SHOWCASE: Time & Screen – VCrit

Four paintings posted for vcrit session on March 5th (part of the Regional Group Europe activities)

Four paintings derived from my previous performative enactment in and around painting through moving images, staged TV set, frames and double projection. All a kind of screen based viewing, a surface for mediation and reflection. Either to break through that imaginary screen-wall or to look very closely at what is performing on that surface.

 

no 1

 

no 2

Stefan513593 - A3 - Representation and Interpretation no5

 

 

no 3

Stefan513593 - A3 - Representation and Interpretation no4

 

no 4

Stefan513593 - A3 - Representation and Interpretation no6

 

 

all works are paintings, with acrylic and/or oil paint, on paper or cardboard, various sizes


I presented my work without providing further context or background information as I was more interested iny a visceral response of the paintings as stand-alone works. Without knowing the development through appropriating Richard Serra, the performative bodily enactment of my hand in the TV-box or my explorations of double projected screen artefacts, the responses went a different way. Mostly reacting to the presence (or absence) of the hand, the gesture of it in context of the surrounding visual information.

Some comments (written and verbally) received: 

  1. “Closeness and distance, traces / touch”
  2. no. 1: “disappointing to realise that the hand is a collage, not real”
  3. no. 2:  ” is like a textile for me”, “fascinating depth”, “drowning”
  4. no. 3:  ” reaching out from a parallel world.” “reaching out, a helping hand..”
  5. reference to Jean Cocteau Orphée
  6. reference to David Lynch Catching the Big Fish (a book about meditation and creativity)
  7. “super interesting process. I love how you progress…..”
  8. “maybe this could be of interest: https://stevemccurry.blog/2019/01/08/silent-language-of-hands-2/

Quite pleasing to hear that the presence of the hand is engaging, without being illustrative, what was one of my previous concerns relating to the artist’s presence, the gesture of the hand. At times I tended more towards color abstraction to trigger visceral responses. I can see now that the hand as such is adding a narrative, triggering different associations. Interesting, that my point of departure ‘catching hand’ completelty disappeared in the process so far.

I was interested in the references provided, could see some resonance with Cocteau. but unsure how to relate to Lynch. Although after starting listening to the audiobook of it, I could see some relation of the mediative and intuitive aspect with the way Julie Mehretu is approaching her making of work,

Cocteau’s film deals with death, the otherworld, and – mirrors. One image still image depicted in an article of the Guardian reminds me of the story of Narcissus, ‘the mirror-surfaces that become rippling vertical pools’

“Mirrors are the doors through which Death comes; look long enough in a mirror and you will see Death at work.’ (Bradshaw, 2018)

 

Reflection

I found it useful to get some ‘neutral’ responses. For me no. 2 was / and still is the least successful, kind of not knowing which route to go, an in-between of all, also in quality. No. 4 need more accurate execution for me, no. 3 is perhaps the most finished one. And no. 1 is the one I am still struggling with, a digital reproduction and still image of my performative enactment. The question for me: to keep it? to move towards flat painting? or to expand it into a more sculptural ‘still’ painting?  Although, some felt it a bit aggressive for its gesture of the hand, I personally intrigued by the expression. Certainly doing something with the viewer. And it has space around that I would relate to more breathing, whereas no. 2 seems more like ‘drowning’ as it was commented one by one. Though, I can see how this could be related to textile, the horizontal patterns and striations supporting this notion. Another term used during the crit discussion was ‘portal’, entry point (Cocteau) to another world.

  • hands are more engaging, mostly because we are human beings and respond to other humans, especially to faces or hands. The open hand in no.4 quite different compared to the ‘crying’ hand in no.1 or no. 2.
  • the gesture and place of the hand supports different responses, e.g. “crying for help” (no.2), openness (no.3)
  • it seems that placing a non-figurative painting (no.4) within a series of hand-painting, viewers would see it as being part of a narrative with responses as “hand disappear, traces left”. 
  • Overall, no. 3 came across as the strongest, possibly because it is painted in a more subtle and clearer way, and it also has its own narrative through “breaking through the frame”

Conclusion

  • 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)

Background information:

Reference:

 

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