Sunday, April 25, 2010

Context context context!

If someone had shown me a photograph of Jeff Wall’s A View from an Apartment, I never would have looked at it as art. This “what is art?” question is reoccurring in my mind, and although his work clearly has cultural commentary and urban relevance, I can’t help but think that in the context of a classroom, my mindset is changed from passive to critical. Upon viewing a piece of art in a gallery, I immediately rack my brain for its meaning and depth (and usually think “I could’ve done that, especially if it’s an abstract piece with four different coloured lines). However, seeing it in another context might leave me uninspired and leave the work unnoticed. This is why I think that the context tells us how to treat a photograph or a sculpture. Whereas as a kid, I might be inclined to climb a statue in a park, I would probably have a million things to say about it in an art history class in college.

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