Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The What If? Metropolis: Online Greenlight Review

Bellmer - OGR

1 comment:

  1. OGR 05/11/2015

    Hi Robin,

    I'm going to be very honest and say that I'm a bit worried about the way in which this project is developing. There is a BIG contradiction in your work, Robin; in so many ways, your research is faultless; you read around your subject, you gather in contextual references and you join the dots in fascinating ways. You know a lot about Bellmer now and his socio-cultural context. However, when I look at your resulting thumbnails - i.e. the way in which all this research is informing your work - all I see is the same idea being repeated in drawing after drawing; it's hard to discern real differences between these jolly-looking blobs - and it's really hard to discern Bellmer's influence in these thumbnails.

    Let's just get it said: Bellmer's work is disturbing, fetishistic, unpleasant, misogynist, and dark; it's an insight into an artist's most private place. I can't help feeling as if you're literally avoiding what is obvious and necessary about your artist; as if you're rejecting the one element of Bellmer's work that is truly fascinating; it's psychosexual horror - it's body horror. Bellmer's city cannot be the one you're describing in your travelogue, can it? Why would a man with such a skewed view of intimacy and flesh envision a city as broadly rational as the one your describe? I think you need to stop drawing blobs and start actually designing something - this isn't the set of the Teletubbies, these aren't benign curves and cartoony elements - this is Bellmer Land - and I think your approach needs to grow up and deal with what is staring you in the face; forget the Nazis, Robin - forget the film posters - deal with Bellmer and his aestheticisation of corrupted flesh! I suggest you look at a few other artists to help you lock down on the ways in which human anatomy might be used to inspire architectural forms - and let's begin with Giger:

    Louise Bourgeois

    and look at this term too (but don't get bogged down!):

    In common with the speed with which you draw in your life-drawing classes, I cannot help observe that you're not giving yourself sufficient time and space to reflect on the success or otherwise of your actual output - at times you're literally churning things out without actually making too much conceptual progress.

    So - in summary, I want you to deal with what is adult about Bellmer's work. I also want you to stop drawing child-like blobs - the point about the elements in Bellmer's work is that they are unmistakably 'of the body' and 'about sex' and 'about the anxiety about sex' - in this respect, his vocabulary of shapes are absolutely readable as components. You are currently in a loop, and you need too break it and actually DESIGN something. I want to see a more adult, less childlike approach from you, Robin - your What If artist demands it.

    In truth, I'm concerned at the gap between the apparent sophistication of your research and the lack of sophistication in your own creative work. You need to demonstrate you can close this gap or it might be that we start to have conversations about recommending you perhaps consider a more research-based course, where your obvious love of history and appetite for research might be allowed to become the true focus of your higher education. It does seem as if this is where your heart and mind truly is?