Art Analysis: ART21 After Reviewing the Artists Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Art Analysis: Art21

After reviewing the artists from Art21, the artists chosen are Pierre Huyghe and AI Weiwei as the subjects of this paper. The pieces the paper will be "This is not a time for dreaming" by Huyghe and "Forever" by Weiwei. Both pieces are installation pieces although the artists are not classified under the same grouping on the Art21 website. Weiwei is listed as "Featured in Change" and Huyghe is listed as "Featured in Romance." Though they are not featured or classified in the same group, their respective groups are related. There are several different kinds of people in the world for whom change is romantic. Weiwei is a renowned activist as well as renowned artists. Artists typically have a deep passion within that they express via their art. Therefore, Weiwei could see the connection between romance and change. For the native Parisian Huyghe, romance may very well be an expression of change. The paper will perform analyses and provide insight into the intention & meanings of their works. The installations of these very different artists are similar in that they communicate to the audience with subtlety and pluralism.

This is not a time for dreaming by Huyghe is an installation and an interactive piece. The piece required activity by a puppeteer to manipulate the marionette that resembles the artist. Presumably, Huyghe would operate the puppet version of Huyghe himself. Huyghe is often an artist that is critiqued and criticized
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for his connection or fascination to the post modern. Certainly using the marionette version of a real person calls to mind a film such as Being John Malkovich (1999) directed by Spike Jonze. The film was a meditation on states of existence including dreaming and occupying another person's mind while still retaining one's distinct consciousness. The film additionally has John Malkovich control puppet versions of himself in various sizes as well as for his co-star, John Cusack who is a puppeteer by trade. Huyghe's installation then participates in and extends the discussion and play with ideas of post modernity, and being one's own puppeteer.

Viewers may infer that Huyghe considers himself (his actual self) a puppet of sorts and expresses his feelings of manipulation, lack of control, and restriction in this work. The puppet is tossing papers about in a fury, but the face is quite expressionless. The puppet sits in a room full of boxes and papers strewn about. The light is soft, centered, and even. There are few shadows. The color palette is very limited. There are very few colors in the work. The black strings of the marionette contrast the whiteness of the composition -- white papers, white walls, and white light. The puppet of Huyghe and the strings of the puppet are black. The artist constantly reminds the audience of the unseen control, and of the lack of choice or will. In our dreams, we are able to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Art21, Inc. (2012) Explore Artists. Available from: 2012 July 10.

European Graduate School. (2012) Pierre Huyghe -- Biography. Available from: 2012 July 11.

Wines, Michael. (2009) Ai Weiwei, China's Impolitic Artist. The New York Times, Available from: 2012 July 12.

Pierre Huyghe, "This is not a time for dreaming," 2004.

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