new project statement/short essay

here is the way too long statement for the "beauty and truth" project i just finished up:

“Beauty and Truth: Volume One” or,
“In Process of Searching for What You Can’t Find”

This project contains a finished series of 15 photographs, along with a smaller series of four panel narratives, and a larger collection of unedited images shown in stop-motion. These are all meant to meditate on the nature of the images themselves, and how images are percieved in general. This series is in a way the product of a struggle between trying to make images that are without specific predetermination of setting or direction, and trying to make that write their own fictions using photography. These are completely aware of their ability to manipulate. My interest in this visual problem came from going between processes; Going between making images with a camera, to making images with my hand and eye. In doing this, I became interested in what the implications that come along with tradition of image-making really are.
To a degree, It would make sense to call these images anonymous character studies, a phrase that is in itself a paradox. What comes across is a series of false personalities, various histories, and unique interactions that in reality existed only momentarily. As a group these are intended to react to one another and stimulate dialogue. They are meant to raise more questions than the number of answers they provide. Questions of history, visual language, the politics of identity, the relationship of image to text, the validity of images themselves, the representation or misrepresentation of truth, truth itself, the melodrama of daily life, domesticity, representation of the figure throughout history, and the nature of reality in general all became reoccurring in making these. Each embodies a set of themes that can either be describes in one word, or in long conversations, depending on the connotations applied.
These ideas are meant to come out in the different ways the condition of each character has been shown. Visual cues that could shed light on subjective identities have been removed. These cannot work as just portraits of individuals, so instead they become anonymous emotional landscapes, and can be interpreted just as loosely as any landscape has ever been. They are the byproduct of image saturation, a melting pot of symbolism from different eras. They are a search for clues to specifics that leave you with only abstractions. They come from looking closely at the difference in visual language that can be seen between classical painting and contemporary film, and continually reference the language they borrow.
Initially, I wanted to show these in a book. Thinking of the book as a vessel for knowledge that can be interacted with on a personal level. My intent would have been to encourage intimacy, and the building of relationships between viewer, subject, and artist. However, I did not want to present them in a predefined order, so they have been left loose and are kept together in a portfolio. The prints are large, and the portfolio is made to their size to give them a physicality that is reminiscent to ‘folios’ that are now kept in museums as artifacts. In presenting them this way, the viewer is given an opportunity to make their own connections, binding the book ideologically in whatever way they choose. Shown in the same space as the book is a projection of all of the images taken over the course of making the project. Some are related to the project, and some aren’t. Including these pushes a connection for the viewer to make, and to see the as a process of creating fiction purely by way of visual documentation.
What I am left with after making this series is a stronger connection with my own images, and the images of others. This connection feels almost spiritual. There is an extensive history involved that is so complex it becomes mythology. This is my own personal interpretation of visual language, and the way it portrays itself outwardly right now. Knowing my stance will inevitably change as I see more and more pictures is what has been gained. Each image I see will affect they way I see the next one, and the one after that, along with the way I remember each image I’ve seen in the past. I feel this project has changed the way I make work, and the way I approach the work of others.. It is my most honest attempt to date in making pictures as a way of communicating my philosophies with other people. I chose the words “Beauty and Truth” because they are two principles that have been carefully contemplated by thinkers throughout the ages, yet they are terms that still remain transparent enough that they cannot help but exist as a wide gamut of possibilities.

new videos coming soon

1 comment:

R l Arthur said...

im starting to think dancers dont like books.....