SCHEDULE UPDATE 2

I’m back.

I’m so sorry that I’ve been gone for so long. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been occupied with work and studying for the GRE, but I will not abandon my blog! I have adjusted my posting schedule, and I think it will suit my current situation much better.

I will publish one post every Sunday and alternate between posting about art/art history and literature. The posts may be a tad longer since I will only focus on one post instead of two.

Once again, thank you all for sticking around!

I will publish an art post this upcoming Sunday.

Much love,

Su

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SCHEDULE UPDATE

So…

I aim to publish posts on Sundays, but I am finding it difficult to keep up with that schedule since I am now working (part-time) and studying (for the GRE).

I will still try to publish posts on Sunday, but if you see that I have not published any posts, then expect to see the posts published on Monday.

Thank you all for sticking around 🙂

Love,

Su

Restoring & Recalibrating the Black Female Form through Haptic Art

lubaina_himid_freedomandchange
Lubaina Himid. Freedom and Change. 1984. Mixed media.

A Brief Intro

I discovered Lubaina Himid from a post on the legacybros Instagram account. I intended to write about that painting and its accompanying painting for this week’s post until I found an interesting mixed media piece. Himid has created art for decades and focuses on depicting historical narratives that are often hidden or overlooked relating to the African diaspora.

There are numerous articles, essays, and videos where she, or the writer, delves into her artistic practice and creative process. I have linked one article and two videos on YouTube that I enjoyed; maybe you’ll enjoy them too.

Article: Here’s How One Artist Took on the Colorblind British Art World

Video: Lubaina Himid: Turner Prize 2017

Video: Lubaina Himid: Three Works

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Analysis- Read the quote below by Art Historian Huey Copeland from his essay In the Wake of the Negress found in the Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art book.

“Historically confronted with scopic regimes that denigrate the black female image and received canons that privilege optical perception, African diasporic women have turned to the haptic as a resource for self-fashioning and for the preservation of memories otherwise lost to history. Touch brings the world close without presuming to master it, allowing for a recalibration of the self and the object, the aesthetic and the vernacular, that disarticulates notions of quality, medium, and cultural hierarchy.”

Then read the article Here’s How One Artist Took on the Colorblind British Art World by Niru Ratnam.

How does Lubaina Himid’s use of tactile materials in Freedom and Change provide agency for the two black female figures? How does Himid confront the erasure of African art contributions to modern art? Respond in 250 words or less.

Himid paints the women in Freedom and Change on fabric, a material that touches people and objects and is touched by those same entities. The suspended fabric settles into dips and ripples thereby giving the appearance that the women are, to some degree, in motion. Their ability to “move” gives them agency because they can choose when and where they want to go. Her choice to use newspaper (or another paper material) provides tangible clothes for the women, and it slightly raises this part of their form from the fabric. As a result, they possess a greater sense of full form and occupy more space in our world.

She confronts the erasure of African art contributions to modern art through three different means. The most conspicuous means is her decision to recast Pablo Picasso’s Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race) with black women. She turns attention away from the white female body to the black female body. After redirecting the viewer’s focus, she uses size to keep their focus on the black women; she makes them the largest figures in the piece. The white men are small and Himid even denies them any noteworthy presence by only depicting their heads. The black women are not only the largest figures but also are the central figures. The viewer is forced to see them first and then drift to see the mutilated white men on the left and the pack of dogs to the right. Recasting, size, and arrangement play important roles in her making viewers confront the hidden contributions of African art to modern art.

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Artist and Artwork

Luibana Himid (1954-Present)

A brief biography is on her website here. 🙂

“Freedom and Change (1984), one of Himid’s best known works from the period, re-imagines Picasso’s Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race), with black protagonists taking the place of the original’s white pair. Along with prioritizing the black subject, Freedom and Change points to the largely unacknowledged debt owed by modernist artists to the African art that cropped up in Parisian flea markets at the beginning of the twentieth century, a result of the trade opened up by France’s colonial activities in that continent.”

Excerpt from article Here’s How One Artist Took on the Colorblind British Art World by Niru Ratnam

 

Sources (Chicago Format):

  • “In The Wake Of The Negress.” Edited by Alexandra Schwartz. In Modern Women: Women Artists at the Museum of Modern Art, edited by Cornelia (. Butler, by Huey Copeland, 242-50. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2010.
  • Ratnam, Niru. “Here’s How One Artist Took on the Colorblind British Art World.” Garage. August 30, 2017. Accessed November 03, 2018. https://garage.vice.com/en_us/article/gy5mey/lubaina-himid.

Image Source:

Freedom and Change|Modern Art Oxford

The Creation of You

Rilke_Umebinyuo

A Brief Intro 

I’ve mentioned my love for Ijeoma Umebinyuo in a previous post. I’m not fond of Rainer Maria Rilke, but I do love one poem of his (typed above). I feel these two poems are connected, and I want to examine them more closely. If you want to too, read my analysis below!

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Analysis- In 150 words or less, compare and contrast the two poems above.

Both poems differ in length: Rilke’s poem is significantly longer than Umebinyuo’s short stanza. Although the focus of the poems is on the creation of each individual, they write about different stages of the creation process. Rilke is concerned with the events after an individual is created. We do gain a little insight into the actual creation process when Rilke writes, “God speaks to each of us as he makes us”, but the rest of the poem is comprised of what happens post-creation. Umebinyuo does not speak of God but of The Universe, who is, in this analysis, comparable to the God mentioned in Rilke’s poem. Umebinyuo focuses on the process before creation but only briefly. The Universe hasn’t even started to create you because she says, “This will take time” so, she ends her day there; and like The Universe, Umebinyuo ends her poem there too.

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Poets

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

“Ijeoma Umebinyuo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her ancestral home sits between two states, a border town somewhere in Southeastern Nigeria. In 2016, Ijeoma was named one of the top contemporary poets emerging from Africa by Writivism. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness, The Rising Phoenix Review, Doll Hospital Journal, The Renaissance Noire, The Gordon Square Review and The MacGuffin. Her poem “Diaspora Blues” is a part of Dr. Rosalba Icaza’s contribution to Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics.”

– Ijeoma Umebinyuo Website

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

“Rainer Maria Rilke, original name René Maria Rilke, (born Dec. 4, 1875, PragueBohemiaAustria-Hungary [now in Czech Republic]—died Dec. 29, 1926, Valmont, Switz.), Austro-German poet who became internationally famous with such works as Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus.”

-Brittanica

Books

  • Umebinyuo, Ijeoma. Questions for Ada. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.
  • Rilke, Rainer Maria, Anita Barrows, and Joanna Macy. Rilkes Book of Hours: Love Poems to God. New York: Riverhead Books, 2005.

 

A Case of A Purple Self-Portrait

PurpleLaceTree_edc
Edouard Duval-Carrié. Purple lace tree. 2013. Mixed media on aluminum.

A Brief Intro 

I found Haitian-American artist Edouard Duval-Carrié by accident last week, and I like him (based on the few artworks I’ve seen, a short interview I watched, and one article I’ve read so far).

In an interview with Chelsea Elzinga, a French graduate student, at the Winthrop-King Institute at Florida State University, they discussed many topics including his identity and roots. Early on in the interview he said, “I had to realize that yes I was this tree uprooted with roots looking for roots.”

I was reminded of his art peice Purple lace tree and an article on the exhibition, Hispansola Saga, which included this work.

“The artist describes himself as a person without roots. Because he has spent much of his life traveling around the world, in addition to his years of schooling in France and Canada, and is now primarily based in Miami, he feels unattached to one particular country. “Purple Lace Tree” represents the tree of his life with roots above the ground, and is a self-portrait if you will.”

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Analysis- Watch Edouard Duval-Carrié’s interview with Chelsea Elzinga. Explain how his use of a tree and non-traditional art materials can help viewers reimagine/rethink their own identities. Your response should be no more than 150 words.

Duval-Carrié’s use of a tree to represent identity is clever and suitable for visualizing identity. Roots are the first part of a tree to develop and can represent the core of identity. Much like other facets of identity emerge later in life, a tree’s trunk and branches develop after the roots are firmly planted in the ground. In Duval-Carrié’s case, his roots stabilized above the ground, but he still grew to become an amazing human being/a tall, grand tree.

The presence of glitter glue, resin, and other non-traditional art materials in his artworks call into question what materials are “acceptable” and “appropriate” for artistic expression, and more importantly, should be displayed in museums and galleries. In the same vein, people should question what society deems “acceptable” and “appropriate” based on what categories (sex, religion, race, socioeconomic status, etc) they fall into and say, “f–ck it” to ideas, beliefs, and philosophies that stifle their identity.

As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

________

Artist 

Edouard Duval-Carrié (1954-Present)

Edouard Duval-Carrié (b. 1954, Port-au-Prince) is a Haitian sculptor and painter, who was educated at McGill University and at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. Inspired by Haitian traditions, Duval-Carrié creates works that speak to the complexities of the Caribbean and its diaspora.

-Excerpt from the Pérez Art Museum Miami Edouard Duval-Carrié biography

Image Source:

Purple lace tree| Casa De Campo Living

 

 

ON WRITING 1

ABOUT ON WRITING

On Writing is a series about writing. I have thoughts about the writing process and, more or less, what drives me and others to write; and I want to share these thoughts.

I won’t have a set writing schedule for the posts in this series, and I don’t know how long it will last. What I do know is that I’m going to reflect and share my thoughts on writing.

A Brief Reflection on Writing: Why do I write?

I write because I have the time and space to gather my thoughts, organize them, and express them more comprehensively than if I was speaking.

I’m reserved.

I’m not really a people person.

And talking for long periods of time dries out my mouth and overworks my jaw.

So, writing is easier.

I don’t think I’m an excellent writer (at least not yet), but I do try my best to convey whatever information needs to be written or expressed. Although I prefer writing (and thinking) to speaking, I still find writing insanely difficult. Sometimes I use the wrong word, write with a tone that I didn’t mean to, or misuse a comma (the latter happens more often than I would like; I’m working on that problem by the way).

But fixing those mistakes is fun in a way, right? I do like a good (and fair) challenge and writing always offers me a good one. Should I use a semicolon or period? Will the word “mad” suffice or should I write “livid” or “furious”? Can I express my thoughts in 100 words to do I need 3 pages? These are challenges I enjoy tackling.

In a way, I write because I need to. If I didn’t write, I don’t know how I could keep my thoughts under control.

Writing is hard for me, but I still love it all the same.

How to Survive on Land

wangechi-mutu-c2a9-you-are-my-sunshine
Wangechi Mutu. You are my Sunshine. 2015. Collage painting on paper.

A Brief Intro

Ijeoma Umebinyuo is one of my favorite poets. I love how she boldly writes about self-love, identity, women empowerment, and so much more; she uses language in a brilliant and striking manner. Questions for Ada is her first published poetry collection.

This collection has helped me endure difficult times, and every two or three months, I choose two poems as “anchor pieces” that either express my current feelings or challenge me to think about certain ideas, philosophies, and issues. I return to them again and again until I feel it is time for a change.

Land is one of my current anchor poems. The last stanza speaks to me the most at the moment:

Lover, refuse the urge to tear you apart

The vultures hovering around

will die of starvation

I promise.

_________

Analysis- Find a poem and an artwork to accompany it. Describe why you chose the art piece in 150 words or less.

In Land, the poet reminds the reader to remember who they are and to ignore the  unimportant figures surrounding them; this poem is like a gentle reminder of self-acknowledgement and self-love. To me, You are my Sunshine depicts the “exchange” between the poet and reader. Two women, born from the arrangement of torn magazines and images, hold onto each other. I image that the woman on the left is the poet and urges the other woman, a reader, to not tear herself apart even though the poet is the product of torn things. She grips the woman’s upper arms and reminds her that the vultures hovering around her will not simply disappear: they will die, cease to exist. The poet reassures her of their death with the last line, “I promise.”

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Artist

Wangechi Mutu (1972-Present)

“Kenyan-born Wangechi Mutu has trained as both a sculptor and anthropologist. Her work explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity and makes reference to colonial history, contemporary African politics and the international fashion industry. Drawing from the aesthetics of traditional crafts, science fiction and funkadelia, Mutu’s works document the contemporary myth making of endangered cultural heritage.”

RoGallery

Wangechi Mutu has a website here.

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Poet

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

“Ijeoma Umebinyuo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her ancestral home sits between two states, a border town somewhere in Southeastern Nigeria. In 2016, Ijeoma was named one of the top contemporary poets emerging from Africa by Writivism. Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness, The Rising Phoenix Review, Doll Hospital Journal, The Renaissance Noire, The Gordon Square Review and The MacGuffin. Her poem “Diaspora Blues” is a part of Dr. Rosalba Icaza’s contribution to Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics.”

Ijeoma Umebinyuo Website

Book

  • Umebinyuo, Ijeoma. Questions for Ada. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.

Image Source:

You are my Sunshine|ArtStack