Arts, Tourism & Discourse Online Exhibit

This online exhibition has been created for the December 2015 version of Arts, Tourism, and Discourse seminar at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences.

The theme for this display is disorder. According to Oxford Dictionary, disorder can be defined as

  1. A state of confusion.
  2. The breakdown of peaceful and law abiding behavior.
  3. An illness that disrupts normal psychical and mental functions.
  4. The disruption of the normal, systematic, or neat arrangement of ____.

For this project, disorder has been interpreted through five pieces of artwork ranging from various mediums, artists, and time periods. It not only refers to a literal translation of the word, but also to social, political, environmental, historical, economic circumstances.

Richard Lam Kissing Couple

“Kissing Couple” by Richard Lam

“Kissing Couple” is a photograph taken by Vancouver based journalist, Richard Lam. This image went viral in June of 2011 during a major riot in Vancouver’s city centre after the Stanley Cup playoff game. When the outcome of the game did not favour the Vancouver Canucks, the fans’ anger escalated quickly, causing a lot of damage, theft, and harm to one another. This photograph was taken in the heat of the moment and was shared hundreds of thousands of times across the internet and on mainstream media channels.

In this image, the viewer can easily see a man and a woman passionate kissing in the middle of the street. In the background, and in the forefront of this image, are police armed and ready in riot patrol gear. The main focus is placed on the couple with blurred effects allowing the viewer’s mind to imagine the reason why there are armed forces in the vicinity.

With a socio-political context in mind, this photograph documented a current event and also has a contemporary artistic value. When thinking of similar works, Alfred Eyzenshtedt’s “The Kiss“. This iconic photograph is of a sailor and a young nurse kissing in Times Square after the war was announced to be over in 1945. Lam’s version is a contemporary version of this beautiful, timeless piece. To look further into the hermenutics of the image above, a live interview of the couple recalled that the two were pushed down to the ground amidst the chaos. The man kissed his girlfriend in an effort to calm her down in such a stressful, terrifying situation. Four years later, another interview confirmed that this couple are still happily together.

"Untitled" by Melaina Todd

“Untitled” by Melaina Todd

Melaina Todd’s “Untitled” has many contextual layers, and in the image above, the viewer can note this is a photograph of the large scale 3D piece of artwork. This image, along with several others in a series, was on display at the Wilson House Gallery in Kamloops, British Columbia in 2013. The title of Todd’s solo exhibition was “Drawing The Line“. The goal of this exhibition was to contribute to cross-disciplinary movements and ambiguous areas of printmaking.

“Untitled” is a photograph of a woodblock print on a very long white fabric. The printed fabric was photographed in various areas (urban, rural, and wild) around the interior of British Columbia. According to the artist, this piece is meant to sketch spatial and mental boundaries. This work of art is symbolic of property, ownership, safety, temporary occurrences, construction, and progress.

“Untitled” has the ability to provide various perspectives, including social, cultural, environmental, and political. In this particular photograph, environmental justice comes to mind, as in this case the fence could be protecting the surrounding land from development and human nature. The other works from this series addressed a variety of topics, including socio-political issues, such as homelessness.

"Crush Facism" by Unknown

“Crush Facism” by Unknown

The artist who took this photograph is unknown, although this photograph is currently on display at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. It is part of an exhibition based around war and the oppression of the Catalan people during the fascism regime of Franco in the 20th century.

As one can imagine, this piece documents a serious period in Spanish history. The photograph depicts an accurate demonstration of a Catalan female’s foot, with traditional garments. The foot is standing over a swastika which was used as a symbol during and post the second world war by the Nazi regime. The connection between this symbol and the Spanish times is that Adolf Hitler financially aided Franco’s heavy political hand. The Franco era endured from 1939 to 1975 and saw the annulment of democratic liberaties, the prohibition and persecution of parties, the rise of through going censorship, and the banning of leftist institutions. This also lead to the repression of Catalan culture, and even deaths of the Catalan people. The regime ended after Franco’s death.

"Inventory of Dreams" by Andrea Kastner

“Inventory of Dreams” by Andrea Kastner

Created in 2014, Kastner’s “Inventory of Dreams” is made with oil paints and stands to be 60″ by 84″. This artwork has traveled across Canada in an exhibition entitled “The Wasteland“. The exhibition as a whole is gaining attention, and for good reason.

In particular, this stunning painting depicts a vacated premises, along with the combination of architectural configurations and the excess accumulation of stuff. The idea of time and space is discussed along with “the volume and speed of things made, shipped, gathered, and discarded”. “The artist is suggesting that we imagine what it might be like to visit these places and to leave without the satisfaction of ever having a meaningful encounter with the inhabitants, as they are hidden away behind their discarded belongings”.

As Andrea says, “At the heart of my work is the concept that our trash is akin to our unconscious mind. When we throw away our rubbish at the end of the week, we seal it into a black bag in an act of forgetting, wishing to never see it again. The very idea of someone else glimpsing the contents of our garbage seems incredibly intimate or invasive. My paintings are something of an act of acknowledgement toward this largely private and unexplored realm of our possessions. Even the landfills are teeming with our stuff, though we choose to disavow it. These mountains of things are a sort of accidental construction of our times, a shadow city built beside the one we live in. I wish to take a symbolic inventory of these things, to claim them as part of our lives.”

"The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh

“The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh

This famous artwork by post-impressionist Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It was painted in June 1889 and is known as one of the most recognized paintings in the history of Western culture.

The Starry Night” depicts Van Gogh’s view from the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum near Saint-Remy-de-Provence during one his breakdowns. This little known fact took place in the winter of 1888, when Van Gogh checked himself into the institution. Art historians determined that Van Gogh intentionally left out the iron bars from this view. Of his inspiration, Van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother, Theo, “This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.” The morning star referenced in this letter was actually the planet Venus which was in alignment with Earth at this time period.

It has also been said by art historians that creative license was given in regards to the city below, and that from this view that the artist hard, the township of Saint-Remy would not have been visible. The disorder that is discussed in this piece is of course, psychological, and often this type of disorder goes misunderstood even in current times.

Thank you for checking out my virtual display on the topic of disorder. I truly hope that you enjoyed reading it! Feel free to leave comments below.