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Nedroid Comics and Art

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Real Art Criticism. Real Art, Real Gooey. [Dec. 1st, 2006|10:06 pm]
Nedroid Comics and Art
I'm taking a supremely lousy class called "A Critical Approach to Art," in which we learn absolutely nothing about art criticism and instead learn how to waste three hours every Thursday night. Just to give you an idea of what this class is like... it's one of the required senior seminars for my major, which means that everyone in it is a senior, which means that we've all been in school for four years or more. On the second day of class, our teacher took us over to the library to teach us that that's where books are, and that books have information in them. Also, you can check books out of the library. If only someone had told me this sooner, my years and years of formal education might have been easier.

Anyway, a few weeks ago we had class at the art museum, where we read a poem entitled Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Our assignment was then to choose one artwork in the museum and sit in front of it for an hour and a half and write thirteen things about it, like the poem. I chose a work by Kate Shepherd entitled "'As the hart panteth after the water brooks,' Black Floor and Dark Yellow Walls" (which I don't have a picture of, but you can see some of her other work here which gives a pretty good idea of what this one was like).

So in the interest of being educational every now and then, here is what I wrote. I hope this sparks an involved discussion about art theory and contemporary work and the current state of art field, or that people will post pictures they have drawn of things talking that shouldn't.

O Black Floor
and Dark Yellow Walls
What an ugly interior design scheme
If I lived there
I would shoot myself

Big Yellow Square
Why are you so big
Why are you so yellow
What if you were small
and red
Would you be a ladybug?

What then?

"Enamel on panel," says the placard.
Why not "Panel under enamel"?
What makes enamel so special?

The Dark Yellow Walls
are actually pretty Green
Either Kate Shepherd is colorblind
or a Liar

Why is this painting so big
Why not make it smaller
Would that have been so hard, Katie?

The qualities of color
and planar variation
give the piece an illusion of depth.
It beckons the viewer to walk into the room.
However, the guards stop me.
They are earning their pay.

The hart panteth,
the water brooks.
Then the hart brooks
while the water panteth.
Kate Shepherd watches
and later makes this painting.

If instead the Yellow Walls
were rocketships
and the Black Floor
a river of magma
and the hart pantething were
a series of explosions,
this piece might not be so boring

Lines on the Black Floor
Merely a decorative design?
Or perhaps they represent
the unspoken dreams
of a thousand crying children

This painting was plotted
with an architectural computer program
Which is basically cheating
Unless Kate Shepherd is part computer herself
like her brain, or her hands

There are eight distict panels
one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight.
Eight panels.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

Where would you even find
a piece of Plexiglass this big?
Maybe she had to special order it
or something

People stop to look at
the circle of hands
or the floor of army men
Nobody stops to look at the Black Floor
or the Yellow Walls
Kate Shepherd probably feels awful about this

Note: Since I still had a lot of time left, I wrote extras. Then, when I was done with that, I spent a good deal of time writing the lyrics to "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" from memory, which I have not included, since I'm sure you all know them already.

Reflected in the plexiglass
I see the ghost of another, better artwork
Why not just stick up a big mirror
and claim as your own the reflections?
Seems to me like a pretty easy way
to make money

There is an awful lot of empty wall
around this painting
Is this a statement on how, ultimately,
we are born alone and we die alone?
Or an inefficient use of gallery space?

This painting is boring
More boring than "Group of Chairs,"
which itself is pretty boring.

If you stand on your head
the Black Floor becomes a Black Ceiling
The Walls are still Walls, though
Also since there is no floor you'd probably be
walking around on exposed pipes

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[User Picture]From: obakehoshi
2006-12-02 03:16 am (UTC)
Oh, my. These made me giggle quite a bit. Thank you so much for sharing.

It reminds me of this one time I went to the National Art Museum when I was six years old. There was a traveling exhibit about collages. I distinctly remember walking around and looking at shadowboxes with pens, ink bottles, pieces of paper, and pencils glued to the back and thinking, "Wow. I am six years old and can replicate this exactly."
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[User Picture]From: autophanous
2006-12-02 03:20 am (UTC)
xv is fabulous.
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[User Picture]From: rubberbandiv
2006-12-02 03:21 am (UTC)
Hoorj 4 modern art! Or whatever name they're giving it now!
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From: crapjournal
2006-12-02 03:43 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really like XIV, though since it's such a great idea I wonder if it's been done already?
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[User Picture]From: nedroidcomics
2006-12-02 03:46 am (UTC)
I would not be surprised.
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[User Picture]From: angryogre
2006-12-02 04:09 am (UTC)
this is the best thing I've read all week
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[User Picture]From: zarahemla
2006-12-02 04:22 am (UTC)
Would be extra good with border drawings of dinosaurs. :D
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[User Picture]From: nedroidcomics
2006-12-02 04:25 am (UTC)
I actually did draw a dinosaur, looking at the painting in question.

It's like you read my mind!
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[User Picture]From: fozwalla
2006-12-02 04:53 am (UTC)
Here's hoping your classmates and/or professor find this funny ... instead of hostile and failing-grade-worthy.
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[User Picture]From: leighs
2006-12-02 05:18 am (UTC)
You know, it actually took me a long time to figure out how to efficiently use the library.
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[User Picture]From: nedroidcomics
2006-12-02 01:05 pm (UTC)
Trust me, there wasn't a single thing efficient about it.
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[User Picture]From: firework_kid
2006-12-02 05:26 am (UTC)
XII is the best, man.
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[User Picture]From: cmzero
2006-12-02 08:07 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: tekende
2006-12-02 09:09 am (UTC)
This is the best thing ever. Seriously. I love it.
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[User Picture]From: nezumiko
2006-12-02 09:15 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nedroidcomics
2006-12-02 01:07 pm (UTC)
Aw yeah, that's the one! Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: manycolored
2006-12-02 02:21 pm (UTC)
As an instructional librarian, I apologize for your library instruction class. Personally, I think it's pathetic that intelligent, self-sufficient patrons have to suffer through that remedial crap along with those who have somehow made it to higher education without figuring out that books are arranged according to the little number on their spine, and can be looked up on that thingee over there called a com-pew-ter. Believe it or not, it's horribly, horribly common.

What that means is we don't have a chance to show you the really useful stuff like citation trailing and searching databases with all the little Boolean tricks that make you get what you're looking for in the first page of results.

On my behalf, please bonk on the head any classmates who appeared flummoxed by the idea going to the library and charging out a book. I am not supposed to do this for myself, and have been placed in a position where I interact with patrons only by phone and email, just to ensure that I can't go around bonking people.

Also, your poem deserves an even broader audience than LJ. I love it.
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[User Picture]From: lots42
2006-12-03 02:48 am (UTC)
How do I learn these tricks, please? I am always searching for new stuff to read, I can bust through a Sandman book in about half an hour.

(My favorite is Death)
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[User Picture]From: masanori
2006-12-02 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'm amazed you were able to write thirteen things about that. I could probably one come up with one, "It sucks."

Good work. I love them all.
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[User Picture]From: cmarie14
2006-12-02 03:47 pm (UTC)
I just popped over from metaquotes. Forget art, you should be a writer. You remind me of Bill Bryson, of Walk in the Woods fame.
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