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February 13, 2005
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oblivion
GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN
> ART, de gustibus et coloribus nil disputandum
In fact Gottfried Helnwein made his name by spectacular performances, among them are self mutilations or simulacra of violence inflicted on himself. The violence is often concentrated on the eyes. The artist takes to bandaging the head which deprives the individual of all visual relations with the outside world. An obvious paradox on the part of an artist's whole life and work is closely linked with sight, to apply himself to representing, in various forms, impediments and problems of sight. Undoubtedly the scope of his projects is not limited to the sole artistic domain. His art also takes on an obvious historic dimension. Like a good number of artists of his generation, those born after the war, be they writers, painters, film makers or photographers, Gottfried Helnwein feels intense guilt at belonging to a part of Europe with such an unbearable past.
Der Glückspilz
photograph, 1987
GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN


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oblivion
Posted: Feb 12 2005, 10:17 PM
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CAMERA International, December 01, 1992
GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN
by Gabriel Bauret
In fact Gottfried Helnwein made his name by spectacular performances, among them are self mutilations or simulacra of violence inflicted on himself. The violence is often concentrated on the eyes. The artist takes to bandaging the head which deprives the individual of all visual relations with the outside world. An obvious paradox on the part of an artist's whole life and work is closely linked with sight, to apply himself to representing, in various forms, impediments and problems of sight. Undoubtedly the scope of his projects is not limited to the sole artistic domain. His art also takes on an obvious historic dimension. Like a good number of artists of his generation, those born after the war, be they writers, painters, film makers or photographers, Gottfried Helnwein feels intense guilt at belonging to a part of Europe with such an unbearable past.
Nazism, Hitler, and all the actions committed in their names leading to genocide are present in the works of Helnwein, occupying a overwhelming place. In tandem to this fercely engaged work - certain images are directly inspired by tragic episodes, notably the infamous "Night of the Crystal" which marked the beginning of the holocaust in 1938
- he has realized a series of photographic portraits dating from the early eighties. Rock musicians, writers, painters, actors (most of them ango-saxons), politicians, all are celebrities who seem to appreciate the photographer's work, and in whom the photographer sometimes achieves self recognition.
Thus, other than the portraits featured here, he is scheduled to do the portraits of Michael Jackson, Sting, Roland Topor, the Rolling Stones, Muhamed Ali, Pavarotti, Mother Theresa, Leo Catelli, Lech Walesa, Norman Mailer... He also photographed the writer H.C. Artmann, whom he met in 1981 and with whom he has become close friends.
In the image of the diversity of people that he has photographed, the biography of Helnwein reflects multiple activities. First painter, then filmmaker, as actor in conceptual "happenings" of course, he deploys his energies in disparate fields of art. Add to that his activity in the press and publishing - several of his images have appeared on the covers of magazines - and his work often takes on impressive dimensions.
His exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, in 1983, on the theme of the "Night of the Crystal" consisted of a series of children's faces presented on a surface 4 meters high and 100 meters long.
The photographic portraits today exhibited during the Month of the Photo are also very large. While their over-sized dimension cannot but suggest that rest of his photographic works, something morbid is also evoked by certain of his obsessions. Notable are his representations of mutism, vacant stares, absence of expression. As if man could only by represented bereft of his communicative functions.
Camera International No.12, Paris, Winter, 1992

QUOTE (Antero @ Feb 13 2005, 10:47 AM)
I disagree, strongly. The main new function of 20th century "fine art" has been, in my opinion, the concerted and intentional striving to challenge previous definitions of "art." The second function would probably be to incorporate theory into art.
YES you're right. Forgive my wrong formula (i'm french, not yet perfect in practicing english when it comes to deep discussions.)
OF COURSE, i'm sorry my statement was so badly formulated. I wanted indeed to refere to what you're pointing out : REDEFINING ART is the 20th century print in Art.
Which was the credo of the DADAISTS (Marcel Duchamp, Brecht, Ball,etc), then the Surrealists, Pop-Art, new-Realists, abstracts, etc etc...
The Impressionists on their side were the opener of the door of PERCEPTION (extended by Duchamp) : what you see BECOMES 'Art' from the moment YOU feel it is and feel an emotion or something. It was revolutionnary then to reverse the order and tell people : "Art" brought by the artist to you the spectator, this concept, this way of thinking is dead. Now YOU will have each time to decide wether what you see IS Art or no (which conducts to the negation of "Art" as an accepted common definition on common values. We all have different appreciations & sensations on things.)
Concerning the "deranging the common people" part, i agree it is a CONSEQUENCE and not the origin of the 20th century Art.
Nevertheless, from the moment you write manifestos such as the ones Malevitch or Piccabia or others wrote, or considering the work of Joyce on Finnegans' wake or Burroughs' Naked Lunch, etc, one can't remove the idea that provocation (meant in the sense of provoquing an emotion, be it disgust, fear, whatever,...) was an ingredient PRESENT in the mind of all the 20th century artists (all genres included).
David Bowie himself, as mainstream as he is, has passed through some 'outside moments' were, with Brian Eno (for example), he tried both to create an 'avant-garde' music/attitude AND play with the audience's reaction.
The game is part of the creative process, no....? wink.gif
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Scix
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 05:06 AM
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I don't think anyone gets to say definitively that anything is or is not art, except MAYBE the creator, but I don't think even then.
Now, that common, oft-overlooked clause, "to me," makes a world of difference. Not only does it reflect the Latin bit in the thread title (There is no disputing taste {or color?}), but it opens up an interesting paradigm for art -- that is, art is art only in the viewing. It is only art in the interface with a human being.
It's Schroedinger's Painting, it is. When I see it, it is art. When you see it it is not art. This is not merely a matter of perception, but of reality. It just *is* art when I see it (hypothetically) -- and it affects me as art affects me. It just *isn't* art when you see it (hypothetically) and it fails to affect you as art affects you.
It becomes a subjective matter only when two views interface, or are viewed form a third perspective.
Further, I believe that the universe always acts this way. In this, I might posit that the universe is art.
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oblivion
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 05:41 AM
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QUOTE (Scix @ Feb 13 2005, 12:06 PM)
It's Schroedinger's Painting, it is. When I see it, it is art. When you see it it is not art. This is not merely a matter of perception, but of reality.
Further, I believe that the universe always acts this way. In this, I might posit that the universe is art.
Brilliant post Scix !
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
"Art is a matter of personal taste."
"Music is a matter of personal choice."
All these things are different for everyone because they all appear differently in our different universes.
Poly-Solipsism :
1: Every mind is a universe unto itself.
2: Every mind strives to create its own perfect universe.
3: The laws of that universe are solely governed by the perception of the mind.
4: These laws can be altered if the perception is altered.
5:"Reality" is generated from the combined perceptions of all entangled minds.
All the things I believe are only the universe I perceive. This is my personal universe which I offer to combine with all the other perceptions. It is only one of the possible universes that exist. What you perceive as truth and reality can be, and probably is, different than what I perceive. That is your personal universe you offer to combine with all the others. It is also one of the possible universes that exist.
Every mind has their own perception of what is truth and what is reality, and everyone of them exist as a possible Universe.
There are religious minds that believe the Universe was created by a god. What they perceive is also a possible Universe that exists.
There are Scientific minds who believe there is nothing more to our Universe than the matter and energy we see all around us. That is their perception of truth and reality. That is their personal universe they offer to combine with all the rest, and is one possible Universe that also exists.
The reason we are having so much trouble agreeing on much of anything is because we all do exist in a different universe.
Every time we compare perceptions between ourselves and any other person we get a glimpse into another universe.
Every philosophy ever written is just one persons description of what exists in their own universe, and may or may not have any relevance to what exists in another persons universe.
It is different because what we perceive is different.
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jabbausaf
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 06:04 AM
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Shocking... *bzzzt*
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Scratch the antitribu part, you're pure Toreador.
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"Par." -S_C and Daigan on hentai

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The Misanthrope
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 06:57 AM
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Hmmm....how about "it SUCKS" instead? smile.gif At least I didn't say it's not art.
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Whatcant
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 09:25 AM
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oblivon, thanks for sharing these pictures. I knew someone who loved Bacon, Helnwein et al... I think it had something to do with whatever brand of Hardcore/Grindcore (metal) he was into.
You might also like Ivan Albright.
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Albright: The Door
Jabba, what is a Toreador?
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pixie4now
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 11:03 AM
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QUOTE (Alamein @ Feb 13 2005, 02:51 AM)
Andy Worhol pissed on a canvas and hung it in a museum.
Now that's art. Or maybe it's just irony.
Irony- quite definitely in my opinion.
I somewhat like this thread. When I get home later today I will go in search of some photo's of art I particularly like. It's a damn shame that one picture I took in the Met never turned out, because I don't know who it was by.
Anyway, now that I grasp the point of all this, this seems like fun.
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Scix
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 02:07 PM
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To be clear, my post was a sort of riff inspired by the conversation, not specifically intended as a response to Shrubbo or anyone else here.
And for the record: I am inspired by Christo's work, too, though I think there's somethnig art-elite about it ("It's not for you!). I don't have to biuy into that part, though.
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~~Scix (sic (sic))
Scott "Scix" Maddix, Honored Scion of the DFZ
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Whippoorwill
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 02:28 PM
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All I have to say is... Newbie gone mad!
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BarefootGenius
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 03:22 PM
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I like flowers
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So I know this textile artist named Charlene. She makes amazing things with fabric and dye, patterns that aren't patterns but really are, that sort of thing.
I once admitted envy of her talent, saying that sometimes I wish I was an artist, but that I'm really much more of a scientist. She stopped what she was doing and looked at me to say, "No, honey. You're an artist. You just haven't found your medium yet. Maybe you will." She maintained that art is an act of spirit more than anything else.
I believe that art is less about the product than about the act that produces it. To me, art is the process of genesis and creation. What ends up hanging on gallery walls and being celebrated as 'art' is only its physical end product. You could even go so far as to say that what is displayed is the leftover, the waste product of the process - like CO2 is the waste product of living. In that frame Warhol's pissing on a canvas takes on a different reference, that all 'art' is crap, but not in a derogatory sense, merely that it's what's left over when the process is done.
For me, the painting, musical piece, meal, or photo that results bears as much resemblance to the actual act of Art as man does to whatever it is that created him. You can look at man, and understand that by some process, divine or scientific, that he came to be, but he does not really contain that process, merely what results.
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wonder
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 03:42 PM
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QUOTE (oblivion @ Feb 13 2005, 03:08 AM)
Hopefully everybody does not see things the same way always, otherwise we'd still be condamning all alternative Art (one will have to tell where & when it has precisely begun, remembering that in the 60's, for example, US radios were burning The Beatles vynils judging these "evil" and "deranged", corrupting youth ! All is relative, see : today it is "deranged" and "insane", tomorrow it becomes a classic. Francis Bacon whom i posted some works earlier in the thread IS today at last commonly considered as a GREAT brilliant 20th century artist, being exposed permanently in all the World's most famous museums.)
There are many earlier examples of people destroying art than from the 60s. People have been condemning art and destroying it since people have been creating it.
QUOTE (Antero)
putting elephant poop on a picture of the Virgin Mary requires little talent, for instance
Chris Olifi uses the medium of elephant dung in his mixed media painting "The Holy Virgin Mary", he doesn't just slap some onto a pre-existing painting. It does take talent to incorporate an unusual medium into an artwork and make it interesting (which I think this particular piece is).
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machiavelli33
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 05:17 PM
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Dunno.
I always thought it kind of silly to talk about the theories that go into creating 'art'.
We've been talking about this the entire thread....just what is art?
Its not like we can compress art into a single sentence starting with "Art is...." unless you want a run on sentence that lasts a page and a half.
Once you know the technical aspects of it, then after that it becomes all subjective. Or hell, you could take it objectively, if you like. Which is kind of subjective too, since that's the way you choose to look at it...
...
The point being!
Everyone gets something different out of art, whether its being the creator of a piece or a work of art, or being the viewer of a piece of art, and to try to lump that all together into a single theory seems a bit pointless to me.
Certainly, you can try to say what the majority of artists did and/or were inspired by in certain eras, but what's to say that's what they were really doing, or that's what people were really getting out of it?
Critics can blabber and scholars can assign names to eras, and way back when, during ages like the Rennaissance or the Age of Reason, or even the Industrial Age, where art and philosophy and the presentation and showcasings were wrapped by a specific class/cadre of individuals, it was easier and more forgivable to do that, to assign names and wrap a period of time in neatly packaged "eras".
....but now?
What, with the internet, with TV and the indie movement in full swing, individual and independent acts are able to get out and present themselves to the world.
Is there any one single movement of art in this time? This 'era'?
Sure you can say a lot of artists are trying to redefine art as we know it.
But a lot of artists are doing the exact opposite.
Classical styles, nonclassical styles, avant guarde styles, Hollywood styles, goth styles, comic styles, pop styles, noir styles, vaudeville styles, ironic styles, impressionist styles....
...even as new ways of doing things pop up, artists who hold on to the old ways of doing things and seek to revive those are still out there doing their thing.
The art of today does almost everything....it shocks, it soothes, it frightens, it pacifies, it looks into the future, it looks into the past, it has meaning on a surface level, it has meaning on a deeper level...
Man...art does so many things, art can be counted as so many things, all at once.
Really, is talking about the 'theory' behind the whole shebang these days even worth it?
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wonder
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 06:09 PM
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QUOTE (machiavelli33 @ Feb 13 2005, 06:17 PM)
Really, is talking about the 'theory' behind the whole shebang these days even worth it?
I like thinking about theory in relation to art, but I don't think there is any one theory behind 'art' in its totality.
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oblivion
Posted: Feb 13 2005, 06:26 PM
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QUOTE (The Misanthrope @ Feb 13 2005, 01:57 PM)
Hmmm....how about "it SUCKS" instead? smile.gif At least I didn't say it's not art.
lol! ...ok, 'fair' enough. cool.gif
QUOTE (Whatcant @ Feb 13 2005, 04:25 PM)
oblivon, thanks for sharing these pictures.
You might also like Ivan Albright.
http://www.bbpix.com/pix/TheDoor.jpg
You're very welcome Whatcant!
Thanks for pointing Ivan Albright, i particularly appreciate this painting of his :
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QUOTE (pixie4now @ Feb 13 2005, 06:03 PM)
Francis Bacon
1973




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