Extra Credit#1_Linda Weintraub by Komal Kapoor

A few weeks ago I went to hear Linda Weintraub’s lecture “Drop Dead Gorgeous: Beauty and the Aesthetics of Activism”. Linda described beauty as the intereaction between the viewed and the world. Interestingly, she commented on how beauty is not really a visual phenomenon but based on a set of cultural values. I think this is apparent in every day attraction between people. Certain groups ofpeople find certain traits as more attractive for example darker skin, or bigger eyes. Linda further asks the question about what beauty looks like when it is represented in productive ecosystems. This reminded me of the ideal facial structure we have talked about in class, and naturally produced ideals are often considered as beautiful.

Andy Goldsworthy is an artist she introduces us, whose art I have come to really appreciate.  His art is composed of articles from nature that he sets up in perfect structures. Humans are delighted by nature at its simplest, and it is even more pleasing when it is arranged in simple shapes and distinct colors.  

 

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Linda progressed her lecture with a discussion of how there can be beauty even in the “uglier parts” of nature, like a rust pattern or bacteria design. Furthermore, the beauty in death and decay that is shown in Michel Blazy’s tower of moldy oranges and Gregor  Schneider’s mission to display a person dying in a gallery. These are interesting notions I have not really considered before. I really like a remark a student brought up about how there is an ongoing competition to make the goriest horror movies and the reason for that is maybe that we have become so numb and push ourselves to feel something through these movies. So I am not really sure if we will ever find death as beautiful or artistic, but we do accept it in our popular culture in movies.

By Komal Kapoor

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