Hello Everyone! Can you believe it, next week will already be the end of the first 1/2 of Art110! Thanks for everyone’s nice work and thanks for your feedback. Our focus this week, besides Painting, The Renaissance & The Baroque, and Artist OTW Victorine Meurent, is to fine-tune our Discussion Groups a bit.
From your feedback it seems that at their best, the discussion groups have been really inspiring, you’ve had fun talking with each other, and helped each other understand concepts in the videos that were perhaps easy for some but confusing for others – awesome!
But at other times it seems like the groups have been a hassle to schedule and then not very much was said when you finally did get together. This week we’ll do our best to improve both the Form and the Content of the Discussion.
As you already know, this week we flipped our old format of Set weekly groups then schedule a time. With our big group Doodle we’ve been able to make groups that we already know work at given times. I think this is better – do LMK what you think! Is it better? Or not? Is it making the scheduling faster and less hassle?
The other half is, what are we talking about anyway? Again, it seems like some discussion groups some weeks have been great, while others may have seemed kind of pointless. So this week I’ll give you a couple of questions for the AH Video and a couple for the Artist OTW video that you can think about and work through in your discussion group. Again, LMK if this helps facilitate better discussions or if you have any other ideas.
Renaissance & Baroque
Michelangelo & Bernini both sculpted David. Michelangelo & Bernini were both architects of St. Peter’s. If you were Bernini, so aware of your existence in the shadows of a past master, how would you organize your own career to try to create a space for yourself? Or is that too egotistical? Would it be sufficient to do a good job and not worry about distinction and acclaim? Do you think Michelangelo’s David reflects a Renaissance Man is the measure of all things aesthetic? Does Bernini’s David reflect the drama and grandeur of The Roman Baroque?
In the video Glenn show’s Gian Lorenzo Bernini‘s (1598-1680) sculpture The Ecstasy of St. Teresa in the Cornaro Chapel in Rome. Here’s what St. Teresa (1515-1582) wrote to inspire Bernini’s sculpture:
Beside me, on the left hand, appeared an angel in bodily form, such as I am not in the habit of seeing except very rarely… He was not tall but short, and very beautiful; and his face was so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest rank of angels, who seem to be all on fire…
In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he pulled it out, I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God.
The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease… This is not a physical, but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it – even a considerable share.
Do you think Bernini’s sculpture does justice to St. Teresa’s writing? Is it more or less compelling than Peter Paul Rubens portrait of St. Teresa? People in the 21st century don’t really write the way St. Teresa did. Why not? Today we might give St. Teresa or Joan of Arc or Vincent van Gogh a diagnosis like temporal lobe epilepsy. Does such a diagnosis “explain” or “explain away” the achievements of people like these? Is knowing the diagnosis of such individuals “better”? Or, even if we don’t use the diagnosis to explain away the work, is there something “better” about not having such knowledge and experiencing the magic of their acts?
In your opinion, who is the author of the painting Olympia? Who is the author of a Lady Gaga video? Is the director of a film the author of the film? After we Paint this week, next week our Activity is the Art110 Group Instagram project where each of us will snap 4 (or more) Instagrams in a single day and hashtag them all #art110summer14. Who will be the author of that project? Are the 25 of you co-authors because you each create your own images? Or is there some entity “Art110” different than simply the 25 people who compose it, that will be the author of that project? Or is Glenn the author because he wrote the Activity Brief that sets all of you in motion? Or are Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger the authors of our project because when they created Instagram they created the platform from which all future works flow forth?
In the video Glenn talks about Meurent owning her own gaze. If you compare Olympia to a painting like Bouguereau’s Birth of Venus you can see how much more typically paintings of that era offered the female body as a commodity to be consumed by the male gaze. Today we live in an era of so many singers staring down a camera lens so boldly as they make their music video, it’s hard to appreciate just how much confidence and courage 19-year-old Meurent had back in 1863. Can you find a resonance that connects Meurent in 1863 to your favorite hip hop artist in 2014? Do we truly live differently here in the 21st century? Are our lives different in nature from the lives afforded by the world Victorine Meurent, Edouard Manet, et al, inhabited in the 19th century?
The Art Mind Map
A few of you asked me how to get a copy of the “Mind Map” I use in the Art History talks. You can download it here!
Embedding Instagram & Twitter
I was inspired by the work Ricki, Julia, Jenn, Amanda, and so many of your are doing, and wanted to show you how easy it is to embed Instagrams and Tweets on your website. I also show how to use WordPress Galleries, and talk about the power of Sharing (Syndication) of your work:
And finally, as you already know, it’s painting week. Full details here!
Thank you everyone! Have a great Week 5. Shout if you have any questions about anything!
Thank you to these photographers for posting Creative Commons images on Flickr!