Research: Unit 7

Performance sculpture:

Franz West

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Introductory article on Franz West

Key highlighted points from article :

What does his work look like?

"Franz West began to make the 'Adaptives' in the early 1970s. He intended them to be placed over the face, worn around the waist or held in the crook of the neck. Although they may suggest theatrical masks and props, their shapes are usually ambiguous and they remain abstract. These white functionless and abstract forms, are often displayed on plinths or directly on the floor and can immediately be recognized as sculpture. However, at the same time, they also seem to resist the traditional qualities of sculpture."

What are his main themes?

"The main theme in all of Franz West’s work is the body. He is interested in how the body works in space, in terms of posture and poses and why we move in certain ways. West considers that certain poses are forced on us by society that dictates that we should behave in certain ways. Sexuality is a key theme, in his work there are sexual connotations. Despite the 'Adaptives' looking relatively abstract, they can be read as sexual metaphors, this also links with his interest in psychoanalysis."

How does he make his sculptures?

"Papier Mâché is often used to make West’s sculptures, as well as other materials that can be modelled by hand such as metal, gauze, plaster and polyester, his materials could be described as everyday rather than specialised."

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Introductory video on Franz West

Key points from video:

The narrator of the Video describes Franz West's work in the following manner:

"The viewer as the performer on a journey to self discovery... sculptures that encourage an active relationship between museums goers and artworks... This interactive dimension is key to Franz West's best works"

When Franz West is interviewed in this video he says:

"Your supposed to create your own performance... you don't watch someone else doing something, which is what happens at a performance... but here the viewer experiences it on his or her own body"

The narrator of the video explains Franz West's interactive performance sculptures:

"Adaptive's, as West dubbed them, the pieces that are supposed to be adapted, picked up, manipulated and worn to explore what feelings they evoke" 

 

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Photos of Franz West 'Adaptives' Pieces:

These images show Franz West's 'adaptive's' as stand alone sculptures, I like the way these very simple white forms have such ambiguous shapes that do not relate to any other objects in terms of form. 

(In reference to the series of images below)

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These photos show Franz West 'adaptive' pieces being interacted and performed with by the people viewing his exhibition. What I find refreshing about this work is that it is one of the rare occasions where you can fully touch and interact with the artists work, Franz does this because he believes that it is up to the viewer of the art to make there own performance.  

(In reference to the series of images below) 

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These images show paintings that Franz west has done of people performing with his adaptive's, he puts these paintings amongst the adaptive's in his exhibitions so that people get inspiration for performing with them, they act a bit like instructions for the adaptive's.  

(In reference to the series of images below)

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Robert Morris

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Recreation of Bodyspacemotionthings exhibition

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This video shows all the different remade Robert Morris interactive sculptures in the turbine hall at the Tate Modern, the curator of the exhibition talks about Robert Morris and his work in the following ways:

"Robert Morris has always been very open, or very unprecious about the way his work is made and preserved, he would always rather remake a sculpture than transport it"

"Robert Morris in his work has always been very interested in how you might experience things via your body, not just via sight" 

"Part of our interest was in the experiment of staging it again now in a space in which people are so used to you participating, it a space where people feel uninhibited and feel kind of conceptually open with something like this"

 

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Photos of Robert Morrises interactive pieces :

What I most like about this series of piece's made by Robert Morris is the element of involving the audience in the performance and that how they interact with the pieces becomes the performance. Another aspect of this work that I like is the materiality of the pieces, they are made from plywood and screws, these are very practical and functional materials which I think adds an industrial aesthetic. This industrial and functional aesthetic is an element I would like to use in my own performance sculptural practice.    

(In reference to all images below) 

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Franz Erhard Walther

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Press release for Franz Erhard's 'The body decides' exhibition

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This press release I understand has the intention of trying to advertise Franz's work, however I do feel that it offers insightful information on the intentions and the thinking behind Franz Edhards work. The writer of this press release describes and explains the work and also goes on to quote Franz Edhard :

' the exhibition focuses on the ways in which the artist has redefined the relationship between sculpture and action, architecture and representation.These sculptural propositions focus on the production of elementary forms combined with conceptual speculations, radically rethinking the relation between sculpture and action.'

' His forms in fabric—resulting from a praxis developed in the 1960s when Walther was still a student—made the visitor an active participant in the action oeuvre. These place visitors at a threshold, at once in front of, inside, and even, literally, part of the work.'

' His Werksatz (First Work Set, 1963-1969), composed of 58 sewn, padded, and folded fabric elements, introduces the crucial notions of interaction and use, either through action or imagination. The artist describes them, incidentally, as “instruments of process”. And, as he explains, “This moment of manipulation and action—in its capacity as a component element of the work or as the work itself—has become a main theme.The basic idea is to construct a work based on action.”

' The exhibition thus highlights the artist’s thoughts about what a work of art can trigger in the viewer beyond what it merely is—materially or visually. For Walther, it is up to the visitor to activate the potential of the work, by giving shape to it and determining its form.'

 

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Photos of Franz Erhard's performance pieces :

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With both these Franz Erhard fabric piece's I really like the concept of having an object that connects several human beings together, this is an idea that I would like to experiment with in my own sculptural practice. 

 (In reference to images above and below) 

 

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With these sheet metal pieces I love the way Franz Erhard creates different sectioned off areas which relate to different human bodily proportions, this allows people to participate with the pieces by fitting themselves within the different sections of the piece. 

 (In reference to images above and below) 

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I am very fond of the way this piece connects two people together and how it establishes an interesting working relationship between them as it relies on both people to delicately balance and react to each others subtle movements, I find this dynamic relationship very interesting as it encourages two individual minds to connect and act as one through the use of the piece.    

(In reference to image above) 

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Lygia Clark

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photos of Lydia's performance pieces :

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With these two performance pieces by Lydia Clark I really like the idea of creating an object that connects two or more people together to share a common experience.   

(In reference to images above and below) 

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Rebecca Horn 

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External media

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One of these images shows the initial plan sketch for the final piece which is show photographed in the other image below. I love the idea of this piece being an extension of the human body, with this piece the extension derives its inspiration from nature, as it is seems to have horn like characteristics like a rhino. 

(In reference to images above and below)

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I find this piece interesting as it fills out all the negative space between the limbs of a human body, this extension of the body gives the person animalistic wing like features. What I find most interesting about Rebecca Horn's work is her attempt at modifying the human body through the use of attaching different extensions.   

(In reference to image below)

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