Brooks (brooksmoses) wrote,

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In which I wrote a silly thing.

Simone Giertz is a lovely person who has lots of fun creating horribly ineffective robots and posting videos of them to YouTube, in celebration of the fact that you don't need to be good at something to enjoy it. She also has a Patreon where she shares videos and also has recently been talking about the process of having a benign brain tumor removed. In celebration of the last round of radiation treatment being done, she created a mural on the wall of her workshop/studio, and posted a video of making it.

She also challenged us to write our "loftiest art reviews" in the comments, and so I wrote one, which I figure some of you might also be amused by.

The review....

This bold new masterpiece by the enigmatic Ms. Giertz shows again her control of her chosen media to illustrate the poignancies of a modern life in which humanity is reduced to a cog in a machine with an unclear purpose and limited value. Much as with her widely-renowned "soup robot", which shares a similar color palette and splattering effect, Giertz makes herself mechanically central to the implementation of her work, so that the piece is in some sense a self portrait of her own sense of place in reality, as well as speaking to the common human experience.

It is through this lens of self-portraiture that we can best understand many of the nuances of "Unnamed Mural 2019". Not only do the orange-and-yellow palette and the splattering nature of the work recall "Soup Robot", but the use of pulleys and ropes recall other of Giertz's self-proclaimed "Shitty Robot" oeuvre. This is indeed a re-imagining of her work to this point, taking it and reshaping it as something new. However, in this instance Giertz no longer places herself at the mercy of a mechanical creation that is separate from herself in a state of ambiguous cooperation or conflict. Instead she places herself at the center of the mechanism, in full control and inseparable from it.

The symbolism within the piece also speaks to recent events in Giertz's personal life. In the two orange hemicircles in the lower portion of the piece, we see a semi-representational reflection of the hemispheres of the bicameral brain, with a gap in one hemisphere representing the recent surgical removal of a benign tumor from Giertz's brain that she had humorously referred to as "Brian".

The words at the bottom of the wall, spelling "boring white wall" in bold capital letters, written with a precise casualness in yellow and a touch of green, provide a balancing counterpoint to the celebratory spray of bootprints at the top of the work. The choice of yellow and green here, leaving the orange for the "brain", reflects the way in which this piece itself is the interaction between Giertz and the wall -- two distinct components that interact with each other. It is particularly telling that these words are the sole piece of the work that Giertz did not create with her body, retaining their separateness from her. We can further understand this through the metaphor of Magritte's infamous "pipe" that is not a pipe; what is important is not that the wall is no longer white and boring, but that it is a representation of a white and boring wall becoming a part of Giertz's creation.

Giertz chooses to interact with the wall with her feet, not only creating an illusion of flight, but also showing that she feels she is askew to the usual interactions with the world. This is a wall, not a floor turned 90 degrees -- the caption ensures that we do not mistake it for that -- but nonetheless Giertz jumps upon it and leaves her footprints, literally showing us a path upwards out of boringness and mundanity.

Completing the mural, the upper half of the work is a spray of orange, yellow, and touches of green -- a display of exuberance, celebration, and upward flight, reflecting Giertz's own feelings of lightness, relief, and aspiration as she is no longer held back by the tumor. The use of all three colors, the yellow and green from the "boring white wall" caption and the orange of Giertz's brain, shows that this celebration is a synthesis of the two into something new; an artist cannot create without a canvas, and a canvas is not art without an artist, but creation exists in what is here a quite literal dance of the two together. This spray is also reminiscent of the display of a peacock's tail feathers (echoed in the teal blue color), and while the symbolism may be overused and hackneyed, this represents the young artist's disdain for subtlety as she displays her creations and herself to the world.

Finally, however, the piece is accompanied by smaller canvases that were placed on the floor to catch the "drips" from the creation process. These should be considered as an important piece of the overall work; this is not just a celebration for this wall, but one to be brought out into the world as an inspiration to others to interact with their own canvases -- to dance with them, if you will -- and produce their own celebrations in echo of this one.

...end review...

I was basically pulling all that out of thin air or dark orifices, so I'm not sure what to make of the fact that after writing it I half-believe all the stuff I wrote about the "obvious" symbolism in the piece.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (original here), with comment count unavailable comments. Comment here or there; comments here will eventually be duplicated to there.
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