Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Consumed" art by Melissa Dean

I went to Melissa Dean’s art show “Consumed.” Her work expressed our visual culture through the use of consumer objects being portrayed in a unique fashion. I appreciated the connections between her work and the subject of her work (the consumer world). For example, many pieces were of linear forms overlapping one another to make the space saturated and almost undecipherable- much like saturation of advertising that our culture experiences. When she showed the pieces of what different people wanted and you couldn’t really make sense of what the individual objects were, it really struck me at how true that is of the consumer world. It doesn’t really matter what it is you want to buy, just as long as you are indeed buying. On the same note I thought that her brail piece was particularly interesting because these were items that the company wanted to be sold. They don’t care if the individual wants a new chair, but when they click on home items they will show you a chair. I think that it is interesting how her work touches on many issues people often have about consumerism, but in a visual way that incorporates the way consumerism works.

I also found the statement about how her work was a critical portrayal of consumerism but also a backwards celebration important. I think this is a fine line in many pieces that have a subject matter that is being criticized or at least scrutinized. Obviously the artist has taken notice of the situation and has deemed it important for commentary- visual in this case- so I think that it is something that once the artist puts it out into society it is up to that society to make their own judgment. Is it critical or is it a celebration?

Another nugget I collected from Melissa’s talk was the emergence of the artistic process. At one point she was talking about how the overlapping of the linear figures (something she did not initially do) was done by accident in a printing malfunction. I think that it is important to grow from one’s mistakes, so one can discover new paths. For Melissa, this was a serendipitous event that lead to amazing new ideas.

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