Dead or Alive, has been illustrated by the Museum of Arts and Design since April, 27 up to October 24, 2010, it has showcased the works of over thirty global artists who convert organic materials and objects which were once produced by a part of living organisms such as pests, fluffs, skeletons, plant resources, silkworm, and hair to produce intricately crafted and designed equipment and statue ( Lowry, 23).This paper intends to explore the similarities and differences of four pieces of works that were displayed in dead or alive show.
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The exhibition explored a region associated to MAD's Second Lives: Reinventing the Ordinary, which portrayed fashionable works produced from multiples of normal man-made items? In Dead or Alive, the materials changed by the artists are entirely natural. Living parts of plants and animals are put together and rearranged into works of art that deal with the transience of existence, and everything that is stylish and startling about the natural world.
To start with, Tessa farmer used mummified frog and bat, bladderwort, hedgehog spikes, ram skull, weasel skulls, a wasp`s nest and a spider web to bring out his art. All these were majorly materials that had come from animals that were now dead. This can be compared to Helen Altman work that was referred to as spice skulls. Her work also uses the skull of something that was alive at one point in time.
A comparison that comes from this two works is that Helen used a less number of materials to create her work. The material was a dead human being`s skull as opposed to Tessa’s work that had made use of ram skull and weasel skull. Tessa`s work had more than two materials used in making his work. Tessa`s marauding horde had made use of one color whereas Helen’s work had a lot of colors which were different making her work attractive to admire.
Shen shaomin`s Sagittarius work combines both human and animal bones to come up with something unique and attractive to the eyes. The artist used bone that was a man`s skeleton and an animal skeleton together with bone meal and glue to bring out a splendid sculpture of another four legged animal. Billie grace Lynn also uses the same technique to create her wonderful work that was named mad cow motorcycle. She combined a bovine skeleton and put it together with a bicycle frame that had been motorized. She designed a motorcycle helmet that looked like udders facing up side down. Despite using animal band human bones they also use leather, fur and other animal materials.
Despite the two works having similarities hey also have dissimilarities. Billie grace Lynn mad cow motorcycle has used frames that have been made from other materials that are not from an animal or from a human being. It is from natural materials such as rubber, wires and metal rods. Shem shaomin`s Sagittarius on the other hand has used purely human and animal materials. Shen decided to stick to a common materials opposed to Billie.
Shen`s Sagittarius and Billie’s mad cow motorcycle is different from Tessa’s marauding horde in the sense that Tessa used many materials as opposed to shen. The marauding horde has used animal materials, insect materials and bird materials. Thus Tessa appears to be more creative than Shen.
The four artistic works discussed above in this paper were works that portray that although something may have ceased to exist, it can still be represented by using its remains through art. When something is dead in reality it still lives through its remains that remained behind and used as raw materials for art development and showcasing. This means that there is life in the dead.