Old 03-15-2013, 08:11 PM   #26
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These are views of the ends of the piece:
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File Type: jpg duchamp03.jpg (96.5 KB, 22 views)

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Old 03-15-2013, 08:12 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
I agree that it is better seen in person and viewed from several angles.

White Cubes - those in the box are real sugar cubes (Fair Trade, of course!). The black and white cubes in and from the cage, and tumbling between the cage and the box of sugar cubes, are marble.

The off white triangle was bleached by the camera flash. It is actually Gold colour, for the Golden Triangle of Trade. Manufactured Trade Goods went from England to West Africa where they were exchanged for slaves; slaves went from West Africa to the Caribbean where they were sold and the proceeds bought: Sugar to be taken to England. There was a substantial profit made on each leg of the Golden Triangle.

The cage is a bird feeder. The whole piece is about 15 inches long, six inches wide and six inches high, standing on a plastic box of the same dimensions, therefore total height is 12 inches. Underneath the plastic box, and seen through it, are pictures of Duchamp's two versions of "Why Not Sneeze, Rose Selavy?".

The sticks are bamboo canes, the closest I could get to sugar canes, but also representing the rattan canes with which slaves were beaten.
Ah HA! Indeed, having the libretto helps! Having some historical knowledge doesn't hurt!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
Ah HA! Indeed, having the libretto helps! Having some historical knowledge doesn't hurt!
But even with the libretto, which is only a very simple explanation of my thought process in this work, the general responses have still been:

WTF was (og) thinking? OR I don't understand it at all.

Which of course were the responses to Marcel Duchamp's original piece.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:54 PM   #29
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But even with the libretto, which is only a very simple explanation of my thought process in this work, the general responses have still been:

WTF was (og) thinking? OR I don't understand it at all.

Which of course were the responses to Marcel Duchamp's original piece.
Seems to me, you have the benefit of Duchamp's legacy, as well as, what I consider, a more concrete "story" rather than making a surreal statement.

Though there is metaphor in both.

My critique would be: it would be stronger (visually less cluttered) without the golden triangle. And if you had had the resources to obtain sugar cane..and perhaps built the cage from that...? perhaps? A cubic cage to balance the cubic sugar cube package opposite...? just pondering. A really cool project Og!
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:52 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by THROBBS View Post
Seems to me, you have the benefit of Duchamp's legacy, as well as, what I consider, a more concrete "story" rather than making a surreal statement.

Though there is metaphor in both.

My critique would be: it would be stronger (visually less cluttered) without the golden triangle. And if you had had the resources to obtain sugar cane..and perhaps built the cage from that...? perhaps? A cubic cage to balance the cubic sugar cube package opposite...? just pondering. A really cool project Og!
Thank you for your support and comments, Throbbs.

I'm not sure that I could have bought sugar cane, nor that I have artistic ability to make a cage from it if I had the cane.

But part of Duchamp's art was the use of 'ready-mades' such as the bird cage, and of course his most famous ready made, the urinal. My intention was to tell a story using Duchamp's piece with modern ready-mades.

But I'm happy with the result. I created my first art work for nearly 40 years and it was exactly as I had thought it should look. That sort of transition between conception and reality is rare when I'm writing a story and I'd never achieved that before in Art.

I'm also pleased with the public reaction. No one expected such a complex piece from me and many are still confused. What does it mean? What does it say about me? Or about Duchamp? Or about Fair Trade? It has caused more people to stand around asking WTF? than any other work in the exhibition. That alone justifies the effort.
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:24 AM   #31
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BRAVO!

make them think!


*ow*!
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #32
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I've just collected it. The exhibition ended today.

The organisers were most impressed that my piece packed neatly in the plastic box that was its stand - in 10 seconds!
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:07 PM   #33
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:33 PM   #34
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And thanks to this forum for suggestions. The blood still looks fresh.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:27 AM   #35
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I wrongfully posted this in What are You Feeling Today. I ought to have put it here:

Og, I LOVED it! I love all your work. The idea of combining Duchamp and thoughts about fair trade and the French Revolution is FANTASTIC!

I've written about the hypocrisy of someone like Rousseau writing 'man is born free and everywhere is in chains' while benefiting economically from slave labour in the French Caribbean myself, so I very much appreciated this (although I admit I did laugh quite a lot too, especially in the posts about the vampire blood). You know, of course, Sidney Mintz's book on the sugar trade, Sweetness and Power, and Said's famous analysis of Mansfield Park. I liked the way Rozema referenced that thinking in her rather spicy film of the book very much.

I only wish I could have seen this in the 3D original, and can't wait for your next art work.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:51 AM   #36
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Quoted from Mood thread in the Author's Hangout:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NaokoSmith View Post
Og, I LOVED it! I love all your work. The idea of combining Duchamp and thoughts about fair trade and the French Revolution is FANTASTIC!

I've written about the hypocrisy of someone like Rousseau writing 'man is born free and everywhere is in chains' while benefiting economically from slave labour in the French Caribbean myself, so I very much appreciated this (although I admit I did laugh quite a lot too, especially in the posts about the vampire blood). You know, of course, Sidney Mintz's book on the sugar trade, Sweetness and Power, and Said's famous analysis of Mansfield Park. I liked the way Rozema referenced that thinking in her rather spicy film of the book very much.

I only wish I could have seen this in the 3D original, and can't wait for your next art work.

My comments about the French Revolution in my handout were ironic. While the rhetoric was fine, the reality for workers in the sugar plantations was horrific. They were free but now unemployed; no longer fed and housed by the slave-owners but if working were not paid enough to live on.

In some parts of the sugar CANE industry that is still true. While Fair Trade and Tate and Lyle do their best, some other sugar producers still exploit child labour in dangerous conditions for tiny sums of money.

The French Revolution had some fantastic ideas for the 18th Century. Apart from freeing slaves, they intended that:

- All men and WOMEN should have the vote, and women could stand for office in the French Government.

- All children should receive a comprehensive education to age 12 and girls should be taught exactly the same subjects to the same level as boys with a slight difference. Girls should be taught in more detail about pregnancy, child birth and rearing young children while the boys were taught surveying - very useful for future soldiers. Both boys and girls should be taught about pregnancy and childbirth, and the subjects of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, science, geography, French language and literature, physical education etc.

Both should do physical drills and take part in events to celebrate the Rights of Man (meaning both sexes), Brotherhood (ditto), and Liberty.

- There should be a comprehensive health service.

The money ran out and Napoleon Bonaparte was appointed First Consul before most of these aspirations could be put into effect.

The aspirations of the French Revolution were far more radical than the reality. Wars in Europe killed off many of the admirable parts of the changes.

The sugar CANE industry still has unpleasant employment practices around the margins. Is the sugar you eat still soaked in blood?

The sugar BEET industry is much more open about its employment practices but in the UK relies too much on cheap immigrant labour where machinery won't reach. However those immigrants generally take the jobs knowingly, work hard and long for a short season, and can earn enough to finance their own betterment through education.

Sugar production is one of the more visible aspects of the difference between Fair and Un-Fair Trade. The clothing industry is sometimes much worse than sugar. Do you know that stone-washed or pre-distressed jeans can give the workers damaged lungs and a much reduced life-expectancy from the dust?

This poem, first published 1843, is still true for much of the cheap clothing industry:


Song of the Shirt - a poem by Thomas Hood


With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work work work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's Oh! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

"Work work work
Till the brain begins to swim;
Work work work
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
Oh, Men, with Mothers and Wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!
Stitch stitch stitch,
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
Sewing at once with a double thread,
A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

But why do I talk of Death?
That Phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear its terrible shape,
It seems so like my own
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!

"Work work work!
My Labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread and rags.
That shatter'd roof and this naked floor
A table a broken chair
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

"Work work work!
From weary chime to chime,
Work work work!
As prisoners work for crime!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb'd,
As well as the weary hand.

"Work work work,
In the dull December light,
And work work work,
When the weather is warm and bright
While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling
As if to show me their sunny backs
And twit me with the spring.

Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,
But only time for Grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the Rich!
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:02 AM   #37
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I hadn't read this poem for many years! I vividly remember being struck by it when I came across it as a child in a probably unsuitable anthology someone gave me for my birthday.

One of my friends came up with the concept of Fair Trade, btw, LOL. His wife drew the logo.

It's often the way with politics, that aspirations are greater than we can actually achieve. Failure to get this leads to a lot of disillusionment, while some people toil thanklessly on making sure the sewerage system functions and other things that we don't think about until they're not working properly. Politics is about so much more than people realise.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:21 PM   #38
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Quote:
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I hadn't read this poem for many years! I vividly remember being struck by it when I came across it as a child in a probably unsuitable anthology someone gave me for my birthday.

One of my friends came up with the concept of Fair Trade, btw, LOL. His wife drew the logo.

It's often the way with politics, that aspirations are greater than we can actually achieve. Failure to get this leads to a lot of disillusionment, while some people toil thanklessly on making sure the sewerage system functions and other things that we don't think about until they're not working properly. Politics is about so much more than people realise.
I know far more than most about municipal sewage systems. Sir Joseph Bazelgette is one of my heroes.

I have toured sewage works (and sewers, storm drains) in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Gibraltar and Normandy.

I have my own set of drain rods and used to be a skilled user. Even if I now get someone else to do the work I can usually tell straightaway whether they are competent or not (and many aren't).

So far in 2013 I have raised the issues of flooding and sewerage three times with my local council. That's more times than any other subject except coast protection and youth football...
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #39
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Is it time to protect the coast from the flood of sewerage from young footballers?

"Zealously stand guard against the rising tide of cliches that looms ominously, ever threatening to engulf your work in a sea of banality." (EWH)


But, actually, Og, I like the piece. How about doing it full scale?
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:35 PM   #40
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Is it time to protect the coast from the flood of sewerage from young footballers?

"Zealously stand guard against the rising tide of cliches that looms ominously, ever threatening to engulf your work in a sea of banality." (EWH)
A developer wants to build an out-of-town superstore and a 1,000 or so houses and has raised support by promising extensive sports facilities including youth football.

But the sports facilities are on land that currently floods, made worse when the sea outfall is blocked by a high tide. The local sewers are overloaded, sometimes spilling onto properties downstream from the proposed sports field. Where will the sewage from the new properties go?

Of course the developer claims that the flood/sewage difficulties will be solved. But some see the sports facilities as a bribe to get support for the planning application.

Fair Trade? or All's Fair in Love and Money-Making?
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #41
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A developer wants to build an out-of-town superstore and a 1,000 or so houses and has raised support by promising extensive sports facilities including youth football.

But the sports facilities are on land that currently floods, made worse when the sea outfall is blocked by a high tide. The local sewers are overloaded, sometimes spilling onto properties downstream from the proposed sports field. Where will the sewage from the new properties go?

Of course the developer claims that the flood/sewage difficulties will be solved. But some see the sports facilities as a bribe to get support for the planning application.

Fair Trade? or All's Fair in Love and Money-Making?

Oh Dear, Have your town council take a look across the pond. Providing sports facilities has long been a bribe (sorry, inducement) to towns in the U.S. and Canada. The end price to the town is generally much higher than the cost of the facility.
Caveat emptor, Og.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:06 PM   #42
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Oh Dear, Have your town council take a look across the pond. Providing sports facilities has long been a bribe (sorry, inducement) to towns in the U.S. and Canada. The end price to the town is generally much higher than the cost of the facility.
Caveat emptor, Og.
I do. But many of my local citizens can't see the stick because they're focussing on the carrot. I'm unpopular - again.

Past developers around my town have been good on promises but the delivery never seems to meet the promise.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:26 PM   #43
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I do. But many of my local citizens can't see the stick because they're focussing on the carrot. I'm unpopular - again.

Past developers around my town have been good on promises but the delivery never seems to meet the promise.
The adage to not "look a gift horse in the mouth" all too often has its effect in these cases. Any agreement should specify the standards for constructing/installing the facility and a proper assessment of future maintenance costs. We've often found that the gift horse needed both emergency and long-term medical care.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:40 PM   #44
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The adage to not "look a gift horse in the mouth" all too often has its effect in these cases. Any agreement should specify the standards for constructing/installing the facility and a proper assessment of future maintenance costs. We've often found that the gift horse needed both emergency and long-term medical care.
To be fair, the current proposals include on-going sponsorship to include maintenance and running costs. These developers are offering a more reasonable package. They have designed and want to build a better class of house than most recent developments. A green corridor through the built environment would be a useful selling point.

Other developers planning even more small houses a few hundred yards away who would provide no more green space or play areas than they are legally obliged to include.

But I'm still suspicious of the historic gap between promises made and actual delivery at the end of the projects.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:03 PM   #45
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Next Exhibition entered today.

The new exhibition is titled "Adventures in Time".

I have produced another piece. This was much easier to do.

I took a clip-sealed preserving jar, the sort used for bottling fruit, and filled it with items that remind me of my childhood and youth. I called it "Preserved Pastimes", and on an attached tie-on label I invited the visitors to count the number of pastimes included, and asked what they would put in their own jar.

I have included:

Pieces of Meccano
Pieces of Bayko
A Viewmaster reel envelope
A miniature book - Shalespeare's Venus and Adonis.
A Library bookmark.
A Dice
A cotton reel and needle
A Dinky Toy of a Corporation Dustcart
A Hornby Dublo tinplate Guard's Van
Various pre-1971 coins
A cap-firing Colt Peacemaker key ring
A Pencil
An Eraser
A Triang Minic Ships model of HMS Vanguard
A pack of cards for a Biggles card game
and a few other small items.

As it is picked up and handled, the pieces will rearrange themselves, hiding some and revealing others.

The organisers' response was good. They liked it and started playing with it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #46
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The best effort art can have is making people think. And to think people need to start wondering first.
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