Monday, January 14, 2013

Contemporary art can be a veritable kaleidoscope of techniques, viewpoints, and subject matter. It is so versatile, in fact, that you can peer into the past through a conceptually modern "lens" and gain an entirely new perspective on something. This is just what Anselm Kiefer (one of my favorite artists) has done in his piece "Morgenthau Plan". The Morgenthau Plan was the plan to divide Germany into pieces as well as shut down its ability to wage warfare following its occupation after World War II. This piece reflects that by combining both natural and man-made elements to create a contrast that really gets at the heart of the subject matter -- imprisonment of natural resources is wrong even as a punishment for aggression. This form of installation art is both encompassing and oppressive, inviting the attendees to contemplate the piece by being overwhelmed by its scale. The juxtaposition of the wheat-field and the almost prison-like steel gating could not be a more perfect allegory for man's conflict with nature and the entitlement of ownership involved.

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