I’ve looked at the list of artists that Mona gave me in the tutorial on Friday. The list includes: Phyllida Barlow, Sonia Gomes, Shin Smith, Michelle Stewart and Sara Barker. With the more abstract works, I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to evoke within myself. I was drawn to Shin Smiths’ work, specifically by Sound Wave because of the visual metaphor of using vinyl records in the shape of an ocean wave.
It makes my methodology strange in that respect because I prefer artworks which are a different category to the work I make. I’m making minimalist abstract works now, but I’m interested in works that have a visual concept that is recognisable to an aspect of the external world. However I think this makes a good strategy for my practice, because it lowers the risk of unintentionally copying from artworks already made.
I had to redraw the diagrams on my iPad with pencil because the previous ones look untidy. The ones on the iPad resembled Lee Bul’s preliminary sketches or David Shrigley’s drawings.
I thought about my idea in the last post, and I’m not confident in pitching for it to be shown in the toilets of School of Art because of practicality of the space (it’s a small area), but I can photoshop it in to see what it looks like. I have a problem with some of the concepts because how the material of the work relate to the concept of psychoanalysis for the viewer? without being crass and placing the sculpture next to a toilet for instance. And how do these relate to the the title, Words are like toothpaste? I think I need to research more on artists working with abstract, and how they deal with the artwork, the meaning behind the work, and the titles of their work.
In the tutorial yesterday, I mentioned using a roll of toilet paper on top of a sculpture in my next work. That idea was premature – I just thought of it in the tutorial. I thought more about it later, and decided to mediate the two ideas, with the artists I came across this semester, and previous experience with metal workshops. The idea is a sheet of steel the same width, and approximate length as a loo roll that’s unrolled. This will be hung on the wall, the same height as how a loo roll is placed. I will draw plans of several variations of it. I have chosen toilet roll as a reaction to the panic buys in relation to the toilet roll shortage this year, and how it made the object a highly sought commodity. But on a deeper level, it’s psychoanalytical because it references one of the psychosexual phases. Materially, the metal sheet that appears dangling on the wall resembles Robert Morris’ felts, but in static form.
I want to include toothpaste squeezed out the tube in a vertical way so its shape is similar to paint squeezed out the tube, and is more ephemeral than the metal because its shape can be altered or rubbed away.
The metal sheets and the fluidity of materials poetically symbolise life and death, which is close to the psychodynamic ideas of life and death drives. The metal sheets are static, and therefore ‘dead’, and the malleable materials are constantly changing, symbolising life.
I’m calling it words are like toothpaste, because of the metaphorical notion of once the toothpaste is out the tube, it can’t be squeezed back in, and words are the same. It would be interesting if this is placed in the toilets of the School of Art, because bathrooms are usually places of relieving oneself, and self reflection because of the presence of mirrors.
I filmed Clean my sheets (video here), which is a documentation of washing up liquid being dripped onto the sheets of steel. From my previous post, I wrote about the neat being in contradiction to the disorganised, but I noticed there was something else that was interesting.
I began the semester looking at site-specific work, and towards the end of it, I’ve went the opposite direction. One of the Models and methods of curatorial practice lectures was about the whitecube, and how that was a generic, non-specific space which separated the art and the outside world. I’ve noticed I deployed these strategies to frame my work, such as using a white backdrop instead of including the location into the frame.
There’s a conflict between the aesthetic of the film with the audio. The audio is connected to the location, whereas the aesthetic isn’t.
I had a look at Mona Hatoum’s work online, and I’ve actually seen her work in person at the Whitecube in Bermondsey.
Her work is often about conflict and contradiction which invokes tension in the viewer. I think I want to achieve that in my work, as it’s not quite there yet. Hatoum’s sculpture, Hot Spot (I think there are several versions of Hot Spot in different scales and displays) is said to be mesmerising to look at but is at the same time dangerous, in a literal colour-coded sense and poetically. I’m predicting that the washing up liquid on the metal sheet creates a conflict between the neat and the disorganised. Although I can’t say for definite until the work is completed.