Through the expressionistic stroke of the artist, etching both documents and defamiliarizes everyday landscapes. For instance, the lack of spatial coherence in James Abbot McNeill Whistler’s Billingsgate evokes a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia that would be difficult to achieve in a photograph.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Billingsgate, 1859, Etching on laid paper. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Brenda F. and Joseph V. Smith, 2001.109
William H. Bell, Grand Canyon, Colorado River, Arizona (from Vulcan’s Throne, near Toroweap, looking south and west), 1872, Albumen print. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Purchase, Gift of the Smart Family Foundation in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Smart Museum, 2003.147.11.
I love the collection of geological survey photographs from the Smart Museum.
Fox Mulder’s office.
Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. (Roy Ascott’s phrase.) That solves a lot of problems: we don’t have to argue whether photographs are art, or whether performances are art, or whether Carl Andre’s bricks or Andrew Serranos’s piss or Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ are art, because we say, ‘Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality, and all sorts of things can make it happen.’ … [W]hat makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you — so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art.
eloquently put. In my contemporary art class we referred to this experience as an “art feeling.” As in: does it give you an “art feeling?” Even if it doesn’t give you an art feeling, that doesn’t automatically disqualify it as art.
Dan Graham, Public Space/Two Audiences , 1976
two rooms, each with separate entrance, divided by a sound-insulating glass panel, one mirrored wall, muslin, fluorescent lights, and wood 9-3/8 x 24 x 10-1/2 feet Collection Herbert, Ghent, Belgium Installed in “Ambiente Arte,” XXXVII Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
I think Dan Graham is especially cool