Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Morning Lectures

Today we had our first decent lecture for the whole semester. I think it’s a great idea to allow lectures from other specialisations to be able to come and speak with us. Although Fiona (the lecturer) was not 100% prepared to do the lecture and forgot her script, I think the free flow of the entire lecture and what she was talking about was inspirational to us all and we can incorporate many aspects of the lecture into our MA course research.

Although I had already seen the Anthony Gormley statues planted on the shores of the UK on the news, I had never really appreciated them for what they were. I just saw it as an artist’s expression of whatever he was doing and kind of stopped at that. Seeing them again and seeing Fiona’s incite to her thoughts and feelings of the statues and what they represented to her allowed me the view them from a different angle and really open the can on viewing things from a different angle, which is what I feel the MA is about exploring? Or am I wrong there? The exhibition was called 'Another Place' and I would highly recommend viewing it for anyone that hasn’t done already and it would be interesting to see what the exhibition means to other people?

For me the exhibition demonstrated separated and lonely feeling, how everyone is individual although we all look the same. By this I mean that all the statues were casts of Anthony Gormley and all look the same. However when they are spread out and looking towards the sun it gives them a different atmosphere than if they were all stood in a line or in some kind of group. The fact that Fiona felt the need to cloth them relates back to her fashion routes and how every civilization wears something to cloth their body, whether fabric or Ink. However I personally didn’t see the need to clothe the figures, I didn’t even seem them as people although they obviously resemble the human form. I think what I took from the exhibition was the fact that we're constantly looking for new horizons, looks towards the setting sun, always looking for something more than what we've already got, and what we’ve got always wanting more. I don't know if this is me just thinking out loud or whether this imagery pops up in other people’s minds?

The downside to the Friday morning lecture was the group project. I felt that maybe now that the module, originally weighted at 20% of our grade now weighting 0%, Alan would maybe make a group apology and try and think of some sort of reasoning behind them changing the syllabus. However this did not happen. The result of this being that my group project has now disintegrated before my eyes. My group that originally started at 9 people from all different courses two weeks ago now has 3 people. On top of that the 3 people remaining now don't feel motivated or passionate enough to continue with the project, so 8-10 hours of my MA research is now down the drain. I wonder if we will ever see an apology or a reason for this happening apart from one lecturer simply not caring enough about our MA course to fully think it through and prepare half ass lectures created the night before in 15mins after a heavy drinking session followed by a skim through of the ‘Dummies guide to Microsoft PowerPoint’. Maybe this is what we should expect for the next 2 semesters of MA life, or maybe enough people will voice their opinions resulting in a more structured course with different Art and Design lecturers giving us their knowledge and input and inspiring us to do more and want to push ourselves. I only hope something changes in time for us to regain the reigns on what the MA course is about and allow us to achieve the highest grade, because as it stands I’m running low on motivation… And caffeine.


  1. Gosh Pete, paragraphs and everything! lol More dissapointment and anger about the contexual side of the MA I see. Like I said to Scott, I concur whole heartedly. I may post my own opinion on the matter also sometime, if I don't use the time for work instead lol I'm actually pretty close to formal complaints, if I don't get some answers in the next week. It cost me alot to make it back here, and this is the WORST organisation I have seen from this University in 4 years.

    On topic: You've really gone out of your way to open your mind and take something away from the lecture this morn, so cudos to you Pete. Personally, I spent the first half hour wondering if I was in the wrong room or something lol Out of it all, the bit I found most interesting was how clothes were both a practical consideration AND a reflection of personality and self-image. It was an astute observation, which is probably "obvious", but we just accept it without considering what we can learn from that realisation.

    Art is always at its best when it is vague enough to be subjective I guess, a piece like the statues evoke different thoughts and feelings in everyone if you take the time to consider how they really affected you. I personally keep quite a dry opinion about these things until prompted to engage in analysis, but on her being driven to dress them; the lack of trousers in combination with the vest and hat made them seem even MORE naked to me. :P

    Roll on the weeks ahead I guess. Look forward to seeing some mechanics entries Pete! Let me know if you need a sound board or help brainstorming too, cause I get the impression you are hitting a few brick walls recently due to worries about being original.

    Take it easy bud ;D

  2. Pete,
    I love your comments on the Gormley installation.I wish I had seen Fiona's lecture as I find it fascinating. I visit Another Place quite often and I have a catalogue of photos over time.
    Several years ago the statues were shiney and clean but they've become more interesting and indvidual as they've weathered. They now have moss, barnacles and erosion and have become more distinctive from one another. They have a strange primeaeval quality when you're near to them and they do also have a sense of nostalgia and isolation. People often leave items of clothing and accessories on them which adds humour, but also questions this need to make a mark or stamp an identity on a humanoid form. You see this in virtual reality in the way people dress up their avatars and in MMo's in the way that people like trophies and uniform to give them status.
    I agree about the staring out to sea and looking for pastures afar. This is the urge to explore and colonize and seems linked with a need to survive but is also expansive and adventurous.Our current exploration of the metaverse is another venture into the unknown.
    "To boldly go where no man has gone before" LOL
    You're welcome to see the photos I have of Another place.