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Lost Art, Refound

The Tate Gallery of Lost Art is ANOTHER! interactive website to find art. However, this one is based around art that has disappeared, deemed as Lost Art. The gallery explores art that has been lost in many different ways, be they misplaced, neglected or lost in many different ways as listed on the homepage of the gallery. It not only displays a depiction of what the lost piece of art would look like, the writers create a history as to where the piece of art has gone, what could have happened to it, its cultural significance, where it could be now, and groups the pieces of lost art by artist.

I recognized Marcel Duchamp’s name when I hovered over “artists” and took a peek. Lo and behold! Fountain! This simple urinal has only existed in replicas since its original 1917 creation and general hubbub. I found that the piece written on Fountain is very dramaturgical in nature. Explaining its significance in the art world, historical context, and where it stood in Duchamp’s collection of work, among many other evidence surrounding the historic piece of art. The essay also talks quite a bit about what replicating art means for a piece of visual art.

BUT- What’s even COOLER on this website, is if you hover over the “loss” header. A drop-down list appears naming many different ways in which a piece of art could have been lost. In this investigation, I headed to “rejection” and came across Diego Rivera’s rejected mural at the Rockefeller that famously highlighted Lenin as the center point. At the height of the red scare in America, his mural was rejected, and this work of art would live on forever as “lost”.
I next clicked on to “transient” art, and an audio clip of a woman’s voice was heard. She is the head of collection research at Tate, Jennifer Mundy, and what she said, I found exciting: “Some modern artists made artworks that were never intended to endure or be collected by museums. Today, these often theatrical or performative works live on in people’s memories and in the history of art through eyewitness accounts, photographs, films, or surviving physical remnants. They also can live again, in some sense, when reinterpreted by later artists. Importantly, not all art needs to survive in material terms in order to be remembered. Some artworks can make a very deep impression on people precisely because they are shortlived.”
I find this beautiful because theatre can be so fleeting. One performance may be two hours, and no other performance will ever be exactly the same. And Mundy explains the beauty in these differences. In the “transient” section, I found a sculpture created by Jean Tinguely in 1960 entitled Homage to New York. It is a mechanized, moving sculpture whose movements led to the ultimate disintegration of the sculpture itself. The point of the sculpture was that it was not supposed to live on forever. It was made up of scrap mechanical parts and the performance ultimately lasted 27 minutes. But it lives on!

So guys! Check out this website, it’s generally very interesting, but also a great resource for pieces of art, movements, and research.


ON ANOTHER NOTE ENTIRELY, but did not deserve its own blog post: I stumbled across a really cool dramaturgical tool! It is called a multicolor search. Here it is. You can choose up to 5 colors on the right side, and the website will search through its database in order to find photos that match the color scheme. Not only did I have great fun playing with this website, its great for dramaturgs, directors, designers, anyone! To find images, get a feeling of a scene, lighting design. Thought I’d share! Play around and see what comes up. In my first read of Wreckage, my play for the final project, I got a lot of water imagery. I chose a bunch of colors I felt were in that palette (blues, greens, greys) and some awesome images came up already. Enjoy!


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