Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Artist's Life: Marina Abramovic's Manifesto

An artist should not lie to himself or to others
An artist should not steal ideas from the other artist
An artist should not compromise for themselves or in regard to the art market
An artist should not kill another human being
An artist should not make themselves into an idol
An artist should not make themselves into an idol
An artist should not make themselves into an idol
An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist
An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist
An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist
An artist should develop an erotic point of view on the world
An artist should be erotic
An artist should be erotic
An artist should be erotic
An artist should suffer
From the suffering comes the best work
Suffering brings transformation
Through the suffering an artist transcends [???] the spirit
An artist should not be depressed
Depression is a disease and should be cured
Depression is not productive for an artist
Depression is not productive for an artist
Depression is not productive for an artist 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Art and Disaster.

David Guttenfelder | AP Photo + Nathan Sharratt
I have difficulty processing tragedy. My initial reaction is taciturn acceptance. My rational, cognitive mind understands that the event occurred and there is no undo button to make it not have happened. There is nothing I could possibly say that could turn back the clock or make everything better. All words are at the very best inadequate and at the worst serve to trivialize the event and its consequences by attempting to express the inexpressible. In my mind—at least initially—speaking about it is an attempt to capture the event, to define it, categorize it, make it smaller and more digestible, easily processed. This can't be done. There is no way to effectively represent the enormity, complexity and magnitude of the disaster in Japan, or any number of other equally devastating world events. Running to Facebook or Twitter to let the world know that I think tragedies are tragic just seems so disingenuous. I scream oh how awful, fulfilling my role as a compassionate human being; and then I finish my dinner. It makes me feel better, but does nothing to alleviate the victims' suffering. It becomes a way to claim the power and authenticity of the event as my own, and to focus the lens of empathy on me, where it doesn't belong. So I don't say anything.

This is not to say that those who do post to social media after a tragic event are bad or wrong in any way, not at all. Quite the opposite. Everyone processes grief differently, and any method that works for you is the correct method. Some people internalize, some externalize, some find comfort in between. Some people donate to relief charities. Some people encourage others to donate to relief charities. Some process it by not processing it, giving the event no more thought than is necessary. All of it, any of it, none of it, is all correct. Though we are increasingly more a global society, the only reality we can know for certain exists is our own. I can empathize with the victims and their families by imagining myself in their place as an abstract concept, but I cannot truly understand. How would I feel if my world was destroyed? I don't know. I can't know, until it happens to me. The only way I can come anywhere near relating to those affected by the Japanese earthquake is by narrowing the field of vision to my own experiences. Anything else becomes too immense to deal with. One of those experiences was living in New York during the 9/11 attacks.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Group Show: Paint By Numbers, 3-11, Granite Room - Blood Brothers Performance

I will be performing Blood Brothers for the Paint By Numbers group show.

For Immediate Release

One night only, a group of sixteen emerging Atlanta artists exhibit new work in the exhibition Paint by Numbers: Systematic Structures and Images.

The exhibition coincides with Castleberry Hill’s March Art Stroll, and opens Friday, March 11, at 7:00 pm at the Granite Room. Paint By Numbers showcases printmaking, sculpture, photography, and performance-based works that explore visual representations of instructional and participatory systems. 

The childhood pastime of painting by numbers is an apt metaphor for the state and structure of modern society.  Paint By Numbers aims to reconnect us with ourselves and our environments by systematically deconstructing and reconstructing our world. Literal and metaphoric interpretations of the theme represent the diversified approaches and uniqueness of each individual artist represented.

Step 1: Transport yourself to Castleberry Hill.
Step 2: Locate the Granite Room on your Art Stroll map. 
Step 3: Enter the Granite Room.
Step 4: Explore the space and enjoy refreshments.
Step 5: View art and form opinions.
Step 5: Converse and discuss with artists and other patrons.

Artists featured include Johnnie B, Elizabeth Bailey Christenbury, Michelle Cornelison, Kelly Gilmore, Kathryn Hartmann, Sarah Howerter, Natalie Hudson, Joseph Karg, Connor Kirk, Mina Majest, Curtis James Miller, Kevin O’Kelley, Nathan Sharratt, Shannon Slane, Janie Stamm, Kelli Ulmer, and Christopher Wright.

For further information please contact Sarah Howerter by email at or by phone at (912)660-4321.

The Granite Room
211 Peters Street
Atlanta, GA 30313

Friday, March 11, 2011 7:00 – 10:00pm

Friday, March 4, 2011

Be My Blood Brother - March 3, 2011 Performance

Be My Blood Brother, Performance (5 hours), 3-11-11, Atlanta, GA

Yesterday marked the inaugural performance of Be My Blood Brother (or Blood Brothers) at the ACA Sculpture Gallery in Atlanta, GA from 11am-4pm. I now have 25 more Brothers in my Family Tree.

The next performance will coincide with the March 11th Castleberry Hill Art Stroll at the Granite Room during the Paint By Numbers group show. Please, mark your calendar. I want to be your Brother. Each performance starts a new branch of the Family Tree. The more performances you attend, the more more you become connected to the new members of the Family.

My press release went something like this:
Nathan Sharratt’s latest public injunction, Blood Brothers, invites viewers to participate in the time-honored ritual of bonding by blood. Sharratt will present several ingredients for a traditional entertainment-centric blood analog, conspicuously combine them and apply the solution to a dull knife blade. The viewer and the artist will then commence with the ritual action of palm cutting and clasping, begging the question, is blood truly the strongest bond? Each brother will receive a certificate of brotherhood and be included into that performance's Family Tree.
Ingredients included Father, Mother, Ancestor (Paternal),
Ancestor (Maternal), and Purity


NPR: New Bible Updates Language; 'Booty' Falls By Wayside

New Bible Updates Language; 'Booty' Falls By Wayside : The Two-Way : NPR

Here are some of the swaps included in the new Bible:
"booty" is now "spoils of war" — for presumably obvious reasons.
"virgin" becomes "young woman" — especially where the original uses the Hebrew word "almah."
"holocaust" will become "burnt offerings" - scholars say that was closer to the original meaning, before "holocaust" came to be identified with the genocide of World War II.
"cereal"— now co-opted by General Mills and Post, becomes "grain."
An interesting look at how language evolves like a living organism. Word definitions change over time, yet many modern definitions are applied to ancient texts when the word was intended to mean something else. Not to mention translation inconsistencies and/or errors that can further distort meaning.

I think it's important to delineate between "intended meaning" and "applied meaning." Since language is itself a complete human construct, there can never be a "true" meaning of any linguistic application. In language, nothing existed before we decided to agree on shared meanings. When I say, "rock," if you understand English, you know what a rock is. There is a thing that is "rock" whether I call it rock, or boulder, or butterbutt. As long as you and I agree on nomenclature, we can share thoughts. Still, if I point to a rock and call it nothing, it still exists as a physical object. Language has none of that.

Thanks to Shannon Slane for pointing me to this article.

Ann Liv Young and pushing it

From On stage, Ann Liv Young has rolled around in her dog’s ashes, had sex with her co-stars, covered herself in blood, drank urine and attacked a PETA activist. Off stage, she has given the audience lap dances and ridiculed her own cast for fucking up during a performance.
As a graduate of the prestigious Hollins University dance program, as well as a former resident of the FUSED program in France and the Laban Centre in London, Ann Liv’s work has been presented at some of the most notable venues and festivals around America and Europe. Her shows, which she writes, performs, costume designs, stage designs and produces herself, are over-the-top performances that genre-bend elements of music video, porn, and fine art that really do go there.

I found this interview to be interesting and relatable. In it, she talks about blending the real and the unreal, and how she doesn't start out thinking about the best ways to make the audience the most uncomfortable  (though she does admit that it may be a subconscious influence). She also talks about having fun with people's low shock thresholds; once you realize how easy it is to shock people, a little mischievousness kicks in.

I have been holding back on executing some of my more explicit work while in school, mainly because (based on precedent) SCAD administration would likely either censor it or expel me. Rationally, my immediate priority is in getting that piece of paper. The ideas don't go away. Whether I execute a work now or a year from now doesn't dilute its validity for me. However, the thought that my own art school—that openly promotes innovation in all areas—would stifle creativity in its students is kind of sickening. While I don't regret transferring to SCAD—since anywhere you go you get out what you put in, and had I not moved to Atlanta from NYC I wouldn't have pursued fine art—I do feel I've been sold a lot of empty promises. The University For Creative Careers. Maybe they should think about changing it to The University For Commercial Careers. 

Wonton idealism is a wonderful thing, but I have grander plans than sticking it to a little southern art school. That being said, I've been itching to do just that

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gyun Hur Installation at Lenox Square

Spent the day assisting Gyun Hur install the Flux Projects-funded Spring Hiatus at Lenox Square Mall. Lots and lots and lots of shredded silk flowers in very straight lines. Since there's no glue holding them down it required an obscene amount of control and an obsessive attention to detail. It was quite fun.

Thankfully, I had my own tweezers for plucking out strays from the wrong line. I also tried to help find a way to compensate for the slope in the floor that was causing the lines to very slightly bow in a certain area. Also thankfully I had a laser level in my car. Battery was pretty much dead though, so it wasn't very illuminating.

It's so weird that I had my own tweezers and laser level isn't it? Not really. After the Lenox install I was headed to install my own Blood Brother's paraphernalia for the performance the next day. Good tweezers are very handy for installing vinyl lettering. More on the Blood Brothers performance to come.

A video by Flux about Gyun's work is below:

Flux Film 007 | Hur from Proper Medium on Vimeo.