VIC101H1 Lecture Notes - Dara Birnbaum, Sarah Charlesworth, Barbara Kruger

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
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November 19, 2012
- Exam: SS2117
The Pictures Generation
- 1977 - “pictures” show => called the Pictures Generation
- Particular style and content
- A lot of artists used photography as artworks, parts of artworks
- Pop art - rose out of WWII; rose in late 50s and into the 60s; celebrating pop culture as well as
ambivalence - Richard Hamilton: “things were just were”
- Kienholz - not celebratory; social criticism
- Minimalism - too much pop in pop art, too fun and not serious; late 60s; more cerebral
approach; industrial
- Vietnam war was going on at that time as well as protests; age 18-25 rebelling in public ways -
kidnap, murder, ripping up streets
- Affected art at that time
- Minimalists in relation to context - saw their works as being revolutionary; producing art
from humble materials, and sometimes did nothing to it but rearrange it; sought to overturn art
world at the time
- Conceptual and Performance art rose out of Minimalism => direct political comment and
action; race riots, war protests; America hadn’t seen such protests/violence since civil war
- Changes in definition of family and gender roles (2nd wave feminism)
- Pictures generation:
- 1970 - floppy disk invented
- 1971 - microprocessor invented by Intel “computer on a chip”
- 1971 - email, laser printer, first e-book
- 1972 - Atari introduced first video games (integrated circuit TV-based games)
- 1975 - VCR changed home entertainment forever when Sony introduced the Betamax recorder
- 1976 - JVC followed with VHS
- 1981 - MTV langunced
- 1982 - internet launched
- 1983 - “Thriller” was released; influential music video of all time
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- Picture generation came into being in 70s; post-war consumer culture
- New world of communications was born
- Society/economy based on need transformed into one of desire
- Rise of PR firms
- Conceptual art, earth art - movies, popular music wasn’t addressed by them
- French structuralists and poststructuralist theorists inspired young people => these were
addressed in art schools
- Structuralism: Mode of reasoning; elements of human culture related to an overlying structure;
modeled on language - it’s central to the world we live in
- Semiotics - study of signs - arose from this
- Many of French poststructuralists were translated at this time
- Poststructuralism: Identity is not organic and innate but manufactured and learned through
gender, sexuality, race, citizenship
- Embedded in society’s institutions; embedded in media
- Originality and authenticity
- Death of the Author - rather than lending itself to fixed meaning with single voice, texts are a
collection of quotes from others
- Birth of reader => from death of author
- Author/artist = replaced by viewer as producer of meaning; de-centering of author; reader
assembles his/her story
-Simpsons guest appearances of famous people => quintessentially postmodern because we
have to fill in the gaps of the background of the people
- Pictures era: mid-1970s and mid-1980s in US and Canada; before super-sizing of international
art fairs; not worth a lot => more freedom to experiment
- Dara Birnbaum - TV and self; presented TV stills, game shows and dramas to show
conventional families and relationships
- Set up TVs, played videos on the screen and that was her exhibition
- Artists recorded off of TV and edited => reappropriation
- Birnbaum = feminist
- Disco version of Wonder Woman lyrics at the end of her work; “get us out from under, Wonder
Woman” = system that creates her as powerful woman, superhero; disco version of the song
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says back down - “get us out from under Wonder Woman” = term wonder woman has 2
meanings; TV had no intention of giving power to Wonder Woman
- Barbara Bloom
- Money from Disney went into art school - new ideas in art; avant garde artists taught there;
photoconceptualist Baldisari taught there = exploration of what “art” is in art, where is art
- “Post-studio art” - photography, video in art => reproductions
- Death of artist
- Baldisari encouraged students to use art in non-aesthetic way
- Well-circulated images were currency at the time; so ubiquitous that it could be overlooked
- Barbara Bloom
- Student of Baldisari
- Critall Metal Windows - ordinary visual source material, but houses are architectural works by
architects from 20s and 30s like Gropius
- Wanted design things so well it “disappears”; makes an impression in our brains but we don’t
really see it (like advertising)
- Wanted her work to be uninteresting, something that wouldn’t grab your attention or make any
impression
- Typography = just state enough authority in font; constructed as if ads in magazine
- Political power of aesthetics, environment for skepticism in propaganda and adverting
- Trailer for non-existent movie, etc - as if in console in foreign country => destabilizes ability to
read poster - juxtaposition between text and images
- Introduction of places e.g. beach and what is forbidden there
- 80s - long strain of airplane hijackings in Europe, and hijackers flew frequently to Middle
East/North Africa => beach = fun thing but underneath, through use of text she destabilizes that
- Homage to Jean Seberg - as if someone were to photograph someone who was going to sit in
the chair
- Jean Seberg - harassment with the FBI for being suspected in Black Panthers
- Iconic shirt she wore in film “Breathless”, newspaper from film
- Memorial piece for actress//doctored newspaper; obituary put on front page, suggests 19 year
decline & her suicide
- Absence of meaning itself
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Document Summary

1977 - pictures show => called the pictures generation. A lot of artists used photography as artworks, parts of artworks. Pop art - rose out of wwii; rose in late 50s and into the 60s; celebrating pop culture as well as ambivalence - richard hamilton: things were just were . Minimalism - too much pop in pop art, too fun and not serious; late 60s; more cerebral approach; industrial. Vietnam war was going on at that time as well as protests; age 18-25 rebelling in public ways - kidnap, murder, ripping up streets. Minimalists in relation to context - saw their works as being revolutionary; producing art from humble materials, and sometimes did nothing to it but rearrange it; sought to overturn art world at the time. Conceptual and performance art rose out of minimalism => direct political comment and action; race riots, war protests; america hadn"t seen such protests/violence since civil war.

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