What is art?
Hi, I’m Robin, and I’ll be working with Nao Bustamante along with Jane.
John Muse, the professor who conceived this wonderful “among friends” project, has been treating us lucky “friends” to a chain of emails with links to art blogs, sites, and exhibits. One in particular caught my eye, a piece at the Whitney by Corin Hewitt.
This is no ordinary exhibit. Corin Hewitt is living at the Whitney every weekend until January 4th (I will refrain from making an artist-in-residence joke). He has set up a living- and work-space, complete with a kitchen, bedroom, studio, and even a garden (all “green”). My friend Kelsey, a senior in high school in Brooklyn, interned with Hewitt this summer, and I had just read her review of his piece in my old high school paper when I received John’s email. Kelsey described how Hewitt is documenting his exhibit with photographs, adding new ones as time passes. He has photo of himself taking a photo taped to a trash can, then other photographs of this very photo. The art adds onto itself. The studio becomes the living space, the living space the studio.
Hewitt has an interesting concept, but to be honest, I don’t really want to see his piece. Why would I pay to see a man exist? To see a temporary space that more resembles my messy dorm room than a visually stimulating work of art? What is Hewitt challenging or making us think about?
The “among friends” project is going to make me tackle these questions. The artists coming here deal with art in daily life. I like Nao’s work because she pushes us out of our comfort zone and challenges our pre-conceived notions. She tapes up her Latina body to look like a distorted version of our American beauty queens and climbs the “ladder of success.” She asks men to come up onstage and eat a burrito to absolve themselves of “the white man’s guilt,” then fastens that burrito to her crotch. But Hewitt—what is he doing? I could take photos of myself living and post them up, but who would care? What is art? This is a question I will have to wrestle with in the coming months.