Groups And Gropius
I am writing this to reassure you that despite my world-cup-heavy-schedule-realigned-life I will not be posting anything about football, as this is indeed an art-blog even with its add-on bits. No, no footie postings even if I was thinking that the Brian Clough analogy *The Beautiful Game* did have a certain ring to it when I found myself drifting a bit watching some of the highlights the other night.
The game does have a very flowing kind of choreograph even if some of the upfront contact is more often than not something akin to a nasty stamp on the foot (Camoranesi – Italy v Paraguay! tut!). The idea that football is all about macho and agro - if you take a step back and just watch the ebb and flow it is quite beautiful....
WOAH! It nearly turned into a post about football
This is an art blog - repeat 100 times....
Well actually the footie did inspire me a bit further because as I was assessing the groups and planning my life around the games. I noticed that the way Italy played against Paraguay in the first half – it just didn’t work for them – they had to change the way they played.
This is that team thing when they either play 4222 or 442 (something like that anyway) a subtle difference but can sometimes make the two up front become more pressurised-prima-donna-strikers and less of a team in motion. And the 4222 all the way down the line can lead to a robotic machine like display of neither one thing nor the other - but safely checking the ball every step of the way (think Czech Republic in last WC; they had experience, method and some quality players - so it kind of worked for them then).
This shows why the US system is often termed 4-2-2-2 rather than 4-4-2. The defensive midfielders (green) and the strikers (blue) take up conventional positions, but Dempsey and Donovan play very central (pink) forcing the England full-backs to come narrow.
Italy dominated the game but rarely provided a real goal threat, whilst Paraguay sat back, defended and were happy to rely on set-pieces. Marcello Lippi’s switch to 4-4-2 on the hour mark resulted in Italy looking a far better side.
image and text courtesy : zonalmarking.com
Ok footie drawing board over; the thing that I seem to notice though it’s the team in general, whichever way the nuances are played out that's usually the factor that wins the game and not individual stars (on their own).
The past few posts have covered artists along with the debates that came up with #class; and Sarah (Smizz) in the previous post was also very keen on the idea of team or the collective side of things in art practice, as a way to include and get things done.
It is so true because many creative’s do group-up; writers for example although they group, the reality of their actual practice is usually a solitary occupation. But Artists are uniquely solitary they don’t instinctively group, and their practice is usually a solitary occupation.
The Opera North production of Tosca
Writers are different in as much as they need other creative’s like comedians, actors, directors. And all the creative ensemble that goes with production. Plus without writers there would be no production. But the *machine* from the beginning to end product is a group effort of different creative talents, who in a collective luvvie kind of way all root for each other.
Writer's are held within that – the only parallel to artists being the solitary literary writer as opposed to screen or script. The commercial aspect of production is certainly a big factor and aside from the collective big–ups and mini spats between each other, the overall clout is big.
The writers’ strike proved that a couple of years ago – production and all the commerce that was wrapped in its entourage nearly ground to a halt – all because the writers downed pens, to sort out some pressing rights. It worked in the fact they were taken notice of – feared even.
image courtesy flikr; chanchanchepon
So the iceberg effect of the writers scenario was turned on it's head from people seeing the actors as the main part of a production - the icing on the cake - or the actors being primarily judged or held in esteem, because of that.
Artists on the other hand, because of their solitary offerings, are not usually involved with production companies and they work in the singular (unless a collaboration which tend to be more the exception than the rule).
And some artists similarly have become judged or exalted celebrity in the limelight.
But without the added benefit of a collective of integral parts in the process - they are essentially their own productions. It’s not cut and dried and different creative areas all have their solitary moments, but overall artists tend to see their work through from beginning to end effectively alone.
That and the very commercial nature at the centre of the art market makes me think that people like Gropius and the Bauhaus school/collective who brought emerging artists together like Klee and Kandinsky (and not just *big names* - my friends dad used to teach in a school based on it's semiotics as late as the sixties) were onto something.
You may like, or not, the design ethic - and Bauhaus certainly had one - that groups can create. But overall the history of Gropius’s vision created a team that worked and was strong in numbers as it was in its *product*. Art, architecture, design, call it what you will the Gropius idea connected artists and created landmarks and benchmarks for other artists to make or break and art and artists in general were all stronger for it.
And so a lot of effort goes into the 90 minute game. The art of football has a collective heart beat -no matter how many groups the World Cup has or how competitive and crazily monetized the event appears to have become. None of those individual footballers are anything without their team mates.
A beautiful game indeed.
Ok truly, truly enough football analogies here.......
Back on Sunday with more ART (honest!)