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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Friday, 10 December 2010

Post Review

The previous few weeks have consisted of fighting with projectors and DVD writing programs with the intention of creating a very specific piece of video art. Although I feel my assessment went well there were a few limitations I came across whilst working with the space and projectors that stopped me from achieving exactly what I wanted. So overall a rather stressful experience. After the assessment last Wednesday along with a slight feeling of disappointment I naturally felt a huge sense of relief that it was over. I jumped on a train to Manchester to visit a friend with the intention of giving my brain a creative break, however during the 50 minute journey I found myself scrawling in my notebook frantically writing down all the feed back and advice I'd been given during the assessment. It made me realise how I'm constantly thinking in a creative way (however it's not always productive creativity.)

Amongst the frantic scrawl I've managed to extract a series of bullet points that explain my plan of action over the Christmas break.

  • To capture a huge file of film to work with 
  • To concentrate on experimenting with editing film using Final Cut
  • Look in to buying a second hand projector
  • Experiment with filming underwater
  • Look at the work of wide range of film artist particularly older, more primitive techniques.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Biennial review

My involvement with the Biennial has been mainly that of a spectator however due to the nature of my degree I have managed to get an brief insight in to how the Biennial was curated and how much dedication and time went in to the process.

Looking back over my Blog entries based on my Biennial experiences over that last few months has made me think about the talk given to us by Lorenzo at the very beginning. As I have experienced more of the Biennial the information given to us by Lorenzo has begun to make more sense and become very real. I recall something Lorenzo said in the talk about the importance of communication in organizing such a monumental event. When being involved in pieces such as the Allan Kaprow reenactment and Sachiko Abe piece it was very apparent how the quality of dialogue between curator and artist could potentially make of break an art work (especially a performance piece.) If there is a lack of understanding between curator and artist the piece would simply not work. It also made me realise that being involved with the curatorial side of contemporary art is something I would be good at.

For me I feel that this years Biennial has been far more successful than 'made up' in 2008. This is mainly due to my involvement in this years biennial however I also think the theme was far more successful and gave far more for the artists to work with.    

The theme of 'Touched' and its multiple and equally valid meanings have been addressed and made clearer in my own mind due to my engagement with the artists individual representations. At the end of last year we were given a brief to follow that involved creating a piece of art work that we would want to submit into the 2010 Biennial. My idea was instantly to concentrate on touched in the physical and sexual sense. I went on to develop a series of very abstract, very physical black and white photographs that described physical touch.

After experiencing the Biennial that my piece was hypothetically intending to be a part of it made me realise how completely unsuitable my piece would have been for display. If the Biennial has taught me anything about being a practicing fine artist it is to never take a brief too literally and to always think completely outside of the obvious. The theme was tackled in a number of ways. Franz West explored the theme physically with his touchable sculpture 'smears' .Ryan Trecartin made the saying to be "touched in the head" very real with his terrifying films. Lee Mingwei explored the theme in terms of emotion. I believe that the most successful pieces were those that appealed to my inner most emotions and fears. The works that touched me the most such as those by Sashico Abe, Lee Ming Wei and Teching Hseih made me feel anxious,uncomfortable, isolated, guilty and inspired.


Monday, 6 December 2010

Time to reflect

The end of the Biennial has come as a bit of a shock, although I feel I got a lot out of it there were a few exhibitions that I didn't get round to visiting and I feel slightly guilty for not exploiting the opportunity more. Liverpool is a very different place without the permanent availability of art on my doorstep and it will be missed!

There were a couple of pieces that I didn't get round to writing about that have effected my practice in a significant way. I'm going to use this opportunity to look back and reflect on the pieces I missed out and also to reflect on my Biennial experience as a whole.

Joe Diebes: Scherzo 

"A music film that explores the limits of human virtuosity and the convergence of human and machine. The virtuoso's desire to achieve machine-like speed and perfection is realized in both exhilarating and disturbing dimensions as his performance is fragmented and recombined into an impossibly extended musical climax."

The atmosphere achieved by the piece was a perfect combination of melodic repetition and extreme intensity. I found it fascinating how such an overwhelming experience could be created by using a single instrument. For me the sound alone (without the video footage) would have been enough to create the same intensity and although the visuals added an alternative sensory experience I felt they were unnecessary. Although disturbing and uncomfortable to be a part of I couldn't help but to be drawn in to the piece and hypnotized by it. I found myself being very reluctant to leave.

For me the piece was about the constant battle for contemporary artists to maintain a constant relevant contemporary practice and to keep up with ever changing and developing technology. It also said something very significant about Physical and mental endurance and extreme dedication to an individuals fine art practice.      

I will consider the use of composed sound in my own work.


Wannes Goetschalckx: 1 Without 

'1 WITHOUT, alludes to the composite of words and meanings within Goetschalckx's spoken language- in Dutch 'wit' means 'white' and 'hout' means 'wood'-while also referencing the 'empty' twelf plinth that forms part of the occasional platform for live interventions by the artist' Frances Loeffler-Liverpool Biennial the guide.          

I felt this piece had a very direct connection to my work as it is based on repetitive, ritualistic human behavior. Each wooden box contained a piece of video footage of the the artist carrying out relatively normal tasks within a confined space. The idea of captivity and isolation is emphasized by the artists need to engage in a very particular activity to keep his mind occupied be it eating, pacing, bathing or masturbating.

The piece gives a very intimate insight into the behavioral patterns of humans, showing the need to keep our minds occupied and stimulated in order to keep sane and content. It shows how we need a reason for existing and its is not enough to simply exist.