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Sarah Dyer

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Melissa Deep | No Comments »

Kintsugi

My project is utilizing and expanding upon the traditional Japanese method of Kintsugi. The following video by Nerdwriter1 explains the ideology behind the repair process of kintsugi:

Problem Solving

By joining shards from several ceramic items together, rather than just one, I departed from the traditional use of kintsugi and by necessity some of the traditional materials, most notably the resin. The lacquer resin traditionally used in kintsugi really only works if the pieces fit tightly together, such as they would if they had originally been part of the same object. Since I am working with several broken objects instead of just one, I did not have the necessary well fitted edges and had to find a different joiner that would allow me to attach the shards together. I first tried multipurpose epoxy resin. However, I was having difficulty preventing the resin from running and keeping the individual tesserae from sliding out of place. I asked around the ceramic department and several people suggested Magic Sculpt epoxy, which is a polymer that acts like clay while it is wet. This turned out to work well for me. I felt like I had more control over how the joint looked, such as the shards were less likely to slip from where I placed them and I was able to fill any gaps between them as well. Also, I had more control over the Magic sculpt because it is not a liquid, and I was able to prevent unsightly runs.

Palais Royal

Adriana Matallana

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Melissa Deep | No Comments »

The Way

The Way of St. James of Compostella

The Way of St. James

The Way of St. James

Also known in Spanish as Camino de Santiago, or Le Chemin St. Jacques in French, it is a path that pilgrims from all over the world take to get to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia in northwestern Spain, to venerate the alleged relics of the Apostle Saint James the Greater, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. This ancient and well-known Christian pilgrimage dates back to medieval times. After being slightly forgotten, it regained its appeal among Christians and non-Christians.

It is known that after the death of Christ, James the Greater embarked in an evangelizing mission to Spain. On his return to Palestine and after violating the prohibition of the preaching of Christianity, he was beheaded during the reign of Herod Agrippa. 02 According to tradition, his corpse was stolen by the disciples Athanasius and Teodoro and carried by boat back in Spanish lands. Years later, in 1077, a hermit called “Pelayo” who lived in Solovio, in the forest of Libredón, began to observe during the nights mysterious lights. He reported the discovery to the bishop, who went to that place and found that the light revealed the place where the three bodies of James the Greater and his disciples Teodoro and Anastasio were buried. Bishop Teodomiro visited the court of King Alfonso II of Asturias, to inform him of such phenomenal event. The monarch organized a trip to this site surrounded by its main noble. As he arrived to the “Star Field” (Compostela), he ordered the construction of a small church of Asturian style.

Since this time, it gets officially established the tomb of the apostle in that location, close to the Cape Finisterre, located at the western end of Europe. The path to Finisterre was indicated from anywhere in Europe by the stars of the “Milky Way.” Possibly these astronomical and geographical facts helped strengthen the magnetism that since then has resulted in millions of souls walking the pilgrim’s way.

During the eleventh century the influx of pilgrims to the tomb of St. James intensified, this triggered the construction of various routes; the French Way was one of the most popular and hospitable.

The Way of Saint James became even more popular during XII and XIII centuries. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago were the three most important pilgrimages during the middle ages. Rome gave the concession to pilgrims to obtain a plenary indulgence (complete remission of temporal punishment). The conditions for obtaining plenary indulgence are the following:

  • Visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela to the tomb of James the Greater.
  • “Pray (at least the Creed, the Our Father and ask for the intentions of the Pope). It is recommended that you attend the Holy Mass
  • Receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Communion, within the period between the fifteen days prior and subsequent to the visit to Santiago de Compostela.

During the fourteenth century, the pilgrimages were seriously diminished due to the black plague, and the emergence of Protestantism two hundred years later.

The pilgrim’s Way earned back its reputation in the last quarter of the twentieth century, mainly because of its spiritual value and inspiring significance.

In 1993 UNESCO declared the Camino de Santiago a World Heritage Site.

Growth in the annual number of pilgrims

1-Jubilee years (Holy Years); those whose July 25 falls on a Sunday

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago

06 Most long-distance footpaths deliberately pass through ancient architectural masterpieces rich in art, history, and splendid landscapes. It also offers shelters named “refugios” with low rates per night.

In modern times pilgrims walk for many reasons, not only religious. What attracts them to the Way of St. James, is the combination of adventure, camaraderie and simplicity. A vast majority of them are not expert walkers; many choose to make the walk by sections every year.

Jeanne Miserendino

Jeanne Miserendino

Those Pilgrims who choose to take the French Way, which is the most popular path, start in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France, and end up in the town of Santiago de Compostela about 30 days later. As they pass from town to town, a stamp is placed on their passports as a proof of their arrival. Once they get to their final destination at the Cathedral of St. James of Compostella, they are awarded with a certificate of completion.

Adeline Rucquoi – Director of  the French Society of Friends of St. James of Compostella

Adeline Rucquoi – Director of the French Society of Friends of St. James of Compostella

During my research and interviews, I discovered that this journey is not an easy endeavor, which takes planning, effort and perseverance. The majority of people that I interviewed had profound experiences while reaching their goal.

The following are some quotes about their experiences:

USF Professor Louis Marcus

USF Professor Louis Marcus

Insights of the Way of St. James by USF Professor Louis Marcus:

“I can’t imagine not doing this walk each year, as long as my body cooperates. I don’t know if I will ever reach Santiago de Compostela but in truth the Chemin itself is a worthy destination, the process more than the goal.”

I would characterized myself as a secular pilgrim since I am Jewish (and non-observant) and when I first started out on this I was curious and somewhat skeptical about the resurgence of interest in the Chemin over the past 50 years or so and especially in the last two decades during which the number of people taking to it each year has grown substantially. But even after a few days of the walk in 2012 I became very much aware of the spiritual dimension of this experience. Certainly I am moved by the beauty of the churches and chapels that I have encountered in the walk, but the spiritual aspect for me has perhaps more to do with what I experience in movement through the landscape, a heightened awareness of my place on the earth and of my relationship to it. And then there is the relationship to the past and to the millions of others who have walked this path for the past thousand years. Perhaps because I do the walk alone (and without a desire to do it with a group or even with one other person), the solitude allows for the emergence of a voice within myself that I tend not to hear when immersed in the city, one which asks questions about my relationship to the world and to others and which reflects on my past and what has brought me to the exact place and moment of the present. When on the Chemin I have thought of Spinoza’s concept of God (for which he was excommunicated) that rather than being a singular entity as in monotheistic religions, God is infused in everything around us, the fields, the trees, the rocks, the animals, and human beings. The Chemin for me is an antidote to the anthropocentric conception of the world that is encouraged by the busyness of our lives, the notion that human beings are at the center of the world and that nature is an instrument of our desires, something to be mastered. I find it a humbling experience perhaps because every day on the path I am aware of the effort and limitations of my body, my vehicle. So I must know when to take rests along the way, or how to treat (or better yet avoid) blisters, and how to keep moving a bit in spite of the fatigue in order to arrive at the night’s destination, that becomes such an object of longing as the sun moves lower in the sky. (In fact I found myself after a few days gauging the time of day more from the position of the sun than from looking at my watch.) A profound sense of well-being and freedom comes from the knowledge of how little one really needs to be satisfied in this world, that everything I need to survive is contained in the pack that I carry on my back (around 6-7 kilograms). Admittedly, I am not a pauper on the trail and I would no doubt experience great anxiety if I did not have an ATM card in my wallet and some cash to carry me through the minimal daily purchases of food and the minimal cost of a bed at the pilgrims’ refuges each night.

The following are some poems, paitings and photographs by Stan Loper and Virginia Larrea during their journey on the Way of St. James of Compostella.

Kara Lavin

Monday, October 27th, 2014 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Melissa Deep | No Comments »

We don’t usually associate stained glass with controversy, rather colorshifts, cathedrals, light and spirituality. As one of the oldest art forms still around today, it arguably has more life than we will ever. In medieval France, Abbot Suger was a man who had questioned the flat, mystical story lines embedded in the meaning of biblical manuscripts that were only accessible to a few clergy members. He wanted to create a public experience by turning cathedral windows into more than just decoration and into an informative and inspirational art form. From 1125-1144, Abbot Suger and a team of helpers worked on creating and assembling windows for a cathedral in the northern region of France. The gothic style he used has now made the St-Denis monastery famous. His intentions, which were announced to the community, were to create stories so complex within the windows that the only group capable of their full comprehension were literate monks aka Literali. The reaction was overwhelming, and not all of it was good. Even with resistance, Suger persisted that his windows were going to be just as beneficial as the scripture itself, besides being a wonderfully luminous artform. “Suger was not specifically trying to create a new type of art. Rather, he was primarily responding to the current controversy over the use of art by monks”. Reason being, any art was believed to be a distraction from their faith. With this in mind, his design had multiple layers of meaning that depending on your scriptural knowledge and literacy or lack there of, would come to understand the windows in different ways. “They engage fully with exegesis (critical explanation of scriptural text) as a methodological vehicle for visual presentation”. His program and ultimately the glass windows, implored deep and critical thinking and in many cases, action was to follow concerning the moral struggles in their life. Methodologically, this goes beyond the traditional narration model of design in Christian art by going beyond the scripture and creating a major movement in the artistic culture of his time and beyond. Before his endeavor, most saw art as the lowest form of spirituality, in accordance with the easily accessible stories most windows contained. Suger aimed to elevate art to become highly regarded as important as the word itself. There are 3 levels to understanding the full meaning and analysis of the windows according to a close friend of Suger and theologian, Hugh of St. Victor. These follow a sequence of ascent from the historical to the allegorical, the tropological.The historical level is a literal explanation of events in the past, Allegorical being the hybrid story being told to interpret the history, the tropological level represents the moral side of understanding the story and taking action to support your beliefs”. Hugh had great ideas about the human journey towards spirituality that really helped Suger compound so much meaning into each window he created.

In Hugh’s system, spiritual awareness moves from cognition to meditation to contemplation. Very briefly put, cognition (cognitio) is the awareness of something “when the thing itself, through its image, is suddenly presented to the consciousness, either through the senses or arising from the memory.” Meditation (meditatio) is “the methodical and discerning reconsideration of cognition, whether endeavoring to clarify something obscure or searching to penetrate something hidden.” Contemplation (contemplalio) is “the acute and unrestrained gazing of the soul in a way that extends over every aspect of the thing under examination.”

Damaged by the spiritual ignorance incurred with original sin, it is first discovered in its broken state by Cognition. The methodical recognition (or re-cognition) of this is realized by Meditation, who gathers the broken pieces of the vessel. Finally, the “craftsman”
Contemplation melts these pieces down and recasts them “in the mold of the divine likeness.”

This process was a necessary one for enlightenment and the only way for real success in Suger’s work.

References
Rudolph, C.(2011). Inventing the Exegetical Stained-Glass Window: Suger, Hugh, and a New Elite Art. Art Bulletin, 93(4), 399-422.

Ella Dizdarevic

Monday, October 27th, 2014 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Melissa Deep | No Comments »

Artist Statement

Since the dawn of ancient civilizations, economic influencers in western society have mandated that its citizens have roles to play in life which are confined by certain guidelines in order to classify individuals as normal. However, instead of teaching the general masses how to think in order to question the status quo around them, the public is labeled as a consumer-based society who can be manipulated by teaching them what to think.

I use ready-made elements within my work to challenge the general norms of society by transforming the items ordinarily consumed on a daily basis into cultural commentary on modern society. Most of my works are installation based and therefore exist temporarily within time and space in order for the viewer to absorb the rendered experience.

Within Transience the original photograph no longer exists as a tool to remember but rather the complicated process of remembering lived experiences in a philosophical sense. As memories occur, the boundary line between object and viewer blurs and one and the other become a single identity because of the shared experience. Within street art and graffiti, photography is a common way of documenting and promoting the art globally. Here the exchange between artist and viewer becomes relevant because the photographer shares the act of creation; the viewer recreates the artwork through photographic means. That one temporary moment which transcends time and space, from artist to viewer, is also one of the reasons that make street art and graffiti so thrilling.

Video

Hear it from the sources themselves in an interview conducted during my trip to London back in June 2014.

Blog


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The blog documents my journey across London in search of material relevant to my research question.


Links

Tizer, London Graffiti artist:


Jessica Barber

Monday, October 27th, 2014 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Melissa Deep | No Comments »

The Thread of Bearing Witness

Caption

JOSEPHINE Catalog

The two most influential exhibitions I attended while abroad were JOSEPHINE at the Musee du Luxembourg, and Lace Effects 2 at The International City of Lace and Fashion in Calais. While there, I became enamored with Josephine Bonaparte and this idea of French taste. I learned that once Josephine became Empress, she was almost always on display. She was the best dressed woman and acted as an ambassador for French distinction. She fulfilled the Emperor’s wish of making his court the most luxurious in Europe and promoted national textile industries, particularly those in Lyon. Her outfits were remarked upon and copied in all the European Courts. Josephine was a French icon who left an imprint of femininity on French culture and an Empire. The exhibition displayed her taste in art, fashion, jewelry, and stylish furnishings.

The International City of Lace and Fashion in Calais had a much different take on lace and style. The museum had an industrial factory that was making lace although I was in attendance. I was able to walk through the entire chronological history of lace in Calais. There was a mix of contemporary artists using lace, and the historical background of making and wearing lace. This exhibition broke down lace for me in the sense that threads are divided, woven, twisted, knotted, and interlaced. This museum attempted to bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary by showing all the technical skills required for handmade and manufactured lace.

Caption

  Caption  

The two styles of printmaking I chose for this project are copper etching and screen printing. The copper plate is 9” by 12” and the screen is 22” by 30”. I chose copper for its tradition in printmaking and to offset that I chose screen printing as a more contemporary style of image making. I screen printed on fabric in an attempt to make my own textile being influenced by all I saw in The Palace of Versailles. Along with printmaking I have also endeavored in making a relief sculpture, in the hopes that there can be a language made between the two dimensional and the three dimensional. The project all along has been about combining ideas and techniques that seem like they would not fit. I enjoy the bizarre nature of seamlessly fitting together these objects and philosophies through my art.

Caption

Curtain Textile in The Palace of Versailles

When I started printmaking I worked a lot with cheese cloth, threads, rope, and yarn. All of these materials led me to a curiosity in fabrics and textiles. I specifically became aware of my attention to lace. The delicate fabric is of great importance in my own work, so it only seemed natural to make it a part of my research. The material conjures a lot of history and femininity in this art project. My work and this project exemplify an inquisitiveness of combining textiles, fabric and lace with the human body. There is fluidity to fabrics; it is not something we live with, but something we live in.

Jessica Sylvester

Monday, October 27th, 2014 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Melissa Deep | No Comments »

Art in the Streets: An Art Based Research Project

Research Mentor: Anne Jeffrey

Summary

Currently street art and graffiti are positioned against each other in an evolving debate over what role both forms have in the art world. This heated debate was the inspiration to look at all types of art that can be found on the street, from tags to murals. The process began with the development of an idea. Initially, the interest was in the idea that street art would be able to reveal an aspect of culture that became apparent only through a close inspection of street art. Time in Paris revealed this task to be enormous and overreaching for the time of this particular project, this even led to question if deriving this sort of information was even possible. Then deciding to find a new track the attention was shifted to something more obtainable. This new idea came out of experience abroad, becoming fascinated with the development of the field.

Although a complete understanding of street art cannot be found from an analysis of street works they still retain a level of reflectivity of the culture in which they are created. This applies more to the street art side where politics and social issues are reflected in works. Graffiti tags and more traditional works are typically based on the art itself, the placement, the design and the risk involved in creating the work is more important. This division of goals leads to a rift in the middle of the world of street art, pushing for the evolution for subcultures. Mainstream artists such a Banksy and traditionalist artists who remain anonymous to the outside world that tag cannot be categorized with one another. They are different types of artists who happen to both exhibit work in the streets. These divisions are evident in works on walls around the world. A street artist will create a mural then a graffitist will come and tag on top of the other artists work. There is a war going on, the weapons are paint and both sides are opposed but fighting for different outcomes.

The Process

The task that was presented was how to visually articulate the dichotomy within street art. The goal of the curator is to preserve and interpret, with this in mind the process after returning home became how to personally develop a strategy to accomplish this. Creating a dialogue through images was more difficult than expected. The initial inspiration was made lackluster when condensed into a handful of images. The omissions were blinding and the understanding that had come through discovering the images was lost. The research produced more than an understanding of street art and graffiti culture. The issue of effective and accurate communication through a curated exhibit took precedence. That is what produced the final exhibit. The desk, the images and the materials are all a part of the images. The understanding of a culture is in its artifacts, possibly this is an influence from anthropology. What the project produced was an evolution that needed to be shown to explain the images, in context.

Links for Further Reading:

Mainstream media is typically outspoken about street art, graffiti, and the laws that pertain to it. This is a CNN article about this artist subculture. There are some direct quotes from artists providing their commentary on current politics. Overall, this article is reflective of much of the articles in the news today.

This is a link to a documentary on street art available through YouTube. It provides opinions of artists and a summary of their methods for a more insider perspective.

For more information, images and links pertaining to this project.

Phillip Townsend

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Paul Trusik | No Comments »

Which Black?: An Investigation of late 19th & early 20th century Parisian Visual Culture from the Perspective of the Black Artist

Exhibition Summary

Which Black? refers to the assumption that Africans and African Americans are different because they are geographically and historically separated, as well as the assumption that they share the same culture because they share the same complexion.

In the 19th century, blacks faced many social, economic, and educational obstacles in the United States. This was especially true for the black artist. The African American artist faced many years of social and educational challenges, and these adversities prompted some black artists to study and work abroad. The exhibition Which Black? was inspired by my interest in the perception and reception of African Americans in foreign countries at the turn of the 20th century. I chose to focus on Paris because of its reputation as a haven for pre-American Civil War African Americans and for France’s colonialist practices in Africa.

The goal of Which Black? is to provide a comprehensive examination of the visual culture that African Americans were exposed to during their art education and practice in late 19th to mid-20th century Paris. Photographs of these artists, their studios, the educational institutions they attended, and their former residences in Paris document their physical work, study, and living space. Text and supplemental images of the artists’ works provide context to the photographs and their relevance to the overall theme of the exhibition. Additionally, images and texts of late 19th to mid-20th century Parisian visual culture and the Paris 1900 International Exposition are also included.

(more…)

Candyce Strayer

Monday, October 28th, 2013 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Paul Trusik | No Comments »

My experience in Paris, London and Venice reached beyond the surface of tourism into the pulse of the city ingraining itself permanently into my being. Every day I was there I discovered a new place, a nook or cranny where the espresso was hot and I could sit and watch people pass by. I could reflect. I spent much of my time among churches, the street and around places rich in history.

I had this overwhelming sense of being so small amongst such a rich history and large city. This perspective allowed me to reflect on my own way of thinking. I took this and made photographs that attempted to describe in the most lyrical and poetic way I could what the experience of internal reflection and transformation is like. Each photograph became a point on a map to my internal geography. And like a map, where there are some cities bigger than others, brighter, darker or quieter than others so I sized and colored my prints in order to reflect those same qualities in my internal, psychological moments.

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Erica Wold

Monday, October 28th, 2013 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Paul Trusik | No Comments »

No Matter Where You Go

My final art project is an installation of train tickets I collected Paris and then used in a meditative exercise while in Paris. I collected the tickets all over the city whole we were traveling and meditated on the idea of all the individual journeys they represented. During this meditation I wrote ‘No matter where you go, there you are’ on each and every ticket, I meditated on this phrase often while traveling. I found many meanings in these words, but the most important to me was the idea of no matter where I was, I was still me and I still have control over my own happiness and it gave me comfort to think that I could will myself into a better mood or that I could choose to push through the fog of depression to create memories I would enjoy after I was home again. I have included a selection of 3 photographs I feel best articulate the feelings that I experienced as a result of culture shock. The image titled ‘Anonymous’ particularly stuck me as the singular image that can summarize the entire experience of culture shock. The image depicts a figure standing on a bridge to the Anonymous Stateless Immigrant’s Pavilion. The figures back is to us, denying us of their identity, the figure is also alone while we can tell the scene ahead is a bustling promenade. I particularly enjoyed the quietness of the image and its ability to convey solitude and sadness with a touch of hope and lightness. The image titled ‘Askew’ is an example of an image of strange juxtaposition. Why is there a leather chair sitting on the sidewalk? The lines of the street and the building are not straight, and it is all very disorienting. Which is a direct reflection on my feelings while in Europe. The image ‘Enchanted’ depicts a solitary figure emerging from darkness to gaze upon Paramour as a representation for the romantic ideal of the city, while it is also referencing the familiar Paramount symbol thereby creating a strange mix of Parisian with American culture. The last piece I included is a multimedia piece including a bought postcard and a hand drawn map of the subway system on vellum paper. The Postcard depicts a romanticized image of the Eiffel Tower, and I have mounted the images together so that the map obscures the romantic image of Paris. The very busy and brightly colored routes of the subway distract from and destroy the beautiful image of Paris so that the viewer has to struggle to see the dream like image of Paris as a reference to my own struggle to find the Paris I had dreamed of once I was faced with the reality of the experience. With these projects I hope to spread awareness of this process and to help non-affected people better understand its impact.

Brianna Horn

Monday, October 28th, 2013 | Posted in Research in Art Scholarship by Paul Trusik | No Comments »

Throughout the development of my research process, I found beauty in the minute details in Paris. While I attempted to blend into my surroundings, I couldn’t help but notice the quiet moments in the extremely busy city. The images in the show express the turbulent journey of the unforeseeable experiences while I was in Europe. Not a single image resulted the way that I had envisioned them. When deciding which of my images to be in the show, I found that I was most intrigued by the way the camera malfunctioned in conjunction with my changing perspective of Paris. The images featured here, however, are more of a compilation of my original vision intermingled with the struggles that I had along the way. While the photographs are still not completely the way I visually desired them, they are more in sync with my original thought process of photographing people. These encapsulate a more muted, lonely Paris that I began to yearn for the longer I was in Paris.

 

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