The symbolism of Malevich’s colored shapes

In the late 1914--early 1915 Partial Eclipse, Malevich developed further the symbolism of his dominant geometric colored shapes by juxtaposing them to a defaced reproduction of the Mona Lisa. Leonardo's painting, considered the greatest and most enigmatic image of Western civilization, was recognized in the mid-nineteenth century by the Symbolists as a mythic incarnation of eternal femininity. Merezhkovsky, in his 1901 influential novel, The Resurrection of Gods: Leonardo da Vinci, translated into English in 1902 as The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci, featured Leonardo as an…

Glasgow Sculpture Studios

When Glasgow Sculpture Studios was founded in 1988 it created a new and much needed Studio and Workshop facility for sculptors in Scotland. The founder members, including Tracy MacKenna, Sibylle yon Halem, Kate Thomson and Jacki Parry persuaded the Scottish Arts Council to put up 1.500 [pounds sterling] to cover set-up costs. Since then, funding has increased and membership to the Studios has grown to over a hundred, a large number of whom are women. The Studios not only offer space (full-time and part-time) and the…

The Parliament Street silos, Luminato Festival, Toronto

What should have been a landmark event took place on a Saturday night last June in Toronto. The massive Victory Soya Mills silos on the Parliament Slip, just south of Toronto's Distillery District, were the site of a projection piece by New York-based conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, staged as part of the city-wide but somewhat confounding Luminato Festival. It was rumoured that the projection was happening, although no event listing or details seemed to be forthcoming--not even an event date. I heard about it by word…

Signifier of signification

The "signifier of signification," the "empty sign," seems performed at the unoriginal expense of the female body. Such a violent cropping may be linked with Sadean philosophies, popular among the Surrealists, which underscore the sexual potential of a given object and which often result in a "particular disturbance to the head," the locus of intellectual, rather than bodily logic. The male becomes the controller, the viewer, and the anonymous woman becomes merely the site of desire. On the other hand, though I do not wish to…

Nam June Paik’s 1962 One For Violin Solo

Nam June Paik's 1962 One For Violin Solo involved the artist lifting the instrument over his head slowly and then smashing it down onto the table in front of him, the shattered pieces sent flying. This work gained in notoriety when Charlotte Moorman performed it in 1967. During the lead-up to the destruction, an audience member began berating her that it was wasteful and shameful to destroy an instrument, that it would be better given to some underprivileged music student. He charged the stage in protest,…

The Role of the Arts in Learning

IEA Publishes Panel Discussion on the Role of the Arts in Learning The Institute has released its latest report, The Role of the Arts in Effective Teaching and Learning, a panel discussion among educators and cultural leaders in Stark County, Ohio. Panelists discussed their own childhood experiences learning through the arts and how those experiences impacted their adult lives. The discussion concludes with specific suggestions and a call to action to increase this generation’s interaction with the arts. (10/4/06) Read the report >>>