Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project #5/Field Trip #6: You're the Curator!

Due: 12/04

For your final project/field trip, you will take-on the role of curator. We have gone to a number of art institutions this semester. Every exhibition that we have seen represents the work of an individual curator. The curator selects which artists will be exhibited, which of their artworks will be shown, and where the work will be installed within the layout of the exhibition space. 

The premise of this exercise is that you have just been hired as a new curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since we live in a digital age, (and this is your first job) you have been assigned to curate an online exhibition of work from the Met’s collection. You may choose from their 5,000+ years of art objects. To find your images, you will go to the museum’s website and browse their collection. Their entire collection of objects (!) is available online at http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/  You may browse by Department (Modern Art, European Paintings, etc…) or by Keywords (artist’s name, titles of work, description, etc…). Begin a folder on your hard drive to collect and sort any images that peak your interest. It is better to start with too-many images than with not-enough!

First, you will need to create a descriptive theme for your exhibit. Since this project is connected to your Field Trip #6 Reaction, this will be the same theme as your writing. Your theme can be medium-specific, like, “Oil Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan”, or it can be content-specific, like, “Depictions of Pets Throughout the History of Art”.

From here, you need to select ten works of art. It is best to accumulate more than the ten images, though, so that you have more to choose from. Part of the curator’s job is that of quality control. The works that you choose need to best represent your ideas, and also represent what you believe to be the interests of the museum. As with your reaction paper, these images must represent at least 3 additional sections of the museum.

To present your Curatorial Project, you will need to create a new post in Blogger.You can include both your writing and your project in one blog entry. Here is the layout order for your blog content, as well as the formatting requirements:

1)                  The title of your new blog needs to be the descriptive theme of your exhibit.
2)                  Next, include your curatorial statement/Field Trip #6 Reaction.
3)                  After your statement, insert the 10 images in the order that you want them to be viewed. Each of these images should be upload to Blogger as “Medium Sized”
4)                  Finally, underneath each image, you must include a line of info in this order:
Artist’s Name, “Title of Work” (in quotations), year completed, and section of museum.

*You will be required to give a brief presentation of your project in class (3-5mins). This will be worth a small portion of your project grade.

Field Trip #6 Reaction/Curatorial Statement
DUE: 12/04 (same as above)

Your final field trip will be to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met has been New York’s premier historical art museum since its founding in 1870. The Met has a collection that showcases 5,000 years of art from cultures around the world. Admission to the Met is a suggested donation of $10 for students (however, you can get in for $5, $1, 50¢, etc…). This time, your reaction paper will be tied into your fifth project. You will present it as the curatorial statement for your online exhibition.

Rather than discussing the works of one artist, your paper will compare the works of many artists, spanning the globe and the centuries. You will scour the museum’s collection in search of works of art that relate to the theme of your exhibition. The only guideline is that your work must represent at least three different sections of the museum (Modern Art, Egyptian Art, Greek Art, etc…). The different sections of the museum are highlighted on the museum’s floor plan. Maps are available in the museum’s lobby. I strongly recommend that you outline what you plan to see beforehand…the museum can be overwhelming in scale!

In your writing, discuss the theme of your exhibit. Why did you choose this theme and what do you expect your viewers to take from your exhibit? Discuss at least three works from your exhibit and how they relate to your theme. Consider these questions: How do my selections relate formally…what similarities do they share in appearance? How do my selections relate conceptually…what similarities do they seem to share in purpose or meaning?  Do these pieces evoke any common feelings or memories for me? What other similarities can I draw between the pieces? Is my analysis affected by knowing where or when the work was created? As usual, do not include lengthy, biographical information about the artist, and, of course, do not plagiarize any descriptions or opinions from another source.

Your writing needs to be at least 250 words. Submit your writing in the format described in your Project #5 Guidelines.

Met Museum floor plan:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Field Trip #5: Performance Art at the Whitney Museum

DUE: 11/20

Performance art began gaining popularity in the U.S. in the early 1970s. This vein of fine arts incorporates different temporal arts traditions ranging from acting, to music, to spoken word to dance. Performances in this tradition are also called "happenings." These time-based performances are ephemeral because once a happening is finished it continues to exist only in documentation. Documentation from happenings (also referred to as "ephemera") may include printed materials, photographs, videos or even props from the performance.

For this field trip we will visit the Whitney Museum of American Art to view the exhibit, "Rituals of Rented Island." This is a historical show that features artists who participated in the New York performance art scene from 1970-1980. Many of these artists made work that referenced important social, political and cultural forces of the time. These issues ranged from American imperialism and the war in Vietnam, to sexual and gender inequality, to American pop culture and its commercialization. For your reaction, select any three happenings that are documented in the show. Describe briefly in your own words what appears to be physically taking place during the performance. What social, political or cultural references might you identify in the piece? In what ways does the presented ephemera increase or detract from your understanding of the piece? How might attending the original happening have changed your understanding of the piece. 

Your finished writing needs to be at least 350 words. It should have an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Post the writing on your Blogger page under the title, “Performance Art at the Whitney Museum,” and label the post “Field Trip 5”.

At the end of your post, cite the three artworks that you chose in the following format. This information is generally available on the wall near the artwork:
Artist’s Full Name
“ Title of Work” written in quotations*
Year Completed
*When referencing the work in the body of your writing, also be sure to write the titles in quotations.