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The Philosphy Sculpture

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It has been requested that my most recent sculpture be explained. It's pretty hard to explain, but I'll try:


The project was to take our philosophy(ies) and make them into a sculpture... So I did some serious research about and into myself and I realized, I really can't put myself into a box like that. I can't just state the name of a philosophy/religion to neatly sum myself up. My personal beliefs/philosophies/etc. are completely unique to me, and are based on my own personal experiences.

So from this conclusion, I started thinking about how experiences affect people. I then started thinking about this in the context of art, and my experience as an art student at my school. Something that has frequently come up in my mind is how in every class I have had except for occasionally ceramics, we are all pushed to have some sort of stinkin' message in our work. Which that's fine, for some people, to clearly communicate something through their work, but sometimes I just want to make something for personal reasons, and whatever I'm saying in my work isn't going to BE clearly communicable because it's personal, it's based on my own personal experiences, and no one else that will see the work will have the same experiences as I have had, and therefore they won't know what all it means. And I am tired of being negatively critiqued because I tell the class what my work means to me, and they tell me, "Well I don't get that from this, maybe you should add a blah blah blah, you aren't communicating clearly enough." But I talked it over with my sculpture professor, and he is in agreement with me that ambiguity in an artwork is fine, and it can even be better as it challenges the viewer, and stuff. I love ambiguity in art because it means that each person will interpret the work differently based on their personal experiences and beliefs.

So from there...

My piece was essentially a farce.

Basically, everyone was trying so hard to figure out what the heck it meant, and being all... Art-student about it. "It's clearly about the conflict between the natural and the artificial, as shown by the juxtaposition of the artificial vine with the real Spanish moss, plus the addition of ceramic materials, which can be thought of as both earth materials and man-made..." "This is such a natural-looking piece, why is it not outside in the woods? Instead it is on pedestals in a gallery setting. This is a drastic change in context. Is this the best place for it? Does it mean something or was it merely a bad choice in context for this sculpture?..." "It clearly is talking about life being chokingly debilitating... See how the vine wraps around the ceramic pieces? It's a parasite! If that were on a tree, it'd be slowly choking the life away out of that tree! That's what this piece is illustrating..."

Etc.

But in truth... The project boiled down to this:

I made what I felt was a visually stimulating, yet calm and quiet, not too outrageous, piece. I made it natural-looking and yet in an unnatural environment, so that there would be that question of, why this context? I put unrecognizable objects (the clay pieces) in with recognizable objects, yet I made the clay pieces seem to belong in the environment. I basically just wanted the piece to be as ambiguous as possible.

I just wanted people to THINK it had some deeper meaning, and apply what they thought it meant, based on whatever experiences they have had, that might make them think this or that detail means this or that.

So really I guess the piece boils down to experience affecting interpretation (of anything, really), and how that can affect life, and how people can be so sure that something means *THIS*, but maybe "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." And that is a parallel to my philosophy in that, just as art can be interpreted differently based on each viewer's own experiences, life and the meaning of life and philosophy and religion and blah blah blah is all different to everyone based on their own experiences, as well. You have to find your own meaning in life, just like you have to find your own interpretation to my sculpture.

Make any sense at all?

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Comments

  1. KitsuneGin's Avatar
    It makes perfect sense. I guess I'm still in that mentality that the artist is trying to convey a message to the viewer. Not that the viewer has to find his/her own message.
    What I mean is that I knew those were unrecognizable objects. I just didn't want to say it at loud to avoid the hurting of feelings.
    I really like the sculpture.
  2. Sorgatani's Avatar
    I like it hehe it makes me smile to think of all the misinterpretation going on.

    Sometimes there really is no deeper meaning.
  3. Kay's Avatar
    Yay, I'm glad I didn't totally flub up that explanation

    Thanks for the compliments!
  4. Misa Misa's Avatar
    I liked it, your stuff is great!!

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