Week 7 Conversations: Breakdown + Classmate

Artists: Breakdown (an exhibition by the CSULB Photo Club)

I will readily admit that this Thursday was the longest I have ever spent snooping around in a single art gallery. (I left the CSULB galleries well past 12:15PM) This exhibit, titled “Breakdown” was located in the Gatov-west and featured art photography from a number of different artists. There were MANY pieces that grabbed my attention for quite some time.

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I thought that this art gallery was made out to be much more interesting because I did not see/read any introductory statements beforehand. Although there was some previous fallout (trying to not refer to a distasteful argument) from engaging in such actions for art 110, I STRONGLY believe that the photography art has a much stronger voice when viewers try to construct their own analysis of what is being presented.

I walked into the Gatov West and immediately noticed the pictures of the planes (see above). I guess that I was attracted to it since I’ve always been fond of airplanes. Upon closer examination, I discovered that I knew exactly what the planes were. These images were iconic: I had seen them MANY times over: these were the two hijacked planes on 9/11 that hit the world trade center buildings. I shuddered as I thought about this very chilling and dark time in American history.

The images seemed to be washed out, and I started to wonder why the images were all so similar to each other. The artist’s explanation for this piece is quite amazing, and I felt that the artist knew exactly what emotions the pictures would create. The artist (Lourdes Martinez) states that the significance of the pictures were to portray the television coverage of the attack on 9/11. In this respect, television broadcasts changed the way the world perceived such catastrophic events. As the images (of the planes) were continuously being broadcasted all over the nation, there is a surreal quality of the ordinary becoming a scene of horror. Through this piece, the artists shows the effect of repetition and filtering of the same information: it is greatly distorted through mechanical reproduction: we are numbed to other realities, such as the chaos inflicted on New York subsequently after the attack.

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On another note, I also spent some time looking at the three photos above. I noticed some very attractive ladies but could not discover a reasonable premise/meaning behind three ladies doing the same pose for the camera. This piece was created by Austin Durant, and the ladies in the pictures are named Adrenalynn, Luna Star, and Lucy Thai. (If those name don’t ring a bell- look them up but be warned that you’ll find not-safe-for-work material: they are pornstars). The title is a good hint: “Behavioral Confirmation”. Apparently, this photography art is not specifically focusing on the subject of the porn industry, or anything related to that matter. It is meant to represent human stereotypical behaviors, and how it affects the perception of people. Because of these stereotypical behaviors, we are reminded that we find it easy to treat people of different social groups (in this case, pornstars) as copies of one another. We see that the porn stars are using the same pose: they want to show off the physical attractiveness of their bodies. In such a case, it is uncommon to view porn stars as unique individuals. This poses an important question: how much control do we have over our own identities as individuals? Great stuff.

Classmate: Hoc Nguyen

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I interviewed Hoc Nguyen a week ago, so I’ll finish a blog on my interview with him before I lose the info I got down on him.

I met Hoc through one of his friends that I interviewed previously (Khoi): turns out that both of them went to the same school: Westminster high. What I found interesting was that they do not actually know each other that well: apparently they did not talk to one another until the end of their high school years. This is quite funny because now they seem like close friends. Anyways, Hoc was very easy to talk to and seems to be a cool dude. His favorite interest/hobby is building kits (mostly Gundam), and he keeps them to add to a collection. He also likes to embrace his own creativity by modifying these model kits with his own touches. I can personally confirm that building model kits is quite fun: although I’ve only built model airplanes. He also talked a lot about his pets: mostly about his SNAKES. I was shocked to hear that he owns a boa constrictor: I was pretty sure that those snakes were huge. However, Hoc informed me that the particular boa that he had would not grow more than 4 feet long. So he’ll be able to keep it for the duration of its life, which is about 20 years or so. Also, Hoc has a great passion for art, which is one of the reasons that he chose this class. He is thinking about majoring in this field. I wish him the best of luck in such future goals. If you see Hoc: be sure to have a chat: it’ll be interesting.

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