I've been busy and MIA with the 4th quarter review. It's optional, of course, and initially thought of as a bad thing, requested by the committee if someone's progress didn't seem adequate. I, however, highly recommend it just to get some great feedback. There's something different about a group dynamic bouncing ideas off one another at once- sometimes contradictory. This helps one realize it really is just opinion, and it's a quick way to debate/negate those contradictory viewpoints or see that both views are possible and valid.
Anyway, this was the original set up, as I had sort of 'exploded' my studio downstairs. I knew I threw in the whole kitchen sink, but just wanted to see what was working or not. Sadly I think a lot of things just canceled each other out:
Yikes! So here are notes from the review:
- One member focused more on the charcoal drawings and thought something in the earlier video shown was very deadpan- about reaching for phones, trying to plug in and listen, etc.
- Something about there being any people in the drawings kind of ruins it. The viewer can't just explore the space. It puts up a wall.
- The drawings all have a strange, and unique perspective. If they were a larger scale, they could really draw the viewer in. This scale just says film/photograph. Slowing down time would be another factor of a larger scale. Just start working on a large roll of paper.
- The sky with phone and wires and speaker on a pole are open images. Others are closed down.
- Everything is evenly presented like a rummage sale. You're asking a lot if the viewer.
- Things need to be pulled out and away from the wall. Nothing is inviting. The viewer is closed out. Typewriters should be up on desks, and phone should be by itself.
- The drawings themselves could be projected on the wall. That would go with the ethereal nature of your work.
- One simple image can do all the work. Just focus on what you want to get across.
- Sadie Benning animated drawings (when her video wasn't yet processed at the Wex) by just walking around and 'panning' and 'zooming in' by literally walking the drawings around in front of the camera with an audience while telling a story.
- The video projected onto the printmaking plate- is it important that there's an image on the plate? It doesn't really look worked. Maybe ink up the plate partway to show that.
- All the passages are a quick and even tempo in your video. Still looks like a 'how-to' film. You need to really slow some of them down, make them more pensive.
- Putting any object in a gallery makes it precious. You're still being nostalgic. Why do you use these objects? I like them because I can see how they function. They're more tactile/materially present and I can understand them. That's not true- I don't know how that phone or electricity works any more than my cell phone. It is still about magic and electricity- telegraphs, spirit photography and communicating with the dead. A way to reach the other side. So what does that mean to use them now? Trying to connect with an earlier history, the past, but it's futile.
- Maybe the stories on the phone are enough. Maybe that's it right there. I'm trying to figure out what is the process and the byproducts in the background of the work, and what I want to have as the finished product. Is it the drawings? The actions? The retelling of the stories? Which part stands in for all of it?
- You realize you're under the cloud of Kentridge. That's a pretty huge cloud. I know.
So that's where I'm left. I played in the gallery most of the day today, taking the show apart piece by piece to let each object stand on its own.
First I took down the curtains:
Next, the drawings came down:
There's something I still like about having just one drawing up there, how it interacts with the small moving image. I also paused the video in order to take clearer photographs. In doing this, I realized that I like a simply projected still image. Perhaps that is an answer. Or at least maybe something so slow that the movement is barely perceptible.
I also isolated the phone playing stories by itself:
Then, the typewriters on pedestals with the paper of repeating images draped between:
I lastly placed the drawing behind, just in moving things around, and was curious about that interaction as well:
Afterwards I played a little with 'lo-tech' animation and more on that next time. In the meantime, still a lot to process, but glad to have some time to play and document. Focus focus- what's the most simple means to get what across??