I was looking how to make sense out of my work on the object-box and pondering the two sides aspects, e.g. revealing-concealing, folding-unfolding, I was looking at different ways to have the multiplicity of perspectives in one installation. The obvious one would be just to have multiple pictures side by side. Other ideas coming to my mind: table (Top and bottom view), mirror (and reflection), Moebius strip, one support with two images, rotating in the middle, and one installation with three pictures.
I experimented with printed images of some of my sketches to see how these ideas behave
#1 Three fold perspective
This one is inspired by the fence of the Swiss Television Studio (SRF) in Zurich (seen some years ago, still there). Portrait pictures but three-fold. The point was that through installing parallel bars the one support with normally one picture is split into three pictures. Moving from left to right or vice versa one can see first a picture from one side, then the middle, at last looking backwards the picture on the other side of the bars. They are still there, can’t find the images online, but on google map street view.
After a less successful attempt (Fig. 1 – unfolded) I made another maquette with smaller images (Fig. 2) and made sure that most of the image is inside the frame, otherwise it translates visually less successful. The used images are prints from sketchbook works: outside and inside.
Fig. 1: Three fold perspective – #1 – unfolded
Fig. 2: Three fold perspective – #2 – unfolded
The moving view of the folded maquette, looking from left (Fig. 3), top down (Fig. 4), and from right (Fig. 5) -click on the images to see in lightbox mode:
Fig. 3: Three fold perspective – #2 – left view
Fig. 4: Three fold perspective – #2 – top view
Fig. 5: Three fold perspective – #2 – right view
=> the used image might not be the best, as the last one is already visually confusing enough in itself. It seems this kind of spatial installation of perspectives requires simpler visual images. Or is this overall mess just the exciting thing? Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: obviously, yes – unique, doubt. Exciting enough? not sure, more a one time ‘aha’, effect based. Good for painting? yes.
I’ve seen an installation by Mika Tajima with a resembling installation piece for The Extras, 2009. Although, I don’t know whether he had a similar intent. His view on ‘sculptures double as “actors” ‘ seems an exciting aspect considering my object-fetish experience, as anthropomorphic objects (aka painted sculptures). What I like in his piece, is that the middle section is void, leaving only left and right view visible. Perhaps to have cuts in the painted image, empty spaces, either as real empty space in between, or as unpainted empty space on a support, two sides of the void. What resonates well with Katharina’s Grosse perspective on painting as making the invisible visible through the space in between.
And what I also can connect with my side-ideas of the glitch, triggered by the inkjet print with blocked nozzles (Fig. 6, left) and what resulted in a barcode appropriation of the image glitch (Fig. 6, right). Visual information present or absent, visible or concealed.
Fig. 6: Three fold perspective – glitch
At the end I made a more sculptural installation with styrofoam and perspex, left and right side with two cut-out collage images. The background perspex for the void (Fig. 7-9) – click on the images to see in lightbox mode:
Fig. 7: Three fold perspective – #3 – left view
Fig. 8: Three fold perspective – #3 – top view
Fig. 9: Three fold perspective – #3 – right view
The perception of a ‘complete’ picture is informed by the thickness and the distance of the spacer-bars. To obtain a full picture one had to move slowly from one to the other side, otherwise part of the picture will be concealed. What in itself is an interesting phenomena, to have movement as an intrinsic aspect of visual perception.
#2 Moebius strip
Some sketches and mockups I made at the beginning (Fig. 10) while reflecting on my suitcase as mobile studio, my object-box as model for art or art in itself, and my two places of residences.. The idea of Moebius strip brought up to me by Kate who looked at this idea as part her photography studies. The image shows also the installation in a hotel room, a ‘companion’ for my object-box.
Fig. 10: Moebius strip
=> I believe the moebius strip as a ‘mathematical problem‘ is much used, or overused? The smaller strip hanging at the bottom of the larger is created by not cutting halfway, but one third of width (see here). Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: obviously, yes – unique, doubt. Exciting enough? not sure, effect based. Good for painting? yes.
What I like is the idea of endless repetition, resonating with my previous assignment work. Here the circling around and repetition is successful, i.e. endless. It is not a failure, subject to a physical destruction of material
#3 Rotating tableau
Fig. 11: Rotating Tableau
and as moving images, partly fast and normal speed
The films are not great, more of a visual sketch or illustration of an idea. Did I expected the two images merge into one? I assume this need more stable frames and higher speed (see the reverse motion effect with carriage wheels in films). The films are looped and the fast motion can make one dizzy (feedback from my wife Anja). What is mere effect and what is a different way of knowing?
Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: not so clear – unique no. Exciting enough? not really. Good for painting? yes, I believe so.
Question: Would a still hanging object trigger desire to engage with? Thus, not the effect in itself but the relationship with the viewer is one focus? It reminds me of the exhibition I went in Zurich of Abraham Cruzvillegas, with the objects there to play, to build, to construct. An interaction and active roles of the viewer. A difference that Cruzvillegas painted the object after construction and placed them as ‘finished’ objects in the museum space. Here, and in this course, I am the constructor and the painter of objects and placing them in relations. Still, what could or should I leave to the viewer? What is installed and what are things to work with. Clearly, also a question of touching ‘art objects’ or not.
milk box, overpainted, with keeping some images from the pack.
Fig. 12: Roto Milk
and as moving images, partly fast and normal speed
Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: more of multiple sides plus the unique ground and figure perception. Exciting enough? Perhaps, question to have autonomous or viewer’s controlled movement. Good for painting? yes.
The white paint and the white background could possible match, ie. dissolve into each other. A question of paint used (should be not a problem to use the same for wall or background and object) and illumination and shadow cast, what could be harder to control. But this moment to chance might be the exciting part, possibly leader viewers, as it was for me, to try to ‘dissolve’, to make differentiate or to uniform object- wall. What could open new possibilities in painting and a different ground-figure approach, subject to viewer’s agency, bringing the ‘spectator into objecthood’ (O Eliasson).
#5: Mirror – Reflection
Fig. 13: Mirror – Reflection
A mirror can act as an image falling back on the viewer. In the form of perspex as a reflective but also transparent support (see museum glass) it could be an agent for interaction. What is around, and what is in the space between would be the informing factor.
Does it add to a unique experience of two sides of something: more conceptually, Exciting enough? no. Good for painting? not sure, certainly not the mirror, perhaps with reflective perspex.
My ideas of multiple views and perspectives are not complete, mostly appropriation of what I’ve seen or heard of. Nothing creatively new, a mean to communicate a message, a narrative? Or to contrived, to ‘over-used’ in the sense of ‘we all know that’ resulting in getting the viewer bored versus excited to experience it afresh. Or would this depend on what pictures are on the surface? Or whether there is a certain ‘twist’ of unknown things? Or do I overthink all of it instead of just following the visual path and see what my response would be at the very moment of making it real, i.e. to move from mock-ups and maquette to the real painted thing? Makes me wonder when to start with what – kind of hen and egg dilemma. Or another failure, something I experienced already before.
Perhaps, as painting is on surfaces with some sedimentation through material structures, the spatial perception is based on something else, Either on real physical 3D objects in space like a sculpture, or as a painted surface in relationship with other painted surfaces and the space in between is filling the third dimension? A space that is there but is only activated by an actively perceiving spectator.
What did I obtained through this ‘two sides’ experiments? Although the 3D sketches might not be the way I will continue, mock-ups and maquette, it gave me more insight and knowledge about how things, how moving or still can be perceived, that there is more than one perspective on looking at things, even if they have some obvious ‘effects’, and that there are various levels of engagement. Only through actually making these, interacting with, and reflecting on those opens up new ways of seeing and thinking.
Key aspects to consider for development and future works:
- Objecthood: The sculptural painting as object or assemblage and for a subject to visually engage with (see #2)? Or as ground-figure question, dissolving things based on paint used and illumination (see #4)
- Movement: Object rotates autonomously, by spectator’s agency directly (person moves the object) or indirectly (person moves) (see #3 and #4)
- Reflection: Directly through reflective surfaces, e.g. mirror, or indirectly through awareness of engagement of process of looking (see #5)
- Perspectives: Glitches, fragments, invisible visual information opening up questions how what a picture is and how we make sense out of visual information (see #1) Alongside a viewer’s active control of what, how and when something is perceived, the painted images might add to a unique experience, especially when juxtaposed with non-visible information aka void.
- Installation: Is installation an arrangement of things or a body aka object as a whole? Installation of objects as ‘ready-to-consume’ for the spectator and just to make sense out of it, or installation as space to actively engage and interact? (see #3 and #4).