Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not a snow day!

We missed the Big Storm that was supposed to land a foot on us through out the night. Everyone had hoped for a snow day. I was driving back from Duluth, MN, where it did start last night and was glad to get home before it was bad driving.
Here as promised are some of the things I've been working on.
As you can see here I have simplified the image and added no layers. But I have to caution you, this is not my aesthetic. I have the uncontrollable desire to alter it. I continued by creating a contact print in the darkroom. Then I scanned that print and layered with a textured element. My object is to create an investigation into the space between the image, our desire to view an object, a feminist reading on the visual pleasure of "looking" at females, and destruction referencing time and the human hand.
Now this one I think I'm going to stop with this next version. Ok maybe just a little fine adjustment. But as you can see this is the image I like to create. There is distortion and destruction of the original image. I don't care if the figure is not that visible.
This one is in response to Liz Dechenes talk. I really think I might try to do more of these.

Leap Day

I wish we really did get a "free" day. I know many who want to catch up on all sorts of things. Me included. I have a lot of work to post as soon as I get it scanned. Also I had a good meeting with my mentor and I've got a lot to work on before next time. Along with that we have a paper due tomorrow, which I have been working on. So I've been very busy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Juggling time

I have been busy. I stopped by the Tweed to look at their exhibit but was unable to get to the artist talk. I also went to the cities a week ago Sunday and went through the Walker Art Center. For those of you who are not familiar with the area, that meant a 3.5 hour drive one way to the Walker, so it was a big time commitment. I want to go the Minneapolis Institute of Arts but had papers to do so am putting it off for a couple of weeks.

The Walker has a broad collection exhibited, from Merce Cunningham, KiKi Smith, Frank Gaard, "Absentee Landloard" curated by John Waters, and an interesting video of San Francisco by the Bay. It had plenty in the exhibits that created a line of synergy from the ICA in Boston visit I had. I only wish admission was free and get anything else done in life (it is Thurs nights and 1st Sat if you live there - which I don't and it's hard to get there often). I did use my student id but it was still $6 plus $4 for parking along with the $65 for gas and lets not talk about lunch..... I haven't visited the Walker since they remodeled. I use to love going there for the Thurs admission and viewing all sorts of new screenings. I did not have enough time to get out to the Sculpture Garden as it was getting dark when I finished inside and I still had the drive back home.

I also spent a lot of time this week in the darkroom and the editing room. I don't know if I'm going to use the film piece that I'm working on as it seems not quite ready for prime time viewing (I don't know if it'll be one of those "early" ones you throw away) but I've been very busy working out ideas and creating new images.

Also this week I put together a proposal for the Group 1 (soon to be Group 2 hopefully) AIB students to exhibit for a NYC gallery. It was a lot of work but I find it helps me focus and contexualize my work and spurs me on.

So off to get busy. Just thought I'd check in and see how things are going with you. to revisit often

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Still Life

I am working through the idea that I should incorporate still life as a mode of photography. I have no doubt made every serious artist that works in this vein run in horror. Why you ask? OK, maybe you don't but I'll tell you anyway. I can't seem to take "the Perfect" representational photograph and leave it at that.

Here, I am using long shadows to create deeper shadows. Also the idea of still life set-ups is not engaging enough to me. It's been done folks! So I dug a little deeper. What would I do if I could set up the perfect still life? I went to the basement and found several dolls and other things that were going to be thrown away. I actually called the bowling alley and asked for any old pins they were going to throw out. So hopefully you will find a little humor in these pieces. I'm working on more. I've toned them for various reasons which I'll explain in a bit.

The first one I did I distorted the perspective of the birdcage. I didn't create an interior/exterior boundary such as in the images of Mary Cassatt. I don't always place myself in the domestic spaces intentionally but I think it comes from my interest of things particular to me. I have an association to childhood items as nostalgia, memory, and comfort. In some more than others you might notice that the dolls are less than perfect. They have been chewed (by puppies and kids!), very messy hair, even some dirt. All this is meant to foreground the concept of beauty as well as keeping precious objects safe and unused.
 This one gives a more representational feel but I toned it in sepia and did not distort the perspective. I really did not get the same visceral reaction from it. It is conceptually complete but to me is lacking in an emotive aspect that would wow the viewer. I chose the sepia for the warmth and aged look.
I started with this as the original photo. Even though it is carefully shot for sharpness, color, and lights, I just don't find it as appealing as the other toned versions.
In these several photos, I thought about the perspective of the female towards and with her subject/viewer and the spaces she has traditionally used or reflected on. I'm glad that we have had a small improvement in that we can now go out in public un-escorted without loss of reputation (but the threat of violence remains.)
This one (and notice the symbolism here - I want to encourage a feminist reading of the role and spheres of women) I did a blue tone with a split perspective. Again to purposely focus on the doll in the birdcage. I really like the cool tone and although many photographers tend to keep everything sharp in the field of view, I chose to blur the foreground to lead to the doll. It is still more "realistic" than I tend to think but I like the overall outcome.
In this one you can see the original perspective, without cropping, and notice still that the foreground is slightly out of focus.

How will you the viewer see these? Will you read them as a comment of some large issues or just ho-hum your way through? I can't tell but then I can only produce, give information, and present. So after I live with these for awhile I'll decide how to best continue on in the still life vein.
Well that's all for now. I've got more reading to do and get ready for the meeting with my mentor.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I've been working (but without the computer)

I have been without a computer for several days. I think it's been going onto a week. This is so hard to complete ANYthing without having a computer nearby. Lots of budget cuts have resulted in the library being closed on the week-ends so that limits that option. Also having older models with older browsers and programs really cuts into the availability of using e-mail, blogging, downloading images, other apps.

Anyway, I've been working on other things. I have this piece that I'm trying to determine my next step. For me photography is never about realistically represented scenes. It is always mediated - edited, controlled, distorted, arranged, by the photographer (me). Also I imagine the work in strips similar to laying out a film project. But this isn't finished. There is something more but what?