Thursday, March 3, 2011

windows, reflections and images

(btw, i couldnt work out the performance so i wound up doing something very different, and in my opinion it really didnt work. that is all!)

So, my studio work has taken a turn recently. Somehow I managed to not really think about studio at all until about two weeks ago, and now its changeed quite a bit. my external examiner suggested i bring windows into the studio and project on them and stuff. at the time i really hated the idea but recently its been getting under my skin! Also, I began researching Dan Graham and Gerhard Richter and I became very interested in glass, reflections and projections. Im being very strongly influenced by the things im reading about, and finding it difficult to distinguish between influence and genuine interest.

Top: Dan Graham
Bottom: Gerhard Richter, Eight Gray

I bought a window and took some pictures of it around the courtyard. i also did some tests shots with myself behind the window (bwith the glass taken out) as if i was trying to find a way throught it, like Francesca Woodman did. I also randomly took some shots of windows from both inside and outside, juxtaposing the images with each other. Finally I tried doing a projection thing with a live stream so that the image projected was being filmed and fed back throught the projector and being recorded and refed in a continuous loop. Right now im unsure as to whether to continue any of these.

The things I thought I was thinking about were Baudrillard's ideas the representation can become more real than reality itself and the blurry area inbetween. whats real, whats not etc. the postmodern condition i guess. and also playing with ideas of reality and fiction. I was really interested in putting windows in walls so that it would appear that you could see through it but in fact youd not know if the image was an honest reflection or not. (the image would have to be a projection or a photograph, because their wouldnt really be a hole in the wall, and so the image would always be dishonest because cameras do not record visions as humans do.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

'An evening fo performance at the Loft'

Ok, so assessments, externals etc are over and done for a few more months, and recently all my attention has supposed to have been focused on fixing up my thesis, and the performance workshop we've been doing in college. However, my concentration, as usual, has been nil.

I have come up with some sort of direction for the piece Im meant to perform next Tuesday, but so far I've barely been able to convince myself to write the text. That's why I'm back here trying to work it out! So here's the idea- The piece is somewhat inspired by the movie I am writing my thesis on 'Adaptation.' and another movie 'Stranger Than Fiction'. I'm not sure exactly what I'm getting at with it stemmed from the idea that I could have a conversation with the narrator/writer of my lifes story. Now it's a one way thing. There is a voice speaking about writing my life, but it is my voice. This is where I haven't worked it out fully, and don't really know if I should. The voice is me, my writer, my god or parent, all in one. honestly I couldn't tell you how this is meant to make sense, so i guess it's an experiment. and at the moment it's an experiment that's bound to fail because I still haven't started on the text. And the text is literally all that really matters in this piece. Eek!

I honestly have no idea if this can work at all, but I really like what it's getting at. The thing is the difference between this internal person that thinks, and the external one that lives and acts. (ever tried performing and realised you forgot to perform? just went on autopilot and realised you never engaged your brain? I have. this is that. the internal me can only really think, and no matter how resolved the thoughts are, they are often ineffective in real life. if that makes any sense). Anyway so this 'voice' has some control, but it's no god. It isn't ultimate control, and it isn't all knowing. It's scared and hates responsibilty. It's uncertain and self-doubting. It's got a lot of questions, that'll never be answered. Basically it's me, and my internal mind. Maybe this all sounds ok, I don't know, but there are so many issues still. How is this internal mind linked to the external body in the physical space of the theatre? And how do I get across that this voice and body are one and the same, as the body is completely deaf to the voice (the voice is not simply the thoughts of the body, but is to some extent seperated from the body. almost like a virtual avatar body is seperated from a mind. or how a persons conception of themself is seperated from their appearance to the world). How do I stop the voice from becoming the thoughts of the body? or a god figure? or a parent figure? And how do I keep the audience engaged without losing them in confusion? And how do I keep the story element of my life without letting the writer become an author (if a writer is the person who writes, but an author is the person who is in control of the meanig of the text)? I the character of the story must still have some control. But then do external influences have any control at all? even chaotic control? How does the voice refer to the character? She, we, I? And how do I write it so that it sounds better aloud than in text? And what exactly is the voice talking about? Her fears and responsibilities I guess. Her decisions and planning. Her inadequacies, and her relationship to the character?? How muuch is too much, and what must be included? It's all rather difficult and complicated, but that's good right? Confusion is Charlie Kaufman's favourite word. I just gotta learn to use it.

Ok I better go and try to write again, so I can start working on ideas for the set, and then perhaps get some sleep!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

the window images

So, the installation piece was probably the catalyst for me to start working with the windows (see earlier posts), and I have continued to work with the windows, and there is loads going on with them.
When I started the window pieces I simply took a photograph looking out through the window, cropped, resized and printed it, and the placed it back on the window pane. The important thing with these images is that when they are viewed from the correct place (ideally the place the camera captured the image from) the image correctly lines up with the view beyond the window, but only if you close one eye.

After that I did the opposite. I took a picture from the outiside looking in, and placed it on the window pane, so that from both sides the view through the pane was obscured, but was in some way revealing. That is to say that you could still see a view on the other side of the glass, but not the present moment one. It is almost like a lie, because it's truth is past.

next, I printed onto acetate, and put it on the pane, so that the viewers on either side of the space saw the same image, and maybe a little of the view beyond the image. However, since the printed image was of the inside of the room, from the inside the viewer saw a delayed reflection of the room in which they stood.
From outside, depending on the lighting, sometimes a reflection is seen on the glass, because the image is on the inside of the pane.

Also, when viewing these images it is still possible to see through the panes around the particular pane I am using, so that the image I present can be compared to the present moment beyond the image. My image appears still beside the reality beyond.

NB it is very important to note that these images are meant to be seen in context, adn not rephotographed as they are presented here.

The installation piece

Ok, because of the nature of installation I had better first explain the context of the room in shich we do installations. Its a small room near our studio, with a projector and a screen to project on, and usually chairs. Other than that the room is basically empty, but with some awkward corners and shapes.
For my piece I first thought about using photography to create a window in the space, to the outside(by quite literally taking photographs from the other side of the wall looking out, and then placing the image on the wall inside the room, where a window might be, but isnt).
My second idea was to photograph the screen itself, roll it up, and place the image of the screen on the wall that was behind it. The wall becomes the screen, and the image becomes the frame of the screen. Then, because the wall is white, it is possible to continue using the projector, but on the wall.
Instead I used the door of the room. It has a long, slim glass window in it, with a wire grid embedded in the glass. It usually has black paper blocking out the view and light both in and out of the room. I took pictures through the glass of the room with the lights on inside, and a figure could be made out sitting inside. Then I had the door locked. The idea was it looked like the presentation of the installation had already started inside. In fact, the lights were off inside and noone was in there.

At first I really wasnt at all happy with it, but I found later that as I was walking past it it always caught my attention, as it always convinced me there was something happening in the room!
What I liked most about it was that my piece replaced the black paper, being both effective and interesting.

During the presentation the most important idea that came up was the possility of employing illusion in my practice. I hadn't even realised I had started using illusory techniques, yet what is photography if its not an illusion?!!! At the time I resisted the idea of using illusion, now Im dekighted to be using it.


Ok, heres an update. As usual, more for my sake than yours.
Last week we had assessments, and tomorrow the external is coming in to assess aswell.

My new artist statement goes like this:

My practice explores photography, and the illusion of truth in photography.

I am placing photograhic representations of objects or space in place of the real object or space. By re-presenting images in the context they were taken from the meaning of the photograph, and photgraphy, is reconsidered.

I am using the frame of the window to frame the picture, as a viewfinder does, in an attempt to extend the photograph outside of its frame. In this way I am exploring the relationship between the illusion of the photograph and the reality and the truth behind it.
So im working with the window, because its incredibly interesting. Not only is the window itself quite intriguing, but Im lucky enough that this particular window looks out on windows that look into spaces that look into further spaces! I am in the process of creating a new image of one of the windows opposite my studio space. However, even though I really like these windows, and this space, I am beginning to feel anxious, like maybe I should be moving outside of the space of my studio and college, and working elsewhere. This makes me uncomfortable, but what are ya gonna do? The kinds of ideas floating around in my head are things like creating windows in walls and creating the illusion that we can see through the wall, but perhaps when we look through we see something other than whats really on the other side of the wall. I have also considered doing a time based piece, perhaps a stopmotion piece (so that it is still phographic and hasnt become video, as the connotations are different), but I am losing interest in this idea.

Unfortunately, even though I felt well prepared I felt I presented myself badly in my presentation and didnt represent my work well. Im hoping to do better tomorrow with the external, if only to prove my work to myself! My difficulty is figuring out what I can do differently!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Artist Statement 11.12.10

I am currently exploring photography. I am interested in the ability of photography to represent, re-present or replace the world we see. I am intrigued by the illusion it creates, and the illusion it reveals. I am investigating it's ability to play with our ideas of what is real or true.

Ok, so this needs a lot of work, but its a start, something to work on.
Eek! i know its not going to make the grade, Im just not sure exactly what is! Time to do some artist statement research!

some new pieces

So here are the newest pics of my newest work. They're not quite finished yet, need a bit of trimming and the like but these images give a pretty good idea of the pieces!

So I have replaced the view out the window with a past view out of the window. I actually think I prefer the one that looks transparent in places because it almost looks as though you can see right through in places. I've also inclded the pic with the image of the folders in front of the window in front of the window (hehe), but Im not sure how I feel about it yet. Im currently working on another version of that too, where the image includes more of the representation.
Once I get these cleaned up and am ready to re-photograph them Ill photograph them in different lighting and at different times of the day.
Also, be on the look out for shots of my installation which I plan to put up as soon as I put it together again (it got ripped down and lost!) and re-photograph it also.
sure tis all-go in Amyland!

Monday, December 6, 2010

trying to work out my thesis! Part 1

ok, if you plan on reading this, be prepared for some word vomit! it's about Charlie Kaufman's movies. Its about Roland Barthes theories and Theodore Adrnos theories. And these are? In Barthes I am interested in his theories on readerly and writerly texts. he says there are 2 types of text/work; readerly is where the reader passively reads/receives the message of the author/text and writerly is where the text is more ambiguous and the reader must 'write' the text to complete the story. This way there is no solid meaning to the text as each 'writer' (not author) 'writes' the text differently. Are Kaufman's texts readerly or writerly? well they are definitely ambiguous but does everyone interpret a different story or basically the same one? Also in relation to Barthes the notion of the death of the author and the idea that the author should not be visible in the text, or else there will not be space for the reader/writer. particularly interesting in relation to Adaptation in which Charlie Kaufman literally wrote himself into the script. The main character IS Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter.
Theodore Adorno. I am particularly interested in his theory of the culture industry. How the Inustry creates the popular culture that the audience will come to desire, not the other way around. Is Kaufman part of the industry or the culture. He certainly isnt writing main stream hollywood movies, but do his movies create a popular culture, or do they give a culture what they want to see? In relation to his theories on fun and pleasure (that true pleasure comes from being challenged and therefore we must work to enjoy ourselves, passive entertainment isnt real enjoyment) do we work for Kaufmans movies? Do we trully enjooy them. Intertextuality is also something Ive been aware of...the idea that the author doesnt exist...a text/work is simply a mesh of quotes the author has digested and regurgitated.
so a thesis should be a question or argument, and it should be coherent. What is my question/argument, and what do I have to do to write a coherent thesis?
ook, the truth? I dont know how relevant all of the above really is. I keep changing my mind about this thing. Some days I use Barthes and Adorno to investigate the relationship between the author and the viewer, and some days Im thinking about truth in art. Today, Im thinking about truth in art. Essentially I think there must be an essence of truth for me to be able to call something art, and that is why I so easily call Kaufman's movies art. The truth is so apparent in the way he constantly reuses his own life in his movies. I dont think it would be unfair to say all his lead characters are mostly made up of Charlie himself. You can see what he reads in his use of quotes. You can tell what hes thinking about bby his themes-memory, relationships, fear, identity etc. These arent just entertaining stories, they are his explorations of concepts. He is the most important element...until he gives it away to the audience. And how important are they? Really, how much can the audience ever really be involved? I actually dont think of these texts as writerly as such anymore. They are ambiguous in a different way. They dont make me feel like I am writing the text, but certainly I could never watch a Kaufman movie without self-reflecting and becoming completely consumed by the similarities between the on-screen turmoils and my own. Oh god...I need to pull a thesis out of this mess!!!
I am definitely interested in the author, the viewer, and the truth element. i need a question or argument. The truth element is essentially the same as the author, it literally is the involvement of the author's self, and not the suppression of self in order to give someone else what they (in this case production companies) what they want.
Right, am I writing about the relationship between the author and the viewer? That sounds quite interesting actually. ya know what...maybe my first problem was adamantly deciding to write about the Kaufman movies instead of realising that I should just be using them to illustrate a point. maybe not even use them at all. this is definitely a problem, but Im sure there are lots more! ugh!
the involvement of the author and viewer?
maybe i should have spent a lot more time looking at the opposite of a charlie kaufman movie, like typical hollywood blockbuster. and maybe i should have been reading books like the one about sitbackward culture and sit forward culture? so many maybes its distressing!
ok, how do I write my thesis legitimately using only Kaufman movies? i really walked myself into a corner on this one!
ok so I love his films, but thats really only good for an analysis of them. I need to think about what Im interested in. Right now I am very interested in the element of truth in art. HUGE topic, and I dont have time to go and start doing new research. I an very interested in what Adorno says about pleasure being challenging. you have to work at something to really enjoy it. And ya im definitely still interested in Barthes theories of the author, but maybe not to the same extent. maybe i should take a break from this and go through some of my notes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ok, maybe I should explain.

Plus, I have to write an artists statement and get my head around this stuff for Monday(it's my turn to have a group crit/installation thingy!).

Ok, so for me my new work is talking about, or at least attempting to talk about, a lot of different things. Possibly the most important thing to say first is that it is about photography. I realise I have some problems with photography and this new project considers that.
Essentially what I am doing is replacing objects or moments with a photograph (or collection of photographs) of that object or moment. I am trying to reference the ideas about photographs as documents, as memories, as memento mori, as representations and re-presentations, as art. I am uncomfortable with a lot of the roles photography performs, and am interested in what it really means to take and show a photograph, and to look at a photograph. I suppose I am trying to out photography by putting photograph back into the context they were taken from, rephotographing them, and this time putting them in the context of art, where they can be explored and their mystery unraveled. The main influences on these works without a doubt are my understandings of David Hockney's views of perception and conception in his photocollages, and my misunderstanding of Magritte's paintings as conceptual works more than surreal works.

A big question hanging over the work at the moment is how important is it to be technically accurate. Originally perfection was my intention, I just didnt realise how difficult that would be. And I really liked the first failures! But it defintely needs to be considered because different things happen in each type of image. For instance, a technically perfect image might look real. ie, not like photography, maybe with a hint that something is off. Less perfect scales and colours tend to look more visually appealing, but perhaps then the viewer is more confused by what it is I am trying to do. More experimentation is the way to resolve this.

Another issue is the content. I have to be aware that the things I photograph have meanings of their own that will naturally become relevant, and find a balance between seeking out appropriate things and photographing more bland(?) things so the content doesn't overpower the subject.

I know I have loads more to say but since nothing more is coming to my head Ill leave with this for now, and perhaps add additional comments later.
I guess the work is pretty conceptual, but it's also a lot of fun! It's becoming more and more tongue-in-cheek as I realise I can purposefully replace things incorrectly, for instance the male and female images on a bathroom door. There seems to be lots that can happen with this and for the moment I am enjoying getting carried away. There will be plenty of time for pinning it down soon enough.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I've started making things.

These are kind of like random exercises, but I like them!