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Evaluation of cultural significance in the Comparitive Studies

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Hey everyone

I hope someone can help me and explain to me how i am supposed to evaluate the cultural significance of an artwork, i am working on my Comparative Study in Visual arts right now and i am so confused :hisfault:

So if someone could help me and tell me if there are any specific guidelines for that or tell me how they've done it i'd be so thankful! 

So thanks in advance 

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Cultural significance really just means how it is affected by the culture the artist is from, lives in or knows off, and vice versa. How it adds to understanding the culture in question, how it on itself helps redefine a certain culture, or how it reflects the culture. Really, the concept of "cultural significance" is as broad as you want it to be. If you tell me which artworks you're working on, I might be able to give more specific and relevant examples. :-) 

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Thank you so so much!! I am working on "reflections" by Lee Teter, "Korean War veterans Memorial" by Frank Gaylord and Louis Nelton and "the portable war memorial" by Edward Kienholz. 

My Topis is how all those three Artworks, one is a portrayal, symbolize the emotions of the wide population, not only grief also critical thinking and all that. 

I feel like its very hard but i decided on it now so i'll have to go through it :D 

Thank you so much for your help! 

Oh ya and i am taking Visual Arts SL 

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On 7/11/2016 at 2:53 PM, Sophie111 said:

So if someone could help me and tell me if there are any specific guidelines for that or tell me how they've done it i'd be so thankful! 

The IB Visual Arts Guide, which you can find linked here: VISUAL ARTS 2016.pdf states the following when it comes to Assessment criteria C in the Comparative Study (Evaluation of cultural significance):

To what extent does the work demonstrate informed understanding of the cultural significance of the selected artworks, objects and artifacts within the specific context in which they were created?

In my CS, I focused on how the historical and cultural contexts at the time (i.e. what was happening at the time in which the piece was created) have influenced the significance and relevance of the piece of art I was discussing. For instance, whist discussing the body extension piece Finger Gloves by Rebecca Horn, which you can see below in an image, I wrote the following:

10.2003%23%23S.jpg

Above: Rebecca Horn, Fingerhandschuhe (Finger Gloves) 1972 102 x 29 x14 cm Fabric, wood and metal Tate Modern Collection

Quote

The decade preceding the creation of Horn’s Finger Gloves (1960s) saw plenty of socially and politically rooted movements advocating for women’s rights, and the art world did nothing but reflect this trend. The Feminist Art Movement (refereed to as FAM) saw its peak during the 1970s when Horn was creating her most renown body sculptures. The aims of this movement included the production of art that depicted realistically women’s daily lives -especially in domestic scenarios- as well as to alter both the production and reception of contemporary art. The body of work produced by women adhering to the FAM did not comprise only paintings to sculptures, but saw an intensification of collaborative installations and performance art pieces. The year preceding the production of Horn’s Finger Gloves saw the publishing of Linda Nochlin’s controversial essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? Horn produced the majority of her work in the time frame of the FAM which is referred to as the First Wave of Feminist Art, in which women artists adopted radical and sometimes unsettling approaches to art making, exploring women’s femininity through depictions of female nudes, female genitalia and menstrual blood. Horn seems to explore the relationship between the human body and the space around it without using gender disparity as a means to achieve recognition and approval from viewers. Her body sculptures seem to never exploit female nudity in order to draw spectatorial attention to her work, but almost engage in a scientific exploration of the relationship between man and the environment in which he lives in. Also, the industrial nature of her work makes it adaptable both to men and women.

In this portion of my CS, which was awarded full marks (I achieved a level 7 with 100% overall in VA HL), I referred to the various social and cultural changes that were occurring in the 1960s-70s, but I always reconnected them back to the original piece, showing how these had an impact on the piece itself. I highlighted in red above the areas where I have done this. Notice also how I explored the social and cultural conventions of Feminist Art in the 1960s-70s (the sentence in teal green) and then illustrated how Horn interpreted these social and cultural trends, deviating from them when producing her works. 

I hope this helps you in terms of evaluating cultural significance in your three works! Also, one tip for the whole CS: Always use secondary sources such as essays, criticisms and other official documents to back up your claims on your works. NEVER rely solely on personal opinions alone! 

Edited by Enrico Giori

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