Individual Artists’ Research

I picked these three works for research as it uses the space creatively they are given for their performance, be it physically or in the case of the 21st Century, the Internet, utilized creatively . As the artists’ thought of their platforms, they are able to collect the response they had wanted to achieve or even a response at all.

I believe I can reference these artists when it comes to choosing a specific location in ADM. It will make me think of what can my audience feel and get to respond or interact through that location.

20th century

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Imponderabilia by Marina Abramovic and Ulay (1977)

Marina Abramovic and Ulay stood naked at the entrance opposite each other and look at each other motionless like statues. They form a physical frame. People streaming in had to squeeze through the gap between the two, unable to avoid physical contact. Everybody had to decide whom to look at as they passed.  Most people were looking straight ahead to avoid a direct gaze, squeezed through with a lot of physical contact or tried bumping into the bare skin of the two as little as possible.


The text on the wall: “Imponderable” is a text referred directly to the visitors’ behavior at the entrance.  This performance revolved around the provoked reaction of the visitors when they entered the gallery. After 90 minutes, the police put an end to this controversial performance, which had actually been intended to last for three hours.

21st Century 

Famous by Kanye West

I believe this video is a video installation as it  combines video with the wax installation art, and uses the public forum or YouTube as an environment to affect the audience.


In June 2016,  Kanye West released a music video for “Famous” depicting himself, with Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, former president George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Ray J, Amber Rose, Caitlyn Jenner, and Bill Cosby all sleeping nude in a shared bed. The wax figures used in the video were later exhibited as a sculpture.


It became a controversy as the video made lots of public commentary such as promoting date rape. While others like Vincent Desiderio, the artist who inspired the video, called it “a feat of magic” and said it “demonstrates how art speaks the language of art.” A German director Werner Herzog marveled at Kanye’s work in an analysis of the piece. The director even invited Kanye to join his film school.

"Exposicion No.1" by Guillermo Vargas (2007) Location: Códice Gallery, Managua, Nicaragua

For this exhibition, Guillermo Vargas tied an emaciated dog to a wall in the Codice Gallery in Nicaragua. On the wall behind the dog were the words “You Are What You Read,” spelled out with dog food. The center of attention was a sickly-looking street dog tied to a metal cable bolted to the wall with a short rope. The animal was supposedly captured in the alleys of Managua by some children who were paid by the artist.

According to hundreds of blogs and news articles circulating on the Internet, the artist intended for the dog to starve to death during the course of the exhibition. Vargas intended to raise awareness of the public’s hypocrisy by comparing what happened to this dog to a burglar named Natividad Canda Mayrena, who was mauled to death by two rottweilers in Costa Rica while the police and onlookers watched.


It was reported the dog died after the exhibition as a result of starvation. The outrage that ensued over the Internet and via mass media outlets culminated in a petition that was signed by over four million people worldwide, calling for the artist to be boycotted from the Central American Biennial Honduras 2008 and for criminal charges to be filed against him. Vargas also signed the petition, claiming that an artist always signs his work. The artist argued that no one who saw the piece intervened by feeding the dog.

After researching, the artists have been focused on getting a reaction from the audience or as well studying what the audience would be willing to do. Because of that, their work stirs up controversies so it is able to gain attention of people to talk about and then therefore react.

The difference between the 20th Century and the 21st Century is that the audience response.  In the 20th Century, it being rather conservative, people reacted more to the fact that the artists stood in the entrance and let the audience felt uncomfortable because of the sight of nude bodies.

Whereas in the 21st Century where sex sells and nude bodies aren’t the problem, the issue that stirred reactions from people were more towards Human and Animal rights. It dwelled into another realm of comfort tolerance which was towards another life than the audience themselves.

I think in my project, i’d like to take away from what I’ve researched on of how space can affect how a viewer interacts with the piece and also how in this day and age, what does the audience react strongly to.


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Zerline Jade

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