After several frustrating runs at the conceptual framework for my MFA exhibit, I think I’ve finally got one that will meet the requirements.
Who am I? • Why am I here? • Why do I exist? • Is this all there is? • Is there such a thing as truth? • Is there a God? • Why me? • Will I be cheated on again? • Am I good enough? • What is art? Who defines truth? • What if I die? • What if I fail? • Why am I so angry? • Am I worthy? • Does anyone really love me? • When will this pain stop? • Why am I so unworthy / insecure / unwanted / stupid? • What do people really think of me? • Would you like me if you really knew my darkest thoughts? • Am I evil? • Could I have done more with my life? • Where can I find hope? • Does love really trump hate?
I’m on a mission to ask the universal philosophical questions that we all ask at some time or another. To this end, and working within the world of photo-based sculpture, I will draw from my background of photography, graphic design, traditional and digital print production, current and past print production techniques, and intuition.
Following are some mockups and representations of work I’m really excited about.
Mockup of the south(?) wall of Heritage Gallery.
Note the “participatory” entrance piece, printed on sheer fabric or plastic, and cut to allow entrance and exit of the gallery. Legible from both sides, it posits the question “Why” coming and going and requires direct interaction with the art.
The pieces on the wall are printed on metal, styrene vinyl, or acrylic and cut with a CNC router. Each piece is held in place by back-mounted cleats. Two (left and center) are single pieces with folded aspects. The piece on there right is three layers, each mounted with stand-off metal posts.
Mockup of the east(?) wall of Heritage Gallery.
Attached to the wall as adhesive-backed vinyl is a totally random (but not really) element messing with words. Titled “Numeric Heterographics,” it plays with a counting sequence using words that are pronounced the same as the number, but is spelled differently. Exceptions here are “tree,” “five” and “seven,” but it’s till fun. And the work plays into the main question on this wall, “What is real?”
Fabric (printed with some of my abstracted art) is hung from a valance. Piercing the fabric are 6″ metal standoffs, holding a metal of plastic stylized Micky icon (a hyper-real construct in it’s own right). The rigid substrate has had holes cut through it to allow fabric will be pulled through the holes to create little “cloth puffs” adding color and dimensionality to the letters, forming the words of the question. “What is real?”
The following photographs and designs are closer looks and details of the art shown above.
“Why Am I So Alone”
A single “ribbon” is cut into a double-side printed single sheet of metal at a length that puts the word “Alone” outside of the frame. The stencil style letters are cut through allowing the blue of the image and the white of the wall to show through. A McDonalds sign feels cut-off and isolated. I’m thinking about replacing the clouds in the sky with a single cloud or perhaps a totally empty blue sky.
“Would you still like me if you knew my darkest thoughts?”
Cut into a double-side printed single sheet of metal are a series of letters, “hinged” on the bottom to facilitate folding upward the letter creating a shadowing of the empty space. Relying on visual hierarchy, the white wall showing through demands the attention of the eye and makes the viewer want to read. However, since the letters are upside down, it is virtually impossible to comprehend the question. Upon a second reading, the viewer will figure out that the hinged letters are the ones to be read. The image on the front of the art is a glitched self-portrait. The image on the back (unseen except for the backs of the hinged letters) is a manipulated photograph of a night scene.
Detailed photos of the maquette follow.
“What is Real?”
A chest x-ray in conjunction with a photograph of desert and buzzards (look in the sky) set up a potential imaginary narrative of disease or death: frequent prompters for the question: “Why?”
A question asked many times by my niece, the top layer of this image is shaped in an amorphous, organic shape. The question is formed by routed letters of a typeface that is very difficult to read. Just like life. The image is one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of her Facebook posted selfies. Manipulated and enhanced, the interjection of a halftone dot pattern is reinforced by the lettering and the furtherest back layer.