Thursday, December 8, 2011

Doris Salcedo

For my final project, I chose to follow the work of Colombian artist Doris Salcedo. Miss Salcedo is widely recognized as one of the leading sculptors of our time. In 2007, Tate Modern, the British public organization that houses 4 prominent art galleries throughout the UK, named Doris Salcedo as the next artist to create the Unilever Series Commission - which has been called the art world's toughest challenge.

In her public works, Miss Salcedo makes use of ordinary household objects such as old tables and chairs. She then turns such objects into metaphors for the suffering experienced by the victims of violence and injustice. According to Miss Salcedo, the large-scale projects she creates are profoundly affected by the unsettled political situation in her home country. In fact, her sculptures are made in response to testimony from victims of Colombia's violence and terror. Miss Salcedo is an artist that uses her work to raise public awareness of the injustice that still exists today. Doris Salcedo is a fascinating artist and individual that everyone should know about.


My final project is on women's beauty.
The women of our society have a skewed perception of beauty
and in my video I attempt to define what beauty is.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Censoring Culture

My final project, which is titled “Cultural Censorship”, is about the controversial Burqa Ban in France. Passed a little more than a year ago, the burqa ban prohibits women from wearing any veils that cover their head and face in a public place. This ban is a violation of human rights, religious rights, and most of all women’s rights. This ban violates their freedom to express their religion and their culture. To many women, the veils in which cover their head and face are apart of their identity and a large representation of their belief. To ban women from expressing themselves because the public needs a sense of safety is going to allow future laws to be passed in order to ban other forms of self-expression. Women who wear burqas have now been stripped of their right to choose. Many are against the ban on veils. One artist in particular is Princess Hijab. She is a guerilla graffiti artist who is anonymous. In protest against the burqa ban she takes a black marker and draws burqas on popular advertisement posters that are found throughout the city of Paris, France. She purposely chooses the advertisements that are found in popular and busy intersections and also subway stations. She chooses advertisements in which sells a sense of sexiness along with the products. Another form of protest is videos put out by NiqaBitch. NiqaBitch consists of two women who walk down the streets of Paris wearing revealing clothes. Both Princess Hijab and NiqaBitch are protesting the burqa ban on a platform that mocks the irony in popular advertisement and the sex that it sells while banning a form of self-expression that supports the belief that a woman is more than her physical attributes.


Rare Interview With Princess Hijab

Bitch Magazine

France, The First Country To Ban Burqas

Women Under House Arrest

Images of Princess Hijab's Work

Female African Artists

Art in Sub-Sahara Africa has been around for as long as the people have occupied the land; however, art was made with goals other than for decorative purposes or story- telling.
African art was made mostly in forms of carving, sculptures and masks using mediums such as wood, iron, silver, clay, stone, gold and other hard mediums. These were made mostly for religious purposes to honor or represent the gods the locals believed in; there were also masks made for ceremonial purposes. The closest thing to fine art as defined today (water, oil, acrylic painting on Canvas) would be some rare cave paintings found in a few Sub Saharan African countries.
Until recently, the countries of Sub-Sahara Africa had no recorded history written by the locals, what is known comes either from journals of westerners who explored the region as colonists and evangelists or from word of mouth passed down through generations among the locals. Because of this, there is no way of assigning a particular ancient piece of art to its original maker, rather these arts pieces are tracked by the area of origin. So, although women are very much represented in African arts, there is no way of knowing if and to what extent women impacted the arts as artists themselves.
Only recently with the influence from the west did art become recognized as a powerful tool to carry messages or as an essential part of culture. In many areas people who do not understand its importance still consider it to be just a waste of time for those people making it and waste of money for those buying them. Women are becoming more and more prominent on this front although they still are very much undervalued.
African art history has had untold influence on the global art world. However with a new attitude towards art and further education on its importance within a culture, arts in Africa is destined to gain more significance and the women of Sub Sahara Africa will be among those to hold a leading role in driving it forward as they address social/ political issues, and seek to have a greater impact in society.

Miss Representation

I focused on the Miss Representation campaign that educates on the inequality and misrepresentation of women in media and society. he organization also has a film that shows how the media effects the way women are portrayed and the lack of women representation in higher positions of power. I also compared art work that we studied in class to modern advertisements , despite the difference in the years of production they mostly depict the same message and show the women subject to be inferior and an object of lust and desire to the viewers.

Art Project PDF

Culture Shock

My final project, which I titled 'Culture Shock', is about the transformation of lifestyles and expectations I have gone through after moving to America. There are important similarities, yet striking differences between what my life is right now and what it would have been if I were still living in Surat, India in terms of lifestyles, work environment, mentality, traditions, freedom, and domestic life expectations. Throughout this exploration, I wish to better understand my own place of belonging and my sense of identity since I feel that I am a construct of different cultures, different geographic locations of residency, environments, and experiences.

The three artists that I explore further in my project are Navtoj Altaf, Nalini Malani, and Mona Kamal. All three women are influenced by different subjects: need to bring about social change for women and children living in villages, need to depict the image that the Partition of India in 1947 cast on women at the time and how (if) it has changed since, and the need to piece together the puzzle of migratory history in order to better understand a place of belonging and achieve a sense of identity.

These women artists all draw on their heritage and the contradictions that come with it, but as they move along,they are marking their own places in a rapidly changing society.

Here is a video installation by artist, Mona Kamal, that offers one perspective about how one can piece together migratory history through faint memories, photographs, thoughts, physical locations, and through feelings that are evoked by visiting these old locations.

Seeking Belonging, 2011 from mona kamal on Vimeo.

Final Paper:Nidhi Patel

Constructivism: Art With a Purpose

Russian Constructivism started in response to current political and social ideas of the time. Generally, it is defined as the rejection of art used primarily for self expression, individual meaning, and aesthetic beauty. Constructivism promotes the idea of art that can be used in everyday life and social settings. Realism is prized, as opposed to abstraction, and thus, the art and works produced in this period includes graphic design and propaganda, as well as theater/play set designs, costume designs, and clothing.

Women were very much a part of this movement; in fact, one of the founders was female artist Varvara Stepanova. Other artists include Alexandra Exter and Liubov Popova.

The first Constructivist Exhibition, 1921.

Alexander Rodchenko, Dobrolet (1923)

Varvara Stepanova, Designs for Sports Clothing (1923)

Liubov Popova, Painterly Architectonics (1916-1918)

Liubov Popova, set design for 'The Magnanimous Cuckold' (1922)

Alexandra Exter, set design (1920s)

Constructivism Final Paper:


Alexander Rodchenko, Dobrolet (propaganda poster). 1923. Photograph. The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Liubov Popova, Painterly Architectonics, 1916-1918. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

Liubov Popova, set design for The Magnanimous Cuckold, 1922. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

Photograph of the first Constructivist Exhibition, 1921. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

Stage set design for a Tragedy, Alexandra Exter, c. 1920s. Web. 5 Dec. 2011

Varvara Stepanova, Designs for Sports Clothing, 1923. New York. Columbia University in the City of New York. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

Objectification of Women in Hip Hop

The idea of objectification of women in hip hop is something that has been given a lot of attention as there have been scholarly articles and even documentaries about this very topic. As we can see in music today, album artwork is very pivotal in attracting potential buyers. Also to promote such albums music videos are produced to help spark the interest of potential buyers. In my essay, I plan on evaluating top selling albums with a focus on hip hop since that’s what I’m familiar with and their album covers along with videos and lyrics that come along with them. My main aim for this essay is to evaluate album covers, hip hop videos and lyrics to show the objectification of women in hip hop with the male gaze and oppositional gaze.

Works Cited

Bad Girls Club. Perf. Wale. Universal, 1 Nov 2011. Web. 4 Dec 2011.

Berger, John “Ways of Seeing” 15 Mar 2008. 4 Dec 2011

Crew, 2 Live. “As Bad As They Wanna Be” Luke Records. 1989. CD.

Daily, Joy “Wale’s New Video ‘Pretty Girls’ only features Light Skinned Girls…” Feb 9, 2010. Web.

Dre, Dr “The Next Episode.” Chronic 2001. Interscope. 2000. CD.

Emerson, R. A. ""Where My Girls At?": Negotiating Black Womanhood in Music Videos."Gender & Society 16.1 (2002): 115-35. Print

Eminem “Kim.” Marshall Mathers LP. Interscope. 1999. CD

Hooks, Bell. "Chapter 7." In Black Looks: Race and Representation. Boston: South End, 1992. 115-31. Print.

P.I.M.P. Perf 50 Cent. Interscope. 16 Jun 2009. Web. 4 Dec 2011.

Pretty Girls. Perf. Wale. Interscope. 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 4 Dec. 2011. .

Right Thurr. Perf. Chingy. Capitol. 11 Feb, 2011. Web. 4 Dec 2011

Roots, The. “What They Do.” Illadelph Halflife. Geffen. 1996. CD

West, Kanye “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” Def Jam. 2010. CD

What They Do. Perf. The Roots. Geffen. 5 Oct. 2009. Web 4 Dec 2011

Final Project: 3 Major Women Artists Social Inspirations (Some of which are taken for granted)

For my final project I researched and compiled 3 Major sources of social inspirations that have helped women artists all over the world. I have compared and contrasted these sources with trends in the past and I have analyzed how much of these trends have inspired artists to create art in a different ways as opposed to not being exposed to these major sources of inspirations. The three major social sources of inspiration that are discussed in the article are family, university and the way religion is accepted in society.

Evolution of Arab Art - Mohammad Babar

In more recent years, here in the West, one of the last things you’ll hear coming out of the Middle-East is art. During a period where the Middle-East is surrounded by war, political corruption, and poverty, art is beginning to shed a new light on everything. At a time where some sort of revolution from the people is greatly needed, some Arab artists are beginning to take their art into a new direction.

The evolution of art has also resulted in letting Arab women express themselves in a new way as well. This new wave of artists are delivering messages with their artwork that touch Muslims and Arabs across the world, touching on issues such as freedom of speech, social justice, and emancipation.

It is important to distinguish the differences between Islamic and Arab art. Islamic art is a product of its time, such as Renaissance art. At one point, the only Arab art was Islamic Art, but the two are not the same. Arabs practiced Islamic art because as Muslims with no Western influence, that was the only thing they knew. As Western influence grew and Arabs immigrated West they no longer viewed themselves as an ethnic subgroup within Islam. Instead they view nations where Islam is the dominant religion. All (old) Islamic art is Arab, but not all Arab art is Islamic. Modern Arab artists, especially women have started a revolution with their contemporary artwork.