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I see what you mean

Argent, L. 'I see what you mean'. 2006

Argent, L. ‘I see what you mean’. 2006

Giving titles to my artworks has always been fraught with indecision. I wonder about the point of the title – procrastinate on it’s purpose and it’s contribution. Most art being made these days is no longer illustrative of myth, bible story or allegory. Individual artists no longer generate renditions of a common narrative in their art. So why does a title still matter so much?

Argent, L. 'I see what you mean' 2006

Argent, L. ‘I see what you mean’ 2006

One of the best examples I’ve come across to answer that question is this delightful public sculpture by Lawrence Argent. It’s in Denver and it’s a huge bear leaning on and peering into the downtown Convention Centre. The title of the work is ‘I see what you mean’.

Instantly on reading it, I found myself in the bear’s shoes so to speak; no longer viewing the bear as subject wondering what he’s doing there and so on. Instead I was suddenly in the bear’s camp – looking in at ourselves – peering and studying all that was going on inside the Convention Centre. And what was even more powerful was that I was in conversation with another bear! The title ‘I see what you mean’ is the answer to an unheard question. A brilliant title.  So simple, so poignant!

Our very understanding of the piece is defined by it’s title! We are the subject of this piece, and the bear is the vehicle that delivers that message – a perspective that could not be achieved without that title.

Do you see what I mean?

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