it’s been too long .
part of the challenge is that i’ve too many tidbits to report by now . in the coming days, i’ll be adding posts retroactively (compensating for the last few weeks of missing events) . as a primer, this’ll include : the bruxelles art fair, non-profit spaces in belgium, an intro to the institute of social hypocrisy, as well as a brief, but well spent trip to switzerland.. oh, and one to philly/dc.
last night, thanks to the impeccable organization skills of ms mia bailey (German/Australian artist in residence), i was able among a dozen other folks, to see the works of my neighbor Sara Beddington (British), and Manuel Graff (German). Sara’s works you can see online here. She comes from a background in painting, her earlier works involving large-scale paintings of blasé landscapes painstakingly scratched along one or two sides to bear resemblance to film stills. Breathtaking! In her most recent works, she turns to video and labor-intensive drawing, snippets, “clips,” from present-made-history. In Manuel’s work, Duchamp’s notion of the inframince (the in-between) undefinable, ineffable, intangible (etc…) space is also center stage. During his talk, I’d the strange notion it was so uncanny for me for my missing knowledge of some famous school of research. Rudolph Steiner & the Waldolf school training, I’ve found online, have widely shaped Mr. Graff’s aesthetic and mode of research. But even after reading about Steiner, and those artists more well known, also influenced by Steiner (Joseph Beuys for example), I’m still left without the “OH…now i see.. i get it.” The case is not closed, in other words. I think the beauty of his work lies in its availability to myriad of other readings. From here, I imagine it’d be perhaps most interesting for someone fully schooled in the philosophy, anthroposophy rather, of Steiner, to see this work and appreciate it for its misreadings, or misinterpretations of that agenda. What I mean to say is, that a body of work that purportedly relies steadfastly to a particular philosophy or anthroposophical underpinning, must in some places spring free of it; it’ll never be an accurate illustration of the concepts. And in those places where it spins out of the scope of that thought it finds its most interesting moments. Check out these shoes, for example. And to illustrate my point on the usage of mismatched, or inappropriate liasons between ideas and oeuvres, I’ll leave you with this video. Bon appetit!
it’s been a long long time . in the interim, i’ve been working in the studio (making THINGS) and for a while have been off-line. as i’m gearing up for the next big text-post, i’ll leave you here with some images of the new works.
the first of these images, as yet untitled, is made of metro advertisements and found-styrofoam (from garbage diving mostly). it’s marrying the two ends of commerce in the absence of the object sold (ie: the advertisement and the discarded packaging). the installation images below are of its first permutation as a faux-building ruins. the pieces are currently in storage until i’ve found a more apt assembly plan for them.
the second set of images are the first in a series of cutouts, the images for which are newspaper images of car burnings in France, some from riots, others from random banlieu fires set by teenagers. by and large, these incidents are attributed to rioting foreigners, muslim immigrants, poor blacks. in more than one case i read about the fires were in fact set by rowdy teenagers, bored in the suburbs… of course it’s not always the case. one of the cutouts is on black paper, the other is on white paper coated with cork ash (burned cork ala black-face makeup). the would be print is the paper set beneath the cutout when i did the ash-dusting. et, voila.
it’s been a while . and it’s with my apologies that i’ve returned to blogging . putting together a website seems like a relatively simple and painless thing to do, at least on the face of it. or maybe i’d just underestimated the complexity of such a task… a one-week plan is (now) clearly unrealistic. well, suffice to say jinavalentine.com is up and running….
the last post (the billboards) is one iteration of my latest fixation. all over the métros here, and of course in other cities, there are ripped billboards, and some seem so skillfully, or artfully torn that you wonder if we aren’t better off for all that destruction. ok, maybe you don’t wonder; we’re definitely better off without the legible ad-print, and with the remnants of someone’s destructive-streak. in my studio, i’ve been working with the torn-down, to-be-discarded shreds…most of which are donated by the sign posters mid-reposting, some are from the garbage. no shame. and, i’ve been trying to explain to myself what exactly i’m doing, and why the fascination with something that’s slightly-less formal than graffiti. here’s what’s written so far. excuse the short-hand:
when the billboards are removed, they’re removed in layers… say 10 layers at a time. what’s underneath still? how do the men know they’ve removed enough? either way, i’m imagining the billboard space as a Mille Feuilles of sorts, or as filo dough, or as Foucault’s impossible to explain archaeology of knowledge, with its various plateaus and strata.
the top layer is always the most vulnerable in its necessarily visible position. it’s sitting there all prone and cheap on top of all the others. dangerously positioned as bait to catch the purse strings of passers-by. it’s fodder for consumption as it simultaneously offers itself up to be consumed (destroyed, etc).
though what’s underneath is disempowered. its visual prowess is sapped by the layers above, while at the same time it’s securely nestled away from harm, the elements, consumers. the inner layers, those going out of style are protected by the new hot commodities, and they’re only revealed by an action against their existence.
ultimately, formally: it’s a means to destroy the vertical (temporal) hierarchy of images. and the residue of this action exposes the frailty of present image culture.
in my studio, i’m separating out the layers (soaking them in water) and reposting them on my wall. i’m fascinated by how this action reorganizes the entire hierarchy of images. say, one shred of paper/s 24 x 12 x 1/2 inches, irregularly ovoid shaped contains 15 layers. in separating them from each other, they form a set of similarly shaped, but differently printed parts. so they’re then relative to each other, and no longer relative to the original whole (that is no longer relative to a particular x,y,z space on a flat ground on one layer of a many-layered plane).
at the moment, i’m torn (so to speak) between keeping these bits flat, collaging, and then excavating with the usual linear-cut drawing, and forcing them to work in some way that illustrates the refigured 3d space (the layers). we’ll see.