken glass, glass pane, battery, grinding machine

 And last but least. I give you " I give you all the Money" (detail)

And yes this Installation view got the Turner Prize 2008, (nominee), in the Tate Museum, London 2008.

About this artist, Stephen Deuchar, director of Tate Britain and 2008 Turner Prize chairman, said: "Cathy’s work is not always going to be comfortable for the viewer. It’s like fragments of episodes in her life that we are not quite sure about. At some level, she’s inviting us to share issues that are deeply personal, almost too personal. One of the strongest visual features is the shop mannequin which has several attachments around her head. It is almost as if the mind is burdened with too many ideas."
Is it?
Well I am personally burdened with puzzlement.

I am sorry but three years in the Glasgow School of Art from 1985–1988, and an MFA at the University of Ulster 1991–1992 and all an artist can come up with, is this?
Seriously I am lost.

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