this is the first rough draft of the proposal for my bfa show. due tomorrow.

“Ciphers and Shrines (Notes on Visual Language)”

As a product of my era, it is inevitable that my sense of history is viewed through the bias of a personal lens. Influence in our time is incredibly abundant and widespread. The individual is faced with the problem of prioritizing what information should be retained, and what is discarded, but one cannot be completely aware of all of what is actually retained and used. My images, words and ideas are the product of every day I have been alive and aware, and my subjective version of history is vast, but is still only a small fraction of actual history. The choice of making art in this condition is complex, and something that must be thought about and practiced constantly. The artist performs ritual, and the product is like a personal visual mythology. What I am making is a shrine to this mythology.
The installation will consist of three major parts: works on paper, videos shown on small televisions, and a sculptural component. The works on paper will be a combination of photographs, collages, drawings, and printed text. They will deal with personal iconography that has been constructed via my perception of various visual cultures. Sources are both historical and contemporary. The drawings and collages will use the icon more literally, and will stylistically refer to the history of drawing and painting. The photographs will be more of a way of alluding to the actual imagery that my aesthetic sensibilities are owed. Some will be actual recreations of other works, and some will share visual similarities.
In the sculptural component, photographs will be placed in small frames and lockets, making them into intimate or sentimental objects. They will be a personal collection, using family photographs and other images that reference my loosely constructed sense of history. Text will be placed over the images as a way to make connections between viewers, culture at large, and myself. They will be suspended from either fabricated tree branches or antlers, which will be hung high above the eye level of the viewer. What they are hung from will be a natural component within an interior setting, referencing some unknown natural order that lingers above.
Finally, the last major component will be five videos. These will be shown on small televisions placed on the floor. Ideally, The videos will be simple loops showing aspects associated with the practice of ritual. The more subtle components of sound and writing will be included, as well as different objects placed on shelves, in order to encourage interactivity and create unity with the space. The environment being created will be both visually and physically engaging on different levels. Though a lot is being included, it will be designed in such a way so that it is not especially crowded.
My influence for this project is theoretically incalculable, and that is the conceptual basis, but it can be seen trough historical context in the paintings of Piero Di Cosimo and Hieronymus Bosch. Similarities in spatial engagement can be seen with Ernesto Neto, and many other contemporary installation artists. My photographic inspiration for both the still pictures and video is coming mainly from film. My interest in non-linearity and ritual is shared with Maya Deren. Interest in the drama of cinematic lighting is shared with Steven Speilburg, but is also heavily influenced by Baroque painting. My main interest with this installed space is to bring together these specific influences with ones more broad and lesser known. The viewer becomes involved, and engages with what is shown through a subjective and coded visual language, and they will have to interpret this through their own similarly constructed rationale.