It has been a long time since I have posted in this blog and it’s because this archiving process is very time consuming, I think I need to start to keep a diary. From this process, three different collections have become to take shape in the studio.
So I am working directly onto the objects themselves, creating sculptural, body interventions.
Whilst intervening of the objects I am watching the objects transition or metamorphosize, I am witness to this process as well as orchestrator. Perhaps my overwhelming need to intervene with the objects, reflects where I am as an artist, I feel that I am transitioning myself, changing or developing and my way to understand what is happening is to make it visual?
The second collection is time and physically consuming, where I am using my body to make marks in objects. My body is carving and shaping new objects. Starting with my mouth, chewing and biting my way into objects.
This project is Inspired by Jean-Luc Nancy’s list of tact; “A corpus of tact: skimming, grazing, squeezing, thrusting, pressing, smoothing, scraping, rubbing, caressing, palpating, fingering, kneading, massaging, entwining, hugging, striking, pinching, biting, sucking, moistening, taking, releasing, licking, jerking-off, looking, listening, smelling, tasting, ducking, fucking, rocking, balancing, carrying, weighing…” – It sums up the sculptural process for me.
The third collection, I am a little at ease with. I am creating glass plates that are then turned into mirrors using the victorian practice of silvering. I see them as performance objects – so that whilst you are eating you see yourself, seeing yourself turn food into the flesh of your body, you are internalising an aspect of the ‘other’ connecting the external world with the internal conditions of the body. I have been reading Lacan’s theory of the gaze and the “object (petit) a” and an essay by Rosalind E Krauss in a book my friend and fellow artist Bridie lent me ‘Part object part sculpture.’ So I have been looking at how Perceiving something makes it belong to oneself. “Perception is not in me,…it is on the objects that it apprehends.” and reading how we relate to things in parts, the formation of the self and how we navigate ourselves through negotiation of part-objects. According to Lacan’s theory we go through a ‘mirror stage’ during infancy and when we see our reflection in front of a mirror we identify with this as offering a good gestalt, and it is this whole, organised form that shapes our ego in it’s structured image. Looking back through my sketch book I came across a page I did which quotes Melanie Klein:
“a field of objects (called part-objects) to be fused of fragmented, possessed or destroyed, by means of phantasies of introjection, projection, and splitting that are themselves produced by the (bodily) drives” Melanie Klein
My mirrored plates and playing with adding hands to them:
I have also been studying Clara Peeters still life paintings, in several of her paintings she signed them by having her name engraved on knives. She also painted hidden self portraits of herself within bits of cutlery and tableware:
These paintings have inspired me immensely and I have started to play with reflecting my own image on to knives:
Knife photo credit: Rod Gonzalez. http://rodgonzalez.co.uk
This past weekend is the first time, that I have able to provide some distance between myself and the work, I am starting to see how the three collections inform each other and I am hoping that this process of writing about what is happening will strengthen that.
I have been reflecting upon my practice, going back through journals, notes, voice recordings, text clippings, images, sketch books and blogs.
I feel like I am wondering back through my thoughts, re-tracing my steps. To re-think the ideas, a conscious recycling and relentless experimentation of ideas.
I often use found objects within my work and make part-objects.
Last year I started to document my collection of found objects with the help of brilliant photographer Rod Gonzalez
“Make an inventory of your pockets, of your bag. Ask yourself about the provenance, the use, what will become of each of the objects you take out. Question your teaspoons.” Georges Perec
This archiving has led me to think about the body as a living archive, which was first brought to my attention by dance artist and researchers Sally Doughty and Rachael Krische
What is in my own archive, what memories does my flesh hold, what scars has my body collected? I draw upon my own life experience already and am inspired by the philosopher Walter Benjamin who considered human life as a material itself;
“In fact, one can go on and ask oneself whether the relationship of the storyteller to his material, human life, is not in itself a craftsman’s relationship.”
So what will happen if I start documenting my own body archive and bring both my object and body archives together? Merge as if they were one.
I aim to question all my objects, in my practice, I intend to question the space they occupy, not only domestically but personally, subjectively. I trace them with my body and in doing so inhabit them, as they inhabit me.