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  #1  
Old 01-23-2008, 10:48 AM
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Merlion Merlion is offline
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Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

It is undoubtedly challenging to have a good exhibition using "sculpture to explore Western attitudes towards Islam."

Challenging sculptures on display at gallery

Jan 24, 2008. A LEADING Welsh artist has been showcasing his “powerful and challenging” exhibition since it made its debut at the Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery on January 19.

David Garner’s exhibition, entitled 'Whatever They Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not', uses sculpture to explore Western attitudes towards Islam.

His work tackles issues such as asylum-seeking, racism and Islamophobia – subjects other artists have been accused of shying away from. ...

The display, which is supported by The Arts Council of Wales, will run at the Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery until March 15.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2008, 10:55 AM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

This 2006 sculpture by the artist David Garner has the same name, "Whatever They Say I am, That's What I'm not". Mixed media. 50 cm high.

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  #3  
Old 01-28-2008, 06:05 AM
anne (bxl) anne (bxl) is offline
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

this sculpture doesn't look "challenging" to me but provocative and partial. An uneducated politic position. A magazine cliché. The shortest way to violence.
And btw how this artist(?) would have represent "islam attitudes on western"?
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:28 AM
Tlouis Tlouis is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

The only challenge here is just why this stuff is considered sculpture. As for provocative, it's about as provocative as a cream puff. At least you can eat the cream puff. Just another case of: it's sculpture if I say it is. BORING!
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2008, 01:38 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Are they the emperors new pyjamas
at the bottom of the bird cage?
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2008, 02:46 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Quote:
Originally Posted by underfoot View Post
Are they the emperors new pyjamas
at the bottom of the bird cage?
You win the post of the day award!
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2008, 05:46 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

I think Underfoot is getting the idea. At the bottom of the cage, it is supposed to be the orange uniform of prisoners in the Guantanamo bay camp.

Cannot see what is that box near the top of the cage.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:09 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

This picture from the BBC is another of Garner's exhibits.


Ebbw Vale-born artist David Garner's new installations explore western
attitudes to Islam and the "demonisation" of Muslims. A soldier's helmet
and dried Middle Eastern poppies are used in Poppycock. The exhibition
is at Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery, Aberdare, 19 January-15 March.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2008, 01:28 PM
tonyreynolds tonyreynolds is offline
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

In my opinion the two pieces shown are a bit ho-hum. To be clear and fair these pieces are political statements and a reflection of the artists's perception of what western thought is concerning Islam. It seems to also reflect the current and common media perspective, one that is at best not well filled out. Anne (bxl)'s observation that is not challenging is right on point, the symbolism is...not deep. As to it's provocative-ness, well it got me to write a post but probably won't get many to protest in the street. The poppy-helmet piece, to me is more designer chic than effective imagery. My 3 cents worth (inflation adjusted)
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:41 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

must be a not for profit gallery?
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2008, 01:02 AM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

i hadnt heard of the museum or the artist of fame .. it seems to be a parochial set up, with the throwaway quality of the aaat i am amased that it ever found a review of any kind, poor looking stuff.
i think the box Merlion you were wondering about may be a book. i suspect the author is not enid blyton.
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2008, 01:51 AM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Ok. Let me do some detective work on this matter.

There is a Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery in Wales, UK. This is its homepage. Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery

I've already searched for info about the artist David Garner and his artworks.

The display is, as mentioned in post #1, supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

The words "powerful and challanging" are mentioned in the first link I posted. I cannot say whether these artworks evoke strong emotions as I am not a Muslim. I suppose for some, the Guantanamo camp uniform inside a cage, the poppy plannts taped to a soldier's helmet really do.

In the same way, seeing an erect penis on a statue may mean and feel nothing to some people, but when this is on the statue of Jesus, for some they do.

By the way, although I also used the work challenging in post #1, but read carefully what I said. What I said is, "It is undoubtedly challenging to have a good exhibition using "sculpture to explore Western attitudes towards Islam.""
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Last edited by Merlion : 02-01-2008 at 08:53 AM.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:43 AM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Here is another news article, with more details and pictures, about David Garner's exhibition at the Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery, Wales.

ISLAM, RACISM, IMPERIALISM DAVID GARNER AT CYNON VALLEY MUSEUM

31 Jan 2008. Welsh artist David Garner’s new touring show ... deals with western assumptions and attitudes towards Islam and the way Muslims have been demonised in the west.

... the exhibition presents a series of sculptural installations that target, Islamaphobia and the wider issues of racism and how it is linked to imperialism and war.

In Poppycock he uses a British soldier’s helmet – a relic of the war in Afghanistan – together with dried Middle Eastern poppies to comment on the way the invasion of Afghanistan has led to an increase in the amount of opium produced in the country.

Another piece, Unwanted Decoration, incorporates a genuine Iraq medal, which the artist bought on eBay, to reference the disillusionment of British soldiers with the conflict. The medal is attached to a long symbolic red ribbon, which snakes chaotically around the gallery.

The old American Jim Crow racist segregation laws are evoked via an excrement covered stuffed crow in a birdcage with a stuffed dove sitting on top. Here Garner is drawing parallels between the dehumanising racism against blacks and some of the current attitudes towards Muslims, whilst also referencing American rhetoric about democracy and freedom.


Remembering Jim Crow

The most striking, and possibly most contorversial piece in the exhibition, is an accurate life size replica of the sign on the gates of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and it’s motto Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Brings Freedom). The intention of the artist here is to evoke the uneasy feeling that racism, in all its guises, can reoccur at any time.

Another piece, Typecast, features an open dictionary with groups of nails hammered into the pages leaving only the words, ‘Muslim’ and ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ on view in a comment on how Muslim identity has been besieged and how the war on terror has undermined civil rights.


Typecast


This Wikipedia site shows a picture of the sign 'Arbeit Macht Frei' (or Work Makes You Free) at Auschwitz camp, as well as other concentration camps.

Edit: Here is the picture of the Auschwitz sign from another site. It is not taken by me although I have been to this camp years ago. Auschwitz is a German name. It is called Oswiecim in Polish.

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Last edited by Merlion : 02-02-2008 at 02:03 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2008, 01:00 AM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

If I had time I'd sculpt the retarded girl they used to blow up 70 odd people today including her unwitting self... That'd about sum up my attitude.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:51 AM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Western racism against Muslims? Gimme a break. I think this is just a shallow attempt to evoke the race card where it doesn't exsist. The racism that occurred in America, and continues, altho GREAT progress has been made can't be compared to the western attitudes towards Muslims. I have no desire to extirminate them, that's what their extreme zealots want to do to me, because I differ from them. Where is all the art work protesting radical islam's crimes?
Sculpting their retarded victim is an idea, but it is such a vehemently cowardly act, how do you depict it in art?

lisa
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2008, 12:37 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

I have to admit that I had a higher regard for muslims before they started violently protesting cartoons yet having little to say about the idiots blowing up people in the name of their religion.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:52 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Quote:
Sculpting their retarded victim is an idea, but it is such a vehemently cowardly act, how do you depict it in art?
I don't know. off the middle of my head I'd say something in a pool of vomit...
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2008, 08:37 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

I have to say I'm not quite sure where I stand on all this myself.

As one of the forum's moderators, I try mainly to keep the peace here and refrain from posting opinions on matters other than art, but I do think it's fair to say many people here are making the same mistake that is characteristic of all group-baiting and that is painting the whole group with one brush. That's simply unfair to individuals in the group under attack who may be intimidated from disagreeing, or who simply may not have the means, Internet in this case, to express different opinions.

It's just what I have said elsewhere about the new approach I think Barack Obama is bringing to U. S. national politics - getting away from the idea that one sheet covers every American with a share of African blood.

Let's try to look at Muslims as roughly a fifth, if I remember, of the world population, somewhere around a billion people, with widely varied cultural backgrounds and widely varying outlooks on all aspects on life, including it's sanctity.
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2008, 09:37 PM
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Re: Challenging sculptures on Western Attitudes on Islam

Fritchie:

As individual muslims that I have personally known, including two who are on my soccer team, they are great and kind people who I would defend against any personal attacks. As a group of people, 1/5 the population as you say, there are some very serious issues that they need to resolve within their own camp so that the fanatical elements do not appear as the mainstream. With that much manpower as a group, you would think that a public show of outrage against the attrocities committed in the name of Islam could bring sufficient pressure to bear to help put a stop to it. Instead, the energies of outrage are expended upon percieved insults to their faith. What greater insult to their faith can be committed than to claim that a God of love and peace wills the murder of innocent life on the basis of a non-belief in their particular brand of dogma, or that an omnipowerful God needs a group of idiot-for-brains fanatics to avenge insults by committing murder. As though the God they believe in is diminished by the opinions of people.

That mindset is what I do not respect, not the sweet individuals who are just trying to live their lives as best they know how guided by their faith and its sincere resonance in loving hearts. The true jihad is a battle with ones inner demons, not an outer battle with "non-believers." The morons who want to kill that which does not conform to their ideology have never understood or had the courage to face the inner jihad.
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