Project 3.3: Narratives – Visual Inspirations / Dislocation – Fragmentation

Ideas from visual inspirations:

I do wonder how my approach for project 3.3. (the Narrative) could inform further my parallel project. More by coincidence, I discovered the work of the Syrian artist Sara Naim, consisting of photographic sculptures as abstract objects. For her current series Building Blocks , on show in Dubai at The Third Line gallery, Naim used scientific technology,  Scanning Electron Microscopy, to capture the cellular structure of mundane objects (jasmine, soil and Aleppo soap) and through magnifying the images, revealing a sense of visual complexity. The large scale works are mounted on wood or plexiglass. She embraces glitches and distortion, fragmentation and interferences due to the use of digital technology, elements that I do feel relevant in my current direction, reminding me also of the most recent works of Jacqueline Humphries. The press release relates her work to ‘the imperfection of memory and thus of human nature.’  (The Third Line, 2019) and in her own words:

‘A glitch distances the viewer through its abstraction, but also unearths the inherent structure of a digital file’s expectation and miscommunication.’ – Sara Naim (Romdane, 2018)

It comes back to glitches and distortions as I was playing with some ideas since part 2: encoded visual information, void of context, fragmented, and with a sense of technological glitch (bar codes, video, QR codes, medical imaging etc.). One is never really in control of full information, of getting close to what is concealed. And a narrative that can evolve from the space between signifiers and visual sensations? Memory that can trigger narratives in the viewer’s mind?  Disruptive narratives. I do not see my work to be developed further in a sequential manner like a storyboard or telling a story (as my video above). I am more interested in searching ways of visual information that builds on various elements, signifiers, fragmented collages etc. A complexity and ambiguity that would invite the viewer to bring subjective narratives to the work – and the space in between. And that plays with the structures, the shapes around in a kind of dialogue. 

Another direction I can relate to is the performative work ‘Alter Ego‘ by Alexa Wright, brought to my attention during the recent peer review hangout. Wright studied Fine Arts and is now more interested in photography, video and sound installations. Her performative and participatory work explores the sense of being outside of oneself alongside a loss of control on one’s own identity, like the hand outside of my body, inside or outside the stage box. Through digital capture-technology a mirror image of a sitter of being overlayed with a 3D face structure, but contrasting to a flat mirror where the reflection is the same image of the sitter’s body actions, in ‘Alter Ego’ the mirror image is taken over a ‘life’ by its own. Quite a dissociative aspect, where what one might think is part of the body, turns out to be something different, with a strong uncanny sensation. There seems to occur a dialogue between the digital imagery and the sitter? What reminds me of the human-like robots – to overcome the ‘uncanny valley’ (Masahiro Mori, 1970). In my case it is not about a mirror image and a sitter, but my dissociative hand and my ‘outside-the-box-body’. 

Overall, I like to notions of layering, ambiguity, and dislocated forms, as I explored in my sketchbook (Fig 1):


Stefan513593 - sketchbook - dislocation and fragmentation

Fig 1: Sketchbook – dislocation and fragmentation

Related Posts
My Diary – non-visual thinking – ongoing (Part 1)
Stefan513593 - Body and Image - self portraits from POP1
Project 3.2: Becoming an image

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