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Fri, Jan. 9th, 2004, 01:39 pm
And Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, enough whining. Time to write about more interesting things. Like ranting! We like ranting.

maastrictian pointed me to this art piece, which is quite well-done and rather amusing . . . but, despite the claims in the introduction, is NOT NARRATIVE. When will people figure out that simply alluding to the idea that there might have been a coherent sequence of events, somewhere, sometime in the vague past of the piece does not make it narrative? Sloppy thinking, maybe, or maybe just the fact that due to overwork the word "narrative" has been so badly abused as to cover nearly anything that contains events of any kind happening in sequence. (Except, of course, non-linear narrative. 'Cause it's, you know, non-linear. And stuff. Remind me that that phrase deserves a rant of its own.)

Let's claim narrative back for things that actually tell a story, shall we, people?

Fri, Jan. 9th, 2004 01:35 pm (UTC)
psychick: Visual Narrative... (or in which Abby flexes her BA in Art)

I can understand your dismay, as these pieces don't really seem to have that much to do with each other, but it IS true that they pose a visual narrative, whether or not that is their intent as works or the artist's/veiwer's desire. They are presented as a group, and are thus related, and they are set around each other spatially and our eyes take time to move across them. Space + time = a story. It could be boring as hell or make no sense, but there it is. A museum is a narrative, and photography book is a narrative, the posters we have up in our apartment are a narrative, and I was taught quite plainly that to try to ignore this simply because it's commonplace or unintentional or a catchphrase is naive.
Now, let us return to intent. I'm not ever going to get criticized for the poor narrative structure of my domestic decorations, because I am never going to show them with that purpose. They were thrown up haphazardly because they reflect our interests and they give the room character. Thus to criticize them from the standpoint of an art work is pendantic. An exceptiion is pending, as Blair is planning on hanging a series of drawings Rob made for her, in a specific sequence in a specific place on our walls. In this case, these drawings may be seen as an installation: a deliberate placing of things in a relation to each other and will thus very CLEARLY be narrative.
THEREFORE, to return to our original argument, the images viewed on that website MUST be narrative, as they were certainly placed there deliberately and in a specific order (even if that order is as basic as "dates the images were shot"), and are intended to be viewed as art works. Thus it is a digital installation, and a narrative is inherent.