Our trip to the Ackland was a completely new experience for me, and while I most definitely enjoyed it, there were certain pieces that I felt did not deserve to be a part of any exhibit, specifically The Batture Ritual by Jeff Whetstone, and Looking At The Sea by Howard Hodgkin. I believe both pieces are creative in their respective ways, but placing these pieces of art in Ackland feels like a slight against the creative spirit of art. Art, to me, evokes emotion, and these works failed to do so in unique ways.
To start, The Batture Ritual is most definitely an artistic piece of work, but I do not consider it to be a piece of art. I fully accept that I may be uncultured in this regard, but watching a video of a river with things occasionally happening on screen revoked little to no emotion from me, and I was forced to get up and stand before I dozed off. The concept behind this work is a solid one, and video is definitely a great medium for conveying emotion and feeling, but this piece failed to do that, and in doing so failed to reach its desired status of “art piece”.
In Contrast, Looking At The Sea succeeded in drawing emotions out of me, but it failed to bring out anything meaningful. I was mainly agitated, because I personally didn’t consider this to be anything. It looked nearly exactly like the art I made at my RA’s event in Ehaus, and that was most definitely not a piece of art. The lack of structure, as well as the seemingly mediocre method this work was done it made it feel as if someone was pulling a prank on the class by showing us this art. I know my reaction wasn’t unique, as both Robert and Sam found the art to be pointless.
I personally didn’t find them to be art, but I also agree that I may be in the wrong here. Art is incredibly subjective, and this is just my perspective on two of the works we saw at Ackland. I may not agree with them but I do understand that they may hold some value to others, and I can respect that.