Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Further Thinking About Relief

Stuck at jury duty. Gives me a few minutes to reflect on recent developments with the relief project.

In the previous post, I discussed my eagerness to create new work, what my unwillingness/inability to spend time working out the details of the production/installation. In thinking about it yesterday, I decided that my recent process has reflected forest/trees/forest model. An initial idea (the forest) is decided up. Given the way I work, these ideas always seem to involve multiple pieces, (the trees). Working on these pieces is labor intensive, and I never feel like I have enough, so that I end up making new work (trees) right up to the moment I have to install. Having spent so much time developing the individual elements, I am usually surprised to see the actual execution of the original idea doesn't look anything like what I imagined, at which point I am left to reevaluate the project(forest), which is where I am now. It is not a part I enjoy, but I think it's important. It may be that I can't find a satisfactory solution, but the process of tearing the work apart and putting it back together should be instructive.

Having made all of these figures with the intention that they should interact with architecture, I needed to see it in action - I needed to create some examples of the narrative shifting with each new environment and installation.

I started at home, and it was a disaster. This is one of the lesson of the forest; color and light are crucial. These pieces die in overhead light, and the details disappear on a rich red. This picture is of the cut-outs I was using as a guide to install, but the overall effect wasn't much different.

My second attempt, installed. Better. The color is good. The lighting rakes it from the side, and brings up the shadow, and the space is compressed, so that the composition makes sense against the scale of the figures. This is a good example of my original concept, but by this point, I was thinking that other solutions might be possible.

The next two images are process pics I snapped along the way. The first is of all the work on it's way to installation at Pentimenti. The second was taken while working out the composition for the installation above.

This is one of those hard moments - where what's working has little to do with the original idea. By preferring these jumbled moments, I'm making a radical move away from the shifting, spatially dependent narratives I started from. Sadly, it can't be helped. This is what looks right. What it's about will have to follow.

So this is where I'm at. I've built a wall of pink foam in my studio (something I should have done a long time ago), painted it a good, low-contrast color, and I'm practicing. It may be that, in the end, these don't even end up on the wall, but in frames like this one, with lights attached. The narratives, so important in the beginning, would be totally scrambled, but I like that. As a realist, it's hard for me to push through the linear and the narrative, but in the end you have to go with what works, and I think this is getting there.

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