Having completed Part One except for the Assignment, I find yes, I am surprised. The installation art, sound, and even the text based work have all proved to be so much more fascinating once I understood the context. Generally I have more interested in paintings and traditional sculptures and found myself in the ranks of those who consciously or otherwise imagine that fine arts are superior to other works. It has been enlightening to recognise this prejudice and to understand more about the history and the place of art in today’s world.
Having watched Grayson Perry with the series called All Man, I can see the value of art as a political and social statement which was not really in my consciousness in this way. Also, seeing the video on What Do Artists Do All Day with Katie Paterson describing the making of her sculpture called Hollow, it is sobering to see the huge amount of work that goes into a piece such as this and the value to the community.
Perhaps the most useful thing for me has been exploring context. I found both Katie Paterson and Sam Taylor-Woods to be very interested in the process of death as it relates to time and place. Looking more deeply into their personal stories I found that they had both been affected by critical illness and I could then see more of what they were saying through their artworks. It became more interesting to me to understand the way the narrative of the piece flows from the narrative of the artists life. I understand that this may not be the point and it is the piece itself I should be responding to rather than the artist, however, this has been so informative.
I was also surprised at my resistance to reading the academic text! I don’t seem to remember much of it.