A Critique of The Recurring Dream, an Art Exhibition

Categories: Exhibition In School

The Recurring Dream – Art Critique

The art exhibition I attended on the morning of October 26th was The Recurring Dream, a presentation of over 70 reminiscent images that traverse dream-like states of differing realities. This exhibit is of the fine art photographer, Rocky Schneck, and all of his work for this specific exhibit is showcased within The Witliff Collections on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University. The art Rocky Shneck has created are dreamscapes that summon spectators to, almost, infiltrate and creep in to a mystical and ethereal dimension where one cannot decipher dreams from reality and reality from dreams.

Is one asleep? Is one awake? I decided to focus on four specific pieces that caught my eye to discuss: what I feel the artist is trying to say, my response, and what they all have in common.

The first art piece that was brought to my attention was The Lounge Singer. The work consists of a what seems to be a hefty, black woman in her late 40s, wearing heavy makeup, looking down into the piano.

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She is the singer of the lounge, and there were also two other people watching her – an older Caucasian couple sitting in one of the few booths, placed off the stage. What I feel the artist is trying to say is that the singer of the lounge probably used to love what singing, but it seems that this night job of hers has become too routine, and it bothers her.

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At a younger age, she liked the idea of having the opportunity to perform at the lounge, she loved the night life, and she adored the thought that singing there would take her somewhere.

Throughout the years, she has not gone anywhere but there – to the same lounge to perform for the same people that were now getting older themselves – and she has not gotten anywhere farther. There were a few new gigs here and there, but she had never really gotten the opportunity to become the successful singer she had previously dreamed – and still dreams – of becoming.

Now at this age, she feels that she has wasted her time with continuing this dream that has never exactly became a reality. In a way, it has become a reality to the point where she can sing continuously, but it is still a dream because it was rare of her leaving that same spot that was supposed to be her beginning. The dotted lights above her almost emulate stars looking down on her. The “stars” signify celebrities, and the bigger lights signify the few celebrities that made it big. She wants to be up there with them, but she observes her situation as though she has already lost her chance. While having the thoughts dwell in her mind, she stares down into the heart of the piano, lips above the microphone and sings in a sort of desperate tone for the couple that came to enjoy their night out.

The second piece that I decided to look upon was called Men’s Room, Wisconsin. The man in the image is Caucasian and appears to be in his late 20s. He is standing at a urinal in a restroom filled with nature and wildlife. When I looked at this picture, it made me ponder, when a man goes to the restroom, what flows through his mind? What is the difference of things going through his mind while he sits on a toilet, and what is the difference when he is standing at a urinal? What is that daydream that floods into the mind of a man for the few minutes that he is there to relieve himself? This image suggests that, in Wisconsin, a man has nature and the woods – hunting – fill in that daydream. There is deer, bears, birds and what looks like a jackrabbit set above the man and the urinal. They are set upon a rocky wall with trees and the wall forms a structure, almost like a mountain, above where the deer hang. The bears and the birds are along the bottom step of the mountain near what seems to be an exit or another stall in the restroom.

Besides all of this, I would think that since a man is standing at a urinal, instead of sitting on a toilet, there is a difference in the way his mind drifts on.

The third work I looked at was called Carousel Bartender. The bartender in the image was a balding white man. He was sitting down and looked to be in his 50s. The drink station that the bartender operates looks like the center and top of a carousel that you would see at a carnival – there are drink pullies. I wanted to know why it looked that way. Is it made that way to remind him of his youth, or is it really just an old carousel from a carnival and a bartending station was built around it? It appears as though, gradually, a bartending station was built and had grown around the heart of a carousel. The station still has wheels along where the alcohol is kept as well as what seems to be the ghost of the conductor that used to run the carousel previously. Does this mean that maybe the operator of the once-carousel could be related to the now-bartender? Is that why it is acceptable for the carousel to have been modernized? On top of the carousel, where there are ovals, there seems to be pictures of people within them. There is also photographs of palm trees and tropical excursions within the chairs of where customers would be seated. Could this carousel bartending station, as well as the chairs, be a timeline of the bartender’s life? Instead of a ghost operator, could that convey the previous occupation of the now-bartender? Is that why there is now a bartending station built around it? It looks as if he is writing something as he is sitting down in a chair within the station. There also are not any customers to attend to.

Lastly, the fourth work is named Lolita. The image is of an uber-curvy and overweight, dark woman who is probably in her late 20s. From this, I see stereotypes being thrown out and turned into something magical. I see that a fat woman can have just as much grace and delicacy as a skinny woman. The young woman, who is most likely named Lolita, has her backed turned and is standing between the long, thick, brown and low cascading branches of a tree. She has long, curled, black hair flowing to the bottom of her lower back. She is very delicate in her posture and appearance. I just want to know, why is she within the tree? Why is she not showing grace outside the tree? Is she practicing? Is she hiding? Stereotypically, one would question how a fat woman can hide in a tree, but if she is, what is it, or who is it that – beyond the portrait the viewer cannot see – she is hiding from? What ties these four images together visually is how they each encompass a complex dream-like state, and they all were created by Rocky Schneck. It is almost funny how one can capture a picture at a perfect moment to have it mean something more than what it looks like from the outside. I strongly recommend going to look at the Rocky Schneck The Recurring Dream exhibit in particular. I have no idea why anyone would be against looking at this exhibit, or anything, rather, in The Witliff Collections of the Alkek Library at Texas State University.


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A Critique of The Recurring Dream, an Art Exhibition. (2022, Apr 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-critique-of-the-recurring-dream-an-art-exhibition-essay

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