memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Saturday 26 March 2011

Fired books. Birds eye view.

One of my books did not shrink in firing - little bugger! It fused flat, forming a beautiful desolate white landscape.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Alvaro Sanchez-Montanes, Andrew Friend and others at I Am Solitary@Gift


Gift gallery is holding a group exhibition I AM SOLITARY.

Their first exhibition only happened about a year and a half ago. Gift featured a large group of young artist's: many of them were fresh graduates from Chelsea MA Fine Art. Honey ImXenofon Kavvadias. Reiko Matsubara. Andrew Salgado (also in this present show). And others.
Here's some of the bits I liked in this show:

 Lindsey Bull has dreamlike painted illusions almost asking for psychoanalysis.  

Grace Kim is showing large glossy prints of monocolour images, that look like life-after death stills from Paranormal channel. The prints are highly reflective: they blur the boundary between me and her and the work.
Alvaro Sanchez-Montanes photographs "desolate landscapes" of almost "unnerving tranquility". I saw no contemplative isolation in them. I was drawn by their echoing silence. Their coldness. The air of absence, the air of abandonment.

Andrew Friend is a fascinating one. Device for Disappearing (at sea) sounds and looks functional and useful. It's there between reality and imaginary, true and pretend, literal and metaphorical.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Beautiful things, art as a message and displaced reality of Abigail Box @ Degree Art


 Abigail Box is showing her surreal paintings of displaced animals/locations at Degree Art.

As I walked in, I had this bizarre feeling that I really liked what I saw. Even before I read the press release about existence, perspective and belonging, I was attracted by the aesthetics of the paintings - they look like something I would really like to have on my walls (dear Abigail, would you fancy a swap, please!). They are bright and white, eclectic, gently disturbing (but not so freaky, you would need to keep kids out of the room). User friendly.

Every time I see something pleasing to my eye, I feel guilty for liking it.  Can aesthetics of an artwork stop the viewer from reading into the message?  Grayson Perry said, in one of his lectures this autum - he is an artist and he makes nice things. Sure, his work deals with complex and sensitive social realities. But - God! - it is beautiful too! It gives me a tingle. Reading New Scientist gives me a buzz too. But surely not for the aesthetic beauty of it! It does often deal with complex and sensitive issues, with displacement and existence. However, we would all agree that New Scientist is not a piece of visual artwork. I do not buy it for an aesthetic experience.

A work of art encountered as a work of art is an experience, not a statement or an answer to a question. Art is not only about something, it is something. A work of art is a thing in the world, not just a text or commentary on the world. (Susan Sontag, On style) Presents:

New Work by Abigail Box

12a Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG
3rd - 31st March 2011 12-6pm DAILY
Private View Thursday 3 rd March 2011 6-9pm, R.S.V.P.

A Reality of their Own is not only an iridescent-like juxtaposition of imagery, but also an examination of the spectator vs. the visual vs. our known reality.

Abigail Box's recent work forms part of her ongoing exploration into the curiousness of existence and toys with the contradiction involved in feeling both a sense of belonging and displaced.

These visual analogies are harmoniously presented and allow the spectators to ask themselves questions regarding their affiliations with their space, cohabitants and themselves.

A Reality of their Own catalyzes this experience by introducing wild animals into a series of human environments to provoke a fresh and inquisitive perspective onto something familiar. Attempting to reflect on our everyday surroundings along with our conventions and behaviour and in part making us feel outside what we consider our own space.

The work approaches the difficulties associated with confronting and comprehending our own reality through a remarkably captivating blend of painterly techniques and collaging of found imagery. - 020 8980 03395 - 
12a Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG

Monday 21 March 2011

Time out. Drawing. Wittgenstein again.

The world is my world: this is manifest in the fact that the limits of language (of language which alone I understand) mean the limits of my world. (Wittgenstein, TLP: 6.52)

Thursday 17 March 2011

Alicia Bock: prints for Japan.

There are some beautiful beautiful limited edition prints by Alicia Bock. Proceeds will be donated to Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.

Undressing the book: the old bindings.

Perfect stitching, fascinating markings!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

A trace of 1968.

Traces. The Truth of Blacksmith Ignotas

Some of the books have been damaged and I had to remove them from their bases. I was amazed to find those beautiful traces of the books absorbed into the white earthenware: some ash fused into a glaze,  markings of iron (?) in the ink. Mesmerizing.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Time out. Drawing.

On a bad day, I can fill a sketchbook: I can draw myself out of a problem and into a problem. I use drawing to think, when linear thinking - brainstorming and list-making - does not help. Thinking with the right side of the brain? It is a very relaxed and fluid process - similar to automatic writing.

I had one of those days today, that resulted in excessive drawing.

Coincidentally, I ended up at Clayton Merrell's  lecture in the evening. I had it my diary, but when I got there, I could not remember what it was going to be. Well - it was about... drawing. Bingo! It was an hour an a half of names and slides of artist who draw. He divided the area into 6 bonkers groups reflecting the diversity within the category:
messed-up neo-realist mannerism
freak folk
cartographic remixes
dirty abstraction
labour-intensive conceptualism
complex generato-techno structuralism.
Each category was illustrated by about a gazillion of artists. A continuous flow of drawings.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Time out. Thinking.

I have decided to not go to the workshops for a few days, to gather my thoughts and to decide on the next step. My fired books are all looking great and and I seem to have developed the skill to build the bases just fine. But what is next? A few people have asked if i am going to scale it up. Should I? I have got one large book in line for firing, but I am not sure if changing the scale can be called  "developing". I have got a black base made, to try "black" burning. I have got some ideas for casting and painting. Or should I get back to my porcelain and develop a new line of thought?

Monday 14 March 2011

Cornelia Parker: continued again.

One more of her thoughts:

 I want the work to reflect what the viewer is as a person. So if you are a cynic, you'll think they're all fake and you'll spend the time thinking about that. If you're quite happy to accept them at face value, then you're off on another planet somewhere else. (C.P.)

Cornelia Parker, compulsive hoarding: continued.

I have just had a bust pipe in the basement, which caused substantial flooding. As a result, I had to get rid of bags and bags of damp rubbish. So much of my compulsive hoarding!

After the last post, I picked up my Cornelia Parker books and I found that bit where she talks about hoarding:

I had filled my house up with junk and the gutter was the next available space left to make work in. I used home as a studio for along time so any space is potential space for making work. On the ceilings, underneath the carpet. That is why I did a lot of things suspended from ceilings because that was the only available space. That, and the gutter outside.

With my basement half empty now, I will not be needing a gutter soon :-)

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Compulsive hoarding and letting my artwork go.

I do not let things go easily. I am a hoarder. Our loft and basement are full to the brim. I am running out of space in my studio room too.  I remember reading somewhere an interview with Cornelia Parker. She said she started going suspended sculpture, because that was the only clear space in her house. She is hoarder as well. Susan Hiller is a hoarder too. Not a bad company - see!

Anyway - I do not let things go easily - and that includes my work*. Therefore, it was highly therapeutic for me to spend the private view talking to all those people of very very different arts/non-arts backgrounds, who were interested in my work. It almost felt that the work did not belong to me anymore. It had a life of it's own. And - wow - it was fascinating to watch that life! Many were intrigued/mortified by the fact that I burn books; but they were simultaneously drawn by the beauty of the result. Some were curious about the history and the background of my work. Some were asking about the techniques. Some were taken by the fragility. Many asked about the title. Some thought it was good example of how open-minded book arts are. Some asked about my course, assuming I was a good representation of it (I am not).

I have a few more of those 1968 pieces. Some are damaged, some went wrong. Why do I keep them?

 Here is an article about Song Dong installation and compulsive hoarding.

*Not the certain work from about a year ago, that I passionately want to burn (and keep the ashes of course!)

Wednesday 2 March 2011

"1968. Un-titled." is out

Yesterday a took my fired book to the LCC gallery. Everything looked so professional in the big white gallery space! Including my work. It was just standing there. Quietly standing. Just quietly being itself.