Monday, February 6, 2012

residency 3

Residency 3 was interesting. 
 Paper is done. ( at the end of this post). 
comments in following post. 
Spent the last few weeks cleaning and re-organizing. Went to the library to get some books.  Started making some more creepy hearts and sketches. Decided I'm going to use the sketches as an attempt to be more dynamic with my time.  

approached crits this go around to try and get people that have not seen my work which I think was mostly good. Unfortunately because of the way the program works the progress I have made isn't really evident. So all of the things I have worked through and the work that was made last semester as a reaction to previous comments did not have as great an impact or illicit as much of a response. 

Major themes: What am I trying to say with this work. WHY do I continue with this subject matter? What does the display do for the work. What does the group say verses the individual object. 

My work from second semester that i brought to the third residency focused on attempting to create a broader language using formal elements beyond literal imagery, to create authorship in my work and to more critically connect my studio practice with my writing especially in the areas of critical theory. 

I made work in response to these challenges laid out during the second residency's critiques. I was able to create work that focused on trying many different materials to depict the same form in order to discern what worked best to illustrate my ideas. Through a series of paintings I broke down the anatomical form into formal shapes using a systematic approach and methodical use of color palate. I created a series of sculptures that informed the aforementioned paintings.  After responding to these critiques I returned to making anatomical forms.  I collected imagery of  artists whose work I was drawn to focusing on their display technique. I spent the last few weeks experimenting with types of display that would best suit the message of my work. I was able to articulate what my interests are more clearly through my writing. I made a visual map of all my interests and it made it easier to see the connections to each facet of anatomy and the body that i am interested in.  

Coming to the residency I had several objectives; first was to gauge the response of my viewers to see if my ideas were being articulated clearly. Second, to see how additional elements such as titles, materials and display added in the understanding of the work. 
Most of my critiques started with the discussion of second semester work and background of my past work. Through the critiques several themes came to focus. Most were drawn to the extremely intuitive series of a stomach shaped forms made with several different materials such as rope, fabric, and burlap.

The first theme that became evident was the arrangement of the pieces and how the grouping effects their message. Several critiques reminded me of the different ways the sculptures could be arranged and how I can use different arrangements to my advantage to articulate a narrative to the viewer. Also the objects I created as they are perhaps are not quite strong enough to stand on their own but in a group they could speak volumes depending on the arrangement. I just had to decide what i wanted them to say specifically. I was asked to think about how the components of the work can carry a message. Tony compared my pieces to music in that each object was a note and like with music when the notes are placed in proximity to each other melody can be created. Much like music these pieces were more powerful grouped. Furthermore, the objects I create are done intuitively yet I rely on the opposite to try systematically order them. 

Second theme that was frequently discussed was that my intense interest in subject matter was evident and ongoing but the "why" was missing. There was a lot of questions as to why this subject matter held my interest because those specific ideas that i could readily explain were not being translated into the work. The comments varied after that observation. Some critiques demanded more focus and explicit context for the work. Some felt that the meaning would evolve later and not to push it down anyones throat. 

Lastly, display and add additional elements, (adding found object, layering mixed media materials, 2-d pieces directly attached to 3-d objects),  would really effect the outcome of the work. Suggestions included adding titles and varying my display options. Suggestions for display varied from minimal containers to heavily literal depictions of the figure to contain my objects. Titles and use of text within or near the work were also thought create additional interaction with the viewer. 

  One other question that frequently came up was, "What part of contemporary medical practice do you want to play into your work?" DNA sequencing,  MRIs,  and X-rays are all interesting viewpoints of the body but through working the last few years I feel like the imagery is further removed from the actual form.  In turn, theses devices don't hold as much interest as the actual pieces of the body. Everything in relation to medicine now is viewed on a screen. Even the anatomical source material that I use is viewed on a computer screen. So an additional challenge would be to acknowledge the contemporary medical field while still depicting forms I enjoy creating.

Therefore the challenges this semester continue to be to create authorship within my work, to be come more deliberate and explicit  with my imagery, to understand my interests and impulses at an even deeper level and to examine how individual objects function in a group.

I plan to spend more time with specific pieces and refine them. I am still working with the anatomical mutations and interested in adding found objects as well as surface texture to enhance pieces.  I also have begun researching artist who focus on depicting the body in alternative ways specifically without the use of the actual portrayal of the figure.
I am looking at sculptures and insulation to examine how artist use objects as part of a group, especially the work of Annette Messenger, Eva Hesse and Kiki Smith. I will continue experimenting with alternative materials to help create empathy within the imagery of anatomy much like i created with the fabric sculptures last semester.
I am going to attempt to understand my impulses to create intuitively but to then to categorize for viewing through first sketchbook exercises then moving into final pieces. I also want to refine the place between beautiful and creepy that I so adore making work about. 

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