Part 3

Unit 7 - Research

by Ridley

Hate Thy Neighbor

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Hate Thy Neighbour

One of the first things I researched was the documentary Hate Thy Neighbour. In the programme, Jamali Maddix visits people and groups who spread hate, in an attempt to understand them and their views. In the episodes that I watched Jamali visited a group who condemn the Confederate flag and believe it should be taken down, and the people who support the Confederate flag and believe it is part of their heritage. What I found most interesting about this documentary was the sheer lengths that people would go to for a piece of cloth. Rallies and riots over a piece of cloth is an amazing and tragic thing. A flags relationship with the concept of authority is something that I would like to research and develop. Toy with the idea, what gives the cloth its power and how basic can the flag be to still retain these feelings of pride or hate. 

Mobstr - Street art on billboards

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Gillian Wearing

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Gillian Wearings photographs use members of the public holding up signs. With the signs Wearing often creates a brutal and honest social commentary. This idea of social commentary is something I hope to investigate and use throughout the project.

War Boutique

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War Boutique is a successful contemporary artist, having collaborated with many including members of the YBA movement and Banksy, his artwork is often about authority and warfare. His art often takes a comical twist on a very serious subject, acknowledging the relationship between many of the public and particularly those who orchestrate wars. His artwork directly links to how police and armed forces affect the public and how they stamp authority. His approach of laughing at authority figures and playing with they're fear is something that interests me in this project 

William Morris on the Queen's Jubilee 1887

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Tate Modern Visit - Modigliani Show

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Another show that I saw when I visited the Tate Modern was the new Modigliani show. Unlike the Picasso show, I didn't really care much for most of the exhibition. However in one room were several of his nude paintings. Through soft brush strokes and almost inviting colours, the audience is hugely affected by the sight of the nude women. You feel like your being stared at by the portrait with expectancy, creating a huge shift in the way you interact with the painting, now you are being, almost accusingly, watched.

Peter Kennard - Haywain with Cruise Missiles

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Sharon Hayes - Habla

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Shepard Fairey - We the People series

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Shepard Fairey mimics the propaganda style posters used by the communists and many history regimes, The fact that he uses the style that is so regularly associated with quite serious regimes affects the strength of the messages in the posters. 

Tate Britain Visit - Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion by Francis Bacon

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I decided that for inspiration for pat 3 I would visit the Tate Britain and Modern. From my visit to the Tate Britain, I saw Francis Bacon's "Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion'. I understood what Russell meant when he described being shocked by "images so unrelievedly awful that the mind shut with a snap at the sight of them. Their anatomy was half-human, half-animal, and they were confined in a low-ceilinged, windowless and oddly proportioned space. They could bite, probe, and suck, and they had very long eel-like necks, but their functioning in other respects was mysterious. Ears and mouths they had, but two at least of them were sightless. Art critic Ziva Amishai-Maisseles observes that the canvas reflects Bacon's own confusion and ambivalence "towards manifestations of violence and power, both of which attracted and repulsed him simultaneously.". I find the idea that these three figures are a statement on authority and war really intriguing, this along with the strong use of the colour orange is something that I want to experiment with and develop. 

David Shirley - No Smoking

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White Cube Exhibition- Rückblick by Andreas Gurksy

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Gursky's 2015 piece creates a fictional scene in which Angela Merkel and three previous chancellors of the Federal Republic of German sit in front of the wall-sized painting Vir Heroicus Sublimis (1950-51) by Barnett Newman. His work relates very well to my project proposal and plays with this idea of authority and the fluctuating power it can have. Using digital manipulation and photographic scale Gursky is able to undermine our faith in the 'truth' of the visual image. Seen from behind seated on leather chairs, these four isolated heads seem reduced to tiny protagonists, dwarfed by the paintings expansive plane of red, broken only by Newman's signature vertical lines or 'zips', and a plume of cigarette smoke. The scale of this piece is shocking and the picture completely dominates the room. The ability to not only toy with or play and joke around authority but to diminish its power and almost its respect in such a subtle way is impressive and has inspired me hugely.

Sheng Qi - 'Me' (memories)

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This bold and striking piece by Sheng Qi uses the same propaganda style composition and red background that Mao and the communists used. In direct opposition to the brutal force used by the regime at Tiananmen Square against students in 1989. The artist is holding a photograph of his younger self. His little finger was amputated in an attempt to honour those who died in 1989 and those who had fallen under the regime. This peaceful and tranquil photograph carries with it huge impact and the reappropriation of the bold red colour shows defiant and civilised resistance to authority.

Chapman Brothers - White Cube Gallery

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Pink Floyd - Another brick in the wall

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You cant really go through teenage years without having listened to the famous Pink Floyd song. The song encapsulates the idea of conformity and breaking free from the powers of authority and represents the freedom to do what you want. Questioning the school system and the way that factory workers and menial jobs are many peoples forced destinies. The video for the song has been quite a useful research tool and has given many ideas to work with, for example, the idea of breaking free from the chains of authority is an aspect of controlling the masses I hadn't thought of.

Zeng Fanzhi - Tiananmen

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Tate Modern Visit - Picasso exhibition

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During my time on the project, I visit various galleries and exhibitions searching for new insights into the themes surrounding my proposal. One exhibition I saw was the new Picasso show at the Tate Modern. Due to the specific nature of my project, there weren't many pieces that inspired or helped me in my course. however, this portrait by Picasso was so striking and imposing that I loved it. Using a bleak colour tone and eerie facial expression, the artist makes you feel like an intruder, question the audience what are you doing here. It is simple and effective, through his use of colour and composition his image holds authority and demands respect.

Takashi Murakami

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Although Murakami has a broad portfolio of different works I am particularly interested in his sculpture of the large breasted woman. Wearing evocative clothing and big extremely exaggerated breasts the artist makes a huge statement on Japanese culture, pointing out a crude nature and bleak expectations of women. This piece highlights the expectations that Japanese women grow up around and how communities of people are affected by this social construct of the 'ideal' Japanese woman. This idea of an affected public or mass of people is a theme that I definitely want to carry through into my work.

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