Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn

Jeanne talks about the Survivor-style challenge, critiques Peregrine's sculpture, and explores Miles's art-making process.

on Aug 4, 2010

It's hard to compete with nature.

The image of a chicly caped China presenting the challenge before a bleary-eyed, yet expectant crew of five had the aura of a Survivor episode (although I have never seen one, but I am imagining.) At the edge of the woods, each artist stood ready for combat, that is until they learned that they had to incorporate an element of the wood in their work. Among the finalists, Nicole was seemingly the only one poised to survive.

Nicole, our hunter and gatherer, attacked the challenge from the positive. Most comfortable in nature, she happily collected her seeds and nuts, her molds came out "perfect," and she was confident with her modest sculpture. While attracted to her sunny side, I yearned for more content. Her Native American ancestry was of interest to us all, yet there was very little to grasp through her mound entitled, "Mic Mac." When put on the spot, she filled in with scant family narrative. While her breadth of material and process guided her well, I was waiting for a stronger voice.

If Nicole's illuminated ball within its dwelling gave off little energy, so did Jaclyn's rock. I'm embarrassed remarking about its inner beauty. Meant as a Duchampian comment, it aired as hippy-dippy stupid. We are asked by the producers to come up with positive comments alongside our negative ones, and often it's a stretch, yet gets played. (Thank you Jerry for commenting in his Culture Vulture blog that I have not been "getting a fair shake in the editing.")

I was irritated that the other artists did not support Jaclyn's "off hours" photograph. Were they really threatened, or just being petty? Peregrine's smirk struck me as haughty and mean-spirited. Why not break some pact? I am sure all the artists spent time thinking about their work at night - how far away is this from snapping a photo? Ah, to draw a line. But, then again, Jaclyn might have recreated the photo in the studio.