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‘C’ Right Through Modern Art

| Learning | January 28, 2014

(My art design course has a projects involving three-dimensional sculptural creations. For the first project the concept is a mirror. I admit that I didn’t fully understand the project guidelines and submitted something mostly illustrated.)

Teacher: “You didn’t really construct anything with this piece. It is really just an illustration. I’m going to give you a ‘C.’ Be sure that the next project involves constructing 3-D elements.”

Me: “You’re right. My mistake. I’ll be sure to do so.”

(The second project concept is a chair. I purchase a wooden stool and spend many hours burning it along the legs and rungs, which is very difficult due to a fire-resistant coating. I then place candles on top, light them, and hang pieces of paper from the partially burned rungs with phrases written on them.)

Me: “This chair is a concept piece where I experimented with the idea of a scarred person resting on a chair, since chairs are typically places associated with resting. The written paper represents thoughts and feelings one might feel while resting, but note that they are not all pleasant, hence the damage to the chair.”

Teacher: “Why the candles?”

Me: “The candles represent life and add an element of time passing as the candles burn down, even suggesting that they might set the chair on fire even further.”

Teacher: “Well, this is interesting, but it looks like you didn’t spend a lot of time on it. I’m going to give you a ‘C.'”

Me: “It actually took a lot of time to burn through the coating…”

Teacher: “Yes, but it really doesn’t look finished.”

Me: “…”

(The third project concept is a book. By now I am convinced that no matter what I do, bad or good, I will get a ‘C.’ I test this out by submitting a stack of old dot-matrix printer paper nailed together on one end, opened halfway with a broken 3.5″ floppy disk taped on the page, centered. On the outside I spatter hot sauce. It takes about 10 minutes to do.)

Me: “This is my book concept. The paper and the disk represent how our society has begun abandoning paper books and all things printed in lieu of digital technology.”

Teacher: “Hmm… Well, yes. What about the hot sauce?”

Me: *making it up on the spot* “The hot sauce represents the anger that older generations feel for the apparent loss of this traditional form of media.”

Teacher: “Well… I think this deserves a ‘C.'”

(All respect I ever had for that art department fell through the floor. I switched majors soon after that.)

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