Saturday, April 26, 2008

Eman Talks: Reflection on Pougialis

So Pougialis is over, the annual scholarship competition where fine art students are asked to install work of their choice along with a artist statement and await judgment by the fine art faculty to see who falls deserving of a handsome prize scholarship etc. Ok i will say a few things on this mater. I will not mention the winners by name for i feel one of them does enough self promotion and i wouldn't want to add to such. I didn't win , which is fine, i am very ambitious and hard working but i have things going on. I do however feel disappointed i did so much work this semester and fell short in the eyes of the judges. But i feel even worse for my colleagues, they worked so hard and there were so many more deserving individuals then those who won. Columbia is slowly self destructing its fine art program, and the faculty and staff wonder why the A & D department continues to fall more and more every semester. Figure it out A & D department. P.S f0llowing a conservative stale decision making in your support for mediocre work is not going to help bring your program forward. Pay attention to your students, more than the one or two who suck up to you. There is so much thought and talent in this fine art program but none of you are encouraging anything beyond. All is politics and there so i finish with saying , I'm offended.

Here are some pieces i entered in this show. The over all wall looked better. I wanted to share these works with everyone. The first one is Untitled (Native Language) . It is a weaved piece of both the Mayan Creation myth ; Pophul vuh and Native American communication symbols. It is made of latex, mylar, copper and acrylic. It means a lot to me. There is mix feelings about this piece but i ask my audience to always question what everything means to them. What does it mean for me to have hand copied these documents. What does it mean to weave different languages, different communications, and even more so important different cultures? What does it mean to America?

Second is a resin piece dedicated to exploring Elian Gonzalez. Well better ye remembering him. He made such a huge impact on American news, life, media yet it's perceived as a Latino story. It's an American story. And it had much greater impact on Americans than anyone else. Plus i ponder often where is he now and with no question his story affected him the most. I tie this piece to the desaparecidos series. Because in a way we relate to this story as humans and it involves borders and tragedies as well.

The third piece is Untitled ( American Heroes; Clint, Vicente, John........). Here i was interested in exploring the universal image of the T-Shirt across cultural lines and the universal influence of the cowboy in American and Latino identity. The installation came out better than i hoped. It was a beautiful piece that i felt like spoke to the viewer almost poetically floating in the air. I dunno. I liked it.

Well thanks for hearing me rant and all. Hope you guys like the work. To those who won pugialis, prepare for the real world. Chicago lives in a bubble, but its still pretty hostile one at that.

Emanuel Aguilar

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