IC - Week 8 - Project development

I am shooting a lot recently and getting the feeling that there are too many directions I could potentially follow and in consequence get lost. As advised by Dr Steph Cosgrow, my tutor, during the 1 : 1 today I will stop shooting in a couple of days (at least for a while). I have to start editing the images I produced during the last couple of months to have a better idea if the final WIP portfolio is coming to life.

Some new names to research suggested by my tutor:

  • Oliver Richon
  • Zoe Leonard
  • Marjolaine Ryley
  • Lynne Cohen No Man's land
  • Roe ethridge

I am going through my usual ups and downs, the euphoric spells of 'enlightenment' when everything has a meaning and sense and then the total slump and pain and urge to give up - usually when I am trying to form a verbal statement, find a rational justification to what I do, define the intentions I want to convey in my elusive realisations...Do I have to justify and explain?...I'd prefer to not think about what the potential audience may find in my works...


I had an important reflection today, recurring one in fact as I remember thinking about that about that couple of weeks ago, that everything I observe and record in my works is more or less utilitarian and man-made. I am drawn to that kind of qualities which come from the function. I am not interested in the functional aspects itself but the visual side effect of that pragmatic configuration of objects in space. There is a beauty coming from just the simple fact that something is useful and play some less or more important role. The beauty of constructive forces.

I reached for the book I bought many years ago and never read: "100 Artists' manifestos. From the Futurists to the Stuckists" by Alex Danchev to remind myself about the Constructivists' credo. I find the passionate modernist manifestos very interesting. It is quite impressive but also hard to understand that someone is able to believe so strongly in the strict rules regarding such an infinitely rich area as creative activity. The call for renouncing the colour, descriptive values in line, volume, mass, static rhythms (Gabo and Pevsner in Danchev p.192) seem so irrational. They're all part of reality so renouncing them, in my opinion clearly contradicts the statement that "only life and its laws are authentic and in life only active is beautiful and wise and strong and right" (Gabo and Pevsner in Danchev p.191).

Apart from some conflicting ideas though, the constructivists thinking is quite close to my own observations about the absolute form, the essence of things, configurations of shapes in line with natural forces itp.

The Modernism of the beginning of nineteen century with its flagship Suprematist and Constructivist concepts adapted successfully by the Bauhaus School, always was for me the most inspiring period in the history of art. Even though I am not able to identify with any of the movements, the way I see and feel has a lot in common with the characteristic qualities of the, at that time, revolutionary approaches: experimentations with forms, colour and space, tendency to abstraction and focus on processes, tools and materials. 


The most recent works are poetic and melancholic. I worked on some of the blue hotel shots and couldn't do anything else in that space. The colours and light, as well as my memories of that place and the nearby sea are so evocative that the different range of forms popped in my head instinctively.

I use various shapes from the accumulated in my room collection of objects and materials to respond to the captured room fragment. It doesn't matter to me rally what it is I am using as I need it only as a 'shape generator' which is dematerialised on the recorded image. Lashlo Moholy-Nagy used to do that when creating his photograms from, for example, napkin rings and and matches. "But is that important in the end? How the light flows....and what becomes of the whole has nothing anymore to do with the original material." (Moholy-Nagy on Geraldine A.Johnson p. 78)

REFERENCES:

  • Brancussi Gabo Moholy-Nagy Immaterial (2004) Kettle's Yard, Exhibition catalogue with essays by Christina Lodder, Martin Hammer, Geraldine A. Johnson, Sebastiano Barassi
  • Danchev, Alex (2011) "100 Artists' manifestos. From the Futurists to the Stuckists", Penguin Classics