week 4: deLIMITations

I took my trip to downtown and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego about one and  a half week ago, because it was the third thursday of the month and it was suppose to be free for people over 25. Being 27 years old I had to take advantage since I’m a international student and not allow to work here my budget is very tight. Of course when I got there at 2pm they tell me the free entrance for 25+ starts at 5pm, the time they usually close… yes super confusing I know, and having to pay kind of threw me of my mood.

Anyway, having read the article assigned for this visit I was prepared to see this exhibition “DeLIMITations: A Survey of the 1821 United States-Mexico Border”. An instillation containing 47 obelisks monuments set up on the 1821 border between the U.S and Mexico with photographs and video documentation along the way created by artist Marcos Ramirez (also known as ERRE) and photographer David Taylor.
Understanding their background and their relationship with the international border it make sense that they want to create something that teaches us something about history, parts which gets left out in our ordinary history textbooks. Little did I, a girl from Sweden, know that the border once crossed through states like Colorado, Utah and Oklahoma. Even worse is to understand that most americans didn’t even know that. Especially now that all this wall building has been a hot topic, and who is an immigrant and who isn’t. Its ridiculous and wouldn’t it all be so much easier if we just ignored the borders completely, like hey were all cool, we belong to the human race and whats mine is yours?

No? Just me who likes that idea?

(Selfie required, photos of the obelisks)

I like that they documented the trip (there was a picture of each obelisk on the wall at MCASD) and the work process of it, it made me feel more included in the project. Driving around in a van and sending the messages that ERRE thought was missing from the textbooks – the old border, the forever that only lasted 27 years. Their dedication and determination, setting up these obelisks some on places without permission is inspiring, and I’m always fond of people who stay dedicated, who manage to not give up and sometimes breaks the rules. The borders we have doesn’t only determine which side you “belong” to, but also limit us from opportunities we could have had, if we had only been born on the “right” side. This topic was important for the artists as well, for the labor workers that is being legally able to work in the states still doesn’t feel the sense of belonging to this country.. because it will always be a division between us and them. I find it sad that it is so hard to change where you want to live.. we should all be able to cross any borders because after all it’s just invisible lines that creates division, jealousy and hate. We all belong to earth, no matter how south, east, north or west it goes.

peace out.


week 3: Bela Fleck

Who new the banjo is an african instrument? I had no idea, and thats just one of the things we get to learn when watching Throw Down Your Heart 

Its not often we get to see a positive picture of Africa, its always from the negative side. In the movie Throw Down Your Heart banjo playing Bela Fleck takes us on a journey to four different African countries. He travels with the purpose to create music with his banjo together with the musical culture to where the banjos from.
It was nice to see what comfort music has to people, and what joy it brings. The women in Uganda sang all the time while going through their chores, they said they console themselves with music.And maybe its the music that makes the women of Uganda so strong, as the men mention that the women were the strong ones around there.

No matter which country Fleck visited (Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania & Mali) he always engaged with the people and he seemed to be very welcome regardless. They all had such appreciation for music, and I liked how they encouraged children to watch and listen to it, so that they can learn and keep the traditions of their cultures alive.  Music surrounds us almost all the time and its nice to see that not only photographers and painters try to make a different in our world but also musicians trying to create music to connect us with each other.

oh and I also liked all the different instruments they had in Africa, like the ngoni and akonting(ancestor of banjo) which also helped maintaining their culture.
Anyway with a weekend filled with bad news (my roommate moving out n dropping out of school) I was a bit distracted while watching this film however I liked that we got to watch something that gave a more positive view of Africa and how cool wouldn’t it be to travel there? So much culture and contrast from our everyday lives.

week 2: Wasteland

Watched the documentary Wasteland the other day, it took some time do digest what I had seen.
How much garbage is being thrown away each day is one thing but having to work in that amount is something that I doubt just anyone would do. Vik Muniz spent two years creating this project to try and make a difference in this world. He wanted to give back for the success he had gained even though he came from a poor background. Muniz saw beauty where everyone else saw trash. In this movie Muniz introduced us to people who’s life is spent on this garbage yard where they work, trying to collect trash to be recycled. The workers we meet are a mix of people who sees their work differently, some very proud some wanting to move on but for now its a way to make a living. It really is inspiring how they view their lives, and devastating to know how spoiled me, myself have been in my life.

It gives me joy to know that there is still good people out there, who try and make a difference. The art work Muniz created while he was in Brazil was made out of garbage and sold for several thousand pounds. All profits went to the workers to help them in their lives. This doesn’t only give them hope that theres a better future ahead but also invites hope in the viewer of this movie. Muniz used a creative way to make us look at things differently.. one mans trash is another mans gold.

week 1: JR – Can art change the world?

Choosing an artist to focus on the choice was easy, as I picked JR.

I watched two clips from TED talks where JR talked about his projects and his goal and drive with his art. Starting out as a graffiti artist to leave a mark on society and then to grow in to this huge artist who help others leave their mark on society and the world. The simple picture of someones face is a genius idea as a persons face can express so much emotions and speak to people without any use of words. JR raise the question “can art change the world?” and I think we the audience has to answer that, an being an old arts major myself my answer from the beginning was yes! Of course it can, but sometimes I think we as the people have to work for it and that is exactly what JR is doing. With his project Inside Out he help people to take a stand, to make a different and to help change the world one person at the time.

It is people like JR that we need to hear and see more from, people who work without credits, no sponsors or other government or corporations behind them. With his Inside out project he showed that there is thousands of people out there who wants peace and are ready to help make a difference in the world. We need to start seeing the world from different perspectives and with this project that does not include the mainstream media we get a more honest picture of how different places in the world look.

If you want some inspiration or confirmation that there’s still people out there trying to do good have a look at JR’s speech from TED talks. Link below..

JR Ted talks