Category Archives: Discussions

Siri Kaur – Class Visit Sept. 1 2022

Siri Kaur
From series “Crow’s Field”

From Siri Kaur’s website about Crow’s Field:

Siri Kaur (b. Boston, MA,1976) is an artist and photographer who examines identities that occupy dualities, diversity, and contradiction, with a rigorous eye for the photographic quality of magic. She received her MFA from The California Institute of the Arts, and an MA and a BA from Smith College. Kaur’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Blythe Projects, Cohen Gallery, and Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles; at 99¢ Plus, New York; at the Vermont Center for Photography, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Group shows include those at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Aperture Foundation, the Portland Museum of Art, the Camera Club of New York, the Torrance Museum of Art, and the Museum of Photographic Arts, among others.

Kaur’s work has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She was a Professor of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design from 2007-2018. In 2014 Leroy Press published Kaur’s first monograph, This Kind of Face,that documented the world of celebrity impersonators. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Crow’s Field was the name Kaur and her childhood friends gave an unclaimed strip of farmland where she grew up in rural New England. During games this nameless acreage between the forest and the road became a magical no-man‘s-land, transforming into a metaphorical space where the imaginary and the real collide.

Invaded throughout by everyday natural elements that are almost too strange to believe, Kaur creates an otherworldy stream-of-consciousness meditation on memory in photographs- a freshly caught octopus becomes a pagan still life; a girl and her dog morph into a chimera at rest; a sunflower transforms into a baroque abstraction. Upon closer examination, a touch of menace often underlies the most familiar and genteel exteriors. Kaur seizes on the corroding sense of uneasiness that gnaws at her most cherished attachments. It’s not that she can’t go home again; it’s that home was never exactly what she thought it was.

Siri Kaur will be remote-visiting ART 363 on September 01, 2022.

Brian Boyd – On The Origin of Stories

On the Origin of Stories attempts an evolutionary explanation of the appearance of art—and, more specifically, of the utility of fiction. From its title (with its obvious echo of Darwin) to its readings of The Odyssey and Horton Hears a Who!, Boyd’s book argues that the evolution of the brain (itself a development of some significance to the world) has slowly and fitfully managed to produce a species of primate whose members habitually try to entertain and edify one another by making stuff up.” – from ‘The Play’s the Thing: a review of On The Origin of Stories’, Michael Bérubé

[intro from ON THE ORIGIN OF STORIES: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. Brian Boyd. xiv + 540 pp. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.

Chris Bucklow and Philip Guston

Update: Chris Bucklow discussed the reading with Art 261/361 via a Skype chat from Frome, England.

Philip Guston – Source 1976

The Urban Landscape class is going to discuss Chris Bucklow’s writing and thoughts about Philip Guston’s later work, as in Bucklow’s “Eplilogue”, from What is in the Dwat: the universe of Guston’s final decade.

The discussion leaders offer these prompts:

  • What does it mean to deeply internalize the work of another artist/writer/person? How and why does Guston deeply identify with Franz Kafka and Piero della Francesca? Maybe people in the class have experienced this type of intense identification with another. Describe that experience and its impact.
  • Bucklow often references the remoteness and solitude of Guston. How is this linked to our role in society? (As artists, photographers, students/employees/professors, citizens of society)?
  • Bucklow also references Guston’s “tempt[ation] into knowing” (160). His primary focus for his knowing was himself/ self-knowlege. How might this inform his work? How might our self understanding inform our work?

We will also be considering motif and obsession in the work of Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore – Heart of Palm Beach Motel, Palm Beach, Florida
Date 1977

Stephen Shore: Causeway Inn, Tempa, Florida
Date 1977