This Sunday, Morris began class with a short lecture about a few important aspects for the teen artists to consider while editing their projects: structure, juxtaposition, and rhythm. Morris explained that structure is composed of two parts, the story and the plot. Though these sounded similar to the students, together we were able to ascertain that the story is the chronological events within the project, while the plot is the way the events unfold. Juxtaposition is the process of placing two or more things in proximity to one another to create a contrasting effect.
Class began with Michael screening his video I Can’t Wait To See You There. The work functions as an elegy and a prayer for musician Kurt Cobain. The twelve-minute video is not only an emotional record of the effect Cobain’s music had on the artist as a teenager, but also a meditation on the subjective experience of public mourning and the ways recorded media affect our understanding of mortality.
Today was our first day with Michael Morris, an artist and educator who works in video, film, and expanded cinematic forms. Class began in the lecture room, where Michael introduced himself and shared one of his essayistic videos, Confessors. Confessors is a short, personal essay that attempts to retrace bits of lost or inaccessible family histories. The artist’s grandparents gave him a can of film marked “X-rated” without explanation, as well as an old 8 mm camera. The film was lost before he was able to watch it.
Today was our last day with the wonderful Cassandra Emswiler. The students’ goal was to complete their tile project and have the work exhibition-ready. Students were given a few minutes at the beginning of class to experiment with designs for display and plan the organization of their tiles onto a support structure.
This week T/AP began with a short lecture about French gardens, in particular the Palace of Versailles. The palace is a site of power, beauty, and tranquility, and the layout of the entire landscape was designed to reinforce the reign of the monarchy. Cassandra shared her interest in architectural mimicry of nature within built landscapes. For example, the fountains of Versailles mimic lakes, and the columns of the structures mimic trees. The palace grounds are a place where nature is controlled by the grid and all elements are orderly and restrained.
The students started their day with a lecture by Cassandra on the history of enclosed garden spaces. They looked at medieval garden plans and discussed the significance of hortus conclusus, learning that the gardens functioned on a poetic level experienced by walking through them as well as looking at them. The enclosed gardens were a way of taming chaotic nature into something beautiful. Cassandra spoke about nature as motif and how society started to bring nature into interior spaces with mosaics, tapestries, and paintings.
The 2013–2014 T/AP season kicked off when students met with Dallas-based artist Cassandra Emswiler. Over the next four classes, students will complete a project designed by Cassandra that relates to works currently on view in the galleries. Cassandra first gave the students a brief lecture about her own work, providing insights into her inspiration and process. In her most current body of work, she creates sculptures and installations with ceramic tiles printed with her own designs.
This past Sunday marked the final class day for Teen/Artist Project 2012–2013. We began the day by visiting the Modern’s FOCUS show featuring Barry McGee. Though the artist’s installation had no direct bearing on the day’s project, it was an opportunity for the teen artists to see his work while they had the chance.
T/AP reconvened on Sunday to make history—quite literally. Joshua Goode led the exercise by discussing possible motivations for ancient man’s image-making practices. Looking at the cave drawings from Lascaux, Stonehenge, and the Venus of Willendorf (among other similar figurines), we wondered if they served some shamanistic, religious, or even scientific purposes. Because these objects are prehistorical (before written records), there are no accompanying documents to tell us what their purposes were—we must theorize.
T/AP is back from Spring Break! This week we experimented in printmaking with artist Joshua Goode. Beginning the day with a short presentation about relief prints, Joshua explained how prints are not like paintings or sculptures—the printing process results in multiples, and they are rather cheap to produce. Joshua reviewed printmaking from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance to Modernism, providing examples by artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Käthe Kollwitz, Pablo Picasso, M.C. Escher, and Al Held, among many others.
Our field trip to various art-related venues in Dallas this past Saturday proved to be a whirlwind adventure! We were welcomed into several different types of art spaces and learned a great deal about each of them in the process. A private collection, galleries, studios, and an art foundation were our visits for the day.
Joshua Goode has joined T/AP as our final artist and mentor of the 2012–2013 class year, and we are very excited to have him with us. Working in various media, he is an artist interested in not only creating an art object, but also harnessing its setting as an integral part of the work. As he discussed his own art practice, we learned that much of his inspiration is autobiographical, often dealing with his family and personal history.
Our last day with Rebecca Carter was all about WORK! WORK! WORK! Working with the computers in the lab or with the art materials, the teen artists got down to business completing their mock-ups for the signage project.
All of the students had the opportunity to submit their mock-ups to MAP—Make Art with Purpose—which will be choosing entries for an upcoming signage project later this year.
February 10 marked our third T/AP meeting with Rebecca Carter. We started the day by viewing Jenny Holzer’s installation Kind of Blue, 2012. As a textual work, this particular piece from the Modern’s permanent collection offered the teen artists an example of how to approach, design, and execute their signage projects.
Rebecca led the students in a discussion of the Holzer installation—its formal qualities, its siting in the gallery near reflective surfaces, its two-story viewing space, its color, and the text itself.