Comments on: Monuments http://abstractcritical.com/article/monuments/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Ben Kaufmann http://abstractcritical.com/article/monuments/#comment-6175 Sat, 14 Jan 2012 15:42:32 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2676#comment-6175 Another attempt to purify the symbolism of Qatari monuments comes from Renzo Piano in the form of his recent statements in relation to his Shard (itself 80% owned by Qatar). In place of arrogance, power or economic divide he suggests the building to be a monument to life, poetry, surprise, joy and future planning.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/dec/30/summits-shard-could-host-world-leaders?INTCMP=SRCH.

Of the two approaches at least Serra’s gives the spectator the power to define their own response – from which, in negotiation with wider context a collective meaning can emerge. Piano on the other hand attempts to guard the building’s symbolism at the level of artistic intent – divorcing it entirely from personal experience or wider collective response – and instead imposing a narrow and dreamy Le Corb style symbolism. Such remove seems at once more limited, more prevalent and more dangerous.

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By: Sam Cornish http://abstractcritical.com/article/monuments/#comment-5213 Wed, 21 Dec 2011 18:36:57 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?p=2676#comment-5213 Last week Richard Serra unveiled a characterically monumental sculpture at the launch of the Doha Museum of Modern Art in Qatar. http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/754394/7-up-richard-serra-unveils-new-sculpture-in-doha. Serra’s comments on the work are interesting: “The content of the work is not the work. The meaning of the work is your experience inside the work. Or when you see if from far away, it has another meaning. But if all those things mean nothing to you, then it’s meaningless.” By focusing on personal experience Serra seems to deny the symbolic, or at least its primacy, for what do all the works that Alison discusses do but aim to appeal in various ways to collective meaning, to something beyond direct individual experience?

But of course despite his seeming disavowal, Serra’s work is symbolic. For the commissioners it represents Art, or more particularly the possession of Art within a series of changing relations of capital and culture between America / Western Europe and the Middle East: ‘a beacon of art for Qatar’, according to the driving force behind the project, Sheikha Mayassa, the daughter of the current Emir. The extent to which Serra’s (could we say pure) ‘experience’ could survive when permeated by this wider project is perhaps limited.

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