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Slow Art book review

Posted May 27, 2019, 9:45 a.m. by T

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Slow Art: The Experience of looking. Sacred Images to James Turrell

University of California Press

 

James Turrell was first exposed to me via his on-going collaborations with MONA, specifically with his emissions focusing on light and him tinkering with perceptions, the interactions between real and artificial lights and him managing to fully immerse the audience the beholder in his works and make them an integral constituent.

Sounds intriguing?

Well, it is. Turrell’s dabbling in the sublime has yet to produce an outcome I have not been impressed with and what I have grown to love about Turrell’s work is that its creation feels effortless while dealing with such big concepts like infinity.

As the title suggests, the book asks for an investment of time, which is a commodity hard to get by in this day and age. Enabling oneself to experience a new aesthetic field by deceleration is a key tenet of this book.

It has an interesting point to make when it comes to the relationship between stillness and motion, layering and adding dimensions as well as approaching art from a “slow” angle instead of the artwork itself necessarily carrying such qualities.

What seems to be a fad and neologism, is actually based on a concept that harks back to ancient times yet what is exemplified in the book is that it is inextricably with our current state of affairs and the future.

What seems to have shifted is that times became less slow with the advent of capitalist endeavours and urbanization coupled with the fact that the pace of life has increased at a devil’s pace, which more often than not results in a reduced attention span and an expectation that art needs to equal entertainment.

Given that we live in the secularized era vulgaris, the outcome of following the train of thought the book entertains could be a source of consolation and that is one that everyone is in dire need of.

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