Studio Experiments

still life scan029

Some studio experiments. Working thorough the idea I discussed with my mentor about the image going to the edge of the frame instead of building a mound of stuff.

I decided to clutter objects on a flatbed scanner instead of shooting a composition arranged on a table. With this process I have less control because I can’t get the same view as when I’m creating a sculpture based work and looking at it from the same angle as the camera.

I liked the composition of the first few scans but felt that it looked too stable, in contrast to the original sculpture of stuff that was arranged in a precarious pile. Also, the new scans weren’t gross enough. Currently I’m researching about the grotesque in visual art and also precarious works of art –  and I’m looking for ways to formally bring those concepts into my work.

I decided to add water to the arrangement on the scanner and it was a good way to play with the idea of uncertainty and instability. (Making the arrangements on a plastic tray)  Also, the water dissolves some of the sugar roses, cookies and jelly bits into a beautiful and slimy mess. The whole process is vulnerable and uncontrollable. I really can’t control how the  image will unfold and this is totally different from my normal working method. It’s frustrating.

The inability to determine the outcome is fitting with ideas about precarity in art that I have been investigating. Nicolas Bourriaud stated  that “an object is said to be precarious if it has no definite status and an uncertain future or final destiny: it is held in abeyance, waiting, surrounded by irresolution. It occupies a transitory territory.”

The idea of flux in an image is also an element of the grotesque. Frances Connelly describes the grotesque as “images in flux” and that the grotesque  “put things into play” and “aberration, combination and metamorphosis” are some of the visual attributes in the grotesque.

These experiments in the studio also address a few things from my last residency that I have been sorting through: pushing the grossness further (it needs to ooze), risk and reward you take in the studio, inviting the viewer into the photograph, making YES work, and photographing past a peak moment.


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