Thursday, January 27, 2011

lately i've been having a hard time getting myself to work on the sculptures that i intend to bring to portland. i remember getting this way when i was working on my thesis-- finding myself becoming bored with a labor-heavy task i set out for myself. wracking my brain on ways to keep it interesting. feeling down on myself for procrastinating. i know that making art isn't always fun, but i wish i felt like what i was doing was more meaningful to me. i find it interesting that right now i am more interested in thrift shopping, looking at fashion blogs, working on etsy stuff... i think i am using clothes to distract me from sculpture, which is weird because my sculptures are essentially garments, just mutated and unfinished. after two largely unproductive days, last night i was brainstorming on ways i can keep this process fresh, keep myself excited, incorporate these 'distractions' into my work in some way, not be bored. thinking of what gets me really excited about being in the studio.
1. working towards a deadline shabang. (portland! i don't know what my problem is, i have a show coming up! hopefully when i get up there and am in the space, the excitement will return.)
2. getting feedback and talking about my work with people that are into it and into ME. (cara commented a few posts back, really fodderous and excited, my fave unofficial professor. and portland, well, that will be just crit central.)
3. clothes, stories, music (singing/piano), sunshine. bingo.

so i've got all these epoxied printed doppleganger (thanks cameron for title idea) sculptures lying and hanging around here. i have little interest in working on them right now, especially because the stiffer they get i am afraid about how much i can fit into my car on the drive up. (ps. anyone in the bay area wanna come to portland?) so i've been stiffening soft things to make them hard. mutating old clothes to be material, handcrafted, sloppy beings. i do want to stiffen some seam drawings but i sort of want to wait until i get to portland to do this because again, after the epoxy goes on, fabric can actually break and i think it will just be easier to bring them as seams. i am excited by this body of work at times, its hollowness, materiality-- i feel like this stuff is more bulky and solid than any work ive done before. cara mentioned in her comment about how she liked my using the hangers to 'bookend' the pieces, tying them back to their origin as clothing and highlighting the tension between clothing and sculpture. thats what it has become in my life, a real tension. my goal is to make it more fluid. she suggested a hanger at both ends of the dopplegangers to relate two ends to each other. she's right, when ever i see the camo one i laugh a little, it does look like a creepy caterpillar. she also pointed out all the layers of process i am enacting on these things, which is something i am trying to be more explicit about.

i have been thinking a lot about that video idea i had a few posts back, about making an 'album' amount of instrumental songs/videos that are tied together. i really want a reason to be composing music seriously. and i do find making videos quite rewarding and meaningful. i had a revelation about the connection between playing repetitive music on the piano and knitting. its almost the same sort of repetitive meditative hand to object process, yet with knitting you are left with a material trace and unless you record the piano, you are left with nothing. in this album of songs/vids, what comes first, what births the thing, a song, or an image?should there be video in my portland show? or should i set boundaries and wait until my san francisco show when i'll have more time to do the full album? i don't really 
like setting boundaries as to medium, and i still have about a month until my actually opening in portland (i could make a few videos if i decided to, but that takes deciding). one thing that i am really interested in is writing stories from the perspective of a garment, in its journey into becoming (making) and through its life, for example hanging in barneys new york and then ending up in a thrift store in california and then being made into paper pulp or something. i thought maybe i could read the stories over the videos. i also had the idea while i was swimming today that it would be neat to project onto garments themselves as if i was imbuing them with anarchic making energy. maybe they are on a clothes line?(i found this picture awhile back of giraffes projected onto a clothes line and i think about it a lot) . i want to make something that is at once familiar to people in form and also strange and thought provoking. Knitting is strange yet familiar. We are estranged from the simple process. We don’t know the real story of how an object comes into being. Maybe we don’t think about it when it presents itself to us. we can only make it up. i need to incorporate my bargain barning more (i have been going to the bargain barn and then selling things i find to vintage boutiques in the bay area, and this whole value shifting process is very interesting to me)-- the process of gathering, selling, peeking into objects inhering monetary value after having it and then not having it for a while. the idea that clothes are merely material stitched together, yet what store they hang in (or in the case of the b barn, pile in) determines their value, its a phenomenon that is endlessly fascinating. i really like the idea of imaging stories of the lives of these garments, from pristine and fancy to garbage. from trash to spectacle and back. its almost like the clothes are portalsinto these imagined worlds. the imagery in the videos could be portals into their story, into the real truth of happenings. My voice is a narrator. and then there are the making processes of how they come into existence in the first place, maybe in a sweat shop in india in 1993 or someones grandma's singer machine... then there is the question-- when does a garment come to life? is it when the first needle goes in? or are they alive when they are sheered from a sheep and are fibers raw on the spinning room floor? or silk worms cocoons being spun in little green houses in greece? is it the construction of a person that gives them life?so i've got all these ideas. but as for a show, what do we see?

{photos: dress from my etsy, my dopplegangers (in progress), photo from my friend elyse's tumblr, unknown photo source, skirt photo from face hunter}

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