Printer Friendly

Import export.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

WITH A WHEELBARROW AS ITS BASE, Martin Puryear's sculpture C.F.A.O. appears to be an object on the move. The scaffold-like pine element, a visual treat in its own right, also seems to stabilize a mold for a large face.

Viewers are pointed to West Africa by the work's title, an abbreviation of Compagnie Francaise de l'Afrique Occidentale (The French Company of West Africa), and by the source of the simplified facial shape, a ceremonial mask made by the Fang people of West Africa.

In time C.F.A.O. unsettles me. The implication that the mask form is a copy reminds me of the market for objects from other cultures. I need not distinguish between the items collected from a specific society, crafted solely for tourists, or simply reproduced (anywhere in the world) since they are sold simply for decorative purposes. My unease recognizes that cultures "foreign" to me are more than their portable artifacts.

How little I know about others--their lives, their dreams, and even their goods. What appears curiously exotic to me is another's familiar home.

By JERRY BLEEM, O.F.M., a priest and artist who teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Image: Martin Puryear. C.F.A.O., 2006-2007. Raw and painted wood, 100 h. x 60 x 76 inches (254 x 152 x 193 cm). Photography: Tom Van Eynde. Courtesy Donald Young G
COPYRIGHT 2008 Claretian Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:eye of the beholder
Author:Bleem, Jerry
Publication:U.S. Catholic
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Words:237
Previous Article:St. Ben's excellent adventure: Benedict's Rule has some pointers to bring peace and tranquility to any family.
Next Article:In reply to the question, "Is a soul like an organic thing, you know, like eggshells or oranges, so when you die you get sort of recycled?".
Topics:


Related Articles
Plotting a course in the global coated paper market.
Dubai versus Singapore: Trading across Borders.
Dubai versus Singapore: Trading across Borders.
UAE Economic relations with Sudan.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters