Yesterday myself and three other students presented our practises to the rest of the group and Judit Bodor and Mark Gubb. (Click here to see my website to see my previous works to give context for this post).I feel that I am at a cross-raods in my practise with regards to the work that I am making; due to my recent reconnection with my Hand Stitched work I am wondering how I can move forward. I am questioning whether I should take on the performative aspect and do a durational performance of the work. The reason I am considering this is that I feel that it is the main unresolved issue with it. For various reasons it didn’t happen during my degree but it was always the elephant in the room. But then again I don’t just want to replicate work that i have made previously. I suppose in a sense I am stuck, and feeling the pressure of being in a new space within which I feel I need to make my mark.
My main hope for yesterday was to present my work to fresh eyes, and therefore get fresh feedback. Maybe they would see it from a new perspective and then in turn help me to through their feedback. Mark and Judit both raised interesting points. They both said that they thought it was interesting that I talk about performative aspects of my work and that I am using the body to explore various concepts- yet the body is rarely present in the work. On reflecting this seems obvious- but for some reason I didn’t seem to be aware of this. Or maybe I had been but had disconnected from the thought! Maybe this was the reason for my desire to do a performance of the work. But then again, is it really necessary? I think there is power behind the absence of the body and in previous works I feel that the visible action that has taken place, and the absence of the body has created a space for thought/ reflection. There can be a presence through absence.
Judit raised a point that I have questioned and debated about over and over previously, but I don’t think I have succeeded in fully answering- mainly because it is so subjective. Where is the art? Is it the performance? The photo? The film? I think each medium communicates a different aspect of the work. I think that work-no matter what it is, becomes multi faceted when displayed through different mediums. Photography comes with it’s own context which with inform a work differently to experiencing a performance. Typically, photography is used alongside performance for documentation purposes- and originally that is how I was using photography; but on reflection and after yesterday’s discussions I realise that actually my photographs are not documentary. Whilst they do illustrate the process that has happened, through the enlargement of the image they have become something else.
What I realise now is that I have actually been exploring how the change of medium / method of display can alter a work/ how it can change the reading of the work.
Another interesting point raised by one of the other students was the fact that ritualistic behaviour is a common theme in my practise. Whilst I had previously considered this it is good to have it brought to the front of my mind. When moving forward maybe this can be something I consider.