CTS Week 3, the Image and the Manifesto

This week we looked into the world of manifestos, a theme which reflects the most recent studio project we have been given. I enjoyed this class as some of the focus on the history of art is something I’ve always loved. Not just looking at the art of today, but also of the past so we can study and discuss the various movements, and analyse how far we have come in the art world. We focused on four main art movements and their manifestos. We looked at Futurism, Dadaism, De Stijl and the Bauhaus, all of which had different and drastic points of view that enabled change.

The first one we studied was Futurism. The Futurist Manifesto was published in a french newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ and was written by Filippo Marinetti. It was a celebration of speed, machinery, violence, youth and industry. The language used is very dramatic and there is an obvious tone of sexism and glorification of war within the manifesto. A common belief with the futurists was that war was the only thing that could cleanse the world. We looked at images and posters the futurists had created which were quite graphic and metaphorical. They represented the energy and vibrancy of going into the future but also military maneuvers and some onomatopoeia with the word ‘tumb’ being used to describe the sound of a canon.

Dadaism had a similar approach in that their language was quite aggressive and dominant. They believed in chance and the breaking down of order. The De Stijl manifesto, on the other hand, was quite different in that they believed in order and structure, as artists such as Mondrian were part of the movement.

We were given a task to do in groups in which we were given a manifesto from a different time period, movement, and group of artists. We as a group were given l Am for an Art by Claes Oldenburg, 1961. We had to read and analyse the piece and then create an illustration reflecting the words in the manifesto. Once analysed, we began to understand where Oldenburg was coming from in that he was basically comparing art to everyday life. Removing the ego of the artist and the work in the art gallery and instead, talking about it in a way that it was accessible to everyone. Art shouldn’t have so much snobbery attached to it.

This was the work me and my group came up with.

The whole class’ pieces were pinned up on the wall in which everyone was able to interpret their given manifesto.

CTS Week 2, Authorship and Voice

In our second CTS class we were asked to consider what it is to be an author. What is context, what is critic and what is format? All of these are very important in providing evidence for your research. Contextual information helps you decide whether or not a work will be useful to you or not in your analysis. When asked to discuss formatting we were given a list of seven types of format, which we then had to arrange in order of usefulness of accurate research. img_1157

This image shows our initial order from top to bottom of formats. We chose Wikipedia as the first because although it may not be the most reliable source, it is usually where people go when researching a totally new subject area to try and get a basic understanding of it.

This discussion then led us on to the second task in which we had to look into the feminist Russian punk band, Pussy Riot. We learned about how their feminist views and opposition to Vladamir Putin lead to them being imprisoned. The justice system fought against those who were freedom fighters and it caused an uproar. For the main part of task two we were given a book about the girl band, which we had to draw information from access from this how viable and useful this format was in terms of research.

As a group we were given, ‘Pussy Riot!: A Punk Prayer for Freedom.’ The book is built up of poems, song lyrics, letters and courtroom statements, all following the band’s performance in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It was published by The Feminist Press in 2013, who’s aim is to promote freedom of expression and social justice. We found this format of information useful in understanding more about what Pussy Riot went through and the people who supported them. Other formats of information weren’t so useful as one group were given an article from The Sun newspaper.

We left the class with a clearer idea on valid and useful research, also on feminist views and writings.

CTS Week 1, What is Illustration

We started off the class with an introduction to Illustration, really trying to understand what it is, how it has evolved into different genres and how it can be linked with different mediums. The definition of illustration in early 16th-century terms would be to ‘illuminate’ a subject. Illustration is visual communication, every image that is made by an illustrator can be unpicked and has room for analysis.

For the first task, we had to complete a worksheet outlining genres of illustration, mediums which can be used and to give a description of illustration in 50 words. Some genres and styles that were highlighted were fashion illustration, graphic novels such as manga and comic books, conceptual, architecture, etching, and illustrations used for information purposes such as school textbooks.

The mediums which can be used for illustration are vast, there are traditional methods such as pens, pencils, watercolour paints, etching, Indian inks. Then when we started to discuss the topic, lots of ideas were being shared on mediums such as collage, scoring and gouging, cutting, uses tools such as a Japanese calligraphy brush, oil pastels and charcoal for bigger and bolder mark making. It was interesting to hear and be inspired to you some of these methods in future with my work.

For the description of illustration, my partner and I discussed the duty of the illustrator, how they are able to put their point across using visual communication and also how they are going to reach different audiences with their image as well. Illustration is growing immensely and becoming so much more than what it was. It is an exciting way to address an issue rather than using words as John Berger wrote in ‘Ways of Seeing’, “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.”

The next task was to then consider the illustrators of today and how they wish to present themselves. We looked at examples from Eisner and Fiona Staples. From this, we then had to pair up and complete an image which represents what we think the illustrator of today looks like or will in the future.