"To move the work is to destroy the work." ~ Richard Serra

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Subject-Specific Art & Leonard van Munster

As we begin to work on our project and observe the reactions of people, we find that a different type of art ties closely into the situation and site-specific art. What is categorized as subject-specific art often goes hand-in-hand with the performance pieces that some of these artists create. Just as its name implies, the piece varies based on its subject: the viewer. While site also plays a hand in the reaction generated from the piece, the individual does as well. The site as well as the viewer factor greatly into the reaction a piece creates.

Certain artists attempt to create an interactive experience with their art, which is where the site-specificity comes into play. By placing or performing their art in a specific place, the artist also understands that he/she is presenting it to certain individuals. Leonard van Munster, a Dutch artist, often designs performance pieces or installations, both site- and subject-specific. One of his most well-known installations is a series of interactive toilets in Amsterdam, titled Private room 02, which, with the help of censors and pre-recorded responses, registers what its user is doing and provides its user with suggestions and/or inaccurate facts from Google. It's interesting to see then how van Munster is able to transform an everyday object like a toilet into an interactive installation piece, creating a sense of awareness in those who happen to use one of his talking toilets.

Another more recent installation of van Munster's is "The dancing white man", also located in Amsterdam. The piece is of a man who remains frozen until approached, which then causes him to "come to life" and begin to dance. Once again, the reaction of the viewer creates and transforms the art based on the individual's personal experience.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.