Contemporary art experiential paper

First, read the Stalker & Glymour article, ‘The Malignant Object: Thoughts on Public Sculpture’

Then choose one of these works: Vailey Export, Tap and Touch Cinema, 1968-71 Anish Kapoor, Cloud Gate, 2006, Oldenburg & van Bruggen, Houseball, 1996-97

The Assignment. Your paper should have two parts:

First, make an informed analysis of the work. By now you know more about contemporary art than 99.9% of the general public. What do you think the artist’s main concerns and purpose were? Relate the work to the movement(s) and concepts we have covered in class. (For example, formalism, assemblage, performance art, Earth Art, sculpture-as-structure, site specificity, activist art, etc.)

Second, consider the accessibility and relevance of the work to the general public. This part should be written as a response to the objections to contemporary public sculpture that are raised in the Stalker & Glymour article. Is the work relevant to its site and to the kind of people who frequent that site? Do you think viewers would be able to ‘get’ the meaning(s) and concern(s) you outlined in part one if they just encounter it in the course of their day, without doing any research? Overall, do you think it is a successful work of public art or not?

The Fine Print. Be sure to read the fine print:

This paper should be at least 31⁄2 pages using Times 12 point, 1.5 or double-spaced with 1 inch margins, submitted as a Word or PDF document. You will need to do some minimal online research to find out some basic facts about the work, and in some cases you will find accounts of the work’s intended meaning. You may use such information (and if so, cite where you got it by footnoting the URL), but do not simply accept that interpretation: the question is whether it would be ‘gettable’ by an uninformed viewer. Do not copy or closely paraphrase any outside source without citing it. Doing so will result in an automatic zero, and if particularly egregious will be reported to the Academic Misconduct Committee.

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