How Should I Display and Describe my Sculpture?
January 24, 2010 3:21 PM   Subscribe

I've made it to the final round in my school's art competition and I'm looking for advice on how to display my sculpture, how to describe it, and any other advice.

I'm almost entirely inexperienced artistically, as it's just a hobby I've been playing around with for the last couple of years, so I'm hoping people with more expertise can give me some advice.

1) Next Saturday is the finals, and I need to tell them by Monday night how I want the piece to be displayed. Picture here and video here. My inclination is to have it on a black background, like a piece of black cloth, with a bright light pointed at it, as it would be nice to get some of the sparkle that happens when it is out in the sun. Alternatively, maybe an all white background would work too. I can also mount it in some way, but I was just planning to set it down on a table or desk or whatever the set up is. Any advice on this?

2) I also can submit a 30 word statement to accompany the sculture. I already did a longer write-up for the website, and I'm trying to decide what direction I want to go with in only 30 words. Here are my two attempts so far, taking slightly different directions, and I would love to hear if you think either of these work or if I should try something else.

a)"For the Love of God" by Damien Hirst is a platinum cast human skull covered in diamonds valued at $100,000,000. My response furthers a conversation that Hirst began.

b) high art vs. low art, fine art vs. folk art, the democratization of art, the role of money in art, the value of animal life and human life

3) The final round will be in front of a large crowd with audience support being one of the judging criteria, so I have to keep that in mind. Any additional thoughts or suggestions in how to do well in this competition would be appreciated.

Finally, I wanted to thank AskMetafilter for the great help with my previous question when I first started working on this piece.
posted by andoatnp to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
This piece looks great.

Well... speaking as a former New York art dealer, my impulse is to NEVER have accompanying text. (I can, however, understand reasons for it in a competition or an academic environment.) Since this IS a competition, I guess maybe I'd err on the side of including it? Your statement on the website actually hits the high point pretty well. To adapt it, yes, you're on the right track. What if you just let people draw their own conclusion a bit more, with just a bit of leading them? (Given that your materials will probably also be listed; that's their other way in to your critique.) Something like:

Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God" is a platinum-cast, diamond-covered human skull; it was listed for sale in 2007 at a whopping £50,000,000.

As far as the display? Hmm, yes, it's most likely worth ripping on Hirst a bit more and going super-stagey, with it nestled on black cloth and with a ton of halogen light making the piece blinding. And it's fine to have it just sitting there, though if part of it were shimmed up and somewhat elevated by something unobtrusive it might get a little bit of menace to it.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 3:44 PM on January 24, 2010


Not a huge fan of the first description, it seems like you're saying your vision is merely a derivative of someone else's work. I like the essence of the second one, but I think you need to string it together and not just have independent phrases.
posted by kylej at 3:46 PM on January 24, 2010


One more question that occurred to me:

Is it tacky or a breach of etiquette to be offering the piece for sale during an art competition, or is that perfectly acceptable?
posted by andoatnp at 4:24 PM on January 24, 2010


Seconding kylej.

However, if you go with something like the first description, begin with Damien Hirst's name. the first question people will have when seeing the title of your piece is "Who is Damien Hirst" - your description can at least answer it. Maybe add a word or two to make it crystal clear that Damien Hirst is _not_ you (unless you're sure your name will appear larger than, and before, the description in the display).
posted by amtho at 5:31 PM on January 24, 2010


Maybe your accompanying text should be a price tag.
"£50,000,000 + 1"
posted by captaincrouton at 7:12 PM on January 24, 2010


"a)"For the Love of God" by Damien Hirst is a platinum cast human skull covered in diamonds valued at $100,000,000. My response furthers a conversation that Hirst began."

how? in your statement you say this is "critique and celebration of the original sculpture" i get celebration, but in what way is it a critique? is your use of cheap materials meant to imply that an animals life is worth less than a persons? is your use of an actual skull rather than a casting meant to be an indictment of his materialism? are you intentionally or accidentally referencing his earlier work with animal carcasses? does the piece have meaning or context without the juxtoposition of hirst? or is that your thesis?

what i'm saying is: Why did you make it? what does it mean to you? you'r statement dances around these questions without answering any of them. untill you do all i see is an imitation of hirst.
posted by swbarrett at 7:24 PM on January 24, 2010


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