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Art Critique

Critique of Bill Vazan's Black Nest


Introduction: Mainly based on plastic and visual art Canadian art and sculpture, undergone a vas change as per the changing demands and trends in the art history. The Government of Canada often plays an active role in the development of Canadian Culture, visualizing the works through periodicals to the students and public. There are influences of French colonial and British colonial as well as aboriginal Canadian culture in the artworks that people adore around the world. This study will be concentrating on analysing one piece of art situated in the National Art Gallery in Canada. The art is an exquisite example of visual art and stone sculpture by artist Bill Vazan. This study will try to explore and observe the value of this art in influencing people, to the culture and the appeal of the art among the public; how people are connected with this artwork is also an essential topic in this study. The connection of Black Nest with Bourdieu theory would be examined in this study with the reflections on how this artwork is different and exciting.

Question 1: Where the piece is located in relation to its place on the art hierarchy

Answer: Location Of The Artwork: Over more than thirty years, artist Bill Vazan and his Montreal-based artworks have helped him to earn recognition as a significant practitioner of land-based, photographic and conceptual art. Debatably, the most exciting and meaningful conceptual as well as land-tantly, this has attempted to exhibit the limits of sculpture (Levitt et al., 2018, p. 28). The artworks are surrounded with haunting images, primitive petroglyphs and atavistic siglis that underline a time when it is believed that mar-making was mysterious under being invested with the authority of anticipation; with sympathetic magics, along with prehistoric wonder. Indeed, the Black Nest is a symbol of great work with the use of a natural element that underlines origins in the Canadian Shield: the craving of Black Nest outlines a pit teeming with snakes. This sculpture carries both ancient and modern sources of motivations, consisting of contemporary mathematical art, the megaliths of Western Europe, the symbolic motifs of the Aztecs of Mexico and others.

Considering the art hierarchy of sculptures, this visual art using stone bears the presence of ancient activity and modernism both. The piece of art placed in the National Gallery's sculpture garden recalls the natural forms of flowing water and snakes with the hint of old patterns or conceptions of the structures of living matter (Sloan, 2018, p. 41). As per the standard, visualization of abstract concepts and the ancient reality with modernism, the Black Nest stands in the front line of the art hierarchy.

Question 2: Observe who else has stopped to appreciate/comment/etc. And how people access the piece - this will give you a sense of the snobs and omnivore elements that can be connected to the type of art, where you view it, etc.

Answer: Attendance Of People On The Art: Accessing the piece of art is not an easy task. The artist's abstract and minimalistic land artworks of the 1960s and 1970s were frequently ephemeral, made by chalk lines, maintenance of stones and others (Campbell, 1992, p. 45). Currently, all those pieces of evidence only exist through photographs, videos and books. Through the artwork (Black Nest), the artist considers that humane and nature are intimately connected; his work examines the human-cosmos relationship. The engraving of snakes and water flows with mathematical arts are the pieces of evidence of his concerns with a human-cosmos relationship. This art depicts how the culture, universal process and human nature have been matured day by day. People have understood what is significant is not what is being observed, but what is unseen and unknown through the artwork, that is called "cosmological shadows". The artist has made and learned how to assist his viewers in increasing responsiveness to the imagination as well as to come to the compact with it. This work is a catalyst for and itself liable on the co-relations among real and imaginary worlds.


Question 3: Are there gatekeepers that influence public consumption of the art? Who are they and what is their role (formal/informal, etc)

Answer: Security And Public Consumption Of The Art: The security policy and system in the National Art Gallery in Canada are impressive. The main objective of the National Gallery of Canada Security Policy according to the observation and gathered knowledge is to make the principles in which NCG develops, maintains and observe a productive and cooperative security program, which would make sure a safe environment for the tourists, visiting public, employee, volunteers and contractors along with the intellectual, cultural and physical treasures. Additionally, the NCG security policy would follow the fundamentals found in the PGS, one of which is the improvisation of physical safeguarding to mainly preventing the unauthorised access to arts (, 2019, p. 4). On the other hand, tours and guides in the National Art Gallery of Canada are also efficient to prove the visitors with the privilege of group tours for adults, accessible programs, floorplans, audio guidance and others. This could be said that, as per the observation, the public is free to access and consume the art and works of prestigious artists around the globe at this centre. It has been noticed that while observing and understanding the underneath meaning of Black Nest, its significance to the culture, its symbolism, people are free, though there is a presence of physical security everywhere. Inquisitive people get their answers from the respective tour guides and form the experts appointed by the National Art Gallery in Canada.  

Question 4: What does it mean if the piece is in your local gallery/coffee house vs. An institution or elsewhere?

Answer: It is a serious responsibility to carry forward the famous, significant and precious artwork of Bill Vazan to a local gallery or elsewhere. First of all, impossible to replace the art; as it will need extra care and maintenance as done in the National Art Gallery. Protection and security are the first two steps that need to be fulfilled if it is replaced. On the other hand, based on the fact of owning a famous art, suggests possession, its real value and the fulfilling sentiment of examining the art through closer proximity daily. People will get more free access and closure view if it is placed in a coffee shop or an institution. People will get the chance to criticize the symbolism and efforts of the artist, and the possibility of more modern research will be increased.

Correlation of the art with the theory of Bourdieu: Bourdieu talks on the cultural sociology have an association with the artistic reflection, culture and imaginative mind. Approaches cover both the changes and its impacts on people through visualizing the art forms, photography and sense of socialism. Through his theories, the authorization, art value, birth and contrast of modern art with that of the primitive value of classical techniques and culture have been come forward (Archer et al., 2015, p. 933). As per the theorist, works of art, after that needs the establishment of all the existing social codes, to that people may have empathy, or from which people separate themselves. To move from an uncomplicated meaning in a painting to a second-order knowledge underlines, people require to think semiologically (Wacquant & Akçaoglu, 2017, p.60).

It is pointed out that, "social capital is irreducibly attached to the class and other forms of stratification which in turn are associated with various forms of benefit or advancement. Bourdieu framed social capital as accrued actual or virtual resources acquired by individuals or groups through the possession of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition". The artwork focuses on this relationship(Claridge, 2015).

According to the theory and its essence mentioned above, Bill Vazan, through his artwork practices an "anthropic" perspective to the efforts akin to that approach of cosmology, which increased currently in physics. The "anthropic" state is very critical from the fundamental scientific perspective in which the visitor played no role. In the context of this new artwork and approach, coincidences and accidents in a social setting have taken on the current meaning and this has turned out to be clear, which somehow the balance of divine forces might depend on the existence of human observers. Coincidentally, people, as observers, have become aware of the critical role in understanding the nature of social reality. The artist is a creative one, not a physicist, yet he is still a supporter of the Anthropic principle. In the context of Bourdieu theory, the artwork, Black Nest tried to establish the empathy of cosmic, social and collective forces with that of the individual living, who separated themselves from it. Observation of his artwork influence people to think collectively and culturally within the social cords exist.


Question 5: Why do you like the piece?

Answer: The most important aspect of the artwork is that it is a stone-based artwork. Stone based artworks is a dying art due to the difficulties associated with them and the small number of people who could understand and appreciate such works. The sculpture is made on such a stone that is century old and hence creates a sense of mystery and wonder. When at the statue, the thought that comes to my mind is that, the stone has witnessed evolutions. It has been thorough political turmoil, environmental changes and the developments of human civilisation (Josée Drouin-Brisebois, 2015, p. 32). It has seen many Kingdoms to grow and many to fall. The antique and old nature of the selected stones for sculpture thrills me and most of the audiences. It is stated by Vazan himself that, "Early gatherings of place material resulted from my emotional responses to mainly received valuations of civilization and human history. Further on, with the conceptual framework basically in place, the amassing of detritus reflected the ideation of the work itself: trip matter collected - no matter the voyage's goal" (Brisebois, 2015). The valuations of human history and civilisation are the crucial aspect that enhances the value of this art piece.

All these hidden meaning and thoughts make this piece an attractive one for me. The mysterious nature of the stone piece is magnified by the sculpture engraved on it. The work of Vazan gives the century-old stone the honour that it deserves. The lines carved in the millennia-old stone makes us go beyond the normal limits of the present time. The snake shows the power of water. The way the snake's whirlpool goes upward, make me remember the destructive incidences caused by water. This sculpture somehow makes me remember how nature, the mother of humankind, could become the curse to it. If people continue to disrespect the earth, it could become as poisonous as the snakes. The way the maker can respect and mystify nature by using a straightforward tool is impressive.

Along with that, the visual art is very appreciative. The visual art is done by using mathematical calculations of visual art. All the lines of the snakes dotted on the stone are quite manipulative, tricky and deceptive to the eyes. The superfine and authentic manipulation of lines and the visual deception created by it is fantastic and a key reason for considering a major appreciated masterpiece of Vazan.

The art piece is significant for me as it connects the modern art and has the classical rethinking element. Though the sculpture art is not as observed or beloved to the visitors, this at is essential in projecting the cosmic force that is still intact though the world, specifically, when culture and concept of cultural sociology have changed a lot. This piece of art connects people with nature and natural forces. It has hints of science, and the way all these things have been put by the artist is also remarkable. Combination art that depicts or tries to tell some story or inherent truths that the people are ignorant at the moment are of great value. This is one of the main reasons why this art piece is so precious and likeable.

Question 6: What kinds of publics does this style of art appeal to? Why?

Answer: This would appeal to mainly five kinds of people that are education tourists, artist, people who like stone sculpture, the audience of visual art, historical tourists. Mostly it is the visible art audience and educational tourists, to which this artwork is valuable to the greatest extent. It is stated by Hegel, "The goal to be reached is the mind's insight into what knowing is. Impatience asks for the impossible, wants to reach the goal without the means of getting there. The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary" (POPOVA, 2019). This ability to reach in mind's insight is the crucial aspect that could attract visual artists from all over the world. However, this artwork does not have much historical value to expect the ancient origin of the stone. This is a very recent work done in the 1990s. However, the stone might be able to amuse the historical tour. For visual artists, this is an excellent piece of art. The sculpture is made by using intricate lines, which is very complicated to understand (Ortland, 2017, p.205).
Along with that, the sculpture is a masterpiece of art. This is likely to encourage art enthusiast's form all over the world to travel to this place to witness this and such other masterpieces stored in the museum. Canada is highly appreciated for international as we as domestic travellers.

Every year the nation witnesses around 20.8 million visitors. The significant number of travellers is mostly made of education tourists. The tourists are the most potential visitors of such artefacts. Therefore, there is a high possibility that the tourists who travel there would come chiefly with the purpose to gain knowledge from it. Art enthusiast constitutes a significant portion of the visitors of such sculpture. The sculpture is being admired as well as criticised by many people who fall in this category. The art piece is situated with Water Planet, which is another masterpiece of the same author and this enhances the value of this art piece and complements it. It is observed that a majority of the visitors of the galley are significant delegates from around the world. Therefore, this could be stated that this and such other artworks are mostly appreciated by people who have a new taste of a unique preference for art and culture.

Conclusion: From the above analysis and critique of Black Nest, it has been understood that each artwork has significant value on the people and society. Sometimes, the artworks from the past bear the social symbolism with them. Visiting the works of famous artists develop a sense of pride and in searching of meaning, it offers a new perspective to people. With the analysis of the artwork selected in this study, it has been assumed that through old in ages, the artworks reflect and connects with the modern way of thinking, with the contemporary analysis and contemporary art of existence in the same world. It has been noticed that the art; Black Nest by Bill Vazan is essential for culture and society. It has the essence that could make a bridge between the old and the modernity. In a nutshell, it could be said that the portrayal of snakes, science, use of original art, energy and nature of water justifies the code between cosmos and individual.


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