Saturday 12 April 2014

Y2S2 Video/Performance // Body Casts

Last semester I made a few fabric body casts for suspension. This one is undyed muslin that I cast directly onto my own body with a mixture of PVA and water but by the time I had it suspended much of the detail was lost and became distorted.  I was restricted to using PVA as this would keep it's transparency.

This semester I decided to give it another go. I made a mould of a friends body out of chicken wire and then did several coatings of PVA and water. It was much stronger and kept its shape for about a month. The chicken wire couldn't catch much detail but it had a strong overall shape of the body. Instead of suspending it again I thought of using it in a more performative way. The cast was much bigger than me so I decided to get inside hoping for it to appear as some sort of protective shell for my body. I photographed myself in it and then slowly flattened it out. Seeing it as a process of transformation. The result of pupation.

With this idea of a process of transformation I tried out some performative video work of containing myself in hessian material, resting, moving then emerging back out again.

Friday 28 March 2014

Y2S2 Research // Movement in Experimental Film - Deren, McLaren..

Here's looking at...

Maya Deren //
experimental filmmaker, dancer, choreographer

The function of film, Deren believed, like most art forms, was to create an experience; each one of her films would evoke new conclusions, lending her focus to be dynamic and always-evolving. She combined her interests in dance, voodoo and subjective psychology in a series of surreal, perceptual, black and white short films. Using editing, multiple exposures, jump cutting, superimposition, slow-motion and other camera techniques to her fullest advantage, Deren creates continued motion through discontinued space, while abandoning the established notions of physical space and time, with the ability to turn her vision into a stream of consciousness.

'A Study in Choreography for the Camera', which Deren said was "an effort to isolate and celebrate the principle of the power of movement." The compositions and varying speeds of movement within the frame inform and interact with Deren's meticulous edits and varying film speeds and motions to create a dance that Deren said could only exist on film. Excited by the way the dynamic of movement is greater than anything else within the film, Maya established a completely new sense of the word "geography" as the movement of the dancer transcends and manipulates the ideas of both time and space. It shows a progression from nature to the confines of society, and back to nature.

Norman McLaren //
filmmaker, animator

Pas de deux was photographed on High Contrast stock, with optical, step-and-repeat printing, for a sensuous and almost stroboscopic appearance. It shows a ballerina dancing by herself (or rather, with images of herself), before being joined by a male dancer, to perform the pas de deux of the title.

Michael Langan + Terah Maher //

Y2S2 // Performance Caravan

A few shots from 'Performance Caravan' curated by Amanda Coogan at Sample Studios. It was a 2 hour durational piece alongside other Crawford students. Consisted of threading my body up with the help of clothes pegs. One arm and one leg determined the movements of my other arm and leg. Wanted to create a balance of control and lack of. Using the thread to show tension formed between parts of the body. In a way objectifying the body to create a sculptural piece.

The combination of the long duration and performing in front of an audience changed the piece. After the first 45 minutes the thread started to break which I hadn't anticipated. I had to keep retying pieces together again in order to keep performing. Thought this was appropriate as it seemed to emphasise the stress of the thread and in turn the body. Little strands started to scatter around me and sticking to my back. Aches and pains in the last hour caused my movements to become less fluid and slower. Thanks to Samantha Conlon for the photos and Ronan Bradbury for the video.

We have a tumblr and a facepage if you wanna keep up to date and see some great shots of other peoples performances.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Y2S2 Studio // Photos of Movement in Motion

Experimenting with making animations from photos that are trying to capture movement. I plan to project these samples on top of threaded installations. Hoping to give the illusion of thread moving with the image. Trying out different speeds and transition styles from the next frame to the other. 

HD recommended

Thursday 27 February 2014

Y2S2 Studio // Body Transformation

Exploring ways to transform or dissolve the body into it's surroundings through photographic means. Considering the body as a shell. Hoping to express a sense of vulnerability. 

Y2S2 Research // Dolls in Art - Bellmer, Sherman

Here's looking at...

Hans Bellmer //
sculpture, photography, painting, poetry, anxiety, sexuality, surrealism

As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. He began his career as an artist by building a life-size Doll inspired by nostalgic memories of his secret garden, it was designed to fulfil his need to escape from reality and to arouse desires associated with the secret sexual encounters of his adolescence. By its provocative eroticism it would strike a blow against tyranny and authority. Bellmer published ten photographs of this work as Die Puppe (Karlsruhe, 1934), accompanied by a short introduction in the form of an intricate prose poem in which he clearly demonstrated how the seemingly innocent games of the young child had developed into the far from innocent sexual fantasies of the adult.
In summer 1935 he amended his Doll (Paris, Pompidou) with ball-joints to give it increased mobility; the stomach was represented by a large sphere around which could be articulated two pelvises, each with its own legs and feet, enabling Bellmer to go far beyond naturalistic representation . The expressions of suffering and pain in many of these depictions of the violated Doll resonate with visual references to martyrdoms in Renaissance art and to staircase scenes in German Expressionist cinema.

Cindy Sherman//
photography, identity, gender roles, sexuality, transformations.
Throughout her career, she has presented a sustained, eloquent, and provocative exploration of the construction of contemporary identity and the nature of representation, drawn from the unlimited supply of images from movies, TV, magazines, the Internet, and art history. Working as her own model for more than 30 years, Sherman has captured herself in a range of guises and personas which are at turns amusing and disturbing, distasteful and affecting. To create her photographs, she assumes multiple roles of photographer, model, makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, and wardrobe mistress. With an arsenal of wigs, costumes, makeup, prosthetics, and props, Sherman has deftly altered her physique and surroundings to create a myriad of intriguing tableaus and characters, from screen siren to clown to aging socialite.
Cindy Sherman uses prosthetic limbs and mannequins to create her Sex Pictures series (1992). Sherman is revealing the objectification of women through the mannequin’s positions (open legs and visible vaginas) but is also implementing a male aspect by assembling the mannequins with either androgynous or unambiguous male heads. The mannequins’ within the series appear passive and mirror a pornographic photo. Sherman is clearly commenting on gender roles within society as she consciously removed herself from this series to evoke greater dialogue than her earlier works. It is truly surprising that Sherman has omitted herself as the subject in this series (in comparison to her earlier work).
With her Sex Pictures Sherman posed medical prostheses in sexualized positions, recreating—and strangely modifying—pornography. They are a comment on the intersection of art and taste, they are a comment on pornography and the way porn objectifies the men and women who pose for it, they are a comment on social discomfort with overt sexuality, and they are a comment on the relationship between sex and violence. Yet the emphasis is still on creating a striking image that seems simultaneously familiar and strange.
Cindy Sherman's Untitled #342 (1999), part of the Vivisector at Spruth Magers London

Saturday 25 January 2014

Y2S1 Studio // Body Movements

Wanted to try this technique for some time now. These are between 5 to 10 second long exposures with a flash used to get a crisp image followed by a ghostly after image. Wanted to track my movements. Tried to use unusual positions to distort the human form and cause some confusion in viewer as they try to make sense of the combined positions. Also thinking about the tension between inner and outer self.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Y2S1 Research // Tracking Movement

Here's looking at..
tracking of body movements through different mediums.

Chunky Move // 
Contemporary dance collective

Susan Morris //
Digital motion capture drawings of body

Pierre Bismuth // 
Following the right hands of..

Andre Petterson //

Shinichi Maruyama //

Nude: Photo Series by Shinichi Maruyama

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Y2S1 Research // Body in Art - Horn, Woodman, Schiele

Here's looking at..

Rebecca Horn //  
sculpture, installation, film, performance, body modifications, extensions, movement 

'In 1964 I was 20 years old and living in Barcelona, in one of those hotels where you rent rooms by the hour. I was working with glass fibre, without a mask, because nobody said it was dangerous, and I got very sick. For a year I was in a sanatorium. My parents died. I was totally isolated.” After experiencing this “total isolation” until she felt that her life was over before it had begun, she walked out of the hospital. She was still too ill, however, to resume life as a student or work with fiberglass and polyester. She had to take masses of antibiotics and sleep long hours to have enough energy to operate normally. She could, however, work with softer materials, and when in bed she drew with colored pencils (which are still her favorite drawing tools). She also began to slowly break out of her self-imposed isolation and began to create sculpture and strange extensions with balsa wood and cloth. “I began to produce my first body-sculptures. I could sew lying in bed." Her goal then was to quash her “loneliness by communicating through bodily forms.”
'Finger Gloves' is a performance piece and the main prop of that performance piece and was done in 1972. They are worn like gloves, but the finger form extends with balsa wood and cloth. By being able to see what she was touching and the way in which she was touching it, it felt as if her fingers were extended and in her mind the illusion was created that she was actually touching what the extensions were touching. 
In 1968 Horn produced her first body sculptures, in which she attached objects and instruments to the human body, taking as her theme the contact between a person and his or her environment.
Horn continued to explore the image of feathers in her works of the 1970s and 1980s. Many of her feathered pieces wrap a figure in the manner of a cocoon or function as masks or fans to cover or imprison the body. 

Various "machines" are subject of Horn's work in the 1980s. Among others, she created a machine to mimic the human act of painting in The Little Painting School Performs a Waterfall (1988). Thirteen feet above the floor on a gallery wall, three fan-shaped paint brushes mounted on flexible metal arms slowly flutter down into cups filled with blue and green acrylic paint. After a few seconds of immersion they snap backward, spattering paint onto the wall, the ceiling, the floor, and onto canvases projected from the wall below. The brushes immediately resume their descent, and the cycle is repeated until each canvas is covered in paint.

Francesca Woodman // 
photography, female nudes, body movement, body in relation to surroundings, 
Her photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. She puts herself in the frame most often, although these are not conventional self-portraits as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence. This underlying vulnerability is further emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.
We often see her in otherwise deserted interior spaces, where her body seems to merge with its surroundings, covered by sections of peeling wallpaper, half hidden behind the flat plane of a door, or crouching over a mirror. Found objects and suggestive props are carefully placed to create unsettling, surreal or claustrophobic scenarios. Her photographs are produced in thematic series’, relating to specific props, places or situations.

In combining performance, play and self-exposure, Woodman’s photographs create extreme and often disturbing psychological states. In concealing or encrypting her subjects she reminds the viewer that photographs flatten and distort, never offering the whole truth about a subject.

Egon Schiele //
drawing, painting, figurative, line, expressionism, sexuality, emaciation, distortion/deformation

The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism. He began to explore not only the human form, but also human sexuality. At the time, many found the explicitness of his works disturbing. Schiele began experimenting with nudes and within a year a definitive style featuring emaciated, sickly-coloured figures, often with strong sexual overtones. Progressively, Schiele's work grew more complex and thematic, and after his imprisonment in 1912 he dealt with themes such as death and rebirth, although female nudes remained his main output. Since 1915, Schiele's female nudes had become fuller in figure, but many were deliberately illustrated with a lifeless doll-like appearance. Towards the end of his life, Schiele drew many natural and architectural subjects. His last few drawings consisted of female nudes, some in masturbatory poses.
Some view Schiele's work as being grotesque, erotic, pornographic, or disturbing, focusing on sex, death, and discovery.