Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Formal Critique on Miranda Robert's Piece 'untitled' By:Vilma Castaneda

Miranda Robert’s piece ‘untitled’ uses the materials of a broken mirror, string and a photo of the artist herself to explore the idea of fracture. Her piece provides visual aid as well as an object to illustrate the meaning of the word fracture. The piece is composed of shattered broken mirror pieces hung lightly with pieces of thin string attached to the pieces individually. Across from the broken mirror there hangs an image of the artist holding a camera that covers her face while taking a picture. The image starts to stand in for the mirror as depicted in both the photograph and in the broken mirror you are unable to see a reflection. The jagged broken edges of the mirror begin to construct a uniquely distinct form that differentiates from the photograph. The direction of the jagged diagonal lines starts to imply some sort of action, which correlates, with the meaning of fracture that includes the act of breaking. The line quality itself begins to influence the emotional impact of the artwork itself. The way that the mirror is hung makes it difficult for the viewer to even formulate a reflection of ones self. Another contributor to this ambivalence of reflection is through the organic shapes that depict a narrative that cannot be seen literally through the irregular curving and shattered aspect of the piece. The student artist chose to accentuate the lighting that frames the faceless artist in the photo, which begins to open up the question as to why the reflection is not seen in both areas of the piece. The organization of space begins to come into question as well. The distance from the photo and the hung broken mirror suggests the spatial separateness from the person and the emotional tensions involved. The photo itself connotes space, as we are able to see a close up of the camera lens but not of the face of the person holding the camera. Another signifier of organizational space in this piece comes from the negative spaces created by the shattered pieces. The strings attached to the piece create a parallel between line and space essentially harmonizing the piece as a whole as they converge to the main point of the piece. The emotions conveyed in this piece are positioned as pictorial figures meant to be further away which creates a distanced linear perspective that in turn unifies the composition. The piece by Miranda Robert shows the use of the word fracture in a literal sense as well as a figurative one. The broken mirror begins to exemplify larger formal elements that extend to the organization of the piece. It seeks to address the meaning of fracture in a figurative way that creates multiple different perspectives considering there is no singular vanishing point. The breaks in the piece begin to explore more than just a fractured mirror but rather a fractured self by depicting a non-clear image of ones self.

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