Author Topic: The State of Things "Democracy"  (Read 99 times)

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The State of Things "Democracy"
« on: September 27, 2008, 06:17:04 PM »
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On Saturday, April 29th 2006 the artists Ligorano/Reese installed a temporary sculpture in the garden of Jim Kempner Fine Art, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Sculpted in ice and spelling out the word “Democracy” in block letters, the installation reflected on the current political state and the transience of our cultural values. Measuring 20 inches high and 120 inches in length, the word melted over 24 hours. The sculpture cracked, diminished, and ultimately disappeared, leaving as its final trace a puddle of water.

The sculpture focused on the impact of the Iraq war, how censorship, surveillance and torture are transforming U.S. society. According to Nora Ligorano, “The sculpture is emblematic of the times – our democracy is in danger of wasting away at an imperceptible rate.” Marshall Reese adds, “What stands out with this piece is that for the amount of time most people view art – 1 minute or less – the sculpture won’t seem to change, yet by day’s end, it will be gone - disappear.”




 

Elevz

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Re: The State of Things "Democracy"
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 07:03:41 AM »
That was a pretty violent visualization.

The sculpture focused on the impact of the Iraq war, how censorship, surveillance and torture are transforming U.S. society.

No, the sculpture didn't focus on that - those are all implications and interpretations. That's precisely the trouble with such symbolic art works: they're unfit for really bringing across a message; all they do is work on your gut feelings. The word democracy could have been substituted for "integrity" or "love" or "new york" or "fannie mae". What would that do to the "message"? Where's the Iraq war, censorship and torture in that? It's a good and painful visualization, but the writer of that little article should leave his "objective assumptions" at home. Art is nothing more than what it is; what you make of it is always personal.

Now as for democracy "melting"... I can hardly say that's a bad thing when you realize that democracy ignores the minority vote, and then goes on to put a small and homogenous group of power hungry rulers in charge. Democracy is a dictatorship of the whims by its essence. That is, both the whims of the majority, and the whims of the politicians. And they say it's the lesser evil.

Looking at the connections the writer of that little article made when looking at the melting democracy, "the impact of the Iraq war, how censorship, surveillance and torture [...] transforming [the] U.S. society," they should've melted the word "freedom." Societies are bound to transform without ever stopping, and if it's the influence of wars, censorship, surveillance and torture doing that, I say it's the rise of fascism and the lack of freedom you're supposed to mourn. Not democracy.