TTOPOLOGY – Dennis McNulty, at the Carlow Visual arts center – OMG I am so confused about Contemporary art ?
This afternoon I took sometime off and visited the County Carlow , Center for Visual arts, having read a description of an exhibition by the Contemporary artist Dennis McNulty LINK HERE!.
Its about a month since I last visited this Gallery, when I did I came away as so often just a little confused as to just what I had witnessed? the work consisted of a single image of a sunset that did not change for 30mins (maybe the video was frozen?) to the sound of bird song in the background!
The latest Exhibition By Dennis McNulty I am afraid to say just left me with the same head scratching feeling, it was described as follows
03 February – 20 May
TTOPOLOGY, an exhibition of new and retrospective works by Dennis McNulty considers the technologies and systems that have been developed, cast aside, or revised in order to advance our human potential. Coupling technology and art, McNulty explores the fields of science, engineering, built environment, retro technologies and future possibilities. See this link for more details ……
All my life I have been a lover of art , a viewer of many forms of artistic expression, open minded and well able so soak in new ideas – yet I feel it must be many years since a visit to an art exhibition from a currently working artist has produced anything other than a feeling of massive disappointment and total confusion as to the state of modern art.
Personally I feel the time has come for me to stop looking deeper and doing my very best to find that small percentage of good – within the work I take the time to go and see!
I feel its time that the art loving public as a whole start to make it very clear that we are getting sick and a little drawn out with looking at exhibitions that we are just meant to get or at the very least in some way forgive the artist for because at the end of the day, well they art artists aren’t they! and they get something we don’t?.
Fact is however Most people who walk away from a modern art exhibition these days do so with nothing other than confusion if not a little anger, because basically they feel cheated, let down and taken for fools!
I have felt for a long time that currently working modern artists have no interest what so ever in what the viewers of their work think, In fact I wonder just who they are producing their work for? it cannot be for the 99% of the public! I don’t feel that its acceptable any longer to just act as if its the responsibility of the viewing public to get on board or just be dismissed because they don’t get what is at the end of the day trashy, Lazy and ill conceived work!
From my basic understanding of formal art study, artists spend four to five years in an art school taking a degree of some form. During this period the work they produce can be of many kinds and make use of many forms of artistic media, this type of work by itself should not and does not need to be presentable to the public. At the end of each academic year there is usually an end of year show building up-to the final degree show held as a presentation of the students work put forward as their final degree submission.
When you understand these levels that go into passing an art degree, maybe just maybe you can start to understand the kind of work your looking at in some current art exhibitions!
There is also another factor that the viewing art minded public needs to understand and that is that many art tutors in art school are required to hold their own exhibitions each year so that they can show that they are at the very least practicing artists and not just a teacher. Still however these artists work relates in form very closely to the kind of experimental work produced during art school study , basically because these tutors are the very people who are judging their students work!
So here are some questions !
Is the art work that most of the public views in public galleries these days, no more than art school/student level and experimental level work and not the work of professional artists would have not only passed an art course of some kind but also spent many years building on their art study to become a professional artist and with an understanding of the real world?
If this is the case, then would it be fair to say that the confusion around modern art is that we are just not being told about the level at which the artists involved in some if not most of the exhibitions we see, site in their level and progression of work ?
My own feelings are that, the current type of modern art works that I view in most of the exhibitions I take time to go and see, is for me personally for whatever reason basically lazy, fuzzy, repetitive and unacceptable ( well under worked, not over worked for sure!) IMO!. I feel that Modern art finds itself in a position where it is being produced for other reasons than for my pleasure as a viewer of it! I also wonder if the formal art world is not just feading on itself until there is basically nothing left and the bottle is empty!
Will I keep going to art exhibitions, Hell yes! just in the hope that one day I get to see something that I truly do understand and end up walking out of the door once again with a smile on my face !
If Dennis McNulty ever reads this post, not likely ! I have respect that your putting your work out there , its just not for ME!!!
Gallery of an exhibition.
On this blog I do my best to keep away from political events and areas of life that can only affect people in a negative way !!!
However flowing last nights terrorist attack in my home town of Manchester I just wanted to make a quick comment and to share what I feel is such a great city, its people and its very heart !!!
This is Manchester, the Manchester I love and grew-up in !!!!
SOFT SHARING PEOPLE!!!
My Heart is Broken!! For the people who have lost loved ones last night and for anyone affected in anyway !!!!
Please go and read this article, it reflects upon the best aspects of life in the city I love the most !!! MANCHESTER , UK …..
Callan, County Kilkenny – life in a small town from a personal point of view
Today I found myself without any transport other than my much loved bicycle, which has been used a great deal this year, on evening and weekend cycles just the two of us out doors.
By lunch time I was feeling a little trapped and went out again for a cycle, out of the town into county Tipperary, on the way back into Callan I stopped for five minutes to take a look at the moat field and the Kings river.
I have lived in this small town now for well over a decade, it’s amazing how fast time passes.
In my first few years living here, I found that there was some pressure to get involved with what was happening locally and did so, taking part in some local exhibitions with other local artists and photographers, however it almost eight years since these times. In the years that followed these exhibitions, I did wedding photography and portraits along with some commercial work. I also keep up with painting and my art.
Standing today looking across the view of the town it occurred to me that I am much happier now, as in these days that I feel a little less involved with such deep local happenings. I don’t know if anyone else has experience in their lives when moving from a bigger urban part of the world to smaller places?
In a city everything feels much more established and if you get involved with an event then you find that you are only one of many before you who have been involved. Your involvement is only a small part of a much bigger well established picture. You can help as much or as little as you want and it is mostly understood that your involvement is for your personal growth and expression as much as it is about the establishment your offering your valuable time !
To Myself however the biggest difference relates to the personal interests that people have by getting involved in local events in the first place, in the large context of a city most people get involved in order to be self expressive, to help themselves grow personally and to add new elements to their lives, this is all about the self and very little to do with the local town or even others. After all the local town should be about everyone living in it !
Personally!! I found this to be a massive difference when coming to live in a smaller setting, with massive respect to people, most people’s lives are slower here and general activities less available, this I feel increases the pressure on their involvement in almost anything. Personal Involvement becomes deeper and seems to almost take on an irrational level of importance!
As an example I was asked many times to attend some meetings, in the build up to a local festival in the town. I think this was due to the fact I have local family and had held some local exhibitions, one when the town was 800 years old. It was not until I realised that these festival meetings started almost the moment that the last festival had ended, to plan the next year’s festival, that I had some concerns. I wondered sometimes just who could benefit from such an exhausting process? In the end I decided that I personally would not benefit and would only end up exhausted!!
One thing you really notice in a smaller place is everything is about the town , here in my own example “Callan” and less about the bigger general activity you want to be involved in ! e.g. Art or Walking or Cycling. The emphasis is on “Callan” infront of all these things not just , the Cycling club or the Art club !
I can fully imagine that if any one local reads this they will wonder if I am having a go at them personally! , well I am not! All I am doing is pointing out my personal observations and experiences when doing my very best to make a transition from one place in the world to another!!
I don’t know why but It’s a small bit hard to say these things on my blog, however I feel that this is one reason for me having a blog in the first place, so that from time to time I can express personal feelings along with sharing images and the poems that I do share. It is also much easier to do so now as these days I am feeling that in my life I have found a more relaxed existence, a more laid back approach to local life.
I have managed to separate how I feel personally from how well this town is doing or even what the people of this town are doing. How I feel in myself is about me as a person, the things I do or chose not to do. To be content in myself is less about being over involved with activities, things that mostly only keep me active without having any true personal benefit, I have also become able to analyse if it is only others who want to completely benefit themselves from my personal energy and time.
How do people see Photography and creativity?
During my time here, in the WordPress blogging community the one thing I have loved the most is to see images and posts from around the planet. It is an amazing thing, how quickly you can take this for granted but this is a very recent ability!!
Before the internet with its blogs, you had to visit a book shop and look for international photography publications in order to to see images from other places around the world. These images however as a standard were highly processed and you only got to see a hand full of photographers images.
Personally I have been taking photographs for most of my life and I feel I have a reasonably good idea how this medium can be used, yet its only in recent times that I have attempted to earn some money from images, working with weddings, commercial agencies with landscape images for commercial purposes. I think the oddest job I have been asked to do is to be working in the castle at Enniscorthy, taking pictures of some 7000 historic Irish items from photographs to physical items that go back many years.
As an outsider, attempting to make a living in a small Irish town has not been the most simple of tasks, I have ever taken on in my life, I could tell a story or two for sure ( Things said and done!! ) but I move on very quickly – simple as that !!! 🙂
I think that the factors I have found to be the most limiting are in the way that local people see the subject of photography itself , photography as a medium locally here is mainly viewed as being for Weddings or for Family pictures , yet I know this not to be the case in many other parts of the world. To myself photography is a socially creative medium, one that can be used for much more than (Babies and Weddings,or is it Weddings and Babies ?) and even more so in current times with digital photography offering so many more options.
Digital photography at the same-time however has created some new problems and it does not relate to the problems that some long standing professional photographers have, in that they would love to be back in the days when they were viewed as something special, with skills that actually anyone could do but just did not want to – Sorry old pro’s but maybe its time to face facts Hay !! , anyone could do what you did and since they all went out and purchased a digital camera they have proved it , filling the world around them with wonderful images !!!
To me the problems that digital photography has created is with the drive for pure image perfection, this is the world of the photography purists who would spend a lifetime trying to achieve the unobtainable so that they can die happy ?
It is not that you should not care how good your image is , its that its not the main factor in taking images at all !!!
Personally I feel that photography as a medium is as artistic as any other art form, to make it artistic however you have to let go of pixel peeking just to check how much detail you have, along with as many areas as you can think of that drive for perfection. Where digital cameras truly come to life is in the hand of a creative mind not a perfectionists one , after all some of the best and most creative photographs in history were taken using cameras from the 1900’s that few today would even dream of using , yet the images they created still standup today!!