Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tweaked Art

So I have always taken an interest in art that, due to a new method of display or a changed context around it, has a new implication/affect.  Nothing I've seen lately better exemplifies this state as much as the permanent artwork "I Dreamed I Could Fly" by Jonathan Borofsky in the MFA.  (Please click on the link to see the original artwork.) 

Currently in the Galleria, the wing this piece has hung in since 2001, there is major construction occurring.  Due to this, they have covered Borofsky's sculpture as a way to protect it, like so.

Now, Borofsky's intentions were to have the figures positioned in such a way that they were above the viewer.  On the MFA's website they have his intentions in his own words; "these figures 'are able to rise up and look down upon the whole planet … They … see and feel that human beings are all connected together and that we are all one-no divisions and no walls.'"

 Let's not just talk about disassociation here, let's really just get at how creepy these sculptures are now that they've been bagged and tagged during construction.  No feelings of unity come to me when viewing this...

But that's what I love about this kind of repurposed influence.  These sculptures currently raise feelings of distance, separation, maybe even death, confinement and lack of independence.  I'd go so far as to say it looks like it's raining zombies in trash bags.  Completely not the artist's goal.  I love these situations of tweaked art, particularly in that it reminds me how there is no guarantee a viewer will interpret a work according to the artist's intentions.
 I'm sure the bagging of Borofsky's work won't last long, but while it lasts, boy is this a moment of severely imposed dadaism on fine art.

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