I remember slowly approaching the structure, I crossed the parking spaces and at arriving in the back of the structure, I instantaneously felt an uneasy breeze sweep all my hair into my periphery.The smell of bay water and the sound of noise segals filled my atmosphere. Large shrubs seemed to be obstructing my vision of the piece of art from a distance but the closer and closer I got, the larger and more complex the art piece revealed itself to be. I stood nearly four feet away from the structure for about five minutes. First surveying my surrounds, I noticed the place appeared completely desolate for a long period of time, it struck me as being very unkept. Then I realized how large the preserve was, and lastly, I had the desire to continue exploring the reset of Baylands.
I took a few pictures from a distance then slowly and cautiously worked my way closer while simultaneously documenting the experience and my initial reaction with a video recording. The first things I mention in the video is how rearrangement of the concrete blocks reminded me of war, destruction and demolition of a strong and solid building. I thought I was looking at the ruins of a building and the art piece served as a memorial of all those whose lives were lost due to some tragic event concerning the destruction of the structure placed before me. I had come to the conclusion that in view of the of troubling and upsetting emotions built up within me, evoked only by piece of art itself. it had to be regarding unfortunate events but to my surprise it wasn't.
After doing some research on the art piece it was established that
- The structure was called “The Point”
- It was brought about by Richard F. Shirley and John M. Kennedy
- it was dedicated in 1980 "to the beauty and poetry of the Baylands.”
Relating back to the point brought up in Ways of Seeing, the difference between experiencing a piece of art in person as opposed to through a photograph is very different in more ways than it is similar. However having a clear memory of what it was like standing before the piece of art and then later looking at the picture you took of the piece of art is more similar than it is different. Looking at the picture before me I can still distinctively describe the sound, the smell, the feel of being there in person. The piece of art still means the same thing to me as it did when I first stood before it. The image of the structure still brings me to imagine the event of a natural disaster or war that demolished every structure in sight. Although everything lies in ruins there still remains hope for the future, for a tomorrow, when the sun will rise again and life will go on for everything it reaches. I don’t think this concept of the relationship between the before and after thoughts, feelings, experiences of a piece of art when you've viewed in in person and in a picture is mentioned by John Berger in Ways of Seeing. Nonetheless it does highlight an interesting notion of art. In my experience, the reproduction of art serve as reminder of the initial aura.
Avisely Solis is a second semester freshman at California Sate Northridge. She is majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Psychology. She hopes to one day travel to foreign countries as an archeologist.