In my last assignment, I focused specifically on the abstraction of light and shadow that presented itself in the domestic space. I treated these studies as a visual meditation. Between peer feedback and my tutor report I have been a little unsure how to proceed with this. It was always my intention to step out of the framed abstract and consider the process of making. This and the following reflections will breakdown further experiments and aim to place them in a more concise context.
I firstly returned to an exercise I tried just after A1 which set up some basic principles of the visual strategy. I positioned a placeholder in a loosely anticipatory position on the wall. The A4 paper mounted on the wall is for me a symbol of a standardised form. As Nicolas Bourriaud says “The frame is at once a marker - an index that points to what should be looked at - and a boundary that prevents the framed object from lapsing into instability and abstraction…” (Bourriaud, 2002, p.41). Considering this in the context of John Cage’s 4’33”, where the score is a composition of silence. It needs the score and a duration in order to be deemed arranged. This is the role my standardised A4 paper plays on the wall.
I set-up my camera on a tripod to compose the frame of the paper. From here I waited for the light projections of the late afternoon to start, and during the light show I took several frames. The results of which are above. While I enjoy the process of making, the message has been at times mixed in terms of feedback. Either the theory is a bit thin, abstracts of shadows have been done before and what am I trying to say. Ironically enough, when I select and print one of the shadowgrams to a 1:1 scale and document its return to its place of creation, the image has garnered more dialogue and basically inverted Bourriaud’s quote. And as such we can understand the statement "Outside and inside are both intimate-they are always ready to be reversed, to exchange their hostility." (Bachelard, 1958/2014, p.233). Now the abstract has become unstable and needs grounding in the domestic space.
What I was looking to achieve in this experiment is two things; Firstly through the experience and selection, a demonstration of what is presented is tunnelled through a process of editing. And therefore, it is only an example of many potential outcomes in a particular space and time and not, even in an abstract sense, an assertion. It is the desire to see plurality over singularity, which for me personally is a move out of Modernism.
Secondly, a comparison between East and Western thought on representation. In the East, from the standpoint of incompleteness and the role of negative space to remind the viewer that there is always something missing. In the West, the futile attempts to document and map every element of space and time as described in On Exactitude in Science (Borges, 1946). Each abstract I attempt is an individual moment of light experienced in the space. The result being an incomplete arrangement of experiences that recognises “The desire of representation exists only insofar as it can never be fulfilled, insofar as the original is always deferred.” (Crimp, 1993, p.111).
I will show how this approach developed in my next post.
Bachelard, G (1958/2014) The Poetics of Space. New York: Penguin.
Bourriaud, N (2002) Postproduction. New York: Lukas & Sternberg.
Crimp, D (1993) On the Museums Ruins. Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Kepes, G (1944/2012) Language of Vision. USA: Literary Licensing, LLC.