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Components of an Artwork - Video/Performance Emphasis

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by

Ellen Mueller2

on 11 January 2017

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Transcript of Components of an Artwork - Video/Performance Emphasis

Subject
COMPONENTS
ARTWORK
Form
Context
Content
OF AN
Subject
Form
Content
Context
What the artist
is trying to portray
(people, objects, places
or things)
the actual
appearance
of the work
the message the artist
hopes to communicate
the set of factors
surrounding the creation
and display of the work
Eleanor Antin, "Love's Shadow" (1985)
The
subject
is a ballerina and her lover.
The fact that the ballerina is depicted only in shadow while the lover is a full person, or that the film is black and white are all related to form.
Yoko Ono
Voice Piece for Soprano
(1961)
Goats Screaming Like Humans Meme
Taylor Swift
(2013)
The subject of all 3 of these works is 'screaming'.
However, the FORM is drastically different in each.
Ono's piece is
live.
The Goats meme piece
takes the form of a mash-up.
McDonald's involves
green screen work.
That message can be physical, emotional, or intellectual.
Maryanne Amacher
"Sound Characters" (1999)
- a sound artist
- often
worked at extreme volumes
to create
physical sensations
in participants.

“Peter Watrous wrote in The New York Times after a performance at the Kitchen in 1988, 'she used immense volume to
make sound feel liquid, all-enveloping, as if it were pouring into ears, between fingers and through hair.
'
Ai Weiwei, "Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn" (1995)
- a
diversity of possible emotional content
.

In this this work, Ai Weiwei is mirroring the Chinese government's extreme actions during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) when they tried to eliminate traditions of Chinese society to allow communism to take hold. However, in this case Ai Weiwei is taking these actions into his own hands, symbolizing the universal right to freedom of expression.

- viewers of this work may
feel outrage
at the destruction of an artifact
- may
feel proud
of the risk the artist is taking to illustrate the importance of freedom of expression.
Allora & Calzadilla - "Chalk" (2002)
- subject = writing on the sidewalk with chalk.
- form = giant six foot long pieces of chalk laying on a sidewalk available to collaboratively draw with or break apart into chunks for single-person use
- context = a public plaza adjacent the parliament building and the president’s mansion in Lima, Peru.

"As street protesters entered the plaza, chalk smiley faces & doodles gave way to fiercer statements alleging government corruption & unfair labor practices. After 3 hours, officials shut down the project, breaking up the chalk & hauling it away in a truck, before sending in a cleaning crew to wash the streets clean." Taking all these attributes together, the viewer can infer that the content of this work is intellectual, showing "the limits of free speech in a so-called democratic society," in Calzadilla’s words.
•Class
•Race
•gender identity (real or perceived)
•sexual identity (real or perceived)
•age
•physical or mental ability
•appearance
•nationality

•language
•religion
•culture
•scientific ideas
•technological abilities
•intellectual abilities
•geographic and political associations
•etc.
Vanessa Beecroft - "vb40" (1999)
This group of semi-naked women at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art in any other context would not only be received very differently, an entirely different audience would encounter it.
Jillian MacDonald - The Screaming (excerpt), 2007
Point of View =
a subset of context; Whose story is this?
The Yes Men vs. the US Chamber of Commerce
(2009)
When the Yes Men impersonated the US Chamber of Commerce, they commandeered a much larger audience than if they had simply spoken out as the Yes Men because the audience believed their message was coming from a different point of view - one that was associated with specific political & financial ideas.
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