I’m going to be studying MA Fine Art at Birmingham School of Art, BCU from September 2020 – August 2021. This blog is going to be documenting the ideas and artworks I make, as well as the thoughts of the exhibitions I visit. Its aim is to support my work for assessment.
Unlike B.A. Zanditon’s rigorous methodology of recording the rubbings like a scientific experiment, there’s no structure in my samples of rubbings. Similar to Cornelia Parker’s approach in Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991), referencing disorder of the big bang. Zanditon makes rubbings of specific institutions – such as Southbank Centre – exposing the structures’ architectural materials, evolving to concerns on institutional power held by such structures. Psychogeography, the study of the geography and how that affects the mind and behaviour, is connected to the architectural spaces and how that affects people depending on the building they are in.
Inspired by what I read about Pablo Picasso’s still life (1914) sculpture during my research into constructivism, my work sought after an unfinished look, and also expose the materials used to make the work, like Richard Serra’s corten steel works which he leaves bare and unpainted. I drop the works (laser cuttings and paper of floor plans) onto the floor, letting gravity lend a hand, similar to how Robert Morris lets the felts hang freely from the wall and accepting the shape the work takes.
I’m planning to make 2 sculptures of 1. a steel sheet that’s folded using the bench metal folder, and 2. a copper sheet that’s curved like an ‘s’ shape using the plate roller. I haven’t worked out the exact dimensions yet but it would be under 1m. I’m going to email the technicians asking whether they have any 1m steel and copper sheets available, and the costings.
Left: maquette for copper sculpture. Right: maquette for steel sculpture
I’ve done maquettes of the pieces using 120gsm cartridge paper to see whether the folds and the curves are viable to do on the metal sheets. Due to the rotation of time slots I can’t get physically make the sculptures until the 28th, but would allow me time to check the dimensions and email the technicians my intentions for the workshop.
I know that there are some health and safety concerns with the pieces, because one end is folded at 45 degrees upwards, and the other is folded at 90 degrees upwards, and they all have sharp edges. To eliminate the risk of injuries, I won’t leave them out on the floor after testing them in a space.
These are the samples of rubbings I did today in the school of art and my apartment. I used layout paper, which produced finer rubbings because the GSM is lower, and layout paper was suitable for tracing. I like both samples because the sample above captured the texture of the wooden flooring, and the one below captured the text clearly. I think there’s something fascinating about the visual language in both of them even though it’s expressed different – one is visual, and the other textual, and they’re both about the architecture of the space. I’m going to the printmaking workshop in the next few weeks, so I hope to create some interesting prints in the future.
I’m going to ask in the printmaking workshop whether I can print onto surfaces such as MDF and other woods.
I’ve collected the pieces from laser cut this afternoon. They seem to be a good size to drop in a space. I’m questioning myself whether to get the missing piece laser cut, because I think it’s interesting that it’s not a full set, as it reminds me of a piece of research written by Jackie Heuman – ‘Picasso intended for his work to have an unfinished look.‘
I found it difficult to drop them without knowing where they would land, because unlike paper, the MDFs were heavier so they land directly below where they were dropped. There was a lot more control on my part and I felt that the material behaved more predictably than paper. However, I did note that the window was closed so there was no wind. (Although I do not think it would make much of a difference because of the weight of the material).
MDF laid out onto the floor is more suited for a sculptural piece than paper on the floor because the wood has more of a solid form than flat paper.
There is an unfinished look to it because the MDFs were bare, showing the burnt edges made by the laser. I think this is important for me to have the marks showing what the material has been through, because it doesn’t hide from the viewer the processes used to create the work.
I was looking through photos of galleries I’ve been to and came across a a photo of a map at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in 2015; which might be relevant to my research into rubbings and psychogeography. This is because rubbings is a surrealist technique, and psychogeography is interrelated to geography and psychology.
I think I’ll start researching into cartography as it might be beneficial in tandem with Google Maps in relation to the digital and analogue way of presenting maps and information.