“Art is a scream of freedom” – Christo.
I recently started following many Environmental artist like Agnes Denes, Jean Claude & Christo, Nils-Udo etc. I was really confused with the impact and I also failed sometimes to find the hidden intentions of many of these artworks. Christo is one of the main figures of the Environment Art Movement and his installations triggers a long lasting impact on your conscience. Working with his late partner Jeanne-Claude, Christo has been producing large-scale installations since the 1960s, provoking a variety of interpretations and critical reactions. The sudden alterations in your surroundings are purely aimed for an Aesthetic Impact. How will you feel if you suddenly stumble on a beach in your town being fenced ? What if your favorite one day suddenly vanishes?
Of course you will be shocked for a while to digest these facts. When we find our surroundings altered, we notice it. The sudden alterations in your surroundings are aimed for an Aesthetic Impact.
Christo and Jeanne Claude, Surrounded Islands, 1980-1983 Source: Contemporary-art-blog.com
Many of these artwork altered the normal surroundings and the change in Aesthetics lead to an emotional impact. I myself never realized that such sort of impact would lead people to work towards changing things around them. But last summer what I experience with students gave me a live example how ‘Aesthetic Impact’ leads to change making processes.
I joined my Teach For India fellowship last year and there were few new admissions in classroom as well. One of the kid was really active and she used to approach up with lots of questions related to random issues. The school was new to her and the infrastructure, practices and rules were different from her previous school. The most awkward thing which we both found was a burning corner in school. The burning corner was a secluded space near the school playground and each time we went for washroom or maybe games, we did notice it. The corner was always on fire with smoke coming out and sometime kids even playfully throwing waste in it. It actually became a normal sight for many of them but it was something absurd for the new kid. She never saw waste burnt on such scale in a school and this actually impacted her. The sight was always there . Either you get used to it or you raise this to change.
She raised this again and again since the aesthetics of the corner impacted her. We raised the issue to school and further we approached the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to arrange something to pick our waste. The reluctant-slow attitude from the officials initially demotivated us but on later stage a collaborated approach initiated a change process. A vehicle started picking the waste on regular basis.
‘The process of change never ceases’ .We further worked on transforming the space into a “Green Corner’. The space was initially cleaned and a new top soil was placed. We arranged new saplings and seeds which were planted during the monsoon. The Green
Corner provides a soothing ambience to the playground.
Inspired from this change making process, students conducted a session in a conference on “Aesthetic Impact: Our Change Making Process”
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