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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:01 pm 
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Will Heath wrote:
let's be honest here, her pots are the only thing that are popbonsai, without them, there is not much different.

If there comes a new way of looking at bonsai (such as pop bonsai), the style of the pot will be the first indication. The pot sets up the context, so it is a major part of the change.
It is probably just as important as the plant itself. So, saying that pot is "the only thing" sort of discounts its importance. With pop bonsai, the pot is the main thing. The plants in them are mostly young seedlings.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:22 pm 
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Good points Attila and I concede that innovations can take place in bonsai pottery, although it as an art form, is limited severely by the need for function which in many ways dictates form.
The question I have is does a change in the shape, style, or color of a pot change bonsai, does it qualify it to be renamed and called something else?
Take the plants out of the pots in popbonsai and replant them in a few of Horst's pots and we have good old traditional accents or bonsai in quality pots, so what it is that makes popbonsai unique, only the pots? I see no real innovation in styling.
Considering this, is popbonsai only an innovation in pottery?
The real question is does it work artisically? Many say yes, I think it borders on Kitsch.

Will Heath


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:35 pm 
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Will Heath wrote:
so what it is that makes popbonsai unique, only the pots?

I think so. She also styles the trees in literati style, so [Pop pot + young literati trees] is her thing.

Will Heath wrote:
The real question is does it work artisically? Many say yes, I think it borders on Kitsch.

I think it is totally kitsch.
Not necessarily a bad thing though. First, I am sure she knows that, and does not pretend that she is doing fine art.
Second, there are three kinds of kitsch: 1.the vicious kind (very low quality), 2. the innocent kitsch, and 3. the transcendent kitsch (the high quality one). Lisa's creation is, at worst, innocent kitsch intended to entertain. Just like the Hollywood blockbusters. Nothing wrong with that.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:39 pm 
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BTW, just to be realistic, most of the bonsai we create belong to the innocent kitsch category. When we copy another bonsai, the result inevitably falls within the borders of kitsch, at best the high quality one.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:05 pm 
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I think we need to change our views on kitsch and not regard it as always bad by default.
Just look a Thomas Kinkade. He became very successful and famous, doing high quality kitsch all the way.
http://www.kinkadeonline.com/paintings/ ... Chapel.jpg
(I look at that chapel and mountain scenery behind it, I can't help but be affected by the beauty of the scene. At the same time, I am laughing at myself because the painting is so kitschy, it screams it out loud.)
http://www.kinkadeonline.com


Last edited by Attila Soos on Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Kitsch, not matter which way you look at it is an exercise in either absurdity or condescension. It is absurd if it is an attempt to do something different consciously seeking a difference and not expressing a real artistic insight coming from the soul. It is condescension when it is a conscious effort to "put it in your face". For better or worse it is a quasi-artistic method of mocking those who follow that art form.
However I guess the argument could be made under today's standards that this kind of response makes it art. It seems to always come back to the meaning of art. That ranks right up there with the meaning of life. There are now and probably never will be, an accepted definition for art.
A number of years ago I visited a friend in Toledo Ohio. He took me over to Bowling Green University to go through the music library. At the time the stair way down to the basement had some ceramic pieces of art on the walls around and down the stairs. Try not to misunderstand me on this, I am not speaking metaphorically but literally, the ceramic pieces of art looked like someone had slung feces against the walls. Is this art? Someone thinks/thought so. Is it Kitsch? Probably.
What I got out of the min-exhibit was amusement that the people who got talked into hanging this Crap, (notice with a capitol C) thinking they were making a statement of some kind. It only said to me: Look at I'm an idiot, I paid for the stuff isn't it wonderful? Any way this is the world we live in and the only solution I can see for myself is to make bonsai that are honest to me, that please me, and to express my inner soul.
You can like them, you can hate them, you can love to hate them, or hate to love them. Without guile, they are what they are and in some way they are me. A lot of stuff out there is nothing more than superficial attempts at being DIFFERENT, PURPOSEFULLY INSULTING and or CONTROVERSIAL. Real art is as far from this as shoe polish is from powdered yeast.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:43 am 
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Kitsch can only be defined out of a rather narrow perspective: today, here. I know today, what belongs to art and what is kitsch.
But a bit of the art may become kitsch for the next generation, a bit of the kitsch might be rediscovered as art again. The line between art and kitsch is seasonally changing.
But who cares. Jeff Koons and others show, that kitsch may bring a benefit into art, may serve as style. At least for those who have enough humour to show tolerance towards kitsch.
It is about humour, when you talk about kitsch. The concept of art does not strictly forbid humour.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:23 am 
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I guess you are right. So it really is not a question of is it Art or is it Kitsch? The question is what kind of art is it and Kitsch is one of many definitions.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:28 am 
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Vance
let me go back to these harsh words you used above: DIFFERENT, PURPOSEFULLY INSULTING and CONTROVERSIAL. I have been thinking a lot about that in the last few days. Because of this stone, my lady found in the woods:
We are talking about some 20 pounds of massive limestone. When you look at it from one side, it is a perfect skull. Might be a dinosaur or a dragon. Believe me, it does not take any phantasy to see that. But it is not a skull, just a stone. It is not a suiseki, too. An astonishing stone, different, controversial and somehow even insulting.
How likely is it to find such a stone? Should I have thrown it away, because it does not fit any rule of bonsai? Should I have said: 'I put you on my window bench, but keep away from the real art'?. I could not do so. Instead I bought a cornus alba and ? forgive me all ? planted it 'over the rock'. I will show that as soon as possible.
Now: Is this art? Is this punk? Is this kitsch? Or is it just an idea, that does not need a category, because it is unique anyway?
Sometimes, Vance, I think I should stop writing and thinking and just do things. Others may discuss then, what it is. And if they think it is controversial ? is this not their own fault?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:04 am 
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Andrew Loosli wrote:
Now: Is this art? Is this punk? Is this kitsch? Or is it just an idea, that does not need a category, because it is unique anyway?

I would call this Innovation. I can't wait to see this Andrew.

WIll


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:21 am 
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Andrew Loosli wrote:
Vance
let me go back to these harsh words you used above: DIFFERENT, PURPOSEFULLY INSULTING and CONTROVERSIAL. I have been thinking a lot about that in the last few days. Because of this stone, my lady found in the woods:
We are talking about some 20 pounds of massive limestone. When you look at it from one side, it is a perfect skull. Might be a dinosaur or a dragon. Believe me, it does not take any phantasy to see that. But it is not a skull, just a stone. It is not a suiseki, too. An astonishing stone, different, controversial and somehow even insulting.
How likely is it to find such a stone? Should I have thrown it away, because it does not fit any rule of bonsai? Should I have said: 'I put you on my window bench, but keep away from the real art'?. I could not do so. Instead I bought a cornus alba and ? forgive me all ? planted it 'over the rock'. I will show that as soon as possible.
Now: Is this art? Is this punk? Is this kitsch? Or is it just an idea, that does not need a category, because it is unique anyway?
Sometimes, Vance, I think I should stop writing and thinking and just do things. Others may discuss then, what it is. And if they think it is controversial ? is this not their own fault?

If you find a stone and recognize something in it if displayed a particular way, represents something other than what it is, and you collect the stone and display it in that manner then it is art. What's the problem? What ever you do don't stop thinking or discussing these things, if anything it helps you figure out where you stand.
After all who cares if what you, I, or anyone does falls under the scrutiny of someone else? I suppose this is the point you are trying to make, or I should say I am trying to understand, that you are going to do what you want to do while others discuss what it is you have done and why you did it. It really is a bit amusing when you think about it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:01 pm 
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This post is coming sometime after the original cycle of discussion. After reading though the entire string once more I find that most of our discussion has been around the subject of art for lack of a better word to describe it. However; we seem to forget that innovation takes more forms than those aesthetic. In the last century there have been quite few innovations that primarily reside in the realm of technique and mechanics.
Over the last fifteen years or so we have been dazzled by the work of Kimura, and Walter Pall. Watlter's contribution has been more to redefine an artistic approach, the beginnings of a new school of thought on the art. Kimura on the other hand has stuck closer to producing trees that clearly show their link to the traditional styles. But, he has mastered some techniques and skills to create these images in ways not tried before, or even imagined as possible.
The use of screend planters, collanders and pond baskets to develop quickly, a bonsai specific root system has become a common thing, or at least commonly understood. Many of the tools we use today are the inventions of this century. So we are not without innovation, we are not looking closely enough to recognize them when they occur.


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