Monday, August 22, 2011

shift.




Some iphone test shots...
shooting this kind of work with the RB67....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The best laid plans...

I left the June residency inspired with many ideas for my work in neighborhoods, thinking about the urban-suburban experience, borders and property lines, and the interaction of humans and nature.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans...

All of that has been blown out of the water utterly and completely at this point. I literally came home from the residency into a huge storm of chaos and heartbreak that escalated rapidly. Not quite the way I anticipated starting the semester and nothing I saw coming.

So what to do now? What kind of art do you make when everything you assume, know and trust changes? Well, if you are me, you don't make art about something irrelevant to that experience. That might work for minor incidents - I don't make art about every stubbed toe or argument. But when it's something huge, obviously it's going to play into your work.

This has led to a series of other questions, such as - How do I embrace expressing something personal without making it explicitly about the details of my own experience? How do I avoid sharing and revealing too much? Or too little? How do I make it about universal human experience, not just about my own experience? How personal is too personal, but how detached is too detached? And how do I fit it into the discourse of theoretical issues that as an MFA candidate, I must address?

My advisor, Jan, asked me if it felt right to make pictures right now. It does, very much so. And so I continue on. I am struggling with the reading/writing - I have to admit, I'm not focusing well (my mind wanders even reading the newspaper at this moment in time). But that will come with time.

...so what kinds of images have I been making? Certainly nothing I thought I would be making. But interestingly enough, it's almost always comes back to the same issues for me, which is exploring the idea of home. What IS home, anyway? How do we create it? What do we do when it changes? How do we find home and comfort in alternate places and in unexpected circumstances?  How does our own energy and the energy of the moment effect how these spaces look and feel.... and how do interiors reflect the emotional landscape?

The images below were the beginning of this exploration. I found myself alone for the weekend in a motel in Maine and I started to think about some of these issues. I wondered then, how do we "nest" in these more sterile places? How do we insert ourselves?












I had a very productive first mentor meeting about this work a few days ago with Christine Collins, who teaches at AIB, Mass Art and the Maine Photo Workshops. We discussed many of these issues and I left with some ideas and encouragement to explore further. I am currently on a solo trip in Iceland, and so I am shooting in this vein here (I'll admit, it's pretty funny to me to be in Iceland, a land of dramatic landscape, and to be spending my morning shooting my bed in the hotel...) The last few images above felt like the strongest, and I'm experimenting with being less controlled in my compositions and content - many of these images feel quite controlled. I am also looking at the interiors of Todd Hido and Stephen Shore and they will likely both come into play once I being doing more research and writing.

In other news, I went to an amazing island off the coast of Reykjavik yesterday. It was full of standing stones, which I found out later were made by Richard Serra. Beautiful. Additionally, there is a Louise Bourgeois exhibit here, so I'm heading into town to see that shortly. You know, once I shoot more images of my tangled sheets and my bowl of cereal on my bed....