Sent my critical V&A project earlier, but realised I sent from my personal address. Here’s the link from my goldsmiths account. The first one was a link to my blog dashboard and not my central page.. here is the correct link.
Dream Spaces, Places + Objects
The Victoria and Albert Museum features a courtyard in the center of the structure. This courtyard is Renaissance in style with variations of Morrish influence found in elements of the architecture’s facade such as the courtyard’s mosaics, the red color of the brick, and the Spanish roof tiles. This Renaissance – Morrish style is in direct contrast to the remaining structure which is Victorian in style. This contrast proves that the structure values English and Western tradition over other forms of art and cultural representation.
Constructing the structure’s exterior in a victorian style, and the interior courtyard in Renaissance – Morrish, creates an interesting dynamic that exemplifies the museum’s views on the hierarchical ordering of different styles. The structure’s exterior makes the claim that the Victorian architectural style is an acceptable representation of the museum as a whole to the general public. For, the facade acts as a viewer’s first glimpse into the values, concerns, and inner workings of the institution itself. By validating the Victorian style as an acceptable representation of the Victoria and Albert Museum to the general public, it makes the claim that the style itself promotes a respectable public opinion.
Victorian architecture promotes a respectable public opinion because it’s a style of architecture that was common in London during the time in which the museum was built. Additionally, the style is associated with a national English heritage considering that it is in reference to structures built during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Essentially, the exterior of the museum speaks to the idea that what is acceptable for representing the museum to the public is that which is common and congruent with a Western and English past. Why make the interior of the structure Renaissance – Morrish then?
By placing the Renaissance – Morrish within the interior of the structure, the Museum states that this type of architecture, unlike Victorian architecture, is an element of the “other.” It is something that can only be captured in a small portion of the structure’s facade. Additionally, it must be kept within the interior to still be accessible to the public but not the main focus of the public’s experience with the structure. It creates a hierarchy of architectural styles by valuing the contemporary English and Western style over other styles.
The contrast between the courtyard and the remaining structure is evidence of the ways in which the Victoria and Albert Museum focus primarily on western style and culture because it acts as a responsible representation of the institution as a whole, while other styles and cultures are only allowed to be featured in small doses and not at the expense of English and Western tradition.
This narrative presented by the architecture of the museum is deeply rooted in the rest of the museum. Primarily, western pieces are displayed in the museum. Pieces that are seen as being “other” are only allowed in small doses. The question raised by both the architecture of the museum and the pieces within the structure is, what gives English and Western pieces and architecture priority over other forms of art, design, and cultural representation?
|questioning the collection
The V&A Museum was established in 1852, with the fo…
Birth of Milk Drop 1 – Harold Egerton, 1957
“Seconds. There it is. Sometimes it’s no use at all. Sometimes it’s tremendous value.” – Harold Edgerton.
Capturing and documenting high-speed events, Edgerton attempts to produce a coronet with a single drop of milk falling into liquid. The contrast between the photograph, the set-up and the concept is time-reliant.
This revolutionary stop-motion photograph resulted in a process that changed the future of photography. Edgerton’s combination of camera shutter speed and strobe-lights lead to him capturing moments that are too quick for the naked eye to visualise. Not only had Edgerton’s photography technology changed our human understanding of the physical world, but it has also allowed us to evaluate and question the progress of contemporary art and design.
As Edgerton’s piece is displayed as a photograph in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the ‘photographers’ role in explaining the artefact is not present. The concept of time in relation to the work may be beneficial to understand the value of the milk drop, but not beneficial to evaluate the concept. Time, as a concept, is ever-changing, its the only constant; this concept in relation to Edgerton’s timely organised photography is affective. His effort in perfecting the image to create a split-second visual is compelling.
The photograph sits in the museum as a technological implement to economic understanding; it is admired equally for its artistic, aesthetic merit as well as its scientific innovative idea. The Victoria and Albert Museum is famously known for its historic art and design decoratives, the link between the contemporary and the old arts is that of vital consideration. Therefore, placing this 50’s photography is politically engaging in the progression of design. It demonstrated the link between old processes leading to contemporary beginning for the arts, constructing the world as we know it.
As Edgerton claims that he is a ‘scientist’ rather than an ‘artist’, it allows the viewer to question the impact of multi-media as professionalism, whilst also questioning the importance of his photography piece in the Victoria and Albert museum.
‘Birth of Milk Drop 1’ enabled the viewer to question the importance of photography in relation to time. It allows us to progress into contemporary art and design by his process of innovative photograph method. Not only has Egerton allowed us to visualise the physical world as we now know it, he has creatively influenced our understanding of art and design.
– Collections, A. (2017) Milk drop Coronet | Edgerton, Harold | V&A search the collections. Available at: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O83197/milk-drop-coronet-photograph-edgerton-harold/ (Accessed: 5 March 2017).
– Edgerton, H. (2010) See how One man Revolutionzied high-speed photography. Available at: http://100photos.time.com/photos/harold-edgerton-milk-drop (Accessed: 1 March 2017).
-File, W.C. (no date) Milk drop Coronet, Harold Edgerton, 1936. Available at: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/windows/south/harold_edgerton.html (Accessed: 2 March 2017).
– Harold Edgerton – milk drop Coronet, 1957 (1957) Available at: http://theartreserve.com/harold-edgerton-milk-drop-coronet-1957/ (Accessed: 2 March 2017).