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!