Category : Assignment 1

A1 – Reflection on tutor’s feedback

I am pleased with the overall comments from my tutor on my first assignment, who returned with her formative report incredibly fast after just two days.

This is a very good start to the course Stefan. Your have worked methodically but also inventively through the project exercises, using your research as an enquiry into the ideas that you find compelling. I am looking forward to seeing these ideas develop. – Clare Wilson

Summary:

I submitted as assignment two approaches with focus on gesture, body movement, and repetition. My tutor found my Folding – Unfolding work ‘intriguing and an inventive series of works’ and recognized process related strengths. She highlighted some aspects visible in my video recordings that I was perhaps less aware of: imprints of shapes revealing a trace, a sense of revealing and concealing, and collapse of form.

My tutor related the two final works of fragments and grounds (#1 as intermediate and #2 as concluding work) to aspects that let me look at my work from a different perspective: impact of background on composition (less successful on black (flattening effect – ‘Keeping Aside‘), more successful on white with the white negative space as activating agent (‘The Puzzle of Gesture‘). Relating to the background my tutor suggested to work in collage and possibly with perspex. What I actually did, not perspex but mylar (see example and Fig 1). Unfortunately the photograph is not showing this effectively (photographed flat on a surface) and as I covered the entire transparent mylar, it is less successful, better to keep negative space to activate. And I should use more backlight to show effect.

Stefan513593 - assignment 1 -reflection - unfolded folds on mylar at window

Fig. 1: Stefan513593 – assignment 1 -reflection – unfolded folds on mylar at window

 

Overall, she recognized a greater awareness of the relationship between forms and edges. Other comments related to my intermediate work and my choice of color (considered? opposite to organic process?) and my experimental work of collage on ground (Folding #1 – final) exploring edges and openings, of revealing and concealing. 

The final ground of #2 What is Left Behind was considered an effective and balanced piece, though ambiguous. She suggested to add cleaner edges and suggestions of form and outline to increase spatial depth. I do agree that this work could be further elaborated, at that time I felt it should stay in an un-finished state to be less dominant in context of my performance work.

She found my Dog Shit Performance a well balanced combination of painting/installation that conveys a sense of tension between the smeared marks, punctured paper and red plastic bag. I am glad to hear that the second approach came across as a meaningful combination and composition. At the time of making I was less positive and felt it was more the gesture as process than the final result that would work.

Of my submitted exercise work, my tutor liked my work with removal of gesture The Elements showing my ability to ‘explore surface texture with a degree of subtlety’ whereas my work Skating was perceived primarily as performance than as a finished painting through embracing gestures and a dynamic of the work.

Regarding my sketchbook work, that I myself am not satisfied with, she appreciated the use as visual mapping, but suggested to experiment more with materials (e.g. various paper and fabric materials, collage) related to my subject matter and to be make my color choices more considered. Also she recommended to keep on working from life to sharpen color and compositional awareness. I fully agree with her as I definitely want to get back in my normal experimental sketchbook routine as I did much more during my previous course units. Somehow, I felt that the first part with much more focus on body movement in time and space need to be done in larger studio space, and therefore, my sketchbook felt too restrictive and limited.

Regarding context and my researches and reflection of my own practice I am very glad that my previous course UVC seems to get its rewards, as my tutor acknowledged my writing as ‘very articulately and with a good level of reflection’ and recognized my ‘looking extensively and thoroughly at artists and their ideas’ as ‘helping you contextualise your own practice’.  

My tutor highlighted one point on my Blog structure as being not easy to navigate. Her point was that the blog is the learning log, thus a separated category ‘learning log’ would be redundant. I already cleaned it up, deleted all subitems under coursework, and placed my learning notes under research & reflection. Thus, this category is now covering all researches and reflections related to coursework and extended personal investigations. 

Elements for further exploration

  • Ambiguity: as sense that I really would like to get across to the viewer and to maintain. Thus, glad that my tutor picked upon this.
  • Materials: explore and experiment more (incl sketchbook)
  • Composition: to balance towards a final result.  To consider adding more contrast and to play with transparent and opaque. 
  • Color: to choose more considerably
  • Edges: to play and explore more combinations of hard (clean) and soft edges. To think along the line of  ‘portals and points of entry, revealing and concealing’ as my tutor stated it. Consider relationship between forms and edges
  • Layering and movement: to develop further what I started to explore. 
  • Space and imprints: To think of how to leave more evidence of imprints revealing shapes, a sense of concealing and revealing (as in my video recordings). To think of space as activation.
  • Collapsing of form and materials: to explore and develop further
  • Control and gesture alongside repetition: to explore balance further
  • Performance versus finished painting:  questions of purpose, audience, documentation and recording.

Conclusion:

Gesture – Repetition – Control – Space

My tutor’s feedback made me aware of some struggles I went through, and eventually leading to my titles of ‘failure’.  On the one hand I am pleased that she acknowledged some results as effective, balanced, as well as ambiguous. On the other hand I continue to think which way to go and how to proceed relating to the tension between performance and finished painting. One element, that I feel uncertain and not addressed is my question of documentation and recording alongside the question of painting as moving images. Thus, should my focus lay on creating finished compelling pieces? Certainly an aspect I need to improve on looking back at assessment comments from POP1. 

She gave my some very helpful reference to artists I was eagerly looking for. Part two is about still life in a contemporary context and how sculpture, the spatial element, can be incorporated into painting. For me a shift more towards painting, and to think about my personal project and critical review. I hope to keep my momentum related to gesture, control and repetition. I am also eager to continue working with moving images and the performative aspects of painting. Not sure how, but I will keep my exploratory approach to painting wide open.

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Assignment 1 Submission

  • Assignment 1 Submission
  • Assignment 1 Submission
  • Assignment 1 Submission
  • Assignment 1 Submission
  • Assignment 1 Submission
  • Assignment 1 Submission

My online submission of assignment 1 consists of the following sections, available as subitems in the blog menu (Assignments – Assignment 1):

  • Assignment 1 – Submission: This page with list of submitted works (full content list provided)
  • Assignment 1 – Reflection: Reflective account and self-evaluation against assessment criteria
  • Assignment 1 – Contextual Notes: Considering the wider context of my performative paintings 
  • Assignment 1 – Performative Painting: The evolvement of my assignment work including still and moving images

 

My separate items are shared with my tutor via GDrive, here the respective links to readers of my blog:

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A1 – Reflection

We tend to repeat and follow certain patterns, not knowing when to re-direct our attention and whether to follow through to a bitter end. What seems to be clear and complete turns into loss and fragmentation. The underlying motivation of what we are doing are not obvious all the time, and sometimes rather blurred and a notion of not-knowing guides us in our life.

Gestures are human non-verbal mean of communication. A gesture could be seen as an intend, a sign, with a purpose to create something beautiful as origami. Certain actions are not so pleasant but unavoidable as part of constructed social agreements, e.g. removal of dog poop from the pathways. The absence of gestures leaves the sign of intent still present.

The wider context of our gestures and movement might be a space of imagination or relate to subjective and social life. The repetition of certain gestures may become absurd in a sense of Sisyphean actions –  a failure. A failure to comply or a failure to fail?

My two-part performative paintings were trying to address failure as part of creation. It questions the concept of painting as a mere image hanging on a wall, or as a process itself equally important.  Through my exploration of moving images, I explored a wider context of possible responses obtained through peer review. Moving images can expand the traditional two-dimensional flatness of paintings. A spatial extension I explored partly in my assignment work through embracing floor and wall spaces.

The final results can only show part of the whole story, the process, the recording and documentation are part of it. How to present this in a meaningful, engaging and opening-up way to the audience will be the challenge to look at further. Ideas of mixed- media installation, moving images, interactive experiences like flipbooks, might be some ways to go. Another idea could be to let the audience be part of the making, what could be done through a GoPro head camera following my movements, possibly life, possibly recorded.

My repetitive intervention with the materiality of tools and painting medium allowed me to look beyond appearances. The process itself was at times quite exhaustive and I could feel strong physical and mental tension. In overcoming those challenges, through following a certain structure alongside my curiosity towards failure made it possible to see new perspectives related to fragmentation and expanded meaning of looking at segments of work, e.g. through peer feedback.

At the end I realized that my thinking process on folding – unfolding captured in simple words the process I went through in both approaches – as a process of knowing:

Folding as process,
Folding as thinking,
Unfolding as knowledge

 

(word count: 446)

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A1 – Self-Evaluation

Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills
Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

I decided to follow my curiosity and interest to work in two assignment projects, one related directly from a previous exercise work and the other from some previous exploratory work. I was trying to follow through certain steps that would build on previous experience. But I would consider, perhaps because of not focusing on one project alone, as at times too superficial. There are certainly areas that need more attention, not only deeper but also in quality and professional execution. So far I enjoyed the experimentation, to work in different places (inside, outside) and to try to embed new aspects (e.g. painting with our cat).

This part and the assignment work made me aware of documentation and recording as a key element in making. As a newcomer I need to learn more basics before being able to produce substantial outcome. 

I worked in my sketchbook more in collage approach, with printouts for photographs of my works. I am not satisfied so far as I didn’t work enough painterly in my sketchbooks, At the moment they are more a visual diary. 

Quality of Outcome
Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, with discernment. Conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas

I considered this part as rather experimental and therefore I was less concerned with high quality of outcome. I tried to produce some meaningful results as part of communicating with others and in creating my blog posts. At times, especially in the folding work of this assignment, I continued to work beyond the initial performative painting to produce some aesthetically ‘pleasing’ results. I am not sure whether this was more to satisfy appearance of whether to seek more knowledge. At least, the fragmented collage The Puzzle of Gesture gave me more insight. 

In Dog Shit Performance I was a bit more concerned with the performative part and the creation of meaningful moving images. This is what I posted for peer review, discussed in two hangouts and finally edited further for another review.  This helped me to understand not only technical questions of producing moving images, but also the relationship of auditory and visual information.

Overall, I am aware that possibly I did just too much in the scope of this assignment.

Demonstration of Creativity
Imagination, experimentation, invention, Development of a personal voice.

Some works were guided by the scope of the coureswork, whereas the two assignment attempts derived from my exploratory, not knowing, and not over thinking rather playful experimentation. I tried to work performative, painterly. I was concerned with recording and documentation. And I was occupied in consolidating my efforts in a visual form (photographs, video, moving images, collages). The complexity of the different dimensions made me aware of the importance working in a studio (or outside) in a more structured way (e.g. my 2 mins daily gesture drawing for 12+ days at the beginning). 

I felt that with some structure, creativity could easier flow. To record my intermediate results through voice tracker and in my sketchbook was not only one way of reflection but also created new ideas that I would not have come up with without. I did appreciate the peer discussions and feedback with new ideas, and contextual meaning.

Context
Reflection, research (evidenced in learning logs). Critical thinking (evidenced in critical review).

To reflect on my work I used over time my voice tracker, to be able to record anytime, anywhere. I also appreciated more and more the visual engagement with material and sketches in my sketchbook that enabled me to look at what I’ve done with some distance as well as creating new ideas.

Some works might have been more or less inspired by other artist (see my contextual notes), peer feedback supported me to look at a wider contextual scope and to see my work in a different perspective. 

I am quite critical to what I did, not quite satisfied, felt at times too superficial. There are certainly some ideas inside, and others might see the simplicity of e.g. the short moving images sequences are valid in its own right as ti expands viewer’s experience. However, it seems as if I am trying to look deeper, or wider. What drives me? What context am I seeking for? At times I felt my work has more meaning for me if placed in a context. 

 

 

 

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A1 – Contextual notes: Gesture, Body movement and Failure

  • A1 – Contextual notes: Gesture, Body movement and Failure
  • A1 – Contextual notes: Gesture, Body movement and Failure
  • A1 – Contextual notes: Gesture, Body movement and Failure
  • A1 – Contextual notes: Gesture, Body movement and Failure

Some of my thoughts on how I do see the wider context my work, artistically or culturally.

One attempt of Failure: Folding and Unfolding

When I started to explore my folding and unfolding work, it was more a result of my earlier ‘paper’ work, expanding the flat surface of paper through a notion of the figure (the paper turning from support into the medium) of a collage (Fig. 1).

Paper ground in space #2 - sheet / skin collage

Fig. 1: Paper ground in space #2 – sheet / skin collage

A rising ground, or a reverse to ground and figure. It relates mostly with my earlier interrogation with the texts of Gilles Deleuze (Differences and Repetition) and related to my parallel work started during my UVC studies: Difference and Becoming 

Folding - a sketchy exploration - and failure

Fig. 2: Folding – a sketchy exploration – and failure

With some more sketches and further experiments I got hooked by the folding and unfolding as such, A human gesture, intention of making something. Considering the creative aspect, it truly brought up notions of Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.  But not the decorative aspect of it, the creation of something beautiful, rather the creation, the action as such. I always found Origami kind of magic – the end results made me wonder how theses were done. Thus unfolding helps to get more insight, knowledge on how to do. The issues with that approach is, that after some unfolding I found it so difficult to fold it back, to create the initial final result again. This is mirrored in my simple sketchbook exploration of folding (Fig. 2). 

What I realised here, was the idea of failure (as I explored during my reading of Emma Decker’s essay (Le Feuvre, 2010:162)

My execution of the work was done rather intuitively and I was very much occupied with what I do and how my body and thoughts are impacted by my doing. Quite a different approach to painting, as in the past and during drawing 1 and painting 1 I was so much self-conscious and trying to anticipate the outcome that I was perhaps less in contact with what and how I did at that moment. It changed with my parallel projects during UVC and the collaborative project with SarahJaneField. 

One aspect I experience with my moving of folding and unfolding was the applied structure, to make folds. I have the feeling that structure is something I more often rejected in my past life, but going to appreciated as part of the creative process, providing a foundation to start off (and to come back in case) into new realms.

Unfolded sheet #1 (ink, paper)

Fig. 3: Unfolded sheet #1 (ink, paper)

Talking about new realms I felt at times, especially looking at the unfolded sheets (Fig. 3), reminded or the work of  Katharina Grosse, especially her latest large scale works in Sydney The Horse Trotted Another Couple Of Metres, Then It Stopped , 2018  (Acrylic on fabric / 1000x4600x1500 cm, Carriageworks, Sydney).

 

Stefan513593 - Assignment 1 - folding#2 - Fragments #2

Fig. 4: Fragments #2

At the end of the process I was facing the fragments of the sheets (Fig 4). My approach to recombine back can be considered as failure and as an impossible task, a mental challenge. What is triggered though, was the association with Jean Dubuffet and his Assemblages. I was already during my visit to a major retrospective in 2016 in Basel intrigued by that fragmentation process and giving it another layer of meaning. 

 

I am not aware of other context. Also I didn’t ask other yet. Though, it would be good to see a wider context of my performative and repetitive action towards failure.

 

Another attempt of Failure: Dog Shit Performance

Stefan513593 - Part 1 - Exercise 2 - Painting without brush #1 - ground and sheet

Fig. 5: Wasbaord (Laundry)

My approach to this part of the assignment was mainly inspired by my own work for exercise 1.1 (Fig. 5).  I related my Washboard (laundry) work first with women doing household work, especially the past physical intense and repetitive action of using a washboard (see online images). Through my own painterly action I could feel the physical intensity, the exhaustive effect. It reminded me of Janine Antoni (1993) Loving Care, not as a nostalgia of childhood memories, rather as a cultural and social activity, mostly hidden and ignored. There might be some feminist elements associated with it, for me as man to wonder what it would mean?

Stefan513593 - Assignment1 - Dog Shit Ground view - final

Fig.6: Dog Shit Performance – final ground view

After peer review  I got connected with the IRA Dirty Protest in 1978, where prisoners in the Maze prison protested against the sanitary conditions in the prison and started to smear their own excrements on the wall. With some further research I found that Richard Hamilton (1981 – 83) The Citizen, who appropriated the at that times media circulated image of the prisoners alongside a gestural ‘smeared’ painting (also called blanketmen, as the rejected to wear regular prisoner clothes, communicating their wish to be seen as political prisoners, not criminals) 

I can see some connection with Carolee Schneeman (1973 – 76) Up to and Including Her Limits, with the stretching the limits, and embracing the floor and wall space. 

In the peer review on the OCA discuss forum fellow students could relate the work to Richard Long and his paintings with mud from the Severn Estuary onto the gallery wall. Or I could add his M-Shed work in Bristol. An artist that already inspired my during my personal project as the final part of drawing 1.

Another reference provided by Kate, was the work of Keith Arnatt (1990) Dog Turds. The artist interrogated in his work also rubbish as such. I am wondering what was driving me to dog poop, and the bags, the dog turds, the shit, or the human actions, the gesture, or even beyond that , the absence of gestures as an social agreement? An open question without an answer. My performative painting was done in the material I used before, shellac and gum solution, that after mixing and rubbing turns into a dirty dark brown ‘shit’. Is the material, the visual appearance what makes associations?  I think my work opened more questions as possible answers. The feedback from peers in relation to my moving images sequences gives me some idea about ambiguity of meaning and intent.


Visual Collection:

My Pinterest board capturing images and works in context relevant to my assignment work:

 


Reference:

 

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A1 – Another attempt of Failure

Gesture of Dirt – Removal or Not

Gestures are human non-verbal mean of communication. A gesture could be seen as an intend, a sign. Certain actions are not so pleasant, they might be considered as unavoidable but necessary, up to each person to follow – not. The absence of gestures leaves sign of intent. The wider context of our gestures might be a space of imagination, or relate to a social life. The repetition of gestures may become absurd – or a failure.

Task:

The gesture of taken away dog poop while walking on a path, an intend unpleasant, repetition would be an absurdity in a Sisyphean sense. The signs available indicating intent, and expected, socially agreed actions. Seeing them trigger ideas of gesture. This performative painting will try through repetition to reflect on body movement involved in the intended action of taking away dog poop, and use the disposable and available bags as my painting tool. How it will evolve and how I can sustain it, will possibly lead to knowing – or not, addressing failure and success as part of intent.

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A1 – One Attempt of Failure

Folding and Unfolding – a human gesture

We tend to repeat and follow certain patterns, not knowing when to re-direct our attention and whether to follow through to a bitter end. What seems to be clear and complete turns into loss and fragmentation.

This performative work is trying to address failure and success as part of creation. It questions the concept of painting as a mere image to hanging on a wall, or as a process itself equally important.  

Folding as process,
Folding as thinking,
Unfolding as knowledge

Task:

Skin is a vulnerable material, but it is also a highly sensual and responsive elements in our life. Though folding and unfolding delicate wet paper sheets reminding of skin, I will feel and response to repetitive actions till a result will occur. A result that can be of any kind, emotional, cognitive, material, pictorial. In failing to repeat endlessly, the material itself dictates my painterly expression through leaving traces of paint and marks (pigments and water). The part of my assignment will eventually lead towards chaos, fragmentation, total failure and disaster, or towards meaningful painterly expression.

 

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