Art is expression through creativity that allows us to deliver a message that may be more significant than just words on a page. Art connects with people on a more emotional and spiritual level, and it is this that can help to drive home the artists message in his or her works. Natalie Czech’s “A Poem by Repetition by Allen Ginsberg” combines two powerful pieces of art, poetry and photography to create one cohesive piece of art. The art is inspired by writings documented in Ginsberg’s personal journal; not originally being a poet, Ginsberg later had his journal turned into a poem.
Czech later discovered the poems and altered the ending to a broader form of self-appreciation, changing the last line of the poem from “anybody,” to “anything. ” Lieko Shiga uses her photographs from after the tsunami of 2011 to show the impact of the disaster on smaller, less publicized, areas. The suffering of the people in these small villages is just as great as the major cities, and to some of those people, the suffering is greater. Natalie Czech photographs were broken into 3 parts, each containing pieces of the poem.
The first image has all three full images of a man, where as in the final two you have one full image and a piece of another. It might be demonstrating, that as time goes on, sometimes we lose a piece of ourselves. Working that idea in with the text is to remind the viewer that we should continue to love ourselves despite anything. The point of view of the image is somewhat in the third person, who is reminding us, the viewer, that it’s okay to love yourself, and put yourself as number one . The works of art that this author felt were most attention grabbing tended to have a message to the viewer.
For example, Lieko Shiga’s 11 images from her Rasen Kaigan, depicts horrific images of before, during, and after her home, Kitakama, was hit by to 2011 tsunami. Some of these images were shocking, most notably, a man impaled by a tree. Lieko’s only manipulation in her series is the coloration and tonality of the photographs. This puts the idea forth that nature is a dominant force in our lives, and it’s nature that links people between life and death. Nature, which is commonly referred to as beautiful and tranquil, can also be unforgiving and cruel.
Lieko Shiga’s series Rasen Kaigan showed how small villages, like hers, were overlooked after the 2011 tsunami. The exhibitions overall emotional impact was different than I expected. All the works in the gallery were exploring different ideas that are important, but often overlooked in today’s culture. The idea of loving yourself, seemingly obvious, but often when an individual does truly love themself, it is confused for cockiness, egotism, and narcissism. Czech’s work counters this cultural norm with her manipulation of Ginsberg’s poem, creating an important reminder to love oneself.
Another work, by David Horvitz called “Mood Disorders”, explores the idea of different types of mental illnesses as defined by different Internet sources. Mental illness is constantly being overlooked, and Horvitz demonstrate was able to demonstrate how vast mental illness is. In a very physical sense his work took up a whole wall, just like many types of mental illnesses, they consume the mind. The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition had a lot to offer educationally, and offered a lot of creative ideas.
As a student it’s very easy to try and capture the most famous scenic image that we know for example, the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, or images from Central Park. These artists featured in the Museum of Modern Art are exploring ideas that are much more personal to them. Personal ideas, feelings, and issues are coming up as a topic of discussion in photography, which hopefully can expand outward, beyond photography so that we don’t overlook and dismiss our own feelings and the feelings of the people around us.