Tag Archives: objects

Project 3.1 – Ex 3.0: Object as a stand in for the body

  • Project 3.1 – Ex 3.0: Object as a stand in for the body
  • Project 3.1 – Ex 3.0: Object as a stand in for the body
  • Project 3.1 – Ex 3.0: Object as a stand in for the body

Clothing as a proxy body, sign for human presence or absence. 

How do I relate to clothing? What kind of clothes would resonate for me as an identifier? I was pondering the exploration of my suitcase aka object-box and my personal project. I decided to work around thoughts for my personal project (‘Medical imaging aka MRI and identity’), wanting to explore my own journey when I did my MRI inspection some months ago, kind of visual memory

The first thing that intrigued me when revisiting this is the ‘dresscode’ in clinics, also required when undergoing MRI: the patient gown (Fig. 1).  

MRI - dressed in a patient gown, image credit: Inselspital Bern

Fig. 1: MRI – dressed in a patient gown, image credit: Inselspital Bern

The skin that covers the body, but the back is open. A simple cloth, anonymous, concealing and also revealing. One had to undress in small booth on the corridor, leaving one own’s dress there (hanging, folded) and returning with the gown. A change – making it clear that from now on the person is a patient, part of the institution, a clear role, a function.

I talked through this with fellow student Alan, who works in a clinic, and he was willing to get hold of a gown, possibly also to make an image. Ideas of sharing across borders – and possibilities of collaborative work might surface.

The Patient Gown – Concealing – or …?

To move on, I looked online at those gowns, and with my own memory of the gown I wore. Moving on to remake, questions of size, scale and material?

Eventually, I turned to mylar and a human scale size with several connotations related to materiality: 

the idea of translucent material, is the body, or person concealed or revealed? Reference to my mental images of how I felt (and others’ possible as well), vulnerable, exposed.

  • the idea of smooth surface: is it a double skin, without external references? Blank, ‘innocent’, and behind could be quite different
  • Mylar is a material one uses for masking (airspray painting) , an material for a purpose, not for its own sake. 
  • Mylar, is not as flexible as fabric or paper, hard to fold, better to roll; when folded a crease is permanently made (not removable or to be flattened out), but easy to cut, and to tape; also easy to paint on with acrylic or oil paint (as checked in my previous explorations)
  • My remake from memory and online visuals is possibly a reference to how the patient gown and its relation in a clinic setting could be considered: anonymous, only half-way personal, replaceable? Makes me wonder how my different placements of the remade gown will work – different context, a double remove from clinic reality (1. remade, 2. context)

 

The remake was quickly done, made outside on a sunny wonderful fall day.

Stefan51353_P3_Ex1_patient gown in mylar

Fig. 2: Patient gown in mylar

Time and context:

After the making and laying it on the ground – ideas popped up of abandoned gown, lost, vulnerable? Not used as a gown – but what if that prop is a person? Reminds me how we connect belongings to a person self. What might the connotation trigger in the viewer’s mind? I haven’t asked.

Fig. 3 – 6:  The abandoned gown – each 42x 30cm (click on thumbnail to open the lightbox view)

To move away from a mere visual depiction in a quick painting and to include some connotated aspects is quite challenging. Do I perceive it the same way as others? Perhaps to upload for peer review and see…

Continuing with taking the made-gown up, putting it somewhere closer, more protected, leaning on a tree, looking from front and backview. Thinking about context (surrounding space, environment) and how shapes and line could work together. A start towards further abstraction (eg Fig. 9)

Fig. 7 – 10: The attached gown  – each 42x 30cm (click on thumbnail to open the lightbox view)

In Fig 8, I added later back in my studio tapes for cropping, giving a different appeal of the painting. On the other hand I find that additional layers, e.g. tapes might give also another layer of meaning. I experimented with more line markings as part of the composition, giving a more abstract appeal but also could be considered as a contained frame (Fig. 9).

With these two ‘scenarios’ or sensibilities, I started to experiment on site further with the idea of loss, abandoned – alongside a sense of fragmentation (displacement and disembodiment). I applied a stencil and partly a monotype technique that I explored in the previous part: abstraction and reduction. My starting point was Fig. 10 – the more abstracted backview, with ‘fleeing’ shapes.

Fig. 11 – 14: The fragmented gown – each 42x 30cm (click on thumbnail to open the lightbox view):

=> the repetitive placing and re-placing of a ‘gown-stencil’ allowed me to leave painted traces on the paper, to overcome a too representational and literal depiction of the scene in front of me, and to abstract connotated thoughts of fragmentation, memory and ‘fleeing’ shapes. What if the idea of vulnerability and stability are reversed? Fig. 13 (photo doesn’t show it) was an exploration of a movable paper, the support as ‘fleeing’, the shape of the gown static. Just abstract explorations. From these quickly done series, I find Fig. 12 the more interesting one, as it plays more with shapes, fragments, edges and (in-)stability.

Next scenery was placing the gown in my car. Having the car with me allowed me to take more stuff with, what allowed me to do above experiments.

Fig. 15 &16: The protected or cared for gown – each 42x 30cm (click on thumbnail to open the lightbox view):

=> Instead of my gouache, acrylic approach, I used oil paint sticks for the first one (Fig. 15). A more gestural and searching approach to the scene and the connotations of protected as well as vulnerable. The second one more a ‘protected’ perspective, relaxed and stable in the backseat of the car.I considered in the composition the interesting interplay between the gown and the head protection of the car. I am not so convinced by the contained central compositions. 

After the longer session outdoors I looked the other day at the domestic scenes.

Fig. 17 – 20:  The domestic gown as actor – each 42x 30cm (click on thumbnail to open the lightbox view):

=> quite different appeal. It seemed the gown took more presence. Lost at the front door outside, being a staged actor on the toilette, a narrative in itself between Fig. 18 & Fig, 19. After a long day, I out the gown mockup in the hallway, I was fascinated be the strong presence of it (Fig. 20). With a deeper viewpoint, making it more solid and dominant actor in the composition, more refined versus a rather sketchy background. I find the two last ones (Fig. 19, 20) more appealing for the bolder contrast. However, contrast in itself would give a different indication of a message.

With my explorations of the mockup ‘patient gown’ I was interested in exploring further ideas of fragmentation, memory, and instability. I decided to work in my A4 sketchbook rather gestural with a similar stencil and moving approach as I did in preparation for my large scale sculptural painting. and inspired by my on-site experiments (see Fig. 9, 11, and 12)

Fig. 21 – 24: slider images sketchbook – A4 (acrylic, gouache,  charcoal)

Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Ex1 - object for body - sketchbook 2
Fragmented prop #1 - sketchbook
Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Ex1 - object for body - sketchbook 3
Fragmented prop #2 - sketchbook
Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Ex1 - object for body - sketchbook 4
Fragmented prop #3 - sketchbook
Stefan513593 - Part 3 - Ex1 - object for body - sketchbook 5
Fragmented prop #4 - sketchbook

=> I was intrigued by the multiplicity of the shape. Reflecting back on my initial thoughts of the patient gown in a clinical setting, with the rather anonymous, at times displacing sensation of wearing it, I do feel that this might be developed further, possible ideas for my personal project.

Reflection:

  • A mockup clothing can have strong connotations of human presence. On the other hand it could be merely seen as an obsolete thing trashed or thrown away. Nevertheless, through learned patterns and beliefs the simple mockup has a certain power that reminds me of my research in fetishism in part two.
  • My chosen material (mylar) provided a rigid material that could stand. Partly flexible, it was at times more responsive, falling back to more stable structures, kind of memory not lost, not completely yet. 
  • The juxtaposition or assembly of multiple paintings (see slider on top of this post) does convey a sense of narrative, a time-based movement of the mockup as ‘actor’ – a journey.
  • Painting in a sketchy, loose way, strongly allows the visual exploration of ideas, resulting partly in some further experimental works (see Fig. 9, or Fig. 11-14)
  • Digging deeper into the relationship of the mockup and its placement in space allows to convey narratives (e.g. Fig. 18 & 19) and to convey a sense of emotional response. 

Working with color quickly:

  • I tend to mix the main local color beforehand on a palette. Being outdoors I prefer to use either tear-off palettes from coated paper or just milk-boxes, cut open as a rectangular shape (re-using trash). Mixing those local color beforehand allows me to loosen up in the following painting and to ensure that colors are not totally off. Painting and mixing no the go and on the support directly feels more direct and responsive.
    Overall, some preparation is quite useful, e.g. having my tools ready to go, knowing what is where. However, I do not like the meticulous preparation of each color as some suggest in instructional books. In the studio with more refined rendering of tone this might be more useful. Working quickly means for me to be present in the moment, be responsive to my embodied sensations, what I see, feel, hear, think. Not all elements that go into a quickly made sketch visible through the naked eye. Often, associations and connotations turn into painted strokes. And for that I prefer to mix directly on my support. 
  • Advantages:
    pre mixing: accuracy, more fluid painting without thinking about matching colors
    mixing directly on support: more gestural, expressive, responsive to the scene and my imagination, at times less constraining

 

Further reflection on other artists:

How paint can support meaning and interpretation:

  • Vincent van Gogh‘s A Pair of Shoes , 1886 one of his paintings of his time in Paris was and is often a trigger for wide psychological and symbolic interpretations. Apparently he stated once that ‘he bought old work shoes at a flea market. Then he walked through the mud in them until they were filthy. Only then did he feel they were interesting enough to paint’ (Van Gogh Museum). Here ‘worn-out’ would mean be exposed to a person, with an ordinary usage as a functional object. The gestural application of paint supports the sense of ‘crudeness’, of heavily used shoes, no precious objects to wear only a few times. I can see that he painted from life, just whatever captured his attention, a contextual and gestural expression of sight and sensations.
  • Philip Guston The Coat, 1977 is one of the works in series he made after his rather abstract painting and often called  “urban primitive.” (MoMA) The rather graphic, comic-style depiction with flat appearance could be seen on various levels, as a depiction of his coat and shoes, and as metaphor for his stance and personal position in the world around him.  Here the graphic, flat application of paint could possibly relate back to the identity of the artist himself and how he perceived the world. I can relate to this approach in the way I work, as part of my paintings are not visible elements but also a reflection on sensations and thoughts. 
  • Lisa Milroy’Shoes, 1985: repetition of similar shoes with a sense of difference in sameness. She painte them ‘neatly’ and in order, but a closer look reveals more disorder. They remind me of bugs or mussels. The overall picture seems like an encoded message, with some pairs conveying a sense of alphabet, words, language, e.g. the V shaoe appearing twice, but with some adjustments. For me a visual reflection on Deleuze’s conception of ‘Difference and Repetition’ (1968). The refined and repetitively and orderly application of paint could relate to the sense of collection and alienation (as missing context). Objects are becoming part of an assemblage, a different wholeness. Quite contrasting to van Gogh’s shoes as showing the individuality, Milroy’s shoes are missing nearly any individuality though the seem each to be different in appearance. I find that Milroy’s work are more of studio paintings, with prior reflection on composition and key aspects of how it might come across.

 


Reference:

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Part Three – Preliminary Thoughts

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - space

I feel that this part will take me from my previous explorations of objects as actors back to the human presence (or absence) the relationship of the human body in painting, either as a staged (body as canvas) subject-object or as a point of reference in an anthropomorphic sense. Considering my constellation works that inspired me it seems as if the interaction of the person in arranging things will come into play, Not as the ‘invisible’ guiding hand, but as the acting hand. Touch, movement, and positioning.  

So far, I walked through and around my works (e.g. Walking Through Painting), looked at them top down (e. g. ‘Cut-out collages’ on horizontal table) or through, was engaged with them at a unique object-relationship (see featured image). Now, the question, how to incorporate either my body, another human body or a proxy of human body inside the work. How can the human body be represented beyond traditionally figurative paintings?  Another more intriguing way would be to find new perspectives on how I do interact actually with my works – or how they perform on me, guiding me, a dialogue? How could the viewer actually be involved through participation? The latter was a key aspect in my last assignment work Object-Box.

Elements to explore further are: 

  • Performative aspects of objects – and how the viewer is engaged
  • Objects and images of objects acting as proxy bodies  an anthropomorphic dimension of human presence or absence
  • Body painting – the body as a tool (see part one) or the body as the support? or even as the performative support? Wondering wether the body can be the paint and the support….
  • Ideas, objects, images and processes: relationship between them through appropriation, enactment, transformation and memory.
  • Narratives: creating a narrative through a visual sequence (can a still image not already convey a narrative?) and how a visual disruption could create a nonlinear narrative – more to ponder
  • Mirror and reflection: How a reflective surface or a framed view can rupture the pictorial space 

One open question would be how narrative can play a deeper role in abstract art or whether the depticted subject as in history paintings is the point of reference. I think that during part two with my cut-out collage animations I added a temporal layer to the still images. Are still images enough to convey a narrative or does it need the element of time to express a narrative? It reminds me of the old battle between spatial (as painting or sculpture) and temporal arts (as poetry of cinema) as described by G. Lessing in ‘The New Laocoon’ (1767). I explored partly in the previous two parts filmic elements, more in the sense of moving images. Not so much, yet, with inclusion of sound. It brings me back to my last course unit UVC and my last assignment essay on video installations (see here), and the work of Bill Viola and his work The Greeting, 1995 that was inspired by Jacopo Pontormo’s painting (1528-29) and acts through its extreme slow motion (1:10) and transformation as a contemporary dynamic narrative, enforcing the psychological aspect of the encounter.

The starting point for me – as it is still available in my studio space – to get interacted with my Walking Through Painting, to capture my presence, and to see how this could be worked into another work. Also, how my body, similar to the objects arranged, can act and perform in the same staged scene. What would get really close to other structural constellation works with having people to represent absent people, things, abstract ideas. It is the human who gets into touch with a scene through a trans-verbal language. And a person is re-arranging till it fits all, the things and the representatives. How to embed this into a piece of (art)work? As a reference or as a process in itself? For me it is the ‘things in itself’ that perform at different levels. The viewer would be the visitor to engage with – question whether the viewer would be allowed to arrange, as I invited them with my Object-Box.

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Parallel Project and Critical review – thoughts on how to get there

Stefan514593 - Parallel Project - sketchbook

There are two options at that moment that I feel are relevant to what I want to explore with my work:

  1. MRI as medical imaging technique and how we try to make sense of visual information in finding a Self and identity. MRI especially on brain imageries as experienced personally this year. Some more background information in my earlier post
  2. Informed by my work during part 2 the question how we relate to objects around us, mundane, daily objects. How painting can explore and raise awareness of what makes us to decide whether an object is precious or trash. References to fetishism in modern terms as explored by Hartmut Boehme in his book (2012)

I was interested in folding and unfolding (see my earlier post) in context of Deleuze and the Baroque. I can see how the brain structure is a folded object, and how object relationship do unfold on us through an questionning of subject-object relationship. The latter very much in context of my own practice and work with structural constellation work. It might that all aspect could come together. I am just afraid that I would loose focus and time and space to look deeper, not wider.

I related my MRI idea to Bruce Nauman and his exploration of visual imagery, moving images, recordings, topography and appropriation of contemporary visual imagery Composite Photo of Two Messes on the Studio Floor (1967) as well as to Hito Steyerl and her appropriation of mass media and simulation visual technologies to address socio-political power structures. 

During part 2 I worked on parallel ideas that intrigued me and where I really didn’t know how to embed them in other works or how to make sense out of it at a more elaborated level. 

Stefan514593 - Parallel Project - glitch and striations

Fig. 1: glitch and striations – coding and concealed information (Sketchbook)

 

Stefan514593 - Parallel Project - multiple viewpoints

Fig 2: multiple viewpoints -perspective in space (installation maquette)

 

Stefan514593 - Parallel Project - striations in spatial painting

Fig. 3: striations in spatial painting – detail from my ‘Walking Through Painting’ (see: http://ocasp.stefanvisualart.com/?p=1627)

Some of these elements moved in my decoding and communicating visual information: from barcodes to QR codes. One need to use a gadget, a tool to decode, to obtain hidden information. Something, I can related to medical imagery as MRI. The ordinary person can not ‘read’ them, as if all are the same. Revealing needs more information.

Truly, something I want to discuss with my tutor.


Featured image: sketchbook exploration with screenshot from HOROS, imagery from my brain

Reference:

  • Böhme, H. (2012) Fetischismus und Kultur : eine andere Theorie der Moderne, Rowohlts Enzyklopädie, 3rd ed. ed. Edited by König, B. Reinbek, Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag.
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A2 – Contextual notes

Stefan513593 - Three fold perspective - #2 - left view

During this part of the course and in preparation of my ‘Object-Box’ approaches I was inspired and challenged by the following art practitioners and readings. I made some contextual reflections earlier in my post for project 2.6 ‘Painting in the Round’

“Painting is taken away the boundaries of an object” – Katharina Grosse (Art21, 2015)

Some key artists that inspired my painterly exploration of space are Jessica Stockholder and Richard Tuttle. My Object-Box as a box that engages the beholder to unbox, to unfold takes some references from Marcel Duchamp. My sculptural wall pieces were partly informed by works of John Latham and Robert RauschenbergCandice Lin and her project works for Enough Room for Space, especially ‘Performing Projects informed my preservation box approach, as Bianca Baldi informed a rather contextual idea of unfolding resonating with the unfolding performance of my Object-Box.

Throughout this part I could relate to Sarah Sze‘s statement that

“we have so much illusion but we don’t have touch and we don’t have taste and we don’t have smell” – Sarah Sze (Art21, 2016).

What resonates for me is her desire of material intimacy by ‘arranging paint skins, torn paper images, and other materials such as wood, thread, and rocks’.

My assignment works are very much influenced by my personal experience of packing and unpacking objects during my travels. Started with a suitcase that was replaced by a ready-made box and eventually led to self-made objects that drew my attention closely to the objects and the box. A certain relationship established over time, especially considering my longer break in between where I kept hold of my object-box during travels. Unfolded, the containing objects took over a certain subjecthood. This and some feedback from others brought me in contact and deeper reading of fetishism. An idea that Rauschenberg once looked at in the mid 1950s with his work ‘Personal Fetishes’. Fetishes could be seen as many things, including all artworks. We relate strongly to objects and things, Fetishism in a modern sense as described intensively by Hartmut Boehme (2012). A more consumer focused perspective was drawn by Karl Marx (1867). The more contemporary outlook in context of post-humanist thoughts and object realism brought me in contact with Karen Barad (2003), not that I understood all of it. Perhaps something to look deeper at for my personal project and/or critical review.

I struggled between boundaries of conceptual thoughts and just making things. Eventually, I worked out what is happening in front of me and to reflect later what it could mean, for me or the viewer. Many steps in creating my work was rather an ad hoc response to visual cues. Nevertheless, I also felt that what I create need a home and therefore looked for peer feedbacks and considered those in my way forward but also in my reading directions. I could feel the boundaries of what is happening and how it could be perceived. I spent some time with discerning possibly readings of the work. Not to condition possible responses form others, more for myself to keep a certain distance from my work and to see whic step I would go next.

It was a bit of surprise that I could relate some aspects in my work with Mark Dion. A sense of archive and collection, and a kind of ‘Wunderkammer’ of curiosities. Not on display – more to engage in a playful way. What opens the question for me whether to move along the archive way or to continue in a more sculptural way. I do relate some of my works, e.g. Walking Through Painting from exercise 2.5 that eventually informed by Object-Box / Paint4OCA assignment piece to the kind of engagement with objects as Abraham Cruzvillegas‘ ‘Autoreconstrucccion’, a work that develops overt time through an interaction of the museums visitors and the objects, painted by the artist and eventually considered as art-constructions.

I could see my role as a creator of things, but also as a subject in engaging with it. One the one hand an observer and on the other hand an actor. An artist-consumer possibly, or an object-artist. What I learned from other artists are the way to use paint as a mean for mediation, or activating agent as Sophia Starling‘s spatial explorations. I feel that the relationship between the viewer (and me) and the objects around us is a key aspect of how I see future progression of my work. Re parallel project and my idea of MRI as imaging technique supports the view of visuals as a tool to objectify, to place the viewer (the patient) as an object of interpretation and meaning. To use painting to raise awareness of how we connect to visual information through objects could be a guiding line for me. In that sense, painting is seeking attention.

Reference:

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A2 – Reflection – A Performative Journey

Mirror - Reflection

My reflective account: A Performative Journey

This part was strongly inspired by my struggle in finding an appropriate worktable that works with my life of frequent travelling. Packing my art stuff in a suitcase on my travels, I was wondering how these objects could play a role as part of me, a kind of self-portrait.

Objects I used to draw with were too precious and eventually I made a mobile box with found objects from my direct studio environment, dysfunctional and mostly packaging things. The box became my companion and inspired me to perform with and out of it. My relationship with ‘useless’ items informed my coursework and assignment work. Throughout this part up to assignment my performative box was a key element.

My work played around fetishism, play, performative magic, and establishing entertaining relationship subject-object. I worked flat on the floor, on the wall, on a table, in space. I build maquettes, and more boxes in all varieties. Objects were made and replacing others. I found that painting them out was a constant factor in making sense of what I was doing. I developed a raising awareness of how paint can conceal, activate, uniform. I crossed medium specificity with performative and animated videos and considered painting as an ‘event’ as John Latham once stated his view on artworks.

After a frustrating start and a long relocation break, I could feel some direction surfacing. With different experimental approaches and strong motivation and desire I worked and painted out things. Initially, I couldn’t see how my works and experiments from part One could be further developed or integrated. However, I developed a sense of looking at edges, frames, gesture and control & chance in a different and repetitive way, resolving my struggle. Once more I became aware that only through making my next steps become clearer. All contextual researches were beneficial in that sense only, that I could relate during my reflections how to see and look at my works in a wider context. It turned out to be fun. Especially my large-scale Walking Through Painting stretched certainly the scope of one exercise. I was pondering to use it as my assignment piece. Nevertheless, the work I did for it informed my final Object-Box. My visually mapping out thoughts, contextual references and work done supported me in following through a complex journey.

Peer feedback received supported me in coming to some conclusions for myself. The work presented are mostly not finished works, maquettes and sculptural sketches informing my way forward, e.g. my personal project and critical review.

Some works are not resolved yet, e.g. Spatial Box and the approaches with Two Side Box and the idea of archive. On the other hand, the work Object-Box aka Paint4OCA is more resolved and I plan to submit for SHOWCASE OCA.

I can see how my work on object-subject relationship and staged animations is crossing over to the next part, focusing deeper on human interaction with already some work done during this part.

 (word count: 493)

 

 

 

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A2 – The Spatial Box

  • A2 – The Spatial Box
  • A2 – The Spatial Box
  • A2 – The Spatial Box
  • A2 – The Spatial Box

The Spatial Box

In this second attempt I will try to work out a sculptural painting as a reflection or better documentation of my object-box experience. A sense of displacement and spatial expansion. One main point that I am going to tackle here is my obsession of holding onto the box and the objects. Staying aside of me, unfolded, and being uncertain what to make with them, as throwing away would be not ‘fair’, my obsession seeking a painterly ending. I would need to take it out and to incorporate into a new work, a work that can release itself into space.

DIS-PLACE

Inspired by my travel life and initial object-box performance of opening the box and a step by step removal of objects, a spatial and temporal displacement.

Question on how to paint, paint in order to make each object ‘exciting’ or to paint over and across to disguise? Or to pour over with paint, to disguise in an archeological sense making the collection as such useless, another dysfunction? Taken some references to Candice Lin A Hard White Body from the project Performing Objects (Enough Room for Space, 2017), where she ‘invokes his­to­ries of exoti­cism, virology and global trade’. 

Idea #1: The Flexible Wall-Box

Initially, I started with a suitcase, I replaced it by a ready-made packaging box, and eventually found it a good idea to make also a replacement item for the box (Fig 1), cardboard replaced by canvas – bringing it back to origin of painting. The incremental dysfunctional appeal makes the box quite ‘useless’.(how to fold and keep it stable?). 

Stefan513593 -A2 -prep fabric box

Fig. 1: A2 – prep fabric box – cardboard box replaced by canvas box  – a step towards more dysfunction

The left one moved into my ‘Collage Combine‘ and the right one led me inspired for a more wall-based painting sculpture (Fig. 2), kind of merging the flat canvas and the spatial box together in a new work.

Fabric Wall Box #1

Stefan513593 - A2 - prep - Object Box Sculpture

Fig. 2: Fabric Wall Box #1 – a collection of objects form the box re-arranged as a relic, object painting

=> a quite loose and rather intuitive approach to placing rather than arranging. Objects that intrigued me, and items still left on my work-table, in my object-box (as many already moved into other works). Things seeking a home, establishing new relationships. Reminding me of my own relocation experience, more than once, moving to another place, new relationships.

Derived ideas and questions:

  • Possibly some reference to John Latham, especially Belief System, 1959 or Great Noit, 1963. He expressed that for him all artworks are ‘events’ (Lisson Gallery). In that sense my sculptural painting could be considered as an ‘event’, probably as a memorial event of past actions.
  • A question of frame and boundaries. The item at the bottom as a spatial expansion.
  • A question of how to see the canvas: a painted canvas as object, or as a painted object. Overall, a still-life that only makes deferred reference to process and actions.
  • A question wether this work could related to ‘useful’ or ‘useless’, or just a work speaking for itself?
  • A very random assemblage that most likely would trigger all sorts of imaginations. But also a reduction of context. How far to reduce? Or how far to condense, i.e. bringing multiple objects, fragments into one place?

Relevance:

The box in transition from an objects, the canvas overthrowing its existence as a mere support. The assemblage of objects as an indexical memory, but also as an iconic work in context of fetishism. And about how we establish relationships, objects as subjects? 

RE-lation

As Marx stated once:

“Could commodities themselves speak, they would say: Our use value may be a thing that interests men. It is no part of us as objects.” – Karl Marx, 1867

Objects do have a reason to be, a life in itself. We as humans just need to build a relationship with them, our attention to them is driven by desire and fascination for its own sake. I hope that my some of my works can address the process of raising awareness. Objects will speak for themselves – the more dysfunctional the better. 

Development

Trying to appropriate the fabric wall installation with a cardboard, painted, collaged with objects, folding and stepping on it, unfolding, installing (Fig. 3). An ‘event’ and happening, my physical engagement being present, what is left are traces and indexical signs of my actions, a visual result of action painting with objects, letting them speak.

Action Wall Box

Stefan513593 - A2 - Wall Box Sculpture #2

Fig. 3: Action Wall Box – Cardboard approx 100 x 50 cm (collage, acrylic paint) – installed on the wall, lower part advancing

Eventually, I revisited my ‘fabric wall box’ once again (Fig. 4). Re-arranging, objects moving inside the frame, a difference in expression and sense making.

Fabric Wall Box #2

A2 - Wall Box Sculpture #1

Fig. 4: Fabric Wall Box #2  – approx. 73 x 42 cm (canvas, acrylic paint, collage)

I decided to leave the two ideas or concepts Fabric Wall Box #2 and Action Wall Box aside and as they are in their own expression and existence and to move on with my thoughts of archive and display, a thought that bothered my already in my other approach of Object-Box.

 

Idea #2: The Preservation Box

From my previous approaches the question came up whether the objects and the box are a reflection or action of conservation or preservation in an archaeological sense? Looking up the difference (Museum of Ontario Archeology): conservation = hands-on, preservation = non-invasive. My approach might be seen more in the sense of preservation, keeping human impact away from destruction, what in the case of packaging materials seems quite contradictive, With some inspiration from Candice Lin’s A Hard White Body, 2017 I worked on various assemblages to protect, to preserve or rather to encapsulate the objects as relics. What disguises them as well and resulting in a different, very textured work (Fig. 5)

Stefan513593 -A2 -prep preservation box

Fig. 5: Preservation box #1 and #2 – encapsulation with paint, preserving of things, disguise and conceal – each 30 x 40 cm (acrylic paint, collage)

I used the ready-mades packaging things that I used for my initial object-box (those still left) plus some spare items I collected aside. The arrangement was rather randomly, and I responded to what I could see was happening in front of me. Working on a table with a primed, still wet, paper.

Derived ideas and questions:

  • Kind of archeological preservation, past memories of my interrogation with my initial object-box. How can this add meaning to the subject?
  • Through the encapsulation and concealing of certain features of the items with paint, the entire work becomes a new object. A new skin, something to collect, preserved for the future, and possibly to move around as such. Before, I was wondering how fragile my works would be and that those were rather temporal works, e.g. the cut-out collages. Here, I fond possible way to keep them.
  • The paint is layering and embedding the items, it also can be seen as contaminating action. Kind of covering with dust, e.g. reminiscence to ancient places as Pompei, buried after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. One could see the ‘burial’ also as the impact of bad biodegredablity of plastic packaging materials I used.
  • As I used paper I am wondering how it would change if I use perspex as background. Inspired by my earlier experiments with installation of objects in space and the multiple perspectives, this might add a new dimension of looking at or partly looking through. Not completely covering and concealing but a space of visible and invisible information.

 

DIS-FUNCTION

Relevance:

Concealing and covering of objects in a sense of anthropological study of human relationship with mundane, neglected objects.  Also as the metamorphosis and transformation of things into new objects. The viewer could try to discern individual features or items. The aesthetic appeal of the new ‘artworks’ could be seen as items in an archive, to store and to revisit after some time. Objects void of initial function or use. We use them as our memories.

Development of varieties (slider):

Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #1
Preservation Box #1
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #2
Preservation Box #2
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #3
Preservation Box #3
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #4
Preservation Box #4
Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #5
Preservation Box #5

The items no.4 and no.5 are made with air filled plastic box stuffing, adding an appeal of ‘please touch’  (some reminiscence to Duchamp’s  ‘Prière de toucher‘ , 1947)

I liked the concealing effect of paint, uniforming objects that seem to be rather isolated. Paint defers meaning, makes objects into an archive of found items. Each piece could be possibly seen as an imprint of an action or event. Possibly as a topology and anthropological investigations, reminding me once more of Mark Dion and his work Tate Thames Dig, 1999 – a drawer cabinet build and organised with each drawer a presentation of collected objects, placed in order and system. My works are mostly less ordered though.

I tried one more sculptural painting with different layers of paint, only a few but more repetitive items (styrofoam) and using the effect that spray paint melts styrofoam. 

Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #6

Fig. 6: Preservation box #6

=> This ‘preservation box’ completely transformed now in a plastic box, a pure artefact and preservation of packaging materials. I do feel that I lost here the sense of my object box. And compared with my previous one a bit to regular in composition. Possibly to re-make it with brown and/or white paint, to get closer to #1 or #2.

Final result:

Stefan513593 -A2 - preservation box #6 - repainted

Fig. 7: Preservation box #6 – repainted – with a handle and partly melted styrofoam items – approx. 37 x 50 cm (acrylic paint, found objects, paper, plastic sheet)

I feel that the brown hue relates the work more to anthropological and archeological studies, the brown for earth color, kind of digging out from the ground. A trace of human culture.

Side learnings with working aka painting with styrofoam: not only spray paint melts it but also hot air blower (what I used to speed up drying process). Means I can sculpt with a material that otherwise has a very bad biodegradability. 

The most successful works from this series:

 

Idea #3: The Two Side Box

The idea of preservation and archive or drawer spaces let me revisiting my earlier experiments of multiple viewpoints and installation of translucent support structures by adding my items on perspex. Responding and envisioning the backside of things, looking and playing, arranging and painting ‘activators’ and ‘uniformers’ on the assemblies created.

Painting with objects on perspex is a twofold exploration. What I am doing on the one side, is not known on the other side and vice versa. Making the invisible visible. As a paper or canvas support conceals the backside, perspex makes it visible. An archive drawer is always one top view perspective. The objects being looked at. I was wondering whether a perspex, two side approach might bring the objects more ‘alive’ and giving them more space to perform its visual presentations.

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #1 - two sides

Fig. 6: Two side box #1 – two sides, front and back / back and front – each 30x23cm 2mm perspex (collage, acrylic paint)

Development of varieties, photographed from two sides of the work on a lightbox (slider):

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #1 - front
#1 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #1 - back
#1 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #2 - front
#2 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #2 - back
#2 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #3 - front
#3 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #3 - back
#3 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #4 - front
#4 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #4 - back
#4 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #5 - front
#5 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #5 - back
#5 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #6 - front
#6 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #6 - back
#6 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #7 - front
#7 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #7 - back
#7 - back
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #8 - back
#8 - front
Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box #8 - front
#8 - back

 

Not all are very successful, to make a convincing composition for both sides was challenging. The more successful ones were # 1, 3,  and 2 – as a combination of traces of human culture and painterly activation alongside an ambiguity of making sense of both side visual information. I am wondering how much space inside the perspex frame would be needed, or whether the paint should be the translucent plane.

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - selection

Fig. 7: Two Side Box – selection (one side view only) – more or less translucent or opaque

With some rather incidental installations I found that backgrounds other than light could have a different effect, as if the background would belong to the work, uniforming or combining to a whole (Fig. 8)

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - display ideas

Fig. 8: Two side box – display ideas – background as part of the work (hindering to look from the other side)

I feel the more successful works are those that play with both sides with a sense of ambiguity, of edges and shapes. Where one wants to look once again on the other side of it to understand, to make sense. It is this sense of uncertainty of looking and bringing parts and pieces together alongside an entry point to engage the spectator. The artefacts as ‘fetishes’ might work as part of a whole series, as a comprehensive collection or survey, but in itself they are less successful. More thoughts coming up – more work to develop further.

Conclusion:

I explored three varieties of re-applying my objects from the table, my object-box. Through a space aka wall installation with collaged objects by painting through mechanical treatment of a ground (ie. the canvas and the cardboard were stepped onto, embedding traces from my direct environment), a preservation approach by pouring paint over objects to encapsulate them, and by playing with the transparent feature of perspex to reveal invisible sides of objects placed and arranged. 

Those approaches are not finished works, still spatial sketches, a way forward to new idea of painting in space?

Key aspects:

  • Preservation as transformation of objects, paint as medium to conceal and to defer meaning
  • Wall or installation in space as an object for contemplation, to look at in a perhaps conventional sense. 
  • Creation of new objects from things, painting as an exploration of relationship between those items and as ‘activators’ or ‘uniformers’.
  • Sense of simplicity, and revealing new meaning through disguise.
  • Sense of ambiguity through displacement of visual information on two sides (see perspex ‘Two Side Box’)
  • Painting as embedding traces, indexical sign for artist’s presence, leaving artefacts to collect, to show.
  • I like the idea of painting as ‘event’, as expressed by John Latham. A place as happening for new creations of things.
  • In all works the viewer can rest at a fix point. Question how to incorporate movement? And how to engage with the spectator at a ‘human scale’, i.e. a real time entry and connection. The first idea of Wall Box the most human scale, facing the spectator at eye level. The second Preservation Box could be placed either on a table or hanging on a wall. the third Two Side Box as an archive inviting the spectator to take out and to look
  • Overall, all three approaches tackle different aspects of Object-Box and mundane things. Certainly, all are studies and not fully developed works. A funnelling down still to be required.

My pre-selection for assignment:

  1. Fabric Wall Box #2
  2. Preservation Box #2
  3. Two Side Box #1

=> I find these the more successful ones for its sense of ambuity, space, composition, and using paint as activator or uniformer.

 


Next steps:

Movement and various viewpoints – a future continuation & development

The works on perspex need a moving spectator to look at both sides. To push this further I could envision to place them in a box, like an archive, a way as I’ve seen at Theaster Gates in Basel and his massive ‘Black Madonna’ Facsimile Cabinet of Women Origin Stories (2018), 2695 images from the John Johnson Archive, all framed the same size and placed in a large cabinet. The viewer was requested to put on white gloves and to take one by one out and to look at.

ARCHIVE

For me the notion of archive, collection, new space in the context of mundane objects preserved for future contemplation makes it quite intriguing. Placing those cultural artefacts in a cabinet would make them precious, a notion of cultural appropriated fetishism.

Some sketched ideas of archive installations of the ‘perspex’ artefacts. A two side view of one perspex turns into a multiplicity of views through the cabinet approach.

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - archive idea - sketchbook

Fig. 9: Two side box – archive idea – sketchbook

what resulted in a functional maquette:

Stefan513593 -A2 - two side box - archive maquette

Fig. 10: Two side box – archive maquette

Intentionally made from a found cardboard box, covered with canvas, raw and instead of being painted on it (though I added some paint blots), it is covering, concealing or storing the painted objects (each one in itself an object of painted items). Not all items fit in well, the edges of the perspex support dictating the fit-ness, parts hanging over are a barrier. Wondering if to make it completely out of perspex would be more successful, less concealing, more revealing and exposing. For an exhibition it would need a more accurate made. More thoughts and time possibly to spend on the outer surface, painted or not.

SPACE

The other question relates to working more in a three dimensional space, a work that builds on above explorations, embracing an moving spectator and expanding the features of the objects beyond its initial meaning. Although my archive idea brought the relief style painting-collages into a wider space, I would have still the other idea of bringing the painting as sculpture into space for the spectator to engage with with full body presence.

I will not have enough time to explore this deeper, I sketched out some ideas, for future reference and possibly to come back to it. Based on the idea of getting rid of the box – the Object-Box, to let it explode in space, suspended from the ceiling, artefacts, relicts to walk through. Combined with suspended objects. An approach inspired by Cornelia Parker’s Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991) . It would resonate somehow with what I did for my human scale Walking Through Painting in project 2.6.

 

Stefan513593 -A2 - Space - ideas for exploded box . sketchbook

Fig. 11: Space – ideas for exploded box . sketchbook

I will postpone these ideas for part 3 – to consider the human scale and performative body as integrative part of the work.

 


Reference:

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A2 – The Object Box

  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box
  • A2 – The Object Box

The Object Box: A Useless Thing – exploring options

One of my two ideas I want to proceed with for my assignment is the Object Box. A box of items that the beholder can engage with, driven by curiosity to open and to unfold, and desire to make sense out of it. Inspired by my travel life and initial object-box performance of opening the box and a step by step removal of objects, a spatial and temporal displacement.

I would consider this as a sculptural painting and a display of objects questioning the notion of a painting as an object. This might be seen in the context of Marcel Duchamp’s (1935-41) Boîte en valiseDuchamp’s work is a collection of items made by him  in the past, alongside one original piece (he made a limited edition of 20) and addressing ‘museums’ ever-increasing traffic in reproductions and question the relative importance of the “original” work of art. (The Museum of Modern Art (1999). For me, it is not about institutional operations, but more about the experience and question how we build relationships to objects around us.

Another source of inspiration for me is the work of  Bianca Baldi (2014) Zero Latitude.. Her work can be seen in context of colonialism through leveraging the aesthetic appeal of the Louis Vuitton’s Explorer Bed produced in the 19th century. The physical action of unfolding as a conceptual deferral to the colonial endeavors by De Brazza’s journey along the Congo River. The Vuitton Explorer Bed imagined and commissioned for him. The void of the background to decontextualise and to bring forward the aesthetic appeal of the performance as an interesting feature for displacement and triggering imaginations. The unfolding of the bed not as a representation but as an object to be experienced as such.

Objects can became cult, precious collectibles, or just trash for the bin. What makes us to decide what to do what? Is it context? Is it cultural convention? What about emotions and human conditions of curiosity and desire? An aspect that I can related to Mark Dion‘s exploration exhibited at WhiteChapel Gallery (‘Theatre of the Natural World‘). 

And last not least, objects, dysfunctional things can become fetishes. My relationship with found objects became since my initial making of my object-box as a replacement for my suitcase as constant interrogation and intimate exploration. Neglected objects became meaning through painting them out, through performative arrangements and through placing them in exposed places.

Here my various approaches seeking for sense.

Idea #1: Collectibles

The following installation of made objects  can possibly show a more precious appeal of ‘nonsense’ items. Possibly with the right text underneath a nice statement in a ethnographic or anthropological museum. 

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size 2

Fig. 1: A4 – prep – Made box objects in display

Derived ideas and questions:

  • A make of useless and dysfunctional items, a sense of displacement to keep
  • A display: To show it like this or to engage the spectator into making, arranging it? An object or a process?

Objects – packaging items – made from packaging materials – skin of commodities  – after commodities taken out and away a void is left – the void articulated through the objects of no-desire.

For Karl Marx commodities are fetishes, objects valued not by its use-value, but by exchange value and disconnected from labor involved to make them. Very much what happens with art works. 

“Every product is converted into a social hieroglyphic” – Karl Marx, 1867

Relevance

Therefore also dysfunctional objects can be of value, and no object is not ‘useless’ enough to be not considered for further exploration. Hence, my object-box makes sense in a cultural and social setting. The question of still-life versus arranging as a process are two ways that I need to find out.

Idea #2: The Surprise Box

Or just go ahead with my initial feeling of making a box for others to see, to play with? Simplicity, and a showcase of my own learning shared with others? Some initial ideas of appropriating the OCA box (Fig. 2)

Surprisingly, I could see some resonating elements with my previous works (color, text, context):

  • the red ‘activator’ 
  • the labels, barcodes – perhaps to add QR codes with my videos?
  • the ‘urgent’ indication, always something I found amusing, giving art a high priority
  • the red tissue resonating with my red dog poop box
  • it is a box shipped to my place, part of me and what I did – appropriating the box seems to be a fascinating aspect re giving back to community aka OCA (for ‘Showcase’)

 

Stefan513593 -A2 - prep object box - OCA

Fig. 2: A2 – prep object box – OCA   – an appropriation to give back, to share, as a non-didactic, entertaining approach to exploration and sensations

 

Derived ideas and questions:

  • The dog poop bag as medium for writing some instructions. To write on a a ready-made bag or to make my own bag?
  • The cut out collages as a collection and invitation to play with. To use the materials I used (index of my artistic intervention, charged with power from past exercises as a fetish, a relic?
  • Overall, a very process based work, The active engagement and arrangement by the spectator out of control, arbitrary. What could be seen as a metaphor for the ‘death of the author’ and how dependent a artwork is based on the spectator’s experience and interpretations.

Relevance:

Some aspects that is relevant to my work and distinguishes from Bianca Baldi and Marcel Duchamp:

  • A relationship to daily objects around us and how we establish a relationship and appreciate value
  • A connection to global trade and colonialismas Baldi  sees it in her work, of less importance. Though these connotations might come up with some viewers.
  • Possibly a connection to packaging materials as useful materials trashed, a notion that could lead up to ideas of recycling (what I am doing), ecology and sustainability relating to themes as plastic trash in the oceans. An entertaining approach here is the Plastic Soup, that even distributes an app for tracking one’s own plastic footprint
  • I do not intend to place my work as a critique of one or the other. Although, this might also come up. 
  • Question how far I am moving away from Duchamp’s notion of ‘museum in a box’, embracing more the playfulness and awareness of interaction than a deferred reference to art spaces.
  • Most important feature for me is how I connect with the objects and establish relationships. Objects performing through a sculptural painting. Objects that possibly could be connotated with fetishes.

I am aware that those connotations with whatever I will come up with might be triggered – or not. When it is out, it is out.  Feedback received from peers through two hangout events suggested more a magic, entertaining aspect rather than a critical.

Here, I will bring together ‘Collectibles’ and ‘Surprise Box’ into my final ‘Paint4OCA’ box .

Object-Box: Paint4OCA

 

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Paint4OCA

Fig. 3: A2 – Object Box – Paint4OCA -Sketchbook ideas

  • Paint: what and how? => decision to scale-down my larger walking through painting from exercise 2.5, by that colors also chosen
  • Scale & installation: how to get clarity on how to unbox and re-box? to unfold and to fold?
  • Arrangement: a box to unfold, a smaller box embedded in the bigger box (matryoshka idea, also a new another level of engagement in space and as time-based performance)
  • Instructions? what to give and what to support with? 
  • Unfolding: in a sense of expansion and development (of curiosity, play, joy)

DIS-PLAY and DIS-COVER(y)

Display, Discovery – both words a mix of different connotations

       DIS: disorientation, dysfunction, displacement

               to COVER: to conceal, to hide, to cover up, to box 

                  to PLAY: to play, to enjoy, to entertain, to relax

        a title – a theme – a site:

             PAINT4OCA

 

I continued step by step, discerning how many objects I want to put in, how to paint them, how to paint the ground and boxes, and how to makes sense in ‘building a box’. I felt that paint and painting objects out supported me in finding a way forward till a final result.

A sequence of painting progression, arranging, and organising (slider):

Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #1
Step 1
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #2
Step 2
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #3
Step 3
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #4
Step 4
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #5
Step 5
Stefan513593 -A2 - object box - PAINT4OCA - #6
Step 6

The unfolding of the box as video with kind of instructions

The unfolded box with staged objects – reminiscence to my previous large scale Walking-Through-Painting:

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Paint4OCA - Unfolded and staged box

Fig. 4: A2 – Object Box – Paint4OCA – Unfolded and staged box

The unfolding of the smaller box – the Cut-Out Box:

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Paint4OCA - Cut-Out Box

FIg. 5: A2 – Object Box – Paint4OCA – Cut-Out Box

 

.. and a inventory list accompanying the box:

Stefan513593 - A2 - Object Box - Inventory

Fig. 6: Object-Box – Inventory

With that the box is complete – it will be submitted as assignment piece and for OCA Showcase (see separate page)

 

Conclusion

  • Questions about performing objects, unfolding boxes, establishing relationships with objects that could be possibly connotated with fetishes surrounded my work. 
  • A sense of play and entertainment was intended. The process of unfolding as important as establishing a display, even not more. The final ‘painting’ becomes just one way of making, a difference in itself, a multiplicity of ideas generated by the spectator who wants to get involved. 
  • I am aware that I moved away from a display only (step 1 in above development sequence , slider) and moved towards a more engaging playful unfolding of a box, bringing the spectator into objecthood of the work – and in relation to one’s awareness of interaction. The idea of display and archive might be worth to look at, one thing to tackle differently in my Spatial Box
  • Objects as collectibles or as things to play with and to trash them afterwards. What changes with painting beyond a mere design aspect is a different level of understanding how I do relate, and possibly how the spectator will do relate, to them.
  • Found objects can be transformed into new objects, the original purpose (packaging material) disguised and concealed. Painting allows a different attention, bright colors are more ‘interesting’ than mute or grey colors.
  • The idea of a wider impact of the works need to be seen as it allows a reading on different levels: 
    1. Play
    2. Unfolding driven by curiosity
    3. Interaction with dysfunctional objects to make sense
    4. A detailing of instructions and display associating with archive and stored memories
    5. The box, a ready-made as container for painting
    6. Objects as fetishes to build a relationship with

Reference:

 

 

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Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round

  • Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round
  • Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round
  • Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round
  • Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round
  • Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round
  • Project 2.6 – Ex 2.5: Painting in the round

Reflecting

…on previous work

In my reflective research I looked at what I did so far and how it resonates with contemporary artists. From all the work I would possibly consider the second object-collage What is Below and Beyond  as more successful attempt to move into space. Although quite Rauschenbergian. My various sketchbook explorations (see Fig. 1) as well as my cut-out-collages and animated pieces do embrace more the activating aspect of color and paint (e.g. Still-Life #2). The use of brighter colors seem to work better with mundane things, as some works of Richard Tuttle or Jessica Stockholder. Still open the question around my animated time based pieces documenting my visual responses, a creation of a narrative? – with an entertaining value? A proof or a meaning? A side effect or a way to look deeper into?

I worked on objects and partly with objects, objects informed my way of looking through observational sketches and through cut-outs of simple shapes and colors.  Cut-outs informed my arrangement and play with shapes in relationship, edges and colors informed my organisation and activation approach. Struggling with a ground that still constrained my visual responses, I went to translucent and to relief and eventually to stand-alone ‘tables’. All works were a whole of parts, the whole as a container in space, the parts making sense of the whole. I liked the way paint can act either as an activating agent and enhancing form perception. Or can flatten out and conceal form, ‘harmonising’ ground and figure. I experimented in my sketchbooks and tried out in my first object-collage Two Sides of Folly.

I worked in parallel on some ideas of spatial engagement and installation, helping to think through visually in the making of.

Preparation

Now it is time to overthrow the container, placing myself inside and between, making the parts creating a new whole. 

What are the main objects from my object-box I would select? Which parts would act a unity for the whole? Or are there interactively subgroups? Does the whole as an assemblage consists of multiple assemblages?

I am eager to place myself into context, i.e. to place myself ‘onto the worktable’. Less operational as Steinberg described the horizontal working place, rather phenomenological in relationship to surrounding objects, closer to the way I do work with structural constellations.

In Exercise 2.2 I went through a process of ‘Assembling – Mapping – Speaking – Exploring – Narrating – Activating’ , I will see how my process develops now, starting with

Selecting

My start would be not to use the saturated colored objects ( blue tissue, red dog poop bag, black tray) but to take those colors into the painting of other, desaturated objects. An approach I found successful in making my cut-out collage steps, color to activate, as the relief like painting I did in my sketchbook (Fig 1).

Stefan513593 - Ex2.4 collage objects - expansion - sketchbook

Fig. 1: Ex2.4 – collage objects – expansion – sketchbook

A kind of cross over, color as memory, fragment, and artefact. Similar could be the painted board, although with traces by others, it could be the painting of the spatial assembly by me. Possibly opening up ideas of an audience engagement, but who is my audience of the work I am doing – besides my tutor? The plastic container, the thread seem to act as connectors, thus to see how my choice of material can support this notion, e.g. perspex? nylon filament?

My first selection/idea was:

  • Objects: pebble, fork, cat fur, foam pieces, white thread
  • Materials for surfaces: cardboard (textured), plastic surfaces (transparent, translucent, opaque), thread (light, thin, connecting), tissue (soft, flexible)

Looking at them I became aware that three out of five were roundish /pebble, cat fur pieces, foam pieces) thus quite similar in form. To replace one with a more contrasting shape could be either the tray or the cylindric corrugated cardboard, that I worked with before (see Fig. 1). Another option just looking at shape could be the styrofoam piece (the one with the pebble). A move towards less representational visual thinking?

 

Making

Scale, size and surface: Do I make large, human scale, life size, or smaller? And how in relation to each other? All similar proportional scale, or unexpected proportions, e.g. large fork, small pebble, vice versa, other way round, foam pieces xxl and all small, all xxl? As I want to engage physically with the objects similar to constellation work, I will make large scale that I can walk around and at the height of my body. I will also make small ones similar to family constellation board, to engage on a table, and especially my own suitcase approach the way I started and with possible notions to Duchamp’s Boîte en valise.

While making my smaller maquette items, it made me wonder how funny it was, to make packaging shapes from other packaging material. Why not just use the original items? It became clear to me that it had to be larger scale. I worked quickly with the materials at hand (took me around 1 hour for all objects), trying to match shape and form, less concerned about size. Some objects, e.g foam pieces hard to make and resulting in bigger pieces than possibly intended. I moved on, embracing the variety in size difference and wondering how it would like as an assembly (Fig. 2 and 3). The foreshortening view from the front exaggerated size perception. I decided to make two ‘extremes’. Composition from the front in Fig. 2 more ‘natural’ than the one in Fig. 3.

Replicas

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making #1a

Fig. 2: Replicas – Making #1a – stripping off the box

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making #1b

Fig. 3: Replicas – Making #1b  – stripping off the box

All in all the proportions – a set up fitting into a box (Fig. 4). An anthropological view? Possibly, a subconscious relationship to Mark Dion and his work on Tate Thames Dig, 1999. My wooden support seem to support this connotation.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - box size

Fig. 4: Making – Replicas – box size – stripping of perspective

 

Looking at these made me aware of some anthropomorph aspects, the fork the least ambiguous. For the next step at larger scale, and after having now some experience with making, I decided for an approximate constellation (Sketch, Fig. 5) Considering surface materials, especially painting on and with plastic, I do refer to my earlier experiments and sketchbook works (see post here, and Fig 6)

 

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Sketchbook

Fig. 6: Sketchbook – understanding painting with plastic

 

My actions:

Re-using – Stuffing, Covering, Binding – Priming

The fork: what if I keep just the outside shape without cutting open the tines? It could be connotated with an oar as well, a step towards more shape and form perception. Materials used: all packaging materials (styrofoam, bubble wrap, honeycomb board, corrugated board, paper, tape, glue – and on old used towel bound with nylon thread.  The thread to be added later, just nylon threads. I applied an acrylic primer on the household plastic materials (bags) as I’ve learned it would improve paint adherence. Other plastic materials are less critical.

My objects made sitting on the floor, waiting for arrangement and activation (Fig. 7 – background of studio environment deleted in photoshop). The image shows objects with no context, just between themselves. The ‘fork’ is around 156cm long, the black ‘pebble’ around 53cm longest dimension. It could be a place of trash, waiting for the community’s trash collection. 

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - upscale #1

 Fig. 7: Making – upscale #1 – stripping off representation and context 

What made me look at another floor space in my studio: my debris place – a place for spares  – and inspiration – a studio space (Fig. 8):

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - debris

Fig. 8: Making – debris – context

While working on making, I became aware of a few aspects : 

  • stripping off:  the box, perspectives, context, and representations – a process of void’ing
  • distance and proximity: a move away from an observer position towards an actor in between the objects

Through visually isolating the objects (surface and surrounding space) I could move on to find the space for the objects to perform (Fig 9). While taken the picture of me in between the things I made (top down view) it was interesting to notice the colors I wear matching partly my original object-box.

Arranging

My objects are built, objects in themselves, stripped of any representational meaning, no narrative, no context, ready for interaction and activation. Some days after my object-box, charged with meaning, it felt like a relief. There might still be some free flowing associations coming up from a viewer’s perspective, but then it is about the viewer not the objects. Interestingly, it is not abstract work, the objects a real objects, materialised. Abstract art having had for me previously a notion of not-object related art, painting.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - space

Fig. 9: Making – Me with seven things in space – void’ing and fill’ing

Things as physical objects with a variety of materiality and surfaces: cardboard, plastic, fabric; mostly light, stuffed, some hollow; some flat, some dense; some long, some short. A game to play, an assembly to make, relationships to build, painting to make sense and to explore. What is missing: the thread, will see if I still need it and how to connect elements.

I was trying out various arrangements, some more or less exciting. I moved objects, responded to spaces in between, objects laying down onto the floor, leaning to and eventually suspending from some sort of construction above my head. Some points tool longer to find a ‘solution’, e.g. the suspended ‘shelf’ with questions around left or right tilt, forward tilt or not. the white side vertical or horizontal? Also the cylindric item on the floor to the left or the right (under the black suspended item?).

some relationship questions:

Concealing: Or if some are concealing others, an aspect that I could expand with paint, either to enforce concealing or to support differences through edges distinctive colors .I find the suspended items an interesting aspect. So far I didn’t want to attach any thing to the wall in order to be able to move around. The ‘fork’ item leaning to the wall could be an option, not fixed, movable – a notion on non-hanging but movable? 

While painting some sketches on flat paper, I discovered a fascinating aspect: painting with same color across different shapes on flat support makes them indistinguishable. Only through the materiality  of the used paint and traces e.g. brushstrokes, those shapes can be differentiated. Painting with same color on sculptural objects would make them discernible through their presence in space, a difference and advantage of objects. An aspect that I would like to follow further.

Shadows: how do these play a role?  can they be embedded in the work? subject to illumination (side or top lights) but possibly also to be achieved through paint? This brings me once again the apartment painting of Irina Nakhova (1984), the apartment in Soviet Union as a protective space for artists to be. He tonal depiction of edges with the use of grey to bring forward illusion of density, wall, three dimensionality. I do relate to this to shadows as from my prior experiences  with teared edges and addition of shadow edges. 

Objects: I had to add a stool to raise the height of an item, pondering the inclusion of readymades or not, and what bring this closer to some works of Jessica Stockholder, John Armleder or Richard Tuttle. A readymade that would bring up all sorts of connotations, something that I would like to ‘keep out’ of this attempt – perhaps coming back in my assignment work.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - space - with readymade

Fig. 10: Making – space – with readymade

Perspectives: My raising awareness that any sketches or images taken with a camera would result in a ‘distorted one point view perspective’, not capable to reflect on my in-between’ness experience. At times felt constrained because of that, and possibly some of my arrangements were informed by this constraint. An aspect that paint could overcome in forcing changing positions? The complexity of Fig. 10 showing the multiplicity of viewpoints, something my paint application could follow?

I continued with a more phenomenological approach, not too far away how I experience my constellation work with either items (piece of papers) on the ground or figures (people) in the room at different positions, reacting to what I sense as difference from one place to the other.

Space: unclear yet, what is inside or outside the work, if this really matters, multiple entry points inside the work and not at the boundaries. What could be different to sculpture is to be able to moving only partly around the work, paint allowing or stopping to ‘enter’? And how is sight and how is touch involved? How much do I work from a phenomenological perspective? What appears in the moment is there?   My space and tools where partly informing what I could achieve, e.g. the black items suspended was restricted to the way I could install a bar from where to suspend it. All had to go without spending too much time, all an attempt, not a final work.

Key aspects: 

Going through the experience of arranging, organizing, moving, and re-arranging, I feel intrigued by a few aspects:

  • Suspension: a sense of holding and impact of gravity 
  • Tension: between different objects, space in-between, appearance of nearly ‘falling down’ items, stability versus fragility
  • Connecting: objects leaning on or reaching out to other objects
  • Shadows: casted as connecting areas  to be painted out?
  • Opening: Looking through, hollow items or through arranged items into another space, multiple entry points (at least I tested three ‘extremes’ at right angles)
  • Reversal: reversal of senses of gravity and use (still my initial ‘real’ objects in my mind)
  • Concealing: to move to see, not everything visible from one viewpoint only, something that can’t be achieved through painting on flat support

My most inspirational arrangements are built around these are (slider Fig. 11 – 14; for simplicity reasons just one side view):

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - option a
Option A
Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - option b
Option B
Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - option c
Option C
Option D

My final assemblage objects – a walking through experience

I eventually decided for this arrangement. Kind of three groups (the wall items, the black suspended item, and the floor items to the left). I can’t tell why I came up with that , it made sense, it felt right when walking through and looking at it. Still unpainted, perhaps I would be less certain after paint is there. 

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - final arrangement

Fig. 15:  Making – final arrangement

… some walking through details views

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Making - final arrangement- details

Fig 16: Making – final arrangement- details

… and a walking through time-based experience:

 

Painting

What I’ve learned from my previous attempts – a cycle from objects in space through flat painting and sketching: paint could be used to connect, to uniform, to flatten-out shape perception, and to activate areas and relationships. How could I use it here? I wanted to explore boundaries and supporting connecting relationship between the three groups. One key question for me: Would the paint go only onto the objects or also on the floor and wall (taking the ceiling out of the equation)?

And what sort of color, how to apply, how to start? I felt a certain barrier coming up due that massive amount of questions. I decided to glue the items belonging to each other (the ‘fork’ keeping still separate from the shelf for practical reasons, pondering dismantling and storage, or just moving into trash bin).

I do relate partly to my previous sketchbook work (Fig. 1) and from other artists (Stockholder, Armleder, Tuttle) I learned to paint in rather simple way with a focus to relate to, to activate, and to explore boundaries. Starting with a spray can of acrylic unbleached white I sprayed my way through, getting connected with the space. Spraying the black item resulted partly in dropping down of paint under the impact of gravity. Something to explore further? 

The making of objects was one thing, the assemblage arrangement was intriguing, but painting it out is quite a different task . Didn’t thought of it as being such a big task to do. Massive areas to paint – what is the best way to cover? My first attempts with spray paint not that convincing (Fig. 16). Thinking of household wall paint or just big pots of acrylic paint to splash around, certainly not being eager to use a small paintbrush.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - step 1

Fig. 16: Paint – step 1

I explored in my sketchbook possible variations with color, facing the challenge on how to understand space in three dimensions with a walk-through experience through flat sketches . Nevertheless, I made some cut outs of different view images to use as masks for painting aka spray painting (Fig. 17, top left my initial exploration – top right the final idea – bottom steps in between). Eventually, I felt connected with my assignment work ‘folding and unfolding’ with the layers concealing and revealing edges and shapes. I worked into revealed shapes bright colors – exploring boundaries and forms. Still being aware that flat painting has the disadvantage of concealing shapes when painting with one color, an aspect my spatial arrangement would be able to overcome.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - sketchbook idea development

Fig. 17: Paint – sketchbook idea development  – concluding sketches for creating the main idea of my sculptural painting (others not shown). Top left my initial exploration – top right the final idea – bottom steps in between

With this exploration I found my way forward in painting around me as a reference to flat paintings, e.g. Matisse ‘Red Interior’ but with a real walking-through experience. I am going to use the smaller items as ‘activators’ in red and the suspended item as activator in blue. The question now how to choose the right colors for the ‘background’ areas and the other items.

I did some further color studies in order to find an appropriated color for the ‘background’ space (Fig. 18). I wasn’t sure whether my initial yellow would be the best option, just to be more certain. The orange had some appeal. Eventually, I settled for a more orange yellow, a cadmium yellow as better harmony with the red and blue activators.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - sketchbook exploring color

Fig. 18: Paint – sketchbook exploring color

From my list of key aspects I can see the following way to approach them:

  • Suspension:  two items suspended, one close to the wall the other into open space
  • Tension: through the chosen activators
  • Connecting: through paint application across items and ‘background’ space
  • Concealing: through paint application across boundaries
  • Shadows: partly painted, some others as a viewer’s perception
  • Opening: three entry points to ‘walk into’ the painting
  • Reversal: shadows, painted and casted from illumination as contradiction

I used spray paint for some further exploration of painted space (blue and red) and discovered that spray paint is not compatible with styrofoam, it melts. However, resulting in an effect that I liked on the ‘shelf’, kind of deterioration.

With that set, and the chose color of a darker, orange hue cadmium yellow,  I decided to leave my sketchbook exploration away, first copying my sketches made into space around me – using a paint runner (reminding of painting interior walls, decoration) – and to continue painting in direct response to my painting-in-space progress (Fig 19).

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - step 2

Fig. 19: Paint – step 1

I was facing the challenge that my studio space was merging into the painting, either disrupting or distorting it. Possibly a wide open space or a separate room would be good for upscaling and to realize this work in public.

Activating

A key question that came up are boundaries and activation. Questions around whether I see the objects as the boundaries or not, whether I see the objects as the activating agents in space or not. I got a feeling that paint could be applied as a kind of mediator, but also to connect, and eventually to make sense, at least in a different way.

I choose to use bright colors, derived from unique colors on my initial object-box, to act as ‘activators’: blue and red. The other colors would complement, contrast, or balance the composition as a whole – making my sculptural painting a integrative piece of work with various viewpoints. 

Painting around in progress:

After paint application, am I satisfied? Does there need to a re-arrangement? When starting to outline my path through this ‘painting in the round’, I thought that re-arrangement would be needed, similar to my cut-out collages.

I didn’t expect that the objects are not any longer movable, or the painted surface would result into disruptive experience when arranging differently. But it will not stay there, perhaps it will be re-installed in a different place and space. Then it need to be properly arranged. If not – a glitch, what could be an interesting theme in itself.

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - step 4

Fig. 20: Ex 2.5 – Paint – step 2

My continuation of painting in space was a quest for making sense: composition, relationship, shapes, colors. Considering the light main shapes I wasn’t satisfied with the white background, especially I felt the black shape in the center looked like a hole. I changed to black and it felt more uniform for me, though keeping the white on the floor area (Fig. 20). The wall as a wall felt more solid, and raising the question how to move on and how to merge wall and floor space. Possibly to make the black running down to the spectator’s entry point, and to leave some white areas (or light yellow) as disruptive shape and guide for eye movement. To explore this further I used the tablet app PhotoshopFix (frontal view) that I found for this interrogation very helpful to discern visually differences (Fig. 21).

Paint - step 3 - tablet painting (digital overlay on Fig. 20, middle image)

Fig. 21: Paint – step 3 – tablet painting (digital overlay on Fig. 20, middle image)

I found the blue suspended item too separate from the rest and added in the last image some blue drippings. That idea to either paint, or better to paint plastic sheet in stripes and attached under the blue item. By that the items as such would be more integrated in space and not only on a flat picture plane …. and the resulting spatial painting (without blue stripes, yet), The last step before the final touch.

The final spatial painting, painting in a round, a walking through painting, a painting interrogating real and illusive objects (Fig. 22) 

Walking Through Painting

approx (H x W x D): 200 x 200 x135 cm (acrylic paint, objects)

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - Final - front view

Fig. 22: Walking Through Painting – Final – front view (approx (H x W x D): 200 x 200 x135 cm (acrylic paint, objects)

.. with various viewpoints:

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - Final - different views

Fig. 23: Walking Through Painting – Final – different views

… and some close up views, in-between, walking through: 

Stefan513593 - Ex 2.5 - Paint - Final - close up and in-between

Fig. 24: Walking Through Painting – Final – close up and in-between

 

.. and as my walk through experience:

 

Reflection

This exercise took over not only space but also time. The largest scale work ever done. And the most challenging when moving from flat surfaces to three dimensional space the includes objects as well as flat areas as wall and floor. Finally, I moved completely away from my object-box and representational objects. The objects truly performed for me, they activated the surrounding space, and the whole painting moved towards a new direction of a walking-through painting.

My start made me aware of how much I was still locked in a representational thinking. Objects, made or not, as meaningful things in context. I moved ahead, seeing now my ‘new’ objects stripped of meaning and context. Not an abstraction of things as tje objects are real. Whereas, my observational sketches are figurative and representational. I have the feeling I am shifting my view on things.

The work done is surely not at a stage I would consider it as finished. The materials used, especially the paper on the wall and on the floor is by far not adequate for a stable work to show. In reality I would possibly paint directly on the surrounding space, i.e. the floor and wall of the gallery room or any other room. The edge between wall and floor (I made a smooth edge through the bending of the paper) would need further consideration in a real space.

My overall experience of this exercise was immense. Making objects, arranging objects, responding to connections, painting and re-painting out a new pictorial reality was challenging. But I think I learned a lot, and any new painting I will do – either sculptural or even on a flat surface – will benefit from this experience. 

I explored  sculptural painting with placing myself in between selected objects. The painting took over space, and I ended in painting the flat surfaces. At the end, it reminds me of a stage play. Kind of painted scenery for an act to happen. This reminds me that not only Rauschenberg but also Hockney did some stage play paintings. Rauschenberg more as props for action (as his early ‘Combines’) and bringing himself into a performative role on stage, Hockney as painting a the stage through various acts for ‘Rake’s Progress‘, painting for a narrative. In my case I consider is as still, only the spectator to be engaged.

Some questions in detail: 

Where does the edge of my piece lie?

I didn’t know where the edges of my work would be during my sketchbook studies and even not at the beginning of the painting in space. During the painting process and being in that space, I felt connected with the surfaces, shapes and possibly forms. Eventually, I found it intriguing to develop the illusion further (besides crossing boundaries) and started to paint edges of a wall thickness in a slightly lighter tone than the main yellow one. I felt reminded by the apartment work of Irina Nakhova (see above) . 

How does my use of paint help to define these boundaries?

I started to use spray paint as an attempt to establish connection with the space and the objects. However, spray paint is not only developing a toxic mist, also not good to use with styrofoam as it melts. Though, spray paint leaves some good fading boundaries, not achievable either with brush, paint runner, or hands. Eventually, I moved towards harder edges alongside some dripping marks. Only, my ‘activators’ in red and blue stayed in its sprayed appearance as it made them softer and for me more ‘natural’ looking.

I found it extremely useful to paint and explore and to find options for connection, relationships, and shapes through painting in space. My sketchbook studies were limited in finding ways out – only through making the painting happening I felt it went much easier to move forward without knowing where it will lead me to.

How does my work claim space? 

My studio surrounding was merging into the painting, disrupting and distorting depending on view point. To develop it further, and for public view, a separate room, or wide open space with blank background would be advisable. The other option to have a disruptive background of a reality could be worked into this painting, letting the spectator feel that experience. But most likely the ‘external’ boundaries of the painting need to be negotiated depending on environment.

My sculptural painting is space demanding. Not only wall but also floor space was taking over.The floor is integral part of the work. I was thinking whether it came out like that because I prepared a floor-wall space with white paper, or whether it was part of what mattered to me and reference to my constellation works (a combination of floor and eye height The painting as such added a different layer to the objects as such and the surfaces of the floor and wall. Only the paint helped to make connections meaningful and to explore deeply the various spaces: surface, three dimensional objects, and illusionary space. Through, the suspended blue item in free space, the work claims the complete space.

What was guiding me to make decisions and take action? 

Making it, putting myself into relationship with the objects, moving around, trial and error, responding, adjusting, changing illumination (from top only to side only), partly sketching through, at the beginning to reflect on the different steps I did and to discern common aspects, e.g. stripping off. At times referring back to how I approach constellation work from a phenomenological perspective.

As I move around and through the work how does my physical experience of being among these objects affects my decision-making, process and approach to using paint?

Very much, making flat sketchbook experiments quite contrived. Feeling with time that the experience I have is not something I need to work into the painting, but rather opening it up (literally the space) for the spectator to experience itself. I am in a dialogue with the objects and the ‘void’ space in between. questioning where paint need to go or not. Which areas I want to activate and which areas could benefit from uniforming, ‘flattening out’ through painting across boundaries.  The use of a tablet app to explore some layers aka retouching of painting helped to discern rather quickly and on the spot possible options.

 

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Inspiration & Ideas – Object & Fetish Installation

Just a view on how I installed some objects, self-made, readymade, collage pieces, writing, thinking, playing, – the object-box as reflection-wall – a board for further inspiration.

A board of not-knowing how to work from these, maybe an archive? A collection of fragments? Artefacts?

Stefan513593 - SP - Part 2 - inspiration objects and fetish - installation

 

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Peer feedback : Objects and Fetishism

During the life forum hangout 09 Sep 2018 (https://discuss.oca-student.com/t/forum-live-hangout-sun-sept-9th-6pm-sign-up-here/8024/31) I asked my peers for some feedback as it would allow me to be clearer on the ‘essence’ of what I was doing and making :

  • the works in itself
  • the works together as an assembly
  • any associations related to seeing them
  • possible ideas how this could be moved forward

I worked now since couple of months with and on my object box, an assemblage of dysfunctional things that became part of my life already. I had to put a break in my coursework for reasons of relocation and re-settling.

In March I posted a video of me performing an unfolding of my object-box and got various feedbacks that more or less consciously or subconsciously impacted my approach.

  • the thread of the March hangout: here
  • my initial reflection after the hangout: here

My initial performative interaction  could this be a work in itself, or part of work?

I continued with coursework and preparation of my assignment work along a more painterly approach, with some moving images that resemble animation films, and an expansion into space trying to put myself and my objects into a new perspective. I had to let go some of the box-objects – to move them into my new works.

Reflection on feedback received:

  • As I asked for feedback on the assembly of four works, most comments came back on the animation piece, as something intriguing, a narrative, and entertaining. With a sense of innocent charm. The references made to this were:
    a) BBC Children Series with Tony Hart: The series started with 1964 ‘Vision On‘, initially targeting children with hearing impairment, followed 1977 by its replacement series ‘Take Hart‘. All are visual presentations of cut-out, simple painted marks, and other visual plays as entertainment.
    b) Bento Boxes. I am not sure that food is the direction to go, I was aware that the fork as part of my object box would bring this up immediately. A reason why I skipped this object in the third animation (#1)
    c) ‘Manipulating’ – control through hands. How could this be moved further that the viewer has a sense of their hands? A different visual entry?
  • My object collage work #4-What is Below and Beyond  was related to Chef’s Table, in overcoming the constraints of serving food on a plate, expanding to the table and serving food directly onto and from the table, the table as worktable for performative presentation. at: Chef’s Table Season 2 Episode 1 Grant Achatz.  This is an interesting notion, as more for practical reasons I placed the work onto a small table/chair, kind of referring back to the origin of work-table. This work was also associated with the notion of inside-outside the box, a reversal, what I find an interesting aspect for further development.
  • We discussed my reference to fetishes, and the unboxing as a repetitive cycle of interacting with objects was associated with:
    – obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and
    ASMR unboxing on youtube, (ASMR = Autonomous sensory meridian response, a mean to relax through experiencing tingling sensations on the skin
    –  cognitive bias: what am I holding onto? what could/should change?
  • Other associations: Pandora Box, Black Box, Relicts, Mystery.
  • For me an interesting aspect was that compared with my initial performative unboxing video, the mystery and secret language hidden was lost in my later works. Do I want to capture the mystery, magic moment when the viewer sees my work, or do I want to move another road, more mundane, or a frontal encounter with dysfunctional objects (with or without title) to make the seeing and looking experience the content?
  • Another comment made was related to the shift of color from #1 to #4. A conscious decision or a de-saturation of visual impact. What colors could be more successful for my subject?
  • It became clearer to me that the term ‘fetish’ is somehow challenging, perhaps even provocative. The comment related to obsession is well made, there was certainly an aspect during this time for me. I feel there is a something between a more observer position of the viewer and being part of an experience. So far I am afraid that the seeing online supports a more consuming attitude, versus a larger scale work with the viewer invited to engage physically with could possibly overcome this.

Conclusion:

It was very helpful to get feedback from others and I do thank all for their valuable contributions.  Some aspects might need more time to digest and mature.

One thing that I am still not clear about for myself, is animation as painting, or painting as animation aka moving images. It allows certainly to communicate a process and development. Would it possibly better if the viewer is invited to engage with the process and work out some possibly scenarios?  What can I convey through moving images in painting that would be missing otherwise? A new insight? So far the animation worked by feedbacks received, though without a mystery. Too predictable? Too entertaining?

I will take further the idea of fetish, objects, obsession, inside-out, and agency of viewer into consideration. Possibly that the work need to be done at much larger scale, to bring in the ‘objecthood of the spectator’ (quoting Olafur Eliasson). One was would be to skip the box and move to object and relationships, between objects and between objects and spectator.

The question of color, bright versus muted, need more attention from my end, what serves what?

Resources mentioned:


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