Reversing the intended function. In art Subversion can be looked upon as disrupting the functional ability, rendering any product or artwork useless. It looks at how an object can be used in a different way from its original function.
Key words: Absurd, Destabilise, Unsettle, Disrupt
The act of giving human like qualities to god, animals or objects.
"Why is anthropomorphism so beloved in art and literature and so hated in science? What can we learn from the exceptions to those rules? As we become more distant from animals, do we sentimentalize them more? What does it mean to acknowledge our uniqueness as a species, and conversely, to acknowledge ourselves as animals? Why is it threatening or uncanny to recognize traits we think of as human in other species?"
Vanitas paintings generally include multiple symbols, generally consisting of skulls, hourglasses, candles, dying flowers and weapons. In this artwork many of these symbols are seen for example; the skull, which is the focal point of the work, is the universal symbol of death. The chronometer (the timepiece that resembles a pocket watch) and the gold oil lamp, which has just been extinguished, mark the length and passing of life. The shell, which is a highly polished specimen usually found in south east Asia, is a symbol of wealth, as only a rich collector would own such a rare object from a distant land. Shells are also traditionally used in art as symbols of birth and fertility.
The books represent the range of human knowledge, while the musical instruments suggest the pleasures of the senses. Both are seen as luxuries and indulgences of this life. The purple silk cloth is an example of physical luxury. Silk is the finest of all materials, while purple was the most expensive colour dye.
All these concepts tie in with my artwork as I am synthesising of all these symbols of vanitas paintings in a modernized, non-conventional sculpture. My artwork will show the transience of our existence on earth, aspects of vanitas symbolism will be included in my art, such as the passing of time, which is conveyed through the the flowers in the urn, similar to how when one dies in certain cultures, their body is burned and the ashes are placed in an urn, until they are offered to the water. The flowers also depict the fact that chance is a constant, and once we die, we leave all our material and earthly possessions behind. This shows the continuity of time even after we pass and our ties with earthly possessions.
Measure by Measure 1994-2012
Hiller is an American-born artist, who lives in England. She carefully places the ashesh of her own burned paintings inside test tubes. She displays here paintings in a transformed state, in the form of destruction, however her paintings are still present just in the form of ashes.
Eleanor Antin - Carving a Traditional Sculpture 1972
She photographed herself in the beginning of the month until the end of that month, while being on the diet, to look at the way her body transforms through time, and recording that. This would be considered photographic documentation - the photographs remain the same, and what transforms is the individual within.
Manipulating our Perception!
Collis studied sculpture, gaining a BA(Hons) in 2000 at the Chelsea School of Art, London and a MA from the Royal College of Art in 2002.
Her works feature pieces that at first may seem ordinary and mundane, until the viewer takes a closer when. "The Oyster's Our World" created in 2004, at first seems to be a old, used wooden step ladder, but leaning in closer reveals the paint drips and dust to be very meticulously inlaid coral, mother of pearl, fresh water, cultured peals, white opal and diamond.
What I find beautiful about this work is the fact that she gives value to a mundane object that is under appreciated. Generally as humans we don't value the everyday objects that help us with our daily lives and all of a sudden as they are bejewelled, its importance rises. The entire ladder is infused with pearls and gems, in the shape and form of spattered paint and scratches, indicating daily use. This manipulates our perception entirely.
"Susan Collis uses a variety of techniques and strategies to investigate issues concerning interpretation, craft, value and labour. Everyday objects are presented etched, splattered and stained with marks of work, wear and tear. At first glance, the marks seem to be the accidental results of normal use, and as such seem meaningless and not worthy of examination. Collis is interested in the shift of perception that takes place upon discovery that they are, in fact, careful, intentional acts, and that the materials used are traditionally valued for their financial or decorative properties. A tired stepladder covered with paint drips from years of use has been simulated by the meticulous inlaying of diamonds, pearls, opals and other prized materials."
Joseph Beuys 1985 Lemonlight/Capri battery
Shared Fate - Fragmentation - Physically taking things apart, transforming its physicality. The tool she used to cut the doll was the same tool used by Marie Antoinette.
Marc Quinn is a British sculptor and visual artist and was born on 8th January 1964. Some of his renowned works include a sculpture of “Alison Lapper”, which has been installed at Trafalgar square, “Self” a sculpture of his head made from his own frozen blood, as well as “Garden”.
He uses a variety of materials in his work, consisting of blood, ice and faeces, making his work very unconventional.
What i find beautiful about this particular work is that when its plugged in it exists but the minute it is unplugged, it becomes liquid and the form disappears. This creates an analogy of a sort, of being alive, existence.
"Self" is a frozen sculpture of the artist's head made from 9 litres of his own blood, taken from his body over a period of five months, the first of which was made in 1991. Described by Quinn as a "frozen moment on lifesupport", the work is carefully maintained in a refrigeration unit, reminding the viewer of the fragility of existence. Quinn makes a new version of Self every five years, each of which documents Quinn’s own aging and physical deterioration.
Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim was a german born swiss surrealist artist and photographer. She was born on the 6th of October in 1913, and died 15th November 1985. Her artwork was pivotal in the surrealist movement of the 1920s, along with many other contemporaries, including Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Luis Bunuel and many others. She also appeared in as a model for Man Ray's photographs, most notably, for a series of nude shots.
"Women were largely regarded as the subjects and muses of the men who dominated Surrealism, among them Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, and René Magritte. So, it is notable that painter and sculptor Meret Oppenheim (German-Swiss, 1913–1985) made a place for herself as one of Surrealism’s central artists and produced some of its most powerful works. In 1932, she moved to Paris, the center of the movement, and was soon participating actively in their meetings and exhibitions. By 1936, she had her first solo exhibition. Assuming she, like her artistic peers, must be male, critics and admirers of her work often mistakenly referred to her as “Mr. Oppenheim.”
This artwork depicts the subversion of a tea cup. All of a sudden its intended function is of no use due to the fur.
"It began with a joke over lunch. In 1936, Meret Oppenheim was at a Paris café with Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, who noticed the fur-lined, polished metal bracelet she was wearing and joked that anything could be covered with fur. “Even this cup and saucer,” Oppenheim replied and, carrying the merriment further, called out, “Waiter, a little more fur!”2 Her devilish imagination duly sparked, the artist went to a department store not long after this meal, bought a white teacup, saucer, and spoon, wrapped them in the speckled tan fur of a Chinese gazelle, and titled this ensemble Object. In doing so, she transformed items traditionally associated with decorum and feminine refinement into a confounding Surrealist sculpture."
"While Oppenheim was not the only artist bringing everyday things into unlikely alliance in the 1930s, her fur-covered teacup is considered to be among the quintessential Surrealist objects. It caused a sensation when it was introduced to the public in 1936, first in Paris, at the inaugural exhibition of Surrealist objects organized by Breton, and then in New York, at The Museum of Modern Art’s showFantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism. "
Will Delvoye - Tattooed Pig 1997
Piero Manzoni - Artists Shit 1961
Collectors who won this piece don't open it as it "devalues the artist". The "Artists shit" is branded. Taking faeces and transforming it through packaging.
- Covering something transforms our perception. The substance may be the same, but the way it is presented defines it. Thus, our perception of it changes.
- Presentation, not beautification. Contextualization of the object.
- Transformation from reconstructed abstraction.