Sunday, 4 December 2011

Equivalent VIII (1966)

"Equivalent VIII (1966) annoyed lots of people when shown at the Tate gallery, London, in 1976. It is a typical postmodernist object." -Postmodernism:a very short introduction by Christopher Butler
Equivalent VIII is a minamalist peice of artwork by Carl Andre. It is a rectangular pile of bricks displayed on the floor. It's intention is to make the veiwer ask questions like "Is this art?", "What is art?", "Why is this displayed in a museum?"and/or "Could this ever be perceived as beautiful?". The reason why people get annoyed by this peice of artwork is that although in the time of Modernism, these kind of questions that art made them ask themselves were new, never before asked questions. However this peice was produced after modernism, in the postmodern era. Veiws on what art is and isnt became less ridged in the postmodern era and people accepted that art is whatever the institution/art gallery says art is, weither its a pile of bricks or the mona lisa. People are no longer impressed by an everyday object/readymade that has been given worth by the institution because the era of modernism already bombarded them with works of art that made them question what art really is. This makes the veiwer question weither this art is really post modern or actualy modernist work. This confusion is increased by the ambiguity surounding the definition of it as it is seen as a historical period, begining bettween the two world wars that nobody is quite sure has ended or not. But postmodernism is also seen as a desire for the future to redeem the present. Looking at these definitions it is hard to see how art can reflect these, as depicting the future is impossible as the future is something that has yet to occur. It also brings to question weither postmodernity is really an asthetic style or just a desire. So can desire be reflected by a pile of bricks?