Thursday, November 8, 2012

Content & Context


  1. Looking at the 18th century Japanese suit of armor and Nick Cave's “Sound Suit” there are a lot of similarities and differences between the two. The ancient armor of the Japanese is a 3D sculpture that resembles the armor of solders used to fight the wars Japan has fought in. Cave's “Sound Suit” is also a 3D sculpture that has the form of a suit of armor but if worn would protect no one. The Japanese suit of armors color ranges through light tans to dark black, all ranging near bold colors. I see some gold, bronze, and silver in the picture. As for the sound suit, the color pattern is everywhere on the color wheel. I find it interesting how the artist used little statues of birds floating around where the head of the body would be to resemble what I think is a family. This looks like it resembles a family because each branch or wire may connect somewhere else three to four times leading to a different statue at its end almost like a family tree.
    The content of the 18th century suit of armor contains a rich history of Japan as seen in the details used in building the samurai's suit of armor. Japan has been founded on honor, and those who wore these suits brought great honor to their families. Even though the material looks to be heavy metal the way the samurai suits were composed during the 18th century were made of lighter materials so the person wearing the suit could move faster in battle. A samurai's job was to protect their leader, like the secret service protects the president. The difference is that a samurai must fight to the death and continue fighting even if he is the only one left on his side and the opponent contains an entire army. This is the honor each Samurai carries with them. The information from the older work can easily be understood if one knew their history of Japan. The symbol on the chest of the suit resembles the lord or master the samurai was hired to protect. The inner layer of clothing under the armor was probably made of silk to protect the person under the suit from arrows, as silk was proven to be a strong material that could resist against projectile objects.

    Nick Cave's Sound Suit comes from his style of work, turning the human bodies appearance into his 3D art form. After a little research on the artist, I found that all of his work take some form like this sound suit, with other types of statues hanging around the main body. There is no color that doesn't seem to be here as I can see every primary color. At first look of the photograph I thought the sculpture was made of metal an than painted, but I can see by looking at the hands of the sculpture that the material used were some type of clothing. The sound suit is designed to bear some resemblance to African ceremonial costumes and masks
    Do I think time affected the reading of these works? Yes I do, or will effect the sound suit at least. The suit of armor has its value of how we see it, a symbol of honor. In the 18th century people didn't see theses suits as the symbol of honor, they saw warriors and armies protecting their land. As time passed forward into the future and the samurai was no longer needed for protection the views changed into what an honor it was to be a samurai. As for the sound suit I'm uncertain if the views of that will change in 200 years time. Since Cave's has created several different versions of the sound suit, each like the samurai suit resembling a person, I can not say exactly how these suits will be viewed in the future or if their views will change. This view does depend on those that will see this in the future, and on how they judge African culture.


  2. The images I chose to compare and contrast is the Japanese Armor from the 18th century and Nick Cave, Sound Suit from 2006. There is much to say from both these pictures because they are similar to each other in their form and design. Their content and style are different as well because they are created in different time periods.
    These images are similar to each other because both of them are 3D statues although being represented through 2D pictures. They are statues of standing men so therefore their shapes are organic. Their titles also depict that they are similar because suit and armor are alike. If the statues were to be broken apart straight down the middle, the audience can tell that they are also symmetrical. They also have patterns on them that make them look similar to each other. The focus point of both pictures might be different but when really considering it, they are actually the same. The focus point directs to the top, their heads. The Japanese Armor has a great detailed head just like the Sound Suit.
    The difference between both art works is the colors the artist used. The colors on the Japanese Armor statue have darker hues then the Sound Suit. The Sound Suit uses more vivid cool colors. Although their heads are a focus point, they are different. They both are detailed heads but the Sound Suit has different media sticking out of it making it have variety. The media sticking out makes the suit is not proportioned. Unlike the Sound Suit, the Japanese Armor has a sense of unity because everything on it makes it look like the armor is a whole.
    The content from both art works are very similar to each other. Reading from the title, we can already say they depict the same message since they use the word “armor” and “suit” which can be said to be the same thing. The subjective thought is that the Japanese Armor and the Sound Suit were made to protect and cover the body. They were created to demonstrate that such things exist to take care of the body from foreign objects. My objective thought is that the Japanese Armor was made to represent the Japanese nation and a sign to show that they are ready to protect themselves. From the Sound Suit, I believe the message that it is trying to depict is that the body is a foreign object and we ourselves can harm the body. My objective thought shows the difference between both art works.
    I believe that the time that the art pieces are created does affect the reading of the work. In today’s wartime, men and women don’t wear armor suits like they used to back in the 18th century. So if an audience was to view the Japanese Armor art piece, and read that it was made in the 18th century, than they would perceive the art work as is; men is ready for war. If they weren’t to know the time it was created, and believe that it was created recently, they can say it’s a man dressed for Halloween or anything else. As for the Sound Suit art piece, the time that it was created also matters because it would help the audience understand why it was made. Hence, knowing the time frame that the work was made helps us understand the information given from the art work.
    The people in the future will read the content of the newer work as being more “artistic” then the older work. The viewer’s minds will be exposed to more things in the world that they can refer back to the newer work. I believe this is going to happen because there are more artists that enjoy modern artwork rather than the older art work. The context of the older work has not changed because the time it is made in doesn’t change. The art works’ content can change because of the time period it is being looked at, being now or maybe more in the future.