I have decided to focus on how climate change effects extinction for my focus. The sculpture of the two penguins represents my focus perfectly as its intital purpose is to raise awareness on the issue of global warming. The painting is also another perfect example as it shows the effects of climate change on animals such as the polar bear seen within in.
Serkan Ozer. ‘Extinction of Caretta Caretta’. 2011, clay, Pera Museum. Behance, https://www.behance.net/gallery/7570893/Extinction-of-Caretta-Caretta.
i could use this image for my topic ‘How to shape the natural world’ as this sculpture focuses on raising awareness for extinction. Its brings to peoples attention what our ways are doing to these animals and if we dont start acting soon, extinction will continue to occur with more species being left to die
Takeshi Kawano, ‘+2℃’. unknown, unknown, Italian communication research center Fabrica. WordPress, https://biodilloversity.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/takeshi-kawano/.
This sculpture is part of a series titled ‘+2℃’ that aim to raise awareness on the issue of global warming and the animals whose existence could be threatened as a result. i could include this in my topic as it shows how the animal world that is disappearing and literally melting away as these 2 penguins melt away together as a result of our impact on climate change.
Linda Mackey. Dinner in the distance. 2010, oil on canvas. unknown. Linda Dawn Lang, http://www.natureartists.com/linda_dawn_lang.asp
I could include this painting in my topic as it shows the effects on climate change on animals with the polar bear looking back at where it once lived, its home litterly melted away due to climate change. It can no longer reach its food as it is to dangerous for it due to water, where ice once was blocks its way.
In ‘How to See the World’ by Nicholas mirzoeff he talks about “the sixth mass extinction of living things, and the ever growing clearance of over one quarter of the world forests”. (mirzoeff, 214,215) “Imagine a world without coral reefs…where big animals like lions, tigers and polar bears can only be seen in zoo’s or carefully controlled outdoor protected areas like game parks.” (mirzoeff, 215) Humans are making a huge impact on animals and the true fact of them facing extinction. Climate change, pollution, deforestation and poaching all add up to the suffering of all kinds of creatures. They are killed for their body parts, their homes are taken away from them, they swallow and get stuck in our mess aswell as our cause to the increasing threat of climate change with rising temperatures and rising sea levels affecting their lives. Mirzoeff states that “On the pacific island of Tonga alone, twenty-six species of birds have been documented as becoming extinct since the arrival of humans some 2,800 years ago.” (mirzoeff, 221) Our ways are driving animals into extinction faster than they can evolve. In the ‘Adapting to Climate Change in Kiribati: The Social Dimension’ resource, there was a local man who lived on Kiribati by the sea with his family and he continually had to stack up a wall to stop the sea from flooding their house due to the rising sea levels from climate change. The islands of Kiribati are atolls, they have circular formed coral reefs that go around a lagoon and as atolls are low-lying, have a high proportion of coastline to land area, they are very defenceless to sea level rises so climate change effects these corals around Kiribati. Fish is the principal food for Kiribati people as there is little land for agriculture. Climate change can result in coastal erosion, increased intense sunlight and sea level rise. Coastal erosion results in sedimentation of coral reefs and amplified amounts of particles suspended in the sea columns, which is unhealthy for corals and fish stocks. Also while watching this video i noticed the large amount of pollution around the island from the growing population living there. This will highly affect endangered species living around the island including fish, birds, clams and corals. These creatures could eat this rubbish or get stuck amongst it causing them to suffer and die. In Sustainable Transportation its tells us how we have used cars to solve our way of making it easier to get around, however this lead to other problems such as pollution, this pollution from cars does not help our birds in the air at all and it is definitely no help to our rare birds at state of being endangered . It also states how more roads will built which to fulfil our needs as more people began to own cars, sadly this also means that our trees would be cut down to provide room for this roads. This effect forced creatures living in the spaces which have now been replaced by roads to move elsewhere; emphasising the idea that our creatures facing extinction will run out of places to live and soon will perish.
Untitled #425. 2004 (179.7 x 228 cm)
This work of Sherman’s is from her clowns series labelled Untitled #425. 2004. At first I see 4 clowns, 3 are up close staring at me in the face like they’re about to attack with large smiles on their faces. They are as if they have been shoved right up in front of you as the clowns society wants you to see. However my eyes were instantly drawn to the fourth clown who is in the background, forgotten and left alone looking frightened. The clowns up close overpower the clown in the background who is sacred unlike the clowns up close look like the clowns to be scared of. Clowns are usually seen as a social outsider and in this image we see that in the clown in the background. The clown is completely separated from all the other clowns having a great time. This photograph to me shows that we as humans feel an endless range of emotions and that they can shift from one to another in a split second and that in the face of tragedy we all react differently. Even though some people move on faster from a tragic event for others it scar’s them for a lifetime. Unlike other photographs in the series the background is quite plain instead of filled with bright colour, which I think may represent the clowns feelings who has been left behind in the background. Everyone loves colour but when something is plain humans get bored easily and they just forget about it like this forgotten clown.
I love the way although Sherman is completely aware of what she wants people to understand from her works. Each photograph is left untitled so that the viewer can come up with their own interpretation behind her work. “Through her skilful masquerade, she has created an astonishing body of work that amuses, titillates, disturbs and shocks.” Quote sourced from the Cindy Sherman lecture at City Gallery.
Cindy had lived in New York for decades; she made her series ‘Clowns’ after the 2001 attack on the World Trade Centre. In context she used clowns to display the inexpressible emotions of everyday New Yorkers following this tragic event .What I found significant about Cindy Sherman’s clown room at the City Gallery was how clowns can express extreme emotions with your typical clowns including happy, sad, and scary. Sherman wanted to give an impression of background that can only be found in your head. In other words she wanted you, the viewer to experience her Clowns through your life and experiences, how they make you feel? What emotions not only they have but what emotions are brought to you. The colours may be bright and happy but we can definitely engage with the dark depths of clowns. Sherman loved the idea of clowns being “psychotically happy”, even when extremely sad. With this idea in mind, it was only right that Sherman decided to mime the creepy entertainers for her Clowns series. “I came to clowns,” she says, “to show the complex emotional abysses of a painted smile.” This expressed how someone can have so much pain inside them yet still show a fake smile on their face. She shows people that Clowns are not just this scary entertainer used for kid’s birthday parties and horror movies from the creepy vibe they give off but also that there is actually a lot more behind them. Therefore she expresses the emotions of these New Yorkers through her clown series with their body language and facial expressions and helps you to understand the pain people went through during this tragic event.
A Moment on the trip to see ‘The Cindy Sherman show’ at the City Gallery that was significant to me was the room full of clowns. Instantly you a filled with a sense of people watching you as you enter the room; surrounded by clowns staring you down. The large scale of these images emphasised this sense of being stared down; they made you feel slightly imitated and overpowered by their sheer scale. This gives off a slightly uncomfortable feel but also gives you the sense of wanting to know more about them. Through this I also felt Excitement entering this room, personally I have no fear of clowns although many do and seeing how Sherman has used people’s fears in her work was unusual. You don’t see clowns often as they are seen as social outsiders being used in many horror movies. People usually stay away from the idea of them. As Sherman says “Clowns have an underlying sense of sadness while they’re trying to cheer people up.” The Clowns represent that the funniest people are the most miserable inside as with a clown they are sad but their makeup is put on them to make them look happy. They have a very deep meaning behind them and seeing them being used made me all the more excited to find out more about them.
In ‘How to See the World’ by Nicholas Mirzoeff, it is a novel analysing the visual culture of our world today. Whilst reading the “Introduction” a key point that sparked my curiosity was how the world has changed so drastically compared to the lifestyle of earlier generations. According to Mirzoeff, the world we live in is changing quicker than it ever has before and this is because of the global network society. Digital technologies such as the internet and social media is now the way people connect with others but it also has become a social requirement to explore our world through sharing information and media like photographs and videos. Mirzoeff states that “every two minutes, Americans alone take more photographs now than what were made in the entire nineteenth century” he also states that “one hundred hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every minute’. The power of the internet today is bigger than we ever could have imagined, we rely so much on others to experience the world for us and we can see all their adventures from the click of a button. Some people now would rather explore the world through their screens rather than going out and seeing it through their own eyes.
Another key point within the introduction from Mirzoeff’s ‘How to See the World’ is the photograph of Earth known as ‘Blue Marble’ becoming the most reproduced photograph ever. How one image can be so powerful, so eye opening that it can cause individuals to change their views, stop their own personal conflict and work towards a better world. This image was put on nearly every front cover of newspapers around the world. People had never seen earth from this perspective and that’s why it was so significant. “In December 2012 an astronaut named Aki Hoside took his own picture from space”. However instead of focusing the attention on earth he created the ultimate ‘selfie’ by turning the camera on himself. Compared to ‘Blue Marble’ where it shows us the planet, Hoside had turned the camera on him copying the common day ‘selfie’ that has become such a popular everyday activity within many human’s lives. Mirzoeff states “It makes space real and imaginable to us in a more direct way than Blue Marble” by simply doing an activity within space that is so commonly recongised within humans lives and earth reflecting off his visor.
Works Cited: Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See Yourself”. How to See the World, Pelican, 2015, pp. 1-27
Connett’s work ‘Dreams and nightmares’ explores his childhood as he has always been one who has vivid dreams. As a child he was afraid to sleep due to his intense dreams. Now as adult, he looks forward to sleep for the same reason, so he can continue to express these vivid dreams through art. We can also see Connett’s version of Dali’s surreal elephant in the background although he did not intend to do this.
Dali has used surrealist elements in this painting ‘The Elephants’ to refer to the balance between the splindly legs of the elephant, and the huge weight that they appear to be carrying, along with the additions of the obelisks. This therfore made a contrast between the difference of weight and structure.