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2014, Vol., No.35

  • 1.

    The Use and Reinterpretation of the Image of Virgin Mary in late 20th-Century Contemporary Art

    Younhee Kim | 2014, (35) | pp.7~36 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    These different versions of Holy Mary emerged in the late 20th century can be categorized in many ways. One version is a theoretical reinterpretation of topics such as life and death, social relationship and communications, spiritual healing which are somewhat distant from teachings of Catholic Church. Another Mary shows hyperfemininity symbolizing the physical and social reality of women around the world while other Mary shows an interpretation of mother-nature as a perpetrator of subordination. Therefore, we can see that Mary has become more complex and unfamiliar in a post modern society which can be summed up as diversity and uncertainty. This is a result of some feminists and artists who saw Mary as perpetrator of dual imprisonment. They used her to sever from the era in which women were forced into physical and psychological sacrifice. The Virgin Mary was also used as a whistle-blower that brought attention to the harsh and uncertain reality as well as a caretaker for the marginalized. There is another concern - that the borrowing and reinterpretation of the Virgin Mary were inevitably accompanied by the damaging and changing of her image and ultimately, the danger of committing sacrilege. Underneath the depiction of the Virgin Mary as aggressive and provocative lied negative perspective that non-believers of Catholicism had on the excessive reverence of the Virgin Mary and Mariology as well as their intention to attack the corruption and prejudice of the Catholic Church. Many of artists who reinterpreted the Virgin Mary were known as catholic or received catholic education, and they used it as a means of communication which could reveal the desired content and religious or social criticism to the public. The Virgin Mary was treated by many artists not only as a direct target for the criticism and doubts on Catholic church and its doctrine but also as a complex and polysemous expression of representing insecure political, economic, and cultural realities of individuals and modern society or disposing a tragic status of female, homosexuals, and minorities.
  • 2.

    Marina Abramovic’s “Body” in Betweenness

    Park Mheesung | 2014, (35) | pp.37~58 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract
    This paper examines the way Marina Abramovic’s own body represents in the her performances thus becomes the ultimate site for the construction of her subjectivity. Abramovic’s life as an artist is internally related to the history of performance art. She was born in 1946 into a family of the post-World War II Communist elite and started her artistic career in the late 1960s and early ’70s in Belgrade Yugoslavia. She established her own private mythology based on family members who were Orthodox Christian church leaders and Communist national heroes, and she lived all the pathos of Balkan paradoxes. Abramovic is integrating the audience as part of her performance. She seeks the point at which the audience reaches the limits of its endurance in witnessing pain or danger. Her performances are a series of experiments aimed at identifying and defining limits: of her control over her own body; of an audience’'s relationship with a performer; of art and, by extension, of the codes that govern society. This paper first questions where we can locate Marina Abramovic’s place in our current discussions of contemporary art in relation to performance. Then, in the second chapter, I scrutinize several pre-existing scholarly perspectives on Abramovic works. The third chapter analyzes Abramovic’s body in the performance art, and then discusses how her work embodied it. In her series of performance in the early and mid-1970s Abramovic explored passive aggressin constructing the actions around her spectacular body. The last chapter of this paper deals with Abramovic’s body in the betweenness, which overlaps the being of a performer and audience.
  • 3.

    Francesca Woodman: The Hybrid Space of Photography

    Lee Phil | 2014, (35) | pp.59~86 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract
    This essay reassess the photography of Francesca Woodman in the context of the discourses of photography in the late 1970s and 80s. I point out that the lack of the analysis of Woodman’s photographic images in postmodernists’ discussions of photography overlooked Woodman’s pursuit of both the conceptual and the aesthetic in her works. By a thorough analysis of Woodman’s photographs, I observe that Woodman’s work not only has a visual and conceptual power that continuously requires the analysis of the photographic image itself, but also has a hybrid condition of the medium that postmodernists claimed to be postmodern. I argue that the emphasis of Woodman being a female artist and approaching her work from the representation of the female body and of female desire also overlook Woodman’s more complex insight into the context of her contemporary art and her exploration of the photography as a multi-faceted medium. Apart from the application of feminist theory and psychoanalysis, I explore how Woodman’s interest in blurring the boundaries among human body/things/space has been represented as photographic images. Furthermore, I explore how Woodman’s radical approach to the photographic medium achieves aphotographic image that includes the painterly/sculptural/cinematic/theatrical. Finally, my meta-criticism of postmodernist art criticism through the analysis of Woodman’s photography argues for a photographic theory that is simultaneously aesthetic and conceptual.
  • 4.

    Images of History in Anselm Kiefer’s Art: Melancholy, Allegory, and Constellation

    Heekyeong Yun | 2014, (35) | pp.87~116 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract
    Anselm Kiefer is the prominent Neo-Expressionist, who insistently dealt with the German history of Fascism, which was repressed to recall during the post war era in Germany. This paper focuses on the investigation of Anselm Kiefer’s art in terms of Walter Benjamin’s three main philosophic concepts: ‘melancholy’, ‘allegory’ and ‘constellation’. Benjamin was against the concept of history as lineal progress that was rooted in rationalism and Enlightenment, resulting to the illustration of history as a process towards catastrophe. Kiefer shared this view of history and expressed into his work by the aesthetic of ruins. But at the same time, this ‘melancholic’ perspective, regarding history as a catastrophic loss, also involves the aspiration for redemption. This dialectic aspect of Melancholy is implicit in Kiefer’s art works, inspired by Dürer’s <Melancholia I> and Klee’s <Angelus Novus>. The way how Kiefer visualized his melancholic view of history relates to Benjamin’s concept of allegory. The term ‘allegory’, which is a mode of artistic expression as well as an attitude, was denigrated for a long time as inferior to symbol, until Benjamin focused on it and reestimated its potentiality. In allegory, the relationship between a signifier and the signified is not fixed but rather arbitrary, having a great potential of meaning. This operation works the same as of the ‘constellation’, which means the process of getting to the ‘idea’ by arranging and forming various empirical phenomenon into the overall structure of particular aspects. Kiefer’s works, as sedimentations of various fragments, can be referred to layered and fragmented complexity, which constitute the allegorical image of history as ruin. Those heterogeneous elements reverberate with cross-reference. Overlapping fields of forces are not easily assimilated to coherent interpretation and remain in permanent fluctuation. The create endless chains of semiosis, whose unifying signification is constantly deferred. Such allegorical mode is the only way to represent inevitably defective history and the dialectic melancholic gaze in it.
  • 5.

    Reconstruction of “Internationale Situationniste (I.S.)”: Art-Politics of I.S. and I.S. as an Integrated Avant-Garde

    Miyeon Park | 2014, (35) | pp.117~148 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract
    This study tries to consider the art concept of I.S. as an object of research in art history. To this end, this study attempts to analyse carefully the twelve bulletins named as ‘Internationale situaionniste’, which were published from 1958 to 1969 in France. I.S. has been discussed in relation to post-modern discourses and subculture theory in art history. But, this study exposes that this general thinking that post-modern discourses and sub-cultural theory got a theoretical nourishing from I.S.’theory is a mere misunderstanding, which was formed as a result of unfounded inference and of hasty generalization. This study aims at proposing an integrated concept that is ‘art-politics’ of I.S. by revealing that art and politics are not incompatible elements but the only goal of the revolution for IS. Specifically, this study proposes I.S.’ thinking about art as a practice, through analysing concepts of ‘situation’, ‘situationist’ and ‘international’. In this process, this study illuminates that situationists claimed ‘all-out anti-formalism’ through art as practice, art as process and anonymous artists group while criticizing capitalist commodification and fetishism of art objects and mythicization of artists in capitalist art system. In addition, this study observes a strategical meaning of art-politics in I.S. through ‘détournement’ and ‘dérive’ which were not only aesthetic techniques but also political strategies. Through this, this study emphasizes intention of I.S. that was to overcome the failure of the previous avant-garde and to propose a vision as a new avant-garde by modifying the goal of the avant-garde from ‘integration of life and art’ to ‘realization of art politics through practice in everyday life’. This study is a project for recontructing of I.S. who claimed the possibility of an integrated avant-garde by reconsidering the history of avant garde which were separated in art and politics.
  • 6.

    The Expansion of Art in the 1970s and Alternative Spaces: 112 Greene Street, The Kitchen, and Artists Space|

    Im Sue Lee | 2014, (35) | pp.149~180 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract
    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, burgeoning alternative spaces featured the outside of the museum-gallery system, along with the proliferation of new art forms such as site-specific art, performance art, video art, intermedia and mixed-media work. The first alternative spaces were founded as artist-run galleries before the National Endowment of the Arts offered grants under the category of artist workshops in 1972. Around 1973, professional curators and art administrators began establishing more organized alternative spaces. The alternative spaces provided technical support and testing grounds for artists who experimented with new art forms that mainstream museums and galleries hesitated to accommodate. This paper conducts three case studies of key alternative spaces established in New York City in the early 1970s: 112 Greene Street, The Kitchen, and Artists Space. First, to address how the early alternative spaces opened artistic activity to the urban fabric and to the community, this paper focuses on significant artistic practices at 112 Greene Street. Next, it examines the role of the early alternative spaces in understanding electronic media as an art medium by analyzing selective practices at The Kitchen. Next, this paper addresses how Artists Space catalyzed postmodern practice and established the key terms for the institutionalization of postmodern art and theory. This paper also attempts to provide a picture of the downtown art scene in New York in the 1970s, featured by the three alternative spaces.
  • 7.

    A Research on “Triangle” of Wassily Kandinsky

    Song Hai Young | 2014, (35) | pp.181~202 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract
    Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), one of the pioneer abstractionists, is known as a logical theorist. In a closer reading of his masterpiece Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912), there is a keyword “triangle” that is discovered repeatedly. In other words, “triangle” refers to “spirituality”, this “spiritual triangle” is moving forward, and this movement is in process in apocalyptic mood. This study focused on the triangle of Kandinsky and reviewed Christianity, theosophy, Russian Orthodox Church and Russian symbolism, the ideological backgrounds of the triangle theory. The triangles found in study paintings by Kandinsky (about 1910) have spiritual meanings like the sacred mountain being come upon the Holy Spirit in ‘the Last Supper’(1910). Kandinsky particularly emphasizes the movement of triangle that goes forward, which becomes a motif of a castle city upon the mountain hill and a knight on horse in his apocalyptic paintings(1911-1914). In short, the castle on the mountain that was depicted as the Moscow Kremlin refers to the spirituality that will be introduced in a new era of the city of heaven, Jerusalem. Like the triangle moving forward towards the top, the knight on horse is running briskly to the castle or the tall-standing tower onthe mountain as a prophet who delivers spirituality. In the works by Kandinsky in his transition period towards abstract, the triangle has a very significant meaning, which is reconfirmed in Retrospect (1924) in Bauhaus time when he reached to the pure geometric abstraction. The painting reminds of ‘Small Pleasures’(1913), as it positions a mountain within a black line border at the center of the canvas and geometric patterns of triangles and round towers straight up on the mountain. The spiritual triangle pursued by Kandinsky in Retrospect that he drew literally as he looked back on his past is rising high up to the area of the heaven.
  • 8.

    A Design Critique of Alessandro Mendini’s Proust Armchair: Postmodernism Argued

    김정아 | 2014, (35) | pp.203~232 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract
    This paper is a design critique of Alessandro Mendini and his Proust Armchair. Mendini is a world-renowned Italian architect-designer, and his Proust Armchair is a contemporary design icon, as well as a Mendini’s trademark. This study argues whether Mendini’'s Proust armchair can be categorized into postmodernism, and whether Mendini can be labeled as a postmodernist in spite of his reluctance to being labeled as such. This argument starts from the fact that Mendini has never identified himself as a postmodernist, but as a neo-modernist. Thus, it pays attention to Mendini’s selfevaluation which was in the shadow of the critics’ opinions. This study, as a design critique synthesizes both of the views, and reads Mendini and his design in the context of their culture and history. The Proust chair is a ready-made replica from a neo-Baroque armchair of the eighteenth century, completely covered with colorful handpainted dots from a pointillist painting by Paul Signac. It reflects the ideas originatedfrom the literature of Marcel Proust. The Chair epitomizes Mendini’s design journey which commenced with the label of ‘radical design’, and moved on to ‘redesign’, ‘kitsch’ and ‘banal design’, and consequently has realized ‘poetic and pictorial design’. It raises questions like the distinction between high and low culture, the encounter of the past and present, and the symbiotic coexistence of literature and painting. Therefore, the Proust chair takes an ambivalent and ambiguous position among art, design, and furniture. Whether Mendini is labeled as a postmodernist, or he identifies himself as a neomodernist, he is closer to being an eclecticist. He has attempted to realize the optimistic and artistic utopia. To him, there are multiple ways to the utopia, which is through poetic, emotional and pictorial design. It is hard to hypothesize postmodernism as an entity free from personal, socio-cultural, and historical factors. Mendini’s design is a combination of all of these factors.