How Long Has It Been?

I have been very busy, I had some thoughts earlier today-
I hate seeing homeless people smile. Do they know the secrets to happiness?! Why are you smiling when you're out on the streets? I imagine conventional theory would be that they are masking their troubles. I can accept this. The idea that they have found inner peace, however, is grating.

Here is a paper on Louise Bourgeois while I consider turning my back on society:
Louise Bourgeois
Helping Hands

Life is very tactile. People “feel” things. In Helping Hands, the sculpture Memorial to Jane Adams, Louise Bourgeois shows us how hands are capable of feeling in different ways. She shows us that hands connect and brings us into her perspective of human connection. In her work she bares herself. Her work reflects her identity and how her identity was formed by her interactions with others.

The most intriguing part of the work for me is the complete and deliberate absence of connection to Jane Adams. Louise says she is “a historical figure” and people can “look (her) up.” The work is not meant to draw parallel to the identity of Jane but to reveal how Louise looks upon connections. Her hands play a part in the formation of the pieces- the work literally embodies her. She wants to show her hands as both a caretaker and “the little hands” in need of help. She freely admits that the work is autobiographical and I think that the idea that she was concerned with vandalism but takes the “leap of faith” to display the work is an extension of this theme. Her idea could be harmed once it is given shape, but in an effort to expose herself to us she takes the leap.

The use of the color black I think is an interesting choice as well- she says it is “friendly.” I think to an extent that has to do with the warmth of the stone color. Black is one of the oldest colors used in art. Black absorbs all light. I think her intent in the use of black was to draw people into the work just as the warm sun light would be. The color pairs well with the size of the sculptures which are small enough that the artist can look over them comfortably. If they were larger the use of black would probably have been imposing- monolithic- and contrary to her nature.

At the start of the segment there is a quote: “I am not what I am I am what I do with my hands…” I believe it was chosen cheekily because of how apropos it was of the subject matter of her Memorial. She is showing us who she is through the use of her hands.


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