Sunday 29 June 2014

Y2S2 Research// Body in Latin American Art - Clark, Pape.

In the late 1950's the Rio avant garde adopted Merleau-Ponty's philosophy, as well as Susanne Langer and Foucault. Neo-Concrete artists Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and Hélio Oiticica, perception was central to the production of the work of art. They valued Dimension of the sensible, and understood the body as the site of perceptual consiousness. The Rio de Janeiro avant garde promoted free experimentation and subjectivity and, after breaking the formal space of the work of art, started to work structurally with the surrounding space, reaching into bodily, performative experiments. In the work of these artists, such foundations established a dynamic between art and life. The body and the world derive from a common matrix. The body is a dimension of the subject; through it, the subject integrates itself into reality. A plurisensorial experience is projected towards the interlocutor with the proposal to 'live the body'. The body is the key to experience the sensible world and establish a relationship with space. We arrive at cognition, at a subjective relationship with the world, through our corporeal experience.(source)

Lygia Clark//
installation, interactive, sensorial, process art, audience participation, therapy

Clark co-founded the Neo-Concretist art movement. They believed that art ought to be subjective and organic, artwork should be manipulated by the spectator and that the object and person should become a single entity. They utilized 3-dimensional moveable figures so that the spectator, in essence, becomes the artist. Neo-Concretists looked to push the limits of what art represented. The art is the actual process of doing. It is during this interaction that the spectator truly experiences what the art work means. 

During the 1970s, Clark explored the role of sensory perception and psychic interaction that the participants would have with her artwork. She referred to this as "ritual without myth". For Clark, art work would have no representative meaning outside of its manipulation by the participants. Participants would take the art objects and fashion them in any way that they pleased. At this point, the line between the participant and art work would become blurred. The participants would become one with the art piece. In a sense, the participant and art work would become fused. In the final years of her career, Clark focused solely on psychotherapy and the use of art in healing patients. Clark's objective through her art was to surpass each phase since ideas that were originally considered groundbreaking were outdated with regard to her latter works.

Clark's later, more famous works were viewed as "living experiences." Clark's interactive art period lasted three decades . She did not separate the mind from the body and believed that art should be experienced through all five senses. After 1963, Clark's work could no longer exist outside of a participant's experience. Her art became an interactive experience. She believed that a viewer served an active and important function in the art world. This is one reason Clark's work cannot be adequately enjoyed at a museum. In most museums, works are affixed to a stand or on the wall. Clark's works were meant to be manipulated by the viewer/participant. Her belief was that art should be a multi-sensory experience, not just one enjoyed through the eyes.

One of her most recognized interactive art pieces is Baba Antropofágica. This piece was inspired by a dream that Clark had about an anonymous substance that streamed out from her mouth. This experience was not a pleasurable one for Clark. She viewed it as the vomiting of a lived experience that, in turn, was swallowed by others. In a sense, Clark seemed to view this atrocity as a way of displaying its freedom. One of Clark's aims was to create art directed toward a larger world audience, drawing attention toward its social issues thus achieving as sense of cultural freedom. For her interactive art pieces, Clark always used inexpensive everyday objects. These objects would then only have significance if they came into direct contact with a participant's body.

Throughout her career trajectory, Clark discovered ways for museum goers (who would later be referred to as "participants") to interact with her art works. She sought to redefine the relationship between art and society. The purpose of her art was to appeal to the average, everyday person, not just the bourgeois crowd.
Her artwork seems to have worked as a vehicle for existential, sensorial, and psychological life experiences, much of it based in geometry and relying on both the intellectual and physical participation of the viewer.
In explaining her approach, Lygia Pape said "My concern is always invention. I always want to invent a new language that's different for me and for others, too... I want to discover new things. Because, to me, art is a way of knowing the world... to see how the world is... of getting to know the world."

Along with Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark, she sought to expand the territory of contemporary art to include aspects of interaction, though, like the Concretists, she remained opposed to any kind of representation in art. Whereas Lygia Clark's art took her towards sensorial interaction and Helio Oiticia's works led him to the spatial and social existence of the marginalized, Lygia Pape's contribution to art synthesized the aesthetic, ethical, and political spheres.
The work Divisor was originally performed on the streets of Rio de Janeiro in 1968. It is composed of an immense white fabric, which can be seen as a large scale white monochrome and is activated by a participative audience. The only visible part of each participant is their head, piercing through the fabric, whilst their hidden bodies jointly move along public space. The amorphous mutant forms created throughout the piece reflect the subjectivity of the participants who struggle between individualism and solidarity with the collective experience. the Divider sought to show, metaphorically, the massification of life, the obstacles to communication between people enclosed in their own isolating spaces and interacting only partially with each other.
Neo-Concrete Ballet, of 1958, was created on the basis of poetry. In this work, inspired by Reinaldo Jardim's poem Olho/Alvo, large geometric volumes in various colors occupy the stage and dislocate themselves in space thanks to the action of dancers hidden inside them. The movements of the dancers are slow, forward or backwards or crossing paths. A conceptual articulation takes place. The dance generates a formal visuality that joins space and poem, and everything becomes structural raw material.
The artist gave us an illuminating explanation about the Neo-Concrete Ballet:
"It was created in 1958, in the Special Presentation of the Neo-Concrete Movement in Rio de Janeiro. It was staged alongside Reynaldo Jardim, and produced by Gilberto Mota, who was a dancer. The work was structured around Reynaldo Jardim's poem Olho/Alvo, which consists of two words arranged in space into a choreography. For the word 'eye' I created four cylinders, 2-meters tall and 70 cm in diameter each; for the word 'white', four parallelograms painted with minium (lead tetroxide), all in wood and with rollers at their base, which gave the movements a sense of beauty and synchronicity. We used professional dances from the Municipal Theatre. And something interesting happened: our greatest difficulty was to convince them to do the show while hidden inside those objects, because our intent was to capture the motility of the body, its potential to dislocate through space, freed from the presence of the human figure; this is to say, to capture the movement that the body is capable of executing¿ The music for the show was created by Gabriel Artusi, a heteronym of Reynaldo Jardim, and it was two tones, a kind of percussion on piano, all very rhythmic" 

Wheel of Pleasures consists of a perfectly-formed circle of white bowls filled with bright-coloured liquids with a dropper next to them. The smells and colours of the liquids do not correspond to the usual associations we have with them, drawing the viewer in to 'taste' and literally swallow her art.

Saturday 24 May 2014

Monday 12 May 2014

Y2S2 Studio // Tensioning Photographs (2)

This consists of two A3 prints suspended and stitched into black muslin material. The prints are connected together and to the fabric with cream and black thread. The fabric is mounted onto the wall framed in white mounting card. Trying to push the idea of threading photos even further. Presenting two dimensional works in a sculptural way. Continuing concept of body tension and body as constraint.

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