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Jun
26

Consumer_sm: a Response to IPOP at the Walker Art Center

By olliewollerman
Consumer_sm by Ollie Wollerman

Consumer_sm by Ollie Wollerman

Upon seeing International Pop for the first time, I was immediately blown away with the amount of color in the exhibition. From this initial observation of the show, I was inspired to incorporate the same kind of flat, graphic colors into an art piece. Throughout the show, many pieces integrated similar aspects of consumerism and capitalism. One of the overarching themes in the show was the idea of production and consumption, and this idea pushed me to tie in the corporate logos into the art piece. Many of the pieces in particular that inspired me had ideas like these, for example many of the pieces had aspects of storefronts,  corporate logos and packaging.

Foodscape, by Erro

Foodscape, by Erro

While creating this piece, I was particularly inspired by Erro’s 1964 painting, Foodscape. The vast amount of consumer brands and corporate logos really illustrates ideas about consumer culture, especially about how much logos and brands can influence our livesandsociety as a whole. Shortly after viewing Foodscape, I was able to recognize many of the brands used in the painting, which really brought my attention the extent that corporate logos are visible in society; I wanted to address this idea in my art piece. I tried to use logos that people see all the time, but perhaps might take for granted, because of how frequently branding is shown in society. By using common logos and putting them into art, I wanted to be able to show this aspect of consumerism.

 Insertions into Ideological Circuts: Coca Cola Project by Cildo Meireles

Insertions into Ideological Circuts: Coca Cola Project by Cildo Meireles

I wanted to alter and warp some of the branding and logos that I used in my art piece, in order to show how the logos can often represent more than just branding for a product. I chose to change the colors to illustrate that brands can look different, but can ultimately represent the same consumeristic ideas. In this sense, I think that by changing the colors of the logos, it can incorporate many political ideas, which was an important theme throughout International Pop. One piece in particular that uses these themes in a similar way was Insertions into Ideological Circuts: Coca Cola Project by Cildo Meireles. By using a commercial object like the Coke bottles as a vehicle to deliver political messages, I think it can really bridge a connection between political and consumer ideas in society. This is something that I aimed to include in my art; I wanted to be able to use corporate logos in a way that would give off a political message. However, I think that Cildo Meireles’s Coke bottles are a lot more direct and straightforward about political ideas, whereas I wanted to evoke some kind of thought to the viewer about consumerism and politics.

Throughout International Pop, I think that many of the themes addressed in the show are highlighted through its visual aspects of the show. The bright colors and consumer packaging and logos are able to draw the viewer in. However, I think that the colorful imagery works in an interesting way to emphasize and highlight the political and societal issues from the time period the exhibition focuses on, many of which are still very relevant today.

Jun
24

CALLING YOUNG ARTISTS AND THINKERS

By Mike Massey

Hey YOU! Do you or anybody you know want to get involved with Teen Programs at the Walker? Apply to WACTAC and Youth Collective by June 30 (that’s next week!) and be invited to an activity day in July. Apply online here >>> http://wac.mn/1HIYyaA Do it! This video was shot and directed by Satya Varghese Mac, a graduating council member. Thanks to Lucy, Sarah and Justin for standing in all those places and all of that wavin’. Get with it!

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Jun
14

Museum Mixtape #6

By ingridtoppjohnson

Museum Mixtape is back! For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, museum mixtape pairs a piece/collection of artwork at the Walker Art Center with a song. The collection featured this time is INTERNATIONAL POP, an exhibition that looks at Pop Art as a global movement rather than a strictly American one. It encompasses a staggering diversity of technique and perspective. From Brazil to Japan to Germany, artists react to modernization, westernization, political unrest and the growing importance of mass media. These songs are meant to refract back the themes of this exhibit.   First song up is Eu Te Amo, Te […]

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Jun
5

How Can Museums and Artists Help Advocate for Social Change?

By Yonci Jameson

Members of the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) often discuss the role of artists and museums in social and racial justice—and these conversations have taken on new significance in light of recent demonstrations across the country calling for police reform and racial equity. To further these discussions and bring them online, we invited Yonci Jameson, a Twin Cities teen artist, queer black woman, and social justice activist, to share her recommendations for both artists and arts institutions interested social change. Growing up, art museums used to bore me. There was never anything captivating about artists I’d never heard […]

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May
7

Illuminate!

By sarahmaudegriffin

  On Saturday, February 28th WACTAC hosted and participated in Illuminate! a Twin Cities Youth Media Network (TCYMN) event. During the event there were representatives from various colleges in Cargill Lounge, stop motion videos being made in the art lab with local artist John Akre, and then a showcase of films made by youth from all over the metro area. During the showcase films ranged from music videos, LGBTQ+ rights, self love to even talking wolves. WACTAC during the showcase, Photo by Walker Art Center Two WACTAC members, Satya Varghese Mac and myself, were able to show original pieces during […]

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Apr
29

WACTAC Makes a Zine

By olliewollerman

  Front Cover of Awkwardness is a Feeling For the past few weeks, WACTAC has been working on a zine, for those who don’t know, a zine is an abbreviation for magazine or “fanzine”, a self published magazine that is made to be sent around and shared. We will be sending off the zine to other teen councils at different museums around the country and overseas. This project will spread the word about what is going on at the Walker, and possibly spur further interaction with other teen councils. Zines have been around for a while, and over time, have […]

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Apr
23

Teenage Coup

By Mike Massey

I am a WACTAC alumni (Class of 2004) and have been hanging out with the council lately, sitting in on their meetings and helping out a bit with this blog. I tagged along last week as WACTAC had the opportunity to tour the International Pop show with co-curator Bartholomew Ryan. The lauded exhibition displays a body of Pop art of the 1950’s through the 1970’s, with strong representations of artists and movements from Japan, Brazil and Germany, and some notable American works in the mix (Warhol and Lichtenstein, deified beacons of Pop, do secure a head count). While Pop art […]

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Apr
16

Art or Fart?

By awamally

During Art Basel miami beach, Andre 3000 and SCAD put together an exhibit at mana Miami. Titled “I Feel Ya: SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and Andre 3000 Benjamin” presented by SCAD Art Museum. A collection featuring Andres 47 jumpsuits which he wore throughout the Outcasts 20th reunion tour. The exhibit was accompanied by “Trumpets,” created by filmmaker Greg Brunkalla and painter Jimmy O’Neal. The purpose of ‘I Feel Ya’ is to get people thinking about random phrases, while building a connection between art, fashion, and film. The jumpsuits are a direct way for Andre to share his […]

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Apr
9

The Responsibility of Artists: An Interpretive Analysis of Coco Fusco

By justinandrews

Famed linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky once wrote that it was the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies, especially in the context of the lies perpetuated by the dominant politico-economic power structure.  One could argue that a similar responsibility exists for artists:  In their works, artists must not only create art that is set against the backdrop of the current era, but must create art that actively critiques and challenges the status quo.  Artists must ruthlessly expose all that is rotten in society and call upon people to demand a better state of affairs. Not […]

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Mar
23

Flux With Us

By Mischa Kegan

WACTAC had the privilege to meet with one of the founding members of the Fluxus movement, Ben Patterson to talk about his life and work as an artist/musician. WACTAC interviewed him in the on going series Top 5 to talk about his favorite noises. WACTAC also performed Ben Patterson’s piece entitled Pond (1962) in the gallery.

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Mar
19

Dispatch: National YoungArts Week

By Mike Massey

From Teen Programs Affiliate Michael Hansen: It’s 6:42 AM. I’m walking around the MPLS – STP airport with a bottle of overpriced iced tea in my right hand. I feel numb. I’m wearing an orange t-shirt with the words “YOUNGARTS” scrawled across the front in some abnormal font.  I’ve been awake for a good three hours with nothing but a ration of granola in my system. I arrive at my gate and immediately spot a girl wearing a shirt identical to mine. She looks at me and smiles. She tells me that her name is Nicole, she’s from California, and […]

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Feb
25

WACTAC Meeting 2/12/15

By Calvin Hafermann

This past week, we once again met with artists Chrys Carroll and Nicole Smith known together as Dig In, who we have been working and meeting with for the past couple of months.  At this particular meeting, we glazed clay bowls we had created, based off of the begging bowls used by Buddhist monks.  For Buddhist monks, these bowls are receptacles for community donations of food that provides the monks daily sustenance.  For us, the bowls were meant more to represent how we will take care of ourselves and do what makes us happy, what Chrys and Nicole referred to […]

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Feb
19

Ava DuVernay’s Selma

By sarahmaudegriffin

“We’re going to have awful seats.” My friend and I paced down the hallway of the Southdale AMC Theater, arriving on the dot to see the 8:10 showing of Selma. We reached our theater and were surprised, and, in my case, disappointed, to see that the theater was sparsely filled. It was opening night. To be fair, this was due largely to circumstance: it was a holiday weekend, the roads were awful, and there were multiple other movies opening that same night. Though the audience was less than I had expected that night, the movie was not. Ava DuVernay, the primary […]

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Dec
16

Students Hold Court

By lucycomer

On November 22nd, a gathering of approximately twenty-five people of high school and college age came together and had a conversation about an exhibition at the Walker right now; Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art. Our conversation was held at one of the pieces in the exhibition, the first one you see as you walk up to it, a long old table with eighteen chairs made of plastic and metal. They came from a former public elementary school in Chicago’s South Side, and now are setup in the exhibition as a classroom type setting in the gallery. The piece is called  See, Sit, Sup, Sip, Sing: Holding […]

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Nov
17

WACTAC to CAMHTAC

By janejackson

I’m not expecting palm trees. Not in Houston. In my mind, palm trees only exist in California, TV celebrity soaps, and Microsoft Clip Art. But there they stand, those disturbing trees, looming over my family’s rental car, 2:00am in the morning at the wrong hotel. And suddenly I know that palm trees will be to me what water is to cats; that unexplainable force that freaks and creeps me out beyond reason. It relieves me to see no palm trees stand anywhere near the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (CAMH). There are trees, though. Trees with branches decorated by pictures of […]

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Oct
30

The Problem with Halloween

By Mason Santos

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, Halloween is tomorrow, and for some of us (myself included) this means a quick stop to the store to create a last-minute costume for the holiday. However, as you get your costume together, keep in mind that there is a line between okay and downright offensive. Yep, I’m talking about cultural appropriation, stereotypes, and racism. Cultural appropriation is the act of taking a culture (that isn’t your own) and fixing it/changing it so it fits your life. Everyday Feminism has a fantastic article discussing it, as well as introducing the […]

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Oct
30

Music and Visual Aesthetics

By Calvin Hafermann

The accessibility of the internet has done many things to the music industry.  Obviously, it has enabled piracy of music, and it has enabled constant streaming via sites like Spotify or Pandora.  It has also given artists both big and small, nearly unlimited freedom; anyone can publish anything and it can be shaped exactly to the creators will.  I’ve noticed a few artists over the years taking advantage of this and crafting projects that are more than just music.  The artists design the visual aesthetic or merchandise for the band or create characters and worlds that transcend the music.  Here […]

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Oct
15

Museum Mixtape #5

By ingridtoppjohnson

  Museum Mixtape is back with a vengeance! For those of you who are unfamiliar, Museum Mixtape pairs a piece of art in the Walker’s collection, or one being exhibited there, with a piece of complementary music. In this edition, the art in question is the Cowles Conservatory located in the Walker’s Sculpture Garden. Since the conservatory is larger than much of the art surveyed in Museum Mixtape, it will be paired with three songs rather than one. The conservatory is a place for contemplation and escape. In the summer, the glass walls, imaginative plantings, and the giant fish sculpture […]

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Jun
20

A Visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

By Pablo Helm Hernandez

  While on vacation in L.A. with my family, My family and I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known as LACMA. It was very cool to explore a different museum with a large quantity of modern art besides the Walker. The Walker I know inside and out, but the LACMA was like exploring the Walker for the first time all over again. We found a parking spot across the street from the museum in front of a sketchy, gated apartment community that looked more like they were trying to keep the residents in rather than […]

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Jun
13

Reflecting on Make a Stranger Laugh

By Calvin Hafermann

Those of you that went to Double Take back in April certainly heard about Make A Stranger Laugh.  Maybe one of your friends participated, maybe you yourself did.  While I would definitely consider the activity a success, it kind of took on a life of its own and turned into something new that we weren’t exactly expecting. First, a little background: Make A Sranger Laugh originally started as part of our collaboration with artist Jim Hodges.  A big aspect of Jim’s work is the use of simple yet beautiful gestures that communicate very human concepts or emotions.  We wanted to […]

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Jun
3

GIVE US YOUR LAUGH

By lexiherman

Give Us Your Laugh was derived from Jim Hodges’s Give More Than You Take. We had an ongoing conversation with Jim that evolved into an exploration of universality through laughter. At our spring event, Double Take, we explored our concept both through Give Us Your Laugh and Make A Stranger Laugh. Both are exchanges between people in laughter that create a commonality. We attempted to embody Jim’s simplistic gestures with our thought provoking prompt “Give Us Your Laugh”. The materials were inspired by Jim’s A Diary of Flowers. The flowers were presented on random paper napkins using different colored inks. […]

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May
29

Separating Art from the Artist

By markarginteanu

I hold a great love for Roman Polanski’s Chinatown. It both solidifies and deconstructs and aesthetic I have long been fascinated with, film noir and the detective story. I first saw it almost four years ago when I was 14. I was mesmerized from start to finish as it was clear that the filmmaker had an absolute mastery of story and image. Another of my favorite films is Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Like Chinatown, it is at times deceptively gentle with its presentations of image, not directly telling the viewer what to think or feel, but simply letting the events play out […]

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