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Judith Scott Reflection

KatieRose's picture
I found the pieces on Judith Scott to be very interesting. Her story of family/twin connection, life in an institution, and discovery of artistic calling after being removed from the institution was quite compelling. Her relationship with the vocational school reminds me a lot of the structure under which CCW operates. What I find really interesting is that she was in the program for almost 2 years before she started creating the wrap-sculptures, which are now regarded as priceless pieces show-cased all over the world. 
One theme that came up multiple times in the video was significance of presenting something as art that was possibly not regarded as art by its creator. Since Judith Scott was institutionalized and lived with a cognitive disability, many may find it difficult to say for sure that she had a complete grasp of what she was intending to create. While this may be debated in the art field, I think that they stretch this concept too far. As it said in the videos, Judith was the sole starter and finisher of her pieces. This indicates to me that she had a clear idea of when and what she wanted to start, an ability to work on it consistently over a long period of time, and gave a definite signal of when she was finished. 
What the art community seemed say about Judith’s ability to recognize her own pieces that she created as art came across as patronizing. If she enjoyed the process of her creations and they gave her an outlet of expression, I believe then that it doesn’t matter what we or she called it, they can be regarded as art. Art, as wikipedia defines, is a “expression of the author’s imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power”, not something that is determined by the author’s ability to grasp the overall field of “art”. While I am not an art history major, I am sure there are many instances in which famous artists have created something that they claimed not be art just to find it in a gallery or museum anyway. This disregard for the opinion of famous artists on their ability to judge their own pieces is what I find paradoxical for Judith’s case. Since her work, which is the summation of her artistic expression, has many scholars debating the essence of her “art” makes me believe that they have not displayed her for the reasons that her pieces are thought-provoking, beautiful, or expressive, but rather to showcase and debate her differences from her counterparts who create just as abstract, and if I dare say, less interesting, then she has created.