A3 – TIME & SCREEN – Part II – mapping territory
In my first round in developing my assignment work (Time-Screen – Part I) I explored the process of my initial box-performance as a painterly enactment and the subsequent recording and projecting images that eventually led to screen-based artefacts that reminded me of performative elements in itself, similar to my ‘dissociative’ hand.
What worked well
- use of washes, abstraction. disruptive frames, engagement through presence of the hand, stencil approach, variety in responses
What didn’t work well?
- containment, partly color choices, partly execution (quality of result), sequence of layering, use of space
I was hoping that I would overcome my barriers by doing and making more paintings, to overcome my self-conscious concerns of being overtly illustrative and making deprived paintings. Pondering the question of hand or no hand, abstract or not abstract. Perhaps, better to be inspired by Amy Sillmann or Cecily Brown, who transformed the question figurative-abstract. Nevertheless, I am wondering how I could possibly embedd more ‘gesture’ into my work.
I decided to explore four main areas:
Screen – Frame – Gesture – Projection
.. with a closer look at:
- Gesture of the hand: a narrative part of a painting
- Spaces: space to breath, space to open, a portal
- Visual depth: how to establish a deeper impression (more translucent)
- Ambiguity: resulting in more differentiating responses? (see no. 2)
- Re-framing: as I explored in Ex.3.3 , to expand support constraints
- Performance: moving more towards painting as performance, perhaps as a dialogue with my body, my hand.
- Fragments/Stencils: using more stencil technique versus collage
I highlighted two aspects (ambiguity and space) as I felt that both could combine the four areas. Based on my first visual mapping, I started to map out visually these possible areas for development, sketching down my thoughts and ideas helping me to stay sane and to propel my further work in a more structured way (slder)
Visual Mapping : Frame – Projection – Screen – Gesture (slider Fig 1-3)
in space – ambiguous
..a time based process of presence & absence. I felt strongly reminded of some past works I made and that are now in exhibitions (see my website), although the context and subject matter were completely different. And I am wondering whether the overall theme of dissociation is now becoming more autobiographic (one of my ‘secrets’)
With these maps I explored my ‘territory’ , trying to separate the aspects and to see what could come up as new thoughts and knowledge.
Expansion – Performing – Re-Staging
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A / FRAME: The framed gesture - a stencil projection
Fig. 4 – Fig. 6: (oil paint, collage on paper; 35.6 x 28 cm / 30 x 42 cmproject 3.4 , using a found metal foil as reflective surface, playing with what is painted and what is reflected image, shadows, presence, absence. Fig 4 as a monotype approach of a screen-like plastic foil, overpainted with a frame and engaging with it performative through a collaged cut-out hand, with dissolving spaces. With reminiscence to Serra’s ‘Catching Hand’, Fig. 5 inspired partly by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, as I looked at it during my previous investigation on hands (Project 3.2). This gesture might be even trigger a stronger response of the viewer as two hand are reaching out. and with past memories surfacing at the same time.
Overall, this series plays even more with the hand, the gesture and the viewer. As the peer review showed the viewer as human being feels more engaged and emotionally connected when a human part is present. Not though indexical evidence, but rather literally as a recognisable element (relates also to the fact that people do see more often faces in ambiguous abstract patterns than other figures)
B / PROJECTION:
I decided to skip PROJECTION as a separate aspect, because I looked at it quite intensively before: see videos Performance – Unframed #01 and Performance – Unframed #02 . Both vides might be works in themselves, narrative, painterly projections, like me earlier performative video Paint-Catch-Move
C / SCREEN: Reflective evidence -
Fig. 7 – Fig. 9: (oil paint, collage on paper; each 35.5 x 51 cm)Laundry painting.
In this series I like the material aspect of layers and screens: either as embedded textures (Fig. 6-8) or transferred surfaces (Fig. 7). What is normally hidden (e.g. mirror, glass) and with the reflected image as the more dominant image. became now the dominant element. A view I explored, and struggled with, through my observational reflective mirror paintings in project 3.4.
D / GESTURE: The dissociated hand
Fig. 10 – Fig. 15: oil paint on mylar, collage on paper, acrylic paint; each 35.6 x 28 cm); 3 on white, 3 on colored paperprevious paintings. Therefore, I took this approach further and thinking to de-contextualise my overpainted stencils by eliminating the painting around: the tool to become the work. As if my hand was removed from the stage-box alongside its traces/memories of past performance. Trying to re-contextualizise it with white and different colored backgrounds. What works better? What less? Would it be better to see both sides of it? Replacing paper with transparent paper or perspex?
Overall, I find those reduced or focused works intriguing. The reduction to the main aspect, the hand, and all the screening and projection or images, slices of surfaces not any longer as a collage but intrinsically embedded in one piece. The simple toned background just as a support. I felt reminded of my art therapy practice when painting metaphors, e.g. for symptoms or barriers, and the background simply painted in one color – just to allow the viewer’s eye to see even more clearly the figure. The ground as a receding layer. Fig. 11 and Fig. 12 possibly the more successful ones – a more or less colored version of striations. I feel as if a cycle is closing, a return from my early sketches on striations, the screening, the artefacts of color, and the gestural hand.
Last not least, I was trying to loosely interpret the gesture and the dissociative hand through a composite of transfer and oil paint (taking some reference to a older series of mine: Geologic Sensibility):
Dissociation: The submersed gesture
Fig. 16 – Fig. 18: oil paint and collage on paper, acrylic transfer; each 35.5 x 51 cm
At the end I added striation marks with a comb tool. And depending on the orientation of the support (above all downwards as painted) one could associate the gesture with ‘drowning’, ‘reaching out’, ‘crying for help’, or whatever would cross the viewers’ mind.
Overall, I like the reduced and dislocated appeal of this series. Although, I find them a bit too ‘noisy’ as if too much paint is concealing the image. Fig. 17 through it simpler expression perhaps more successful. The idea of playing with transfer, painted, stencils and negative shapes is good to develop further, painted context need to be more focused.
- The viewer’s hand, and the idea of the hand inside the paintings as a reflection, possibly even the hand of the viewer. How could this work? wth mirrors opposite the hanging painting? Through enclosures? So that only the hand can engage with the painting?
- good to notice that some of my past experiments with different techniques came to merge with my works, e.g. decalcomania, acrylic transfer of inkjet prints. At that time more trying to learn techniques, now serving a visual purpose
- What I liked:
– spray paints and stencils – delivering visual depth and spaces, a ground dialogue of shapes and gesture, an element of dissolving
– edges: playing with edges with reference to the ‘dissociative edge’, the moment of revealing and concealing both at the same time (a Gestalt phenomena?)
-color and shapes:
– adding gestures: adding engaging, triggering narratives without telling a story
– serendipity : appearance of patterns through chance
– the tool to become the work
– striations: patterns of color, separation and meta-picture, a returning theme
- Compared with the first part of my assignment development (A3 – TIME & SCREEN – PART I: DEVELOPING IDEAS) with rather observational paintings from projected, recorded performances (more or less abstract), I explored in this second part certain aspects that I discerned from my previous paintings: Frame, Screen, Projection, Gesture and a resulting theme of dissociation. It seems to me as if the individual parts are performing on their own. The first series ‘Frame’ within the initial constrains. the second series dislocating the frame and the screen as independent actors, the fourth series ‘Gesture’ as a fully dissociative stand-alone gesture informed by the prior process of projection. and the fifth series ‘Dissociation’ as being in a new context.
Now, it is time to consolidate and make my final series of works for assignment submission. Although I find the various paintings intriguing and possible worth to repeat with variations as a series, I will focus now on the simple gesture alongside a more material based idea of screen and frame. The separated hand felt quite strong and I am wondering how I could push this further. The main question I would like to address in my final work:
How to take the gesture of the hand
an acting hand
informed by viewing as process
of screen based imagery?
My works for departure will be:
- Candela, E., Cubitt, S., Dicker, B., Drew, B. and Leslie, E. (2018) ‘Liquid Crystals: A Roundtable’, In: Journal of Visual Culture, 17 (1)pp. 22-67.