DesignSponge posted an interesting work of art by Doris Salcedo. The comments on this post are rather funny, because there are many people upset over this artwork for varying reasons. One person thinks it’s “a waste of space.” Another one thinks the artist “could have voiced her opinion in a more constructive way.” Someone else responded with, “take the time to read a bit about her haunting work before making further uninformed comments.”
Personally, I think all these people are off base. So here’s my thoughts about this work and their comments (also left as a comment on DesignSponge’s post):
This is a great work of art. In response to the comments left earlier, great art should evoke something in the viewer or coummunicate something. I’m not a fan of artwork that requires you read something to get something out of the art. Great art should be able to communicate on its own.
Now it’s alright for captions or something that enhances your understanding of art, because the end goal is enlightening the viewer. But if the art requires a caption, then IMHO the artwork by itself isn’t as strong.
With this particular artwork, it’s captivating for many reasons (and I didn’t read what the artist said). It’s up the viewer to determine those reasons. And this artwork is really full of potential. For instance, here’s what I see.
1) Chairs are meant to be occupied by humans
To see these chairs so compacted against one another takes away the space normally occupied by humans. And the chairs are fit in between two buildings, occupying the space normally taken up by architecture. Or one could even argue (as in a previous comment) that these chairs are taking up the space of where humans could be. So there’s a reversal of roles here. The chairs which normally hold humans, are now filling a space that humans normally occupy. So within this interpretation, there’s the meanings of occupying a space, and the meaning of volume.
2) Then there’s the interpretation of color
When you mix together yellow and purple pigments, the result is brown. Even though the colors used here are primarily purple, I still get a feeling of brown. Perhaps it’s the context, but there’s something very brown about this.
3) Then there’s the analysis using feelings
This piece makes you feel overwhelmed and afraid.
4) Yet it’s also intellectually intriguing
It can make one wonder how all these chairs are fitting together. How this was accomplished.
See, my point being that this artwork evokes many different ideas and interpretations. It is simply a great work of art.
Here’s some extra bonus interpretations!
5) You can look at this piece as a whole
It seem like that together these chairs form a sort of monster or living creature, like either chairs themselves are alive or there is some sort of life inside this mass of chairs.
The idea that these chairs can form one mass living organism then touches on aspects of community and how all individuals fit together into one society.
One could just take a funny approach in thinking about this piece in that it’s simply a roadblock. It’s like when you are in a room and you don’t want anyone to come in, so you prop up a chair against the door. Well, perhaps someone went overboard and just piled up a bunch of chairs so nobody could get inside their store.
8) Or maybe it’s a painting.. a 3d painting
Or from an art historical interpretation, maybe it’s a homage to Louise Nevelson.
What does this installation mean to you?