What’s happening materially and spatially here? There’s an ambiguity as to the surface in the photograph, and I’m wondering how that translated from the ‘real’ space of the installation.
I found one other image on the USM website in which the paper trail coming off onto the floor is clear as to its construction, although the upper half I’m unsure of – is it painted directly onto the wall, or is there another surface?
I love the look of this dying fighter plane. In the other image I’m looking at there is an even greater contrast between the silhouette of the plane and crane and the white of the wall, as well as the material seems to spill onto the floor even more than in this image. And the delicacy of the lines holding the bulk of the plane feels as if this could drop at any moment. Is it just paint on paper perhaps? It looks so fragile.
Hey, Brent. I didn’t see the show, so I can’t answer the questions. I was told that the photo doesn’t really provide much of an idea of the work in the gallery. Maybe someone else can comment about it.
(Funny. I hadn’t thought about this post in while. A Stealth bomber crashed in the Pacific a couple weeks ago. Those are stationed at Whiteman just outside of Warrensburg, where this show was installed. The pilots (who survived) and their families live around there. It’s sort of shifted how I look at the photo.)
I looked at this sight once, back in the day, and no one had commented, I just happened to get to this sight again. Perhaps you’ll see this response (eventually).
The fighter jets (5 or 6 thus far) are large scale paper pieces staple-gunned to the wall. The construction is always rough with various black painted paper and tape, its a throw back to older work of mine which worked to save older drawings and drawing remnants by putting them together like quilts (salvaging and sentimentality though thats not the intent here, just the method). Photos that capture the working and texture, don’t convey the simplicity of the form and visa-versa.
I’ve been REALLY struggling since this exhibition – stopped working ENTIRELY – which has been a total bummer so additional conversation / email would be greatly appreciated. The war continues to disturb and I am presently looking at HUD displays but tentative as to how to approach. What kind of work do you all do???
You’re certainly not the only artist having trouble with making art that addresses this war. In recent months, both Modern Painters and Art in America have devoted considerable columnage to this issue.
One problem is that this war doesn’t feel like we’re at war. Nothing war-related has affected us so significantly and unilaterally as the recent gas price hike. So if artists respond to the world we live in, and our world is packaged for us as “it’s a war it’s not a war,” how do we respond?
I don’t know how accurately I can speak to your work at large (couldn’t locate a personal site), so I don’t know whether you’re usually engaged directly with political/war-related imagery.
I do suspect there’s a wide, lurking fear of futility in the gesture, given the nature of the art market. Generally speaking, no one wants to be a poor artist, so art has to sell. Sales happen when people are well-enough off that they can afford to splurge. So war = bad for artists, and consequently, it’s in the interest of the artist to go along with the great collective-conscious-fleecing that has disconnected us from this war.
There’s also the problem of compartmentalization. There ARE artists engaged in a lifelong commitment to very politically charged subject matter, but like so many other specialized fields, they’re seldom in the limelight, and you’d have to take a seminar class to get into the dialog. There are still a LOT of Americans who feel alienated from art in general, unless it’s something boastfully saccharine and unchallenging…the visual equivalent of lobotomy-by-medication.
Politically charged art can be dangerously ham-fisted. If it’s too simplified, I tend to feel more like I’m being punished than enriched. Or I just sense the massiveness of the problem with no hope for solution.
AND there’s the problem of the upper class of really famous artists. Can they make work against the war, let alone about it? Can Matthew Barney do anything that’s not about Matthew Barney?
I wonder if it wouldn’t be a more effective statement for each artist to publicly declare his/her political stance, and suffer any loss of sales resulting. Maybe even reject some patronage from war-supporters. But how would I afford my fairly traded coffee and sweatshop-free apparel?
Artists SHOULD bite the hand that feeds them. Otherwise, they’re just house pets. Hardly any of us are biting hard enough.
I don’t think the solution is to affect extremity, but rather, to genuinely access our individual, personal extremity. After all, no one’s actually interested in deference. That’s our collective cop-out.
[…] We posted an image from Jane Barrow’s exhibit Air to Air in January. Earlier this month, the artist left a comment here stating that while the exhibit was a real turning point for her, it has also been a cause for frustration. Barrow had been making decent-sized abstract oil on canvas paintings, but, feeling disturbed by the continuing war in Iraq, decided to experiment with forms, scale and materials in way that would allow direct address of the situation in Iraq. Here’s a link to the earlier post. […]