Journal of History of Modern Art 2021 KCI Impact Factor : 0.88

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2011, Vol., No.29

  • 1.

    The Visual Representation of Holocaust through the ‘postmemory’: Focusing on the Works of Christian Boltanski and Anselm Kiefer

    김지예 | 2011, (29) | pp.7~41 | number of Cited : 2
    Holocaust has significantly discussed in the various academic fields including historical academic world. As many artists have represented Holocaust, the relation between Holocaust and the representation of visual art has been a important point at issue. The pieces of work of Christian Boltanski(1944- ) who is a French artist and Anselm Kiefer(1946- ) who is a German artist at the same age are in the center of point at issue. Since 1980’s, two artists constantly have represented Holocaust in their works. This study notes the ‘belated’ visual representation of Holocaust which shows in the work of Boltanski and Kiefer. The question about why this old event which is not experienced to them constantly has been represented is the starting point in this study. Therefore, this study is about “after Holocaust”, not digging into Holocaust but how to we remember it and make it a visual representation. In other words, as we have mentioned above, it is to define the possibility that how the artists who don’t have any direct memory about it can represent Holocaust and to considerate its meaning. For this, I highlighted the fact that Holocaust is a trauma event and combined ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Sigmund Freud who analyzed the late effect of the trauma with the analysis of work of Boltanski and Kiefer. Also, I considerated the concept of Marianne Hirsch’s ‘postmemory’ which is on the basis of ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Freud. If the ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Freud becomes a basis in this study, the concept of ‘postmemory’ is what analyzed that how ‘nachtraglich’ can be discussed in the visual representation of real second generation so it is noticed in this study. In unit 1, I noted the overall works of Boltanski and Kiefer especially focusing on the relation with the representation of Holocaust. Through their works, I analyzed that how Holocaust would be showed directly or indirectly by overall trends. Before above, I will mention the positions of two artists in Holocaust representation and discuss their points of sameness and difference in short. Before analyzing the main works of Boltanski and Kiefer, it is considered ‘nachtraglich’theory of Freud in chapter 2 to define the follow-up influece of trauma. The discussion of the follow-up recognition of trauma and the period of incubation was mainly dealed in the psychoanalysis of Freud. Through the theorical consideration of ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Freud, the transmission of trauma of Holocaust hasan effect on ‘belated’ generation. At the same time, the next generations could go back to the past in which they couldn’t harmonize and they can give evidence and reconsideration. Also it is discussed Hirsch’s ‘postmemory’in after ‘nachtraglich’ of trauma. Hirsch didn’t deal with the ‘nachtraglich’ in detail, but she insisted on the delayed effect of trauma. ‘postmemory’ generations are affected by stories,photos, films, literatures which are surrounded them. The study of second generation which are related complicately has been continued in the art and various academical fields. ‘postmemory’ concept is in the context of the study. In this study, it is highlighted that Hirsch analyzed trauma’s nachtraglich specially in the artistic representation, it is analyzed the characteristics of artistic representation of second and third generations. On the basis of the constructive approach of ‘nachtraglich’ of the trauma memory, the works of Boltanski and Kiefer are analyzed in chapter 3. In chapter 3 unit 1, the works of Boltanski which has been represented Holocaust first, and in chapter 3 unit 2, the works of Kiefer are discussed. In chapter 3, it is noted that there are differences in two artist’s works on the media and the way of expressions but they all showed the break between ‘memory’and ‘nachtraglich’. In the works of Boltanski, I paid attention to anonymity of the blurred image and the bogus relation between the photo and caption. In the works of Kiefer, it is mainly discussed the coexistence with the harmer and the sufferer and the combination of the historical fact and myth. In this study, it is analyzed that these artists represented Holocaust victims prominently and simultaneously, the facts that these factors makes the historical specificity ambiguous through the specific works. Centering around the works of the Boltanski and Kiefer, to consider the follow-up visual representation of Holocaust doesn’t end up on the discussion about the Holocaust event. The basic starting in this study is about how the extreme trauma which is faced to human constantly has an effect and what follow-up consideration through the visual representation concretely means. Especially, it is the meaning of this study to discuss that the structure of the ‘nachtraglich’ of the trauma of Freud is grafted on to the belated visual representation of Holocaust. Through the theory of ‘nachtraglich’, it will be discussed fundamentally why the event which could be considered as the past symbolizes as a visual art belatedly.
  • 2.

    Aesthetics of Liberation in Remedios Varo’s Works

    성혜진 | 2011, (29) | pp.43~68 | number of Cited : 1
    This essay investigates the aesthetics of liberation presented in Remedios Varo(1908-1963)’s works. Being an artist who realized the surrealist spirit of liberation throughout her life, Remedios Varo displayed the theme in various aspects. She gave shape to her spirit of liberation upon her personal experiences of war and imprisonment, and of her practice in the institutionalized education system, while sharing the surrealist aesthetics of liberation. Surrealism began during the period between the First and the Second World War. It followed Dada’s spirit of challenging against established authorities, and pursued a revolution for the final goal of human liberation. Surrealists believed that it would be possible to realize a political revolution through art. They also tried to free themselves from reason by liberating irrational elements repressed within their subconscious. They revolted against the plastic hierarchy through methods that enabled the subconscious to manifest,such as autonomous writing and contingency. Such a spirit of liberation, along with her personal experiences, made Remedios Varo constantly pursue the world of liberation. Her inclination to the liberation from political repression was formed by her brother’s death during the Spanish Civil War, her confinement in 1940, and her lifelong experience as an exile. Apart from the political repressions by the wars, Varo also had to undergo yet another repression caused by her identity as a woman. The male surrealists tended to distort the female bodies in violent ways to gratify their male desire. The female surrealists denied the given roles and depicted themselves as subjective women. Varo also presented a confident model of woman to express her will to realize women’s desire without male perspective. Moreover, she did not only confine the liberation of women to sexual issue, but also displayed a critical consciousness to the gender role given to the women of her time. It was to subvert the conventional role imposed on women as housewives and mothers, as well as the traditional view of women that expected women to be passive and complaisant. Her experience of mysticism and alchemy after she settled herself in Mexico in 1949 was another factor that affected Varo, pushing her further to seek more metaphysical dimension in her works. Varo attempted liberation from all rules of physics by studying time space in the new dimension with creative people such as artists and travelers. Through the various aspects of Remedios Varo’s art practice, this essay examines her intent of attaining a world that is liberated from political repressions such as war, sexual restriction and conventional idea of gender upon women. As a woman who tried to free herself from various mechanisms that repressed her in the real world, Varo investigated the essence of human beings as a condition of liberation. Through her investigation, she discovered that the space of liberation was within humans themselves. This connects to the surrealist spirit that believed the human ability and exemplifies that Varo’s concept of liberation was not only on a personal dimension. In conclusion, it verifies that Varo’s attitude, which seeks a liberation that comes from a subjective experience, has sublimated itself to an aesthetic as well as to the artist’s view of art.
  • 3.

    Chinese Contemporary Art and Criticism in the Era of Globalization: Wu Hung’s Experimental Art vs. Gao Minglu’s Transnational Avant-garde

    Dong-Yeon Koh | 2011, (29) | pp.69~99 | number of Cited : 8
    As Chinese contemporary art, especially what is called “Political Pop Art”, became the center of attention at international biennialsand exhibitions during the early 1990s, critics of Chinese art faced a number of important challenges. They had to ‘explain’ not only the distinctive historical and artistic contents of individual art works and artists, but also Chinese contemporary art within the history of the international contemporary art. The critics and curators on Chinese contemporary art had to fight against the dominant approach toward Chinese contemporary art in the West; to bring the balanced view between artistic tradition in China and the development of contemporary artistic language; to examine Chinese art relative to the concept of avant-garde, based on the “critical” tradition of contemporary art in west. This study concentrates on Wu Hung and Gao Minglu, the two influential art critics and art historians on contemporary Chinese art and culture. As both were educated in China and western academia, they can serve as useful cases for understanding the challenges that art critics of the non-western world should face. I will particularly highlight Wu Hung’s attempt to “decontexturalize” as well as “recontexturalize” Chinese contemporary art relative to Chinese literary and artistic tradition on the one hand, and the development of conceptual and books art in the west on the other. Unlike Wu Hung, who became extremely reserved in using western theories, Gao Minglu applied the concept of avantgarde in order to introduce a series of critical and rebellious arts in China from the late 1980s and onwards. For Minglu, western theories and concept enable him, in a way, to criticizethe repressive Chinese government and advocated Chinese avant-garde art “outside”of China. By looking at the key example of Wu Hung’s and Gao Minglu’s art criticism, this study aims to touch upon the problem, limitation, and possibilities that art critics on nonwestern arts have to deal with in the globalized art world context; how international artistic languages or theories can be used, appropriated by critics on non-western art world to maneuver between non-western and western, or between the outside and inside of the tradition and society from which the given art works derived.
  • 4.

    Politicisation of Public Art in Hong Kong (Part I): for the Sake of Hong Kong People’s ‘Way of Life’

    조지훈 | 2011, (29) | pp.101~125 | number of Cited : 0
    Britain agreed to return the sovereignty over Hong Kong to Mainland China on 1 July 1997 and Mainland China agreed to ‘preserve Hong Kong’s dynamic capitalist system and way of life’ for 50 years under the principle of ‘one country, two systems’. The process of formally ending British colonial rule, which had lasted for about 150 years, and the history of colonial domination duly ended in 1997. However, the end of the British colony did not mean the end of domination and the start of Hong Kong’s autonomy. This dramatic historical event has rather raised the question: does the handover entail either decolonisation or re-colonisation by the new master, Mainland China? These incompatible views on handover have created a complete crisis in Hong Kong society and it is mainly derived from Hong Kong people’s view on Mainland China. Hong Kong people formed their own ‘way of life’ during the colonial times, which are different from those of Mainland Chinese,and they identify Mainland Chinese as ‘inferior’. It is hard for Hong Kong people, having this sense of superiority, to simply accept their return to Mainland China, and, hence, there have been controversies surrounding the handover in society. The attempts to preserve Hong Kong people’s ‘way of life’ is clearly displayed in public art in Hong Kong. Public art since the Tiananmen Square Incident has been deeply involved in the issues of politics, society, culture and identity in the context of the handover and it indicates the fact that public art has been politicised for purposes. Firstly, it is found that public art is politicised by the press for the sake of reinforcing Hongkongness and Hong Kong Tripod is the significant example of it. The symbolism of Hong Kong tripod , which is the most representative manifestation of legitimacy and centrality of Chinese political power, was fatally damaged by the press coverage due to the negative interpretations of the press. The negative and superstitious interpretations about the tripod’s damage and wide transmission to the people by the press stirred up the people, and thereby created a collective sense of fear and ridicule against Mainland China. This gave a chance for Hong Kong people to concentrate them and reinforce Hongkongness in the collective sense created by the press. Furthermore, the press coverage reflects the situation of Hong Kong press around the handover years. In the competition between the pro-Hong Kong press and the pro-Mainland China press, many of the press companies tried to court the taste of the ‘Hong Kong’ people, who identify themselves in the sense of Hongkongness and are main collectivity in identity, and so hold hegemony in the post-handover Hong Kong. For the reason, the press produced those negative articles on the Tripod and that situation played an important role in inciting negative perceptions of Mainland China/Chineseness and reinforcement of Hongkongness. It shows the press reinforced Hongkongness and attempted to hold the hegemony in Hong Kong by politicising public art. Secondly, public art in Hong Kong is politicised by people for freedom and democracy and the most important and representative example is Pillar of Shame. This work tests the ‘validity of the new authorities’ guarantees for human rights and freedom of expression in Hong Kong’ now. The refusal of the installation of the sculpture in a public place by the municipal councils in 1997 for the reason of its appearance and message related to the Tiananmen massacre provoked a heated debate on whether freedom of expression and democracy can be ensured in the post-handover time. After the rejection, the work became homeless and roamed about the city for two years. Through this journey,however, the meaning of the work as symbol of freedom and democracy became specific and consolidated. The symbolism is still alive in Hong Kong today; Ceremonies to commemorate Tiananmen Square Incident have been held every year where the pillar stands, and the difficulty of the artist’s entry into Hong Kong happened in 2008 and 2009is looked upon as censorship of the freedom of expression and democracy. Since arriving in the city, the ‘foreign’ object has become a truly ‘Hong Kong’ democratic commemorative monument gauging freedom of expression and testing democracy in Hong Kong in the post-handover times. And it is the result by people’s spontaneous politicisation of public art for the sake of their freedom and democracy.
  • 5.

    Incarnation and Transfiguration: Cyborg Art as an Image Practice

    신승철 | 2011, (29) | pp.127~156 | number of Cited : 6
    Performance by Orlan and Stelarc is based on radical body modification. With the aid of prosthesis, they transfigure their body, and the posthuman proposition, “the body is obsolete” justifies their action. The cosmetic surgery of Orlan follows the instruction of Zeuxis. She has the brow from Mona Risa, the chin from Venus, the eyes from Psyche, and the lips from Europa through the act of 9 plastic surgeries. In this sort of image practice,‘becoming-image of body’ and ‘becoming-body of image’ can be observed. Images by old masters are embodied on her face, and this embodiment of image is involved in the invention of her identity. Stelarc tried to make his body empty by implanting the prosthesis. His body becomes fluid through the cables which penetrate it, and it is transfigured as “the body”, which is objective imagery. “The body” isn’t controled by his own will, but by multiple agents. So, it is not in the temporary and ephemeral body, but in the eternal image that he can manifest himself. The radical image practice of Orlan and Stelarc follows the long tradition of body art,insofar as it is involved in the modification and transformation of the body. On the one hand it follows a lesson by the artists who dedicate their body to art, and on the other it faces the anthropologic and posthuman task, that is to say the active reaction against conditio humana. In this context, Orlan’s and Stelarc’s body art takes over the magical function of image-representation, and it can manifest itself as an artistic form. Becomingimage of body and embodiment of image, which is obeserved in cyborg art, extends the idea of ‘body-image’, so that it covers not only image production about the body but also a wide range of image practices on the body.
  • 6.

    Wassily Kandinsky’s ‘Stage Painting’ and ‘Stage Composition’

    Song Hai Young | 2011, (29) | pp.157~182 | number of Cited : 0
    Wassily Kandinsky(1866-1944) is widely known as a pioneer of an abstract painting. However, he also had a profound knowledge of music and literature including poem composition and instrument playing. Particularly he was very interested in integrated arts that a variety of arts get joined together on a theater stage. Most of previous studies on Kandinsky’s integrated arts have been conducted in terms of the theoretical aspect, in other words, it has not been substantially examined how Kandinsky’s integrated arts theory was reflected to his paintings. In this circumstance, the current study focused on Kandinsky’s paintings, such as <In the woods>(1904) and <The blue mountain>(1909), and stage compositions, such as <Black and white>(1909) and <Yellow sound>(1912). <In the woods> reflects Wagner’s integrated arts theory, and <The blue mountain> and the stage composition reflect the early 20st century’s revolutionary stage theory. First, Wagner’s integrated arts theory is well reflected to the painting, <In the woods>. The main character of the painting, a horse-riding knight implicates the image of a hero in Wagner’s music drama, and a white horse shows the specific foot motion moving toward according to the beat as Wagner emphasized. The synesthetic effect of colors and sounds was revealed through the woods in brown tone with red light implicitly represented as Wagner’s stage background emphasizing a vision and illusion. Meanwhile, the early 20th century’s stage theory attempting changes with opposing to Wagner’s music drama can be confirmed in the painting, <The blue mountain>(1908-1909), and the plays, <Black and white>(1909) and <Yellow sound>(1912). In these works, unknown characters who are typed and unreal moves as color and forms, which movements are strengthened through colors and lights with sounds. It has the audience sympathize to these individual pure factors of colors, forms, sounds and actions as the carrier of inner resonances. As mentioned above, Kandinsky’s stage works are confirmed through writings and paintings as he composed the common inner resonances through the individual factors including colors of paintings, sounds of music, movements of dancing. The main point in this work is to find a common language which is free from any genre, which is possible through the principle of abstract that is not bound to realistic objects. Kandinsky’s propensity to abstract was processed as internal necessity while he was pursuing a space of paining as a stage space.
  • 7.

    The Form and Meaning of Threshold Imagery in Mark Rothko’s Mural Paintings

    정은영 | 2011, (29) | pp.183~210 | number of Cited : 1
    This paper explores the religious meaning of Mark Rothko’s mural painting series in the 1950s and 1960s, in an attempt to reconfigure and reconcile the conflicted relationship between contemporary art and religious or spiritual aspiration. Focusing on the images of window-like forms in Rothko’s Seagram mural paintings(1958-59) and Rothko Chapel painting series(1964-1967), I explore the spiritual significance of a threshold in Rothko’s late years, and argue that window- or door-like forms in his late murals not merely represent an opening to enter through but embody a passage of the viewer’s inner transformation or existential transition. Rothko’s so-called “color-field abstraction” has been mainly viewed as the epitome of high modernist painting which explores the essential properties of the medium, namely,color and flatness. This formalist reading of Rothko's abstraction, however, obscures his life-long spiritual, if not particularly religious, endeavor to induce experience of existential change. In this regard, the Seagram murals and the Houston Chapel project were critical moments to him since they finally provided him with the opportunity to realize his ambition to create an environment where the viewer could experience an existential transformation or transition through paintings. As suggested in this paper, the door images in these mural paintings carry the very meaning of transition and transformation. Yet, the two mural projects are differentiated in terms of the nature and degree of the visual embodiment of spiritual transformation. The Seagram mural series achieved only halfway the passage from the physical to the spiritual as the murals were not installed in the specific place for which there were created; almost placeless, the series were scattered around the world, including the Tate Gallery in London,the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and the Kawamura Memorial Museum in Sakura. But most of all, the skeletal form of a door or window in the Seagram murals seems to remain a tentative and dualistic transition since the door imageries seem to be at once opening and closure. On the contrary, the Rothko Chapel paintings are absolute in that the door imagery, if any, is either a total opening or a sheer closure. Without any specific forms of doors or windows, however, the deep purple monochromes and dark maroon blackfigure paintings constitute themselves a threshold through which the viewer is invited to pass beyond. As in the mission statement of the Rothko Chapel, it is “a sacred place, open to all, everyday”, a place where the very spiritual experience of the environment occurs as a transition and transformation.
  • 8.

    Rethinking the Relationship Between Museum and Society Since New Museology

    박소현 | 2011, (29) | pp.211~237 | number of Cited : 21
    The relationship between museum and society has been one of the most important subjects in the field of museology and art history. The new museology was an expression of such long concern but a critical approach to the established museology, which centered on the socio-ontological problems of museum rather than technical and methodological problems. ICOM’s newest slogan “social harmony” is also a product of such an socioontological turn triggered by the new museology. By the way, what is new museology? How the new museology changed the relationship between museum and society? The New Museology(1989) edited by Peter Vergo has been generally understood as the declamation of new museology, but the range of new museology is not limited to this one origin or practice but includes multiple and interdisciplinary thoughts and practices all around the world. So I intended to revisit the new museology with various approaches and practices that I interpreted with three kinds;first, museum as social metaphor characterized by the expansion of market principle,second, the ubiquity of museum power which penetrates everywhere through the sociopolitics of gaze, especially with Tony Bennett’s Foucauldian museum visitor studies and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett’s concept of museum effect from anthropological approach, third, new museology as a social movement that has been actively discussed in Latin America and created new community-based museum models. I think the recent ICOM’s slogan“ social harmony” is the mixed product of those different new museologies, and so it has no choice but to including conflicting and inconsistent issues within itself. Therefore, I think we have to scrutinize those complex new museological practices because we live in the age when the social engagement of museum is demanded more intensively than ever before and the raison d’être of museum will be located in the social relationship more and more. This literature is a kind of introduction for such a scrutinizing and needs a lot of follow-up studies, for example, the community-based new museologies that is more important contemporary issue than anything else, which will open up interdisciplinary areas between museology and art history.
  • 9.

    The carnivalesque in James Ensor’s Painting

    Cho, Soojin | 2011, (29) | pp.239~264 | number of Cited : 5
    James Ensor’s painting had expressed characteristics of carnival, the carnivalesque, which was the culture of the general public who were the basis of social stratification, having critical consciousness toward the reality of society of his time and the value system of bourgeois who was the ruling class in those days. As a result, the general public who were embodied as with rogue, fool, and clown, etc., and the grotesque images of the carnival,like the people’s masks and so on, were reproduced in an ironic and satiric style. In this process, James Ensor pictured his own external persona (mask wearing personalities) as a treacherous artist making the best use of the mask of carnival. In the meantime, however,behind the masks worn by the general public who were the basis of social stratification,there were perceptions on the limit, viz. so called born to the bourgeoisie families, and such conflicts between these two identities were revealed in the numerous self-portraits where skeleton icon which was James Ensor’s another self were appeared. Likewise, the carnivalesque in James Ensor’s painting was media that enabled the artists who were the member of the bourgeois class to give shape to their inner selves,and, at the same time, it was the radical means of expression responding to elite culture in those days. In this paper the researcher, through above investigations, tried to draw a conclusion that the pursue of the carnivalesque abjection and lowness of James Ensor was a kind of 'masquerade’ in order to reveal his own external personality as a treacherous artist. Nevertheless, James Ensor’s art world has the meaning to a certain extend from the perspective of accepting those that belonged to the general public who were the basis of social stratification, that is to say, the-Other, and also of utilizing it affirmatively, in the time when the repressive value system of bourgeois had reached its apex. In this respect, he can be named as ‘bohemian artist’ who had positioned in the front line of bourgeois class. The bohemians were positioned in the outside of the institutional culture by themselves in the history of arts, and are regarded the same as avant-garde that carried out new cultural experiment. James Ensor was indeed the avant-garde artist who volunteered to get a position as bohemian which was to be placed on the margins of mainstream society, refusing services to high art which was the proper function of an artist who had received education in the academy. If we can take James Ensor as bourgeois bohemian, we will be able to include those expressionists who appeared thereafter in the same category. It’s because they all not only capitalized transgressive factors which were owned by the others in order to reinforce their own arts, and to renew their art world, but also because they expressed dualistic self-portraits in their works having suffered from confusion in selfidentity as a result. Thus, it can be said that, to a certain extent, James Ensor was the avantgarde artist who charged to play the role as a trailblazer of expressionism.
  • 10.

    Edible Art: The Social Function and Aspects of Food in Contemporary Art

    Jieun Rhee | 2011, (29) | pp.265~290 | number of Cited : 8
    This paper briefly charts the history of food as part of the 20th-century modern and contemporary art and explores ways in which food functions in the realms of visual art. From Russian Constructivists of the early 20th century to the recent practices of Relational Aesthetics, food has taken a small yet distinctively important part in the development of modern art. In an attempt to challenge the hegemony of vision in the experience of spectators,the artists including Daniel Spoerri, Ben Vautier, Alison Knowles, Allen Rupperberg,Tom Marioni, Gordon Matta-Clark, Ben Kinmont, and Rirkrit Tiravanija propose as the important locale of artistic experience an extending field of perception brought on by the ritual of eating. Far from being a practice of quiet appreciation, eating for these artists serves as a nexus of shared talks and experiences among the viewers, and eventually shifts the focus of art appreciation from the object-oriented, private experience to the multiple relation-oriented, collective experience. In this regard, this paper examines this communal spectatorship in their works within the framework of Nicolas Bourriaud’s “Relational aesthetics”. Bourriaud argues that relational aesthetics is defined by the way in which art works represent, produce, and promote interpersonal relations between viewers. Released from the solitary confines of artistic experience, relational aesthetics awakens us into a festive mode of being, a mode that Bourriaud calls ‘conviviality’ in communicating and sharing. Likewise, the museum is no longer subject to the notion of “white cube” as it lends itself to a site of mutual experiencing and sharing. Food in art is at the center of this new experience.