Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Shift

I had mentioned in the last post that a piece I did a few weeks ago had led to a dramatic shift in the way that I approached the work I was doing.  It's been crazy busy, and so I haven't been able to update in the last few weeks, but now I have some breathing room and here is the post ! :)

There were a lot of unexpected results with this piece, being my first attempt at a full body photogram and my first experiment on the raw fabric that I have been purchasing.  The worst horror that I experienced was that because of the absorbance of the fabric, the emulsion did not spread evenly, which is the the cause of the random streaking.  In addition, I lacked a large container to process the fabric in so I had stuffed it into the gallon container containing the chemicals, and all of the excess silver soaked into the fabric and caused all kinds of weird green residue to appear.  On top of all that, you could BARELY make out a ghosted image of my body, and in my mind this aberration was a complete disaster due to my failed attempt at creating the image I had planned.

The next day I brought the piece in expecting harsh criticism, but instead was met with praise.  I was  confused by this and was unable to understand what my professors saw in the gross deterioration I saw before me.  However, upon discussing the piece with them, I came to understand that there is a performative aspect to this work that gives it a depth of meaning and interpretation that I had not anticipated.  In the patterns of the strokes you see the result of my intuitive gestures, and in the wrinkles of the fabric where I laid my body you see the physical evidence of my presence on the material.  In this way, my body becomes the medium and the emulsion captures a shadow converses with the physical manipulation of the surface.  I have never thought of art in this particular way before, in the performative, and I now understand a new way of creating images that are capable of revealing through chance more than I can ever plan to reveal.

1 comment:

Pam Beeler said...

Because all of my art experience has been much more performance-based than fine-arts based, I have always understood it to be as much about the process as about the finished product. Isn't it amazing how the two go hand-in-hand. Your description here of the shift in your thinking is as much about that process as what occurred on your canvas. Incredible.