Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Okay, but is it art? Below are three examples of artistic expression. The first is a picture from an Australian art exhibit. The woman who crafted the sculpture, Patricia Piccinini, works with different materials to creat some of the most disturbing images I think I've ever seen. My question...does anyone buy this stuff? And if they do, where the hell do they put it? Is this something you want in your family room?

So Piccinini isn't your taste? How about Kira O`Reilly?Below is an article taken from a British publication.

Kira O'Reilly will provide her own answer today by spending four hours naked, hugging a dead pig - at the taxpayer's expense.

The controversial Irish performance artist will invite one person at a time to watch her sit in a specially-constructed set and perform a 'crushing slow dance' with the carcass in her arms.

She claims the bizarre exhibition is an attempt to 'identify' with the pig, which she cuts with a knife during the show.

Visitors to the Newlyn Art Gallery in Newlyn, Cornwall - funded by taxpayers and the lottery - will be allowed to watch her for ten minutes. The gallery has defended its decision to stage the one-off show, but animal rights campaigners have labelled the performance 'sick'.

Anita Singh, spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said: 'This seems to be a desperate cry for help that merits visits from mental health counsellors, not voyeurs.

'As Miss O'Reilly seems to depend on the shock value of using a murdered pig as a prop, perhaps lacking the talent to make it as a proper artist, may we suggest she take up a day job instead to pay the bills. This is not entertainment - this is sick.'

Under the title 'Inthewrongplaceness', the piece is billed as a 'slow crushing dance with a pig for one at a time'.

The performance will see the artist sit in a disused social club designed to look like a bedroom, surrounded by props including flowers and a plastic swan.

She will spend four hours with the dead pig - bought from a local abattoir - in her arms.

She wrote on the gallery's website: 'When I cut pig I have an urge to delve both hands into the belly, to meld into her warm flesh, my blood and her blood.'


SQT said...

Without trying to be close-minded I must admit I have never really gotten performance art.

Not to say that I "get" the sculpture in the picture either.

I do understand the need for personal expression and maybe there is something to be gotten out of all of this. But frankly, it's beyond me.

Kate S said...

The sculptures I can live with - the woman with the pig, no.

avery said...

Well, the chick with the pig got people to pay massive attention to her, so I guess she accomplished one of the goals of art -- to stir emotions.

I find the sculptures interesting. I find the performance artist less so, mostly because of the poseur-y comment about wanting to plunge her hands in the pig. Typical, "Oooh, look how dark I am," B.S.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm with Avery. The sculptures are kinda cool, although not cool enough that I'd want to buy them. A look is enough. the performance artist just seems desperate.

spyscribbler said...

I don't mean to repeat myself, but Ick.

Actually, I don't have the stomach for the pig thing, couldn't see it, don't want the pig killed, but ... the hands in the stomach thing says something to me. I don't know what, though. Mostly ick.

But what is art but communicating some part of our humanity? I only want the pretty parts hanging in my living room, though.

Lucas Pederson said...

Wierd. Although I did like the sculpture, God knows why. But the woman and the pig is quite bad. It's art, but of the kind that grosses folks out, rather than enjoyment.

deslily said...

I guess it's all in what one sees in them... i get nothing from looking at either of them. sorry, wrong answer huh?

Clifford said...

Art, to me, is as much about the creation as it is about the end result. Come over someday and I'll show you my Angela Davis bust/fruit bowl and let you decide (:

Christina said...

Wow, that's all I have to say. I haven't been exposed to art like this so I think I need a little more culture in my life. I'm not too fond of the idea of dead things, her wanting to mix her hand in the belly of the pig. Story wise, okay, but I'm reading this as being literal.

Susan Miller said...

Hmmmmm...art, to me, as one who attempts to consume it in someway makes me stop, think, feel. It connects me to the artist or at least to a deeper part of myself.

Like everyone else, it seems, I can almost get the sculptures. I can appreciate the incredible work and passion that has been focused in order to create it. It speaks to the mother in me that feels at times the world is always taking.

The performance artist reminds me of this 18 year old guy I worked with one time in inpatient treatment. One acid trip too many. He wasn't coming back from it. In the world we live in today he was screwed, but then that didn't seem to matter to him. It was as if he existed in a parellel universe, and I found our conversations rather interesting but I would have never paid for ten minutes of it.

Come to think of it, though, I would maybe pay five bucks to go see this gal do her art if you were there, Stu. I'd pay five bucks just to watch your face. That would be funny!

Bartoneus said...

A lot of this calls back to the 50's, 60's, and 70's when popular art in New York really took a turn towards the weird. Selling the space in someone's hand with a certificate of authenticity, splatter painting a toilet, that kind of thing.

Everyone should try to remember that Dance and Music are both types of performance art, and not begin to speak too generally about it.

With the dead pig performance, it really isn't any weirder then things that have been done for the last 40 years, back when a guy would wrap himself up in a carpet locked in a room with a wild-wolf and talk into a microphone while people watched. Or walking around painting in silver talking to a dead animal during an exhibition. These are usually attempts at bringing an element of Shamanism back into culture and society, mysticism and raw naturality.

It just comes off as freaking weird to most of us. It is art, but it's not necessarily good art.

Jon said...

If art is (by my definition)the intentional creation of a person's vision of something ranging from beauty to ugliness, then the sculptures are art. Beauty and art are not the same thing. Splattered paint is not art. The "artist" has no idea of what the final product will look like, so it can't be intentional. But it may be beautiful. You know...the eye of the beholder thing. Performance art may, in fact, be art. But by and large it's cheap art. It's too easily attainable and devalues the "better" art of those with clearer intention and more aesthetic execution. One might as well go to a kindergarten at mid-day, hang a sign over the door reading, "Children Napping," and call it an installation. Too cheap...too easy. Beautiful? Maybe. Art? No.

Claudia said...

I find it pretty disturbing over all.

Donnetta Lee said...

Well, I get freedom of expression. But, I agree with Claudia, "I find it pretty disturbing over all." It's like turning off the TV when you find it offensive. I chose not to look!

Bartoneus said...

Jon: not only have you discounted numerous artworks and inventions because they were not entirely intentional, you've also just claimed that Jackson Pollock was not an artist at all. The question you need to ask yourself is what if the artist intends to splatter paint? They have full knowledge of what will happen when they do it, but they don't know exactly what will happen. Why such a fear of the unknown? the unintentional? Just because an artist is doing something chaotic doesn't mean they have no idea what the final product will look like. Happy accidents are a good thing in Art, as are more broad definitions of what Art is.

Fab said...

Wow. Art is subjective to me, but that are some nasty pictures. I wouldn't want that hanging in my living room when my granny comes for tea.

Matt said...

I think the Irish lady just raised the bar for those folks.

Sphinx Ink said...

Eeewwwwww. The sculptures are weird but kinda interesting and, yes, I think they're art. Not art I'd pay for, but art. The performance artist, however--no. Not art as far as I'm concerned. To me what's she's saying is more like, "Betcha can't beat me at being astoundingly weird and gross. (Now this will make EVERYBODY look at me!)"

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I believe Tolstoy's definition of art was that it was a new feeling or idea with the power to induce feelings in those who experienced it similar to those that made the artist create it. I'm paraphrasing wildly.

I cannot think of any standard of art , however farfetched, that would include the examples you've pictured here.

It is not necessary that art be "pretty," but it really needs to portray something that in some way elevates the spirit.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Hello all...trolling for art. I swear. I came upon the sculpture and couldn't take my eyes off it. I have a confession to make: If I could get that desk sized, I'd buy it and put it next to my action figure of Mick Foley and my vase that reads: ASHES OF PROBLEM STUDENTS.