My assignment work is a development of what I started with in projects 2 and 3 – see blog entry on narrative. Fascinated by the video work of Richard Serra ‘Hand Catching Lead’ (1968) and the repetitive action as kind of failure, rising a desire to continue. Over time, I became more sensible to the small moments, deviations, and the material expressions, like one becomes more sensible to the impact of the environment. An aspect that played a role e.g. in Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘White Paintings’ or in Jacqueline Humphries’ ‘Black Light Paintings’.
I appropriated, enacted, staged, recorded, projected, and played with the space and surfaces – in a sense observing the performative elements appearing with a higher awareness to still-images, moments of glimpses, artefacts, interactions. Only through a double projection/recording of my process based approach, I became aware of appearing artefacts and glitches.
TIME: A Sensibility
Eventually, I decided that with the efforts I already put into it, alongside my attachment to my sculptural TV-box as my stage for flat screen performances, and a desire to look deeper, I will continue.
Derived from my Pull series I defined a few still images for further development.
in-front of a wall
trying to catch - something
inside or outside
dislocated - dissociated
a part and apart from
real or a projection?
a timeless moment
the performing screen
a moment in time
where is it safe?
where to be?
where am I?
There were some aspects that attracted my attention:
dislocation (inside, outside) – dissociation (hand from body)
disruptive planes (collage, juxtaposition, combines) – fragmentation (close up view)
layering (all together)
After my previous explorations of embodied enactment through a painted stage (similar to Rachel Russell) I became more fascinated by these still imagery – embracing technology driven artefacts and glitches through a double recording-projection with the painted prop (TV box) as the stage for performance.
My question to me:
– What happened virtually ‘on stage’ as a performance (color creation through projection), could this be transformed through painting, painting to perform?
– How can my experience of my dissociated hand be part of that performative painting?
Important for me, to warm-up through painting. Based on my previous making experiences, to embrace what will happen during the making.
Representation & Interpretation
A series of paintings from above still images. An observational effort of representing? Perhaps more of placing my bodily experience onto a surface. And partly an interpretation.
I found these three examples possible too representative, informed by the still ‘painterly images’ – and too deprived? I felt as if they are just that: representations, and not enough performative paintings. Would this be different? I wanted to loosen up more, distancing myself from the ‘original’ virtual still images, and to review possible approaches of interpretation. Nevertheless, I find Fig, 10 the more successful, a more coherent color palette, a more balanced composition as well. From Fig. 9 I take the dissociative aspect of the hand inside and outside further, from Fig. 8 a stronger tonal contrast and an apparently advancing hand. Also that one has a more disruptive framing aspect. To overcome or to embrace the rectangular constraint of the support?
Scaling up and further development
I started off with making background paintings on board in acrylic paint, and reminiscence to Richard Serra’s video work with the mural behind – as I created my initial ‘TV-set‘ as well (Fig. 11)
.. and to layer over multiple thin washes in oil paint, trying not to become too opaque as my model is light – infused, no object color. I took the ideas once again from my previous pull narrative and chosen still images (Fig 6 – in slider above). I found it often more inspiring to develop further from a pre-painted support, often abstract, to shape from that ground the figures, to let the next layers appear from the ground.
At this point of time, I was wondering how much my hand need to be present and represented in the painting? Otherwise, my hand was (and is) the actor in the performative enactment (see above) but I felt that my hand in painting need to perform its own ‘performative action’. Nevertheless, in this painting (Fig. 12) the hand has also a life and behaviour in itself.
I decided to continue with ‘handless’ paintings, so to speak, to get my hand back to paint.- and to let it disappear in the act of painting.
Transformation ‘Disappearing Acts’
I borrowed this title from Bruce Nauman retrospective, a show that made a long-lasting impression on me. And also the origin for my parallel project with the use of today’s imaging technologies in mapping and exploring other areas.
The hands still there, as stencils, and disappearing, to be peeled off. I was still not satisfied with the result. Perhaps the color combination not convincing, perhaps the hand as such not knowing what to do there.
I wanted to get rid of the hand completely – and let the paint perform in itself (Fig 14)
At this stage, I became more aware of the materiality and the tools. Comparing my initial performative enactment and video recording alongside the technological artefacts and glitches, I was wondering whether paint and the space around me could act and perform more freely, unmediated, going beyond past representations towards future possibilities. I got reminded of the works from Julie Mehretu and Jaqueline Humphries , who started off with representational imagery but exceeded and cross-layered those in order to bring forward new works. Both have in common a combination of structural and gestural elements.
- I decided for the title TIME – SCREEN as it could invite the viewer (and first me) to reflect on the word and to emerge with the painting. To see behind and at the same time to consider each still image as a work in itself.
- Some of above paintings do convey a certain narrative, like Fig. 12 with the hand crossing edges. Possibly, that the ‘real’ narrative is happening in the space in-between, the space the viewer enters when going physically through an exhibition, engaging and interacting with works on display. This will trigger ideas, embrace individual experience of the viewer resulting in a new narrative, making sense process. I do embrace Jutta Koether’s approach in her series Seasons and Sacraments, as if a certain relationship with know past moments, stories, are one important aspect of the body of work. An invitation for participation. I will consider this in my assignment work and parallel project.
- I do consider this assignment work as a deeper reflection on my exploration of the body and the screen. In project 3 I looked at the narrative through moving images and ‘pulling a narrative’ from it. Here I approached the moments of artefacts and glitches in relationship with my body interaction, with my hand as the mean to paint but also as the mean to take a handle, to grasp, to understand through making. Not so much in a symbolic way rather as a mediator for performative painting.
- The question what a painting is became more open-ended by my approach: a layering of multiple realities: Serra’s video work, my appropriation of it, my painted and unpainted hand, inside and outside, a staged TV-box, the autonomous performance of my hand. Also artefacts of digital and analog technology as means of virtual imagery – performing for me.
- My painting approach:
– I explored various technique: decalcomania (monotype), stencil technique, collage, layering, and textured paint versus washes.
– I did work still within certain constraints: the contained shape of the support and the flatness of painting
– So far I did not work sculptural as it was the main painting aspect in my enactments wth the TV-box, and I did not work outside the support constraints. Considering my motive and aspiration I am wondering whether these approaches could support more successful the elements of dissociation, fragmentation and disruption without being illustrative or merely effect based as a trope. Concerning constraints and picture planes I am still intrigued by my video recording of reflective projection (Performance – Unframed #01) Possibly, that I am struggling once again with the question which medium is more successful: moving images or painting, or how moving images can be considered as an expanded field of painting. Certainly a question to be discussed with my tutor during next tutorial.
- An overall struggle with the figurative element of my performing hand: to picture it, to let it perform through painting, to get rid of completely, or to embrace as an element that adds meaning, a human body part more engaging?
I modified the last three paintings (Fig. 12, 13, 14) a bit further and put the paintings up for a crit, a vcrit event organized by the regional group Europe under the lead of tutor Jayne Taylor:
The vcrit was an in interesting experience as I asked for responses without providing information on the prior process: no information on appropriating Richard Serra, nor on my performative enactment in a painted TVBox, neither my double projected color artefacts as a technology driven performance informing my paintings. Though some participants knew where I was coming from.
- To consider gesture of hand as narrative part of a painting
- To work more with spaces, space to breath, space to open, a portal
- To work more with visual depth
- To work with ambiguity as this would results in more differentiating responses (see no. 2)
- To consider re-framing as I explored in Ex.3.3 and to expand support constraints
- To move further towards painting as performance, perhaps as dialogue with my body, my hand.
- To consider more stencil rather than collage approach by keeping visual depth