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E for Eh? Not this again.

Posted by on Tuesday, 4 August, 2009 at 12:56 PM. Filed under: Gallery

Image from here

Image from here

Hello all you lovely people. The Malaysian Art Dictionary continues its noble pursuit of pointless existence and all because we know YOU need entertaining. We give some definitions then you give your own comments or definitions. Ok?

Entertainment: noun, a diversion that helps us forget the harsh, painful, frustrating, boring realities of life can be silly, funny, fun, engaging and profound. Should art be entertaining? Hmmm.. yes right? or simply that it has to be because we are all two second attention span shallow 21st century nihilists?

Environment: noun, the immediate objects, buildings, people, natural stuff, that surrounds us. We are a product of our environment. Nurture versus nature? A friend told me (being someone who is ignorant to these things) that each bit of KL and beyond has their own personal people traits. If you are from Bangsar you are very different to someone from Ampang, Damansara and PJ are poles apart, as is Puchong and Sentul and many more. Anyone care to enlighten on this?

New Malaysian Essays: The 2nd edition is out! Go check out this publication of satirical, insightful, humorous, eclectic essays on Malaysian life, politics and culture,  edited by Amir Muhammad. Not a shameless marketing plug. Its just cool lah.

Exhibition: noun, a gathering of objects and ideas (exhibit A) in a concentrated area whether a gallery, museum, house, school etc to be seen by the general public or a specific audience. Not restricted to Fine Art. Can be done with multiple exhibitors such as a group exhibition or a solo venture open to scrutiny and praise. A spectacle of looking, thought, entertainment, sometimes confusion and anger. Do not be misinformed, its a lot of work to put one together, very stressful but then exhibition openings can be really really entertaining.

Expressionism: noun, German early 20th Century cultural movement that sought to distort reality for emotional affect. Not about physical accuracy but touchy feely goodness. Two painting groups include Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brucke. Then after WW2 Expressionism influenced the Americans and became a really important aspect of their modernist art production  with the figurative expressionism of painters like de Kooning and Alex Katz and then another morphed version of Abstract Expressionism with heavy weights like Pollock. Basically the beginning of all intuitive, emotional, artist in conflict/exploration/celebration of his/her own mind stuff on canvas.

Exquisite Corpse: noun, Surrealist parlour game where, a group of people draw sections of a body on a piece of paper. Each section is then folded over and passed to the next person who is unaware of what has been drawn before. The end result is a monstrous, funny, surreal creation, that somehow reveals the unconscious personality of the group or so says Nicholas Calas. The name comes from the French, “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau.” (“The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.”) something that came out of one crazy night of Surrealist fun.

More words that need your help:

enlightenment, entropy, ephemeral, epistemology, erase, ethnic, examine, existential, eye


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  1. Shao says
    04/08/2009 6:21 PM

    Re: Exquisite Corpse – you’re making me regret not bringing back my book of Surrealist Party Games…

  2. haseena says
    05/08/2009 3:53 PM

    Evil : the art vultures ready to pick flesh from bone and reduce the creation of another to ash for own benefit

  3. EVILER: says
    06/08/2009 11:29 AM

    not picking on creations that are poorly constructed or confusing.

    e.g. ‘evil art vultures’
    – vultures eat flesh from bones but it should be reminded that as a carrion eater, the vulture’s meal is usually already dead, or near death.

    – in following the logic of the metaphore, this would also imply that an artistic creation was already ‘dead or dying’ when ‘art vultures’ found it.

    – while one may feel disgust at such macabre practice, it would be exagerated to cast an image of evil on such scavengers. What about the role of the ‘hunter’, and the variety of ‘natural causes’ that could have bought death to a creation in the first place?

    – aside from the feeding methods of the vulture, the metaphore also suggests that ‘evil’ comes in play when the vulture digests its meat into ‘ash for its own benefit’.

    – the odd idea that food turns into ash instead of nutrition or recyclable organic waste is perhaps a contrite example of poetic licence or an example of self irony since the writer has taken a naturally occuring phenomenon that is beneficial to the entire ecosystem and distorted it into a personal moral statement.

    – associating artistic activities with archaic binaries of good and evil should be done with more caution, especially so when anthropomorhical views are wantonly justified or equated with ‘natural’ elements (see also ‘art as virus’ :P).

  4. EARTH says
    09/08/2009 4:26 PM

    is all there is for us for now. Lets make it beautiful brothers and sisters.

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