New Museum

Discuss 3 pieces that you found interesting, inspiring, confusing, etc. For each piece, respond to the following prompts:

Figure 1: Wanking Arm

Figure 2: Ace in the Hole

Figure 3: Birth Canal

  1. Where you able to decode the meaning of the piece by looking at it? if so, what elements of the piece help you figure out the meaning behind? form? color? composition? materials? others?

One of the pieces that I found intriguing was the piece called ‘Wichser Schicksal’ by Sarah Lucas. This piece was a sculpture that is moving up and down constantly and what was intriguing was the displacement of mirrors around the sculpture and this in my opinion just creates an illusion of endless pursuit, and that wanking is a process that someone could never be bored of. As the sculpture is a movement of someone wanking, it is particularly interesting when the artist excludes the item penis to portray an illusion that it is societal expectations vs. what it could potentially be, as the moving of an arm could mean anything.

Another piece that was intriguing to me was called Ace in the Hole and it is an installation of several women’s lower bodies each sitting on a chair. Personally, this is one of the artworks that were really interesting to me as the identities of these women are hidden. A few of the chairs are placed on a pool table and the open-legged position at which the women are sitting suggests that women back in the century are not treated equally and they’re there as something that is disposable and creates cheap intimacy.

The third piece that I liked was an installation of light, sound, and scent called Birth Canal by Marguerite Humeau. This installation, to me, made me feel particularly uncomfortable, and that might just be due to the use of dimmed lights and the distinct scent emitted in the space. However, the layout and some of the sculptures included did make it seem like authorities from different places coming together and having a meeting. Nothing much could be interpreted in this piece, as I was too uncomfortable and did not stare at it for a long time.

  1. Did your interpretation of the piece aligned with the artist’s statement of the piece?

For the first and second piece it did, but my interpretation is a lot shallower in comparison to hers. For the first piece, Sarah Lucas wanted to represent an infinity process using the mirrors as she thinks that wanking is an action that everyone is compelled to do and it is something that is constantly going on.

For the second piece, the women sitting are supposed to sitting sexually suggestive positions and it is supposed to mirror the face of a playing card. Although all of my interpretations are right, this sculpture’s main point was that Lucas wanted to use furniture, clothing, food and cigarettes, something that is both disposable and desirable to reflect the interplay between sex and death that she is really concerned about.

For the third piece, Humeau wanted this work to be about the origins of humankind and about love, spirituality, and war. To increase the eligibility of this project, she engaged with different authorities like historians, anthropologists, zoologists and more to know more about each project and what they do. She wanted to do historical searches in ways that can reflect on the technological age that we’re living in.

  1. What were your general reaction and emotional response to the piece?

For the first piece, it was quite funny, as never would I have ever thought that an artist would create a wanking arm as a part of her piece. However, after reading the description and knowing what she is really trying to portray, it made the entire installation more interesting.

For the second piece, initially, this art caught my eye due to the different colours and the way it is positioned. When I first saw this piece, I thought it was a slightly playful piece due to the fact that there are a pool table and women sitting on top of the pool table. After examining the women’s position then I only thought that this piece was one of the more meaningful pieces in the museum, as it really portrayed a real-life problem that is still occurring right now.

For the third piece, after entering the room, I just felt scared and intimidated as the scent was overwhelming and the room was dimmed. Therefore, it had a really scary vibe to it. When faced the installation, it had a movie vibe to it, as if they’re having a meeting because there is a light shone on every single sculpture there.

Leave a reply

Skip to toolbar