When looking at John Gerrard’s artwork, a phrase comes to mind that he stated in an interview at the Hirshhorn Museum, “the darkest dark.” The artist searches for the mood of darkest dark but it also adds existentialism. This can be seen in Gerrard’s Live Fire Exercise (Djibouti) 2011 (see figure 1). In this piece, artistic and existential elements are layered on a desolate gray stage. On the back of the stage stands a lonely 9 by 7 meter wall. Upon the wall is a digitized 3D rear projection playing a scene of an American military live fire exercise on a barren Djibouti field. Mingled in the war scene are pops of life-like digital military vehicles followed by a vigorously burning fireball. As the rampageous explosion envelopes the scene, a choreographed ballet appears before the projection. The Royal Ballet dancers violently twirl as limbs are blown off evoking imagery of Albert Camus The Plague where pirouetting rats crumble to their death. The final layer of the piece is Tippet 's Fantasia Concertante on Theme of Corelli music. The dancers fight against the melody creating an intense feeling of piercing empathy as the heroic dancers try to survive the war (Mackrell). The Live Fire Exercise expresses a poetic version of the dark existential terrors of war.
Eddo Stern’s Darkgame also explores existentialism and violence (see figure 2). Throughout his work, Stern examines violenc...
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...ociety, like male video gamers, become so unheard that they have to threaten real violence to be acknowledged. There are other problems. Take for example, a recent article in Huffington Post, which talks about the unrealistic body-sizes of Disney characters (Kothari). There is also a popular image trending on the wed show here from Buzz Feed Entertainment (http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2013-10/enhanced/webdr03/8/12/anigif_enhanced-buzz-17382-1381250526-31.gif) that shows 3 separate women characters in Disney films that all have the same face (Broderick). Women are not only punching bags but are identical. These are real problems that should be discussed in art, the one place allowed for open debate. Yet these and many other artists just want to talk about the violence in war. As a woman artist, these are issue I wish to explore further and discuss in my own art.
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