Summary of My Summary Residency Two

1. “The question of the medium: why are you using photography”? There was some great conversation about the composition of the images: the full frame versus the cropped images. Talking with my new advisor Cesare Pietroiusti made me re-think my work…the anxiety, the strangeness and question the medium in my work. Really…why am I using photography? I’m thinking about what he said about shifting the work from telling the truth to posing more questions.

2.” How Gross Can You Go? Instigating the process: pull apart the way you make the photograph”. Really helpful…I mean after talking with Deb Todd Wheeler about the process of making work it made me think about how I probably set rules for myself and don’t even know it. I don’t really like rules in the studio, so why am I working this way? She talked about instigating the process, and pulling apart the way I make the photograph. Think about the things that go on before the image…the buying, chewing, sucking etc…make a mess…and then find the beauty in that.

3. “You have to talk about the Kitsch”. I guess I have been dodging the subject of kitsch and nostalgia; I hardly talk about it but Oliver Wasow suggested to research this further because my work is in dialogue with kitsch. I love and hate kitsch. Kitschy things just find me and they follow me home. I also feel that I save them and give them a new life. I started to read The Critique of Judgement by Immmanuel Kant. And since we are talking about the objects it was suggested many times that my own personal feelings and relationship with these objects in not present in the work and exploring it could push the work to be stronger and psychologically charged. Sheesh…okay…lots to think about there.

4. Gum and Candy and Spit. These are my materials; investigating them could be useful.

5. The Abject and Gothic Grotesque. Yessssssssss, thank you for the suggestions… Apesos, Steck and Sparks!

6.  Make sure the artwork is you and you don’t become your artwork. Such great advice which was originally given to Scott by Apesos and I think it’s a real gem which deserves a spot on my summary of my summary.

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tell me a story or not

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The one thing that kept coming up during the critiques was the narrative, or the lack of narrative. It seems that people really want a story within the image and are looking and looking within the cluttered arrangement. After writing my residency report and thinking about this single re-occurring comment I realize that it may have inadvertently been influenced by Pirandello’s play which refuses to follow a conventional storyline and leaves the audience frustrated. I think there is an implied narrative in the work and a lot of blank spaces. I was thinking about experimenting with little narratives in the new work but my advisor Lynne Cooke pointed out that the work is “effectively teasing the viewer” and I should push back rather than give in to the narrative. She also suggested to “create tensions and frustrating easy desires”.

work, play, experiment and problem solving

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One of the suggestions made during the critiques was to create spaces in your studio where you can work, play, experiment and solve problems. Organizing and cleaning my studio today. Setting up new lighting and reflectors for smaller arrangements and getting rid of the mirror (I think) for now. Might use colored backgrounds or some kind of kitschy landscape. Don’t know. I really don’t.