Creating final images that stem from ideas of higher consciousness, simplicity, and evidence of a higher intelligence at work. These terms are painted in the broadest sense, because they have to be.
My graduate show will be on display Monday, December 5th. The show will be located at Eastern Michigan University’s Ford Hall gallery from 4:30 to 9pm.
After researching primarily the greco-roman mystery religions and their symbolism over the past year I’ve now arrived at showcasing images that reach for some kind of significance towards the “light” which is inherently hidden and non-representative, as well as both negative and positive at once.
My photography is again growing narrower in the sense that I’m focusing on simplifying the field of photography by eliminating possible “recognizable” objects. To put it simply, My self-experience led me into some interesting readings, which got me into the ideas of attraction to formal problems of scale in space. In my first post, WHERE TO BEGIN, I cover much of the reason I’ve begun moving in this direction of photography & video.
The floorplan above shows what my final show will look like. This is subject to change. It’s important for me to make sure nearly 1/3 of my space is completely dark for the projections to appear properly.
Recently, I spoke with my advisors at Eastern Michigan University for a second time. Since working with my primary advisor Jason Demarte this Winter 2016-17 semester I’ve been condensing, re-working, and re-thinking photographic images that display as a single body of work. Meeting with Jason over the last couple years has helped me gain better grasp on some of the conceptual function of my work. In regards to finalizing the images needed for my final show, I was having some challenges thinking up photographs that fit with the MARBLES, CRYSTALS, and SILHOUETTE image series that will be part of my final show. Aside from these three image series, most of my photography has been very direct in the past; completely revealing rather than figurative or allegorical.
The most important thing I’m realizing right now is the importance of the experience my show has to offer to be successful and really work. I’m really excited about the video aspect even more now, because the atmosphere will be much more apparent when viewed in a private dark space. These two videos are planned to play simultaneously with a single sound source.
When I met with Chris Hyndman, a painting professor and theorist who’s helped me shape some of my art-philosophical ideas, on October 12th, he suggested that I leave the audience walking out not knowing exactly what they’ve just looking at. His impression is that accurately describing or suggesting any real truth in an image is impossible, so doing it in a way that isn’t recognizable is the definition in and of itself, because what I’m trying to express cannot be defined.
When I spoke to Brendan Fey, Eastern Michigan’s history of art professor that same day, he mentioned making work not illustrative or instantly recognizable, borrowing on some of the paintings Piet Mondrian did and the reason they were made. This topic came to mind primarily because of the reasons behind why the work was created. The parallels though with repetition came home for me though, as getting the Little Planets series to its current state took quite a large amount of experimentation.
Later on Amy Sacksteder, a very illustrative painter and out-of-the-box professor, discussed my different complimentary video projects playing at the same time, showcasing the marble and crystal series simultaneously in a more atmospheric setting. The original idea I had of my marbles and crystals videos playing on small TV’s (especially when compared to the size of the print version) just didn’t make much sense anymore.
Hyndman said what I need to do is make work for this show that doesn’t bring any instant connotation. He wants to see work that aesthetically beautiful and overpowering in a sense… without words entering the viewers mind easily. This ambiguity is something I’ve interested in for quite some time. There is something fascinating with photography and its ability to broadcast something real and unreal all at once.
Using double and triple exposures on some images, like the one below, offered me an extra dimension if you will, to the image… adding a layer of darkness and atmosphere. Perhaps the result of a happy accident, but I found a really good technique below for showing double exposures and used them in 50 or so versions of still images I have from a future video project (these will eventually be in a video form of movement with the same blending technique in slow-motion).
Getting too illustrative can be a problem. It’s something I’ve had a lot of fun resisting lately… but it’s also been really challenging. The reason the marbles, geocrystals, and silhouettes work well together this because they are more in tune with the intention behind what the image is about. See this series larger.
These images, as with the final two images below demonstrate, something being communicated on a higher level than what is just our material universe. We strive for what’s beyond our grasp don’t we, but that’s what makes us human. What do you think?
ADDITIONAL IMAGES IN PROGRESS
Since I really want to get these out there… here are some of the “finals” in progress at the moment for other series in development. Originally these were planned to possibly fit into the show but after looking at them now I feel they will fit better elsewhere.