A light-hearted survey course that I, Alexis Clements, put together for my former work colleagues upon the occasion of our weekly beer drinking celebration. Some of the links are dead (I apologize in advance for that), but some people seem to enjoy this, so I've left it up. Click here to return to my homepage.

A Brief Survey of Artistic Representations of Social Interaction:
From the Caves of Lascaux to the Halls of CIW

Unit 2 - The Devil Only Knows

Andreas Gursky. 99 Cent, Chromogenic color print.
6' 9 1/2" x 11' (207 x 337 cm)
Lent by the artist, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York,
and Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne.
©2001 Andreas Gursky.

From the caves at Lascaux, we jump now to the present, a world vastly different from that of the dark nether regions. Brightly lit and coated in candy-colored decor, our modern existence seems almost antithetical to that of our predecessors. Not only has the appearance of the world changed, but so too has our mode of interacting with it and within it.

The contemporary art photographer, Andraes Gursky, whose work is shown above, is particularly apt at capturing specific characteristics of our time in his vast panoramic scenes. One sees parallels between such works and the tomb paintings of the Egyptian pharoahs, the massive triptychs created for the altar pieces of medieval churches, and the works of artists such as Hieronymus Bosch.

Given all of this we are left to wonder whether now the poor fools are the artists or those whom they depict. But then again, the modern world has given us non-alcoholic beer, and one has to admit that it is difficult to image life in a cave without it.

Related Links:
Exhibition of works by Andreas Gursky.

The Bacchae of Euripides, 404BC.