Saturday, July 2, 2011

(Not) Vancouver Riots


My first blog, which I have since removed, featured the work of lots of artists. This blog, would not focus on the work of artists, I decided. This blog is about the business of visual art. But I am providing this reference because of what recently happened in our city.

We had a massive riot downtown after losing the Stanley Cup hockey championships. The thing that went around the world as its iconic image, was a photograph of a couple kissing on the ground while all around them was chaos. The image was viral on web news sites. A kiss and a photograph of it (in the context of a raging riot) mesmerized people.

In London recently, Artist James Caulty re-imagines big events on a smale scale in his new series "Riots In Jam Jars." Caulty describes the purpose of the series as "[appropriating] the mediated and sensational language of our news and communication networks" that are adept at "focusing in on and amping up situations for instant consumption..." He continues, "these tiny acts of violence serve as snapshots of a greater and vastly more complex reality." Link.

When your art and news meet, things can go crazy for an artist—sometimes the link can be serendipitous; sometimes it is engineered.

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