This week my classmate conversation was with Jen, Thida, Misty, and Antonella. Jen is a third year film major, Thida is a second year pre-health major, Misty is a third year kinesiology major, and Antonella is a third year dance major. Talking to these girls was great! As a dancer I was so interested in hearing about the pre-health major and kinesiology major. And a fun fact about me is that I LOVE film. Jen and I talked about screen writing, which is her emphasis. I loved hearing her talk about how she analyzes films. Antonella and I are roommates and best friends, so I already know close to everything about her.
Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence In The USA
Media: Graphic Design
Gallery: CSULB Art Gallery, Dutzi
Yujia Gu is a third year graphic design MFA student. Gu attended school in China for graphic design and ended up coming to the US to finish her education. Gu’s work explores cultural differences.
Yujia Gu used photography, glass, and projection in order to show the amount of gun violence in the US. She compared the rate of gun violence in America to the rate of gun violence in other countries to show how much higher ours was, which was eye opening. I was shocked at how straight forward this exhibit was. As soon as you walk in, you see all this evidence of violence. It gives you a lot to think about, so I would like to thank Yujia Gu for this crazy wonderful exhibit.
In the CSULB Dutzi Art Gallery, Brittany Waters presented her exhibition, #MoreThanASandBox. This exhibition involved the use of media, ceramics, sand, projectors, and photographs. You can check her out here : https://www.facebook.com/ArtByWaters/about?lst=100009978842673%3A100000591010551%3A1491433877
Waters a California native from Citrus Heights. She got her AA degree from Sierra College before transferring to CSULB. Here at CSULB, Waters is a BFA Ceramics senior. This exhibition is her senior show.
#MoreThanASandBox had a projection of a beach on a wall in front of sand with ceramic turtles hatching and crawling towards the projection. In the sand, there was also a beach chair and umbrella. As you walk out of the exhibit, you see pictures of the ceramic turtles. Waters took inspiration from nature. She created 118 ceramic turtles because that is about how many turtles that would have been hatched in real life.
I enjoyed this exhibit because I am a nature lover. I really appreciate how she put the chair right next to the turtles. To me, that showed how people invade the homes of many animals just for fun.
For this week’s blog post I chose the USU wedge. I chose this because I always walk through it. For my design, I thought that taking out the the wall that is there and making it two columns so there is another place for people to walk. I also though it would be easier for pedestrians if they took out the seating. Please excuse my stick figures.
I think this new design will benefit pedestrians because it allows for more people to cut through as opposed to walking around, which is what I believe is the reason for people using the wedge. During 1-3 pm, the wedge can get really congested, so hopefully making another space will help. I think people will be really happy with this new wedge a year from now.
This week my classmate conversation was with Makenna La Fortune. Makenna is from Las Vegas, Nevada and loves cats. We bonded over the fact that we both love cats. She actually has 7 cats that she has rescued from several different kill shelters in the Nevada area. She has named them after the seven dwarves from Snow White, which is adorable. Although it may seem like Snow White is her favorite Disney character, she has informed me that it is actually Lucifer the cat from Cinderella! I told her that my favorite Disney character is Marie from Aristocats. Then we started talking about Disneyland. Turns out we both think that Disneyland is over-rated! Makenna and I have a lot in common it is crazy!
For this week’s activity, I finger painted. Unfortunately, I did not have any paint. So, I decided to mash up oil crayons and mix them with water and that is what I painted with. I enjoyed doing it because it was actually really relaxing. It is nice to not have to think about making something look perfect. I wouldn’t say that it was necessarily hard or easy, but it was definitely more easy than it was hard. How does it compare with other paintings? Mine is pretty crappy , but that doesn’t matter right?
This week in class, I had a great discussion with Glenn about wanting to learn and do something. I brought up how I always knew I wanted to be a ballet dancer. I told him about how when I was 7 I told my mom I wanted to be enrolled in a ballet class and that I have been dancing ballet ever since. Wanting to go to class was never a problem for me. The highlight of my day, every day, was going to ballet class. I never had to worry about being graded on anything which made my experience that much better. Because I wasn’t being graded, I felt safe to take risks and make mistakes. This is what Glenn was discussing in his TED Talk. After talking with him about why and how I started ballet, we got on the topic of CSULB. I told him how CSULB doesn’t have the ballet heavy program I was looking for, but I didn’t have the right body type to even be considered for a ballet heavy program. He asked me my opinions on modern ballet, otherwise known as contemporary ballet. After I expressed my hate for it, Glenn explained how important it is to learn about the things you hate because you might discover that it is actually revolutionary.
At CSULB, the dance department mostly focusses on modern but does offer some ballet. For the BFA classes, I am a BFA, we are given a modern class and a contemporary ballet class instead of a classical ballet class. One of the reasons I despise contemporary ballet so much is because ballet is structured and orderly. I really dislike how wild contemporary ballet is. Contemporary ballet is also a lot less musical than classical ballet. Contemporary choreographers like William Forsythe and Jerome Robbins wanted to test the limits with how they could change up the ideals of classical ballet. With classical ballet being very musically driven, these dance revolutionaries decided to change the music, make the movement less musically driven, and even in some cases took away the music. Although I think that movement without music or with sound scores as opposed to music is interesting, I don’t think it mixes well with the highly structured ballet vocabulary. It makes sense to mix abstract movement with abstract ideas. I don’t see the sense in mixing a style that developed from European court dances with abstract ideas.
As a dancer that is studying both classical ballet and contemporary ballet, I find contemporary ballet to be less healthy. Classical ballet has a very specific set of rules of technique that are taught to dancers to protect them from injury. For example, while performing a petite allegro combination, a classical ballet dancer is taught to drop the pelvis, close the ribs, have both heels connect to the floor every time you land, and to have the knees exactly in line with the lower leg when you land. This is alignment is important because it protects the lower back from the stress of the landing. In BFA contemporary ballet class here at CSULB, our professor tells us to release our spine when we perform petite allegro. Without protecting our lumbar spines by holding our alignment, we are playing with fire a bit. I find myself, as a dancer, having to make decisions about what is right and healthy for my body in this contemporary ballet class that I wouldn’t even have to think about in a classical ballet class.
All that being said, I have tickets to see Alexei Ratmanksy’s new contemporary ballet work titled “Whipped Cream” that he choreographed on American Ballet Theater this Wednesday. Although I dislike contemporary ballet, I do still respect the work that is being done. I think that “Raven Girl” by Wayne Mcgregor is a crazy interesting piece of work that I could watch over and over, but I would never want to dance. I enjoy performing pieces that flow along side the music rather than challenge the music. This is important because I now know that when I graduate and start looking for a job I will be steering away from the contemporary ballet companies.
The Birch trees stand alone in the yard
Gloriously white, the stand perfectly still as the wind gusts
Pristine, clean, pure, perfect,
they are intriguing and I get the urge to feel one
Getting closer, I notice the people on the other side
Their eyes meet my eyes and the trees begin to sink, melt
The ground begins to shake and these people aren’t people anymore
Their pupils are gone and their teeth are sharp
The melting trees become white snakes with ruby eyes
The trees are gone, the people are gone, and the nightmare ensues
I begin to run, but I go nowhere
I look behind me at the creatures with no pupils
They smile as they stand there,
They know that I will not be able to escape their white gaze
My body begins to ache and I stop
I realize I will never escape
The snakes slither around my ankles as the wind gusts once again
I close my eyes because I can’t look at the creatures any longer
The gust of wind dissipates, and I open my eyes
I am standing in front of the Birch Tree with my palm caressing its branch
Two brown speckles stare back at me
This is the exhibit No Redemption Value at the CSULB School of Art Dutzi Gallery by Amy Williams. This is a mixed media installation.
For this activity, I tried a couple things. I tried to make a flip book that was printer paper folded in half. Turns out I am terrible at drawing when I feel like I need to, and I am certainly not creative enough to do something with writing. With that in mind, I decided to take a different approach. I decided to think about doodling something as opposed to drawing something marvelous. So, I took a bunch of sticky notes and doodled a bomb exploding. It is very small and not super interesting, but I like it. It reminds me of old Disney movie shorts of Mickey Mouse.