Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fred Wilson: Metalwork

Fred Wilson was born in the Bronx, New York in 1954 and still lives in the area producing works. Although Wilson has institutional training he has commented that he no longer enjoys producing works of his own per say, but gathering materials that exist in the world and arranging them together as he sees fit.
With his work Metalwork Wilson adds more of an awe and shock experience to the viewer. He displays a depiction of items that signify our history. The items he displays are fine silverware and then sitting in the middle of them is a black tarnished set of shackles. The fine silverware is meant represent the finer things in life, our accomplishments, and our progression throughout history. However, the shackels that lie amongst the silverware is meant to remind us that these finer things did not come without a price. He is referencing slavery. Slavery is still a sore issue in our society in which we tend to parallel the Germany persona of the Holocaust, in which we would rather act like it never happen.
 This was the main focus in my earlier blog that discussed Anselm Kifer's Heath of the Brandenburg March. So in the same sense, Wilson is making the viewer acknowledge what we as a society had allowed in the past. Even though we have progressed with many advancements, we should know that there it came and coming with a cost and struggle. 

I have not personally seen this display, however I have experienced the emotion that Wilson wants the viewer to feel. I vacationed with family and friends in Jamaica a couple of years ago where we visited the Montego Bay area. During our stay, we decided to take the White Which of Rose Hall plantation. Concisely, Annie Palmer was dubbed "white which" by slaves on the plantation for she is rumored to had killed several husbands. The mansion has been well kept and we got to go inside where we were able to see beautiful 18th century furniture, cloth wallpaper, and many unique decorations we have never been exposed to. Then, without much warning, we were brought down to the dungeon wehere slaves were punished and even killed. The awe factor we had lead to silence, so much that people even stopped taking pictures. I believe this is this feeling is what Wilson was aiming for, a sudden realization of cruelties amongst something beautiful. 

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