“There’s an implication in your work that the things you show are hidden, they’re not in plain daylight, so it really made me think of peepholes, looking at things that are forbidden to sight and I think that the miniature idea is good in terms of experience - I like the problematics of viewing something small that you kind of telescope into... One thing that I think can really enhance the work is to work on the sound production. I would like to see how you work with sound so you can create that theatricality that you want..... I think these vignettes work because they are like fragments of dreams, you don’t remember the whole dream, you have odd snippets of imagery and feeling... The large image is almost a default mode these days and I like this fugitive aspect with what you are dealing with so much, that you’re not even sure about what you saw, it’s over so fast... The success of the work is that it’s vaguely figurative but not definitively. Another device that worked was the layering, because I found myself looking at one thing but trying to see something else in it, whether it materialized or not, which created a mild session of anxiety - a sensation of dreaming – the experience of trying to gain clarity and how the work provoked that desire and never delivered it - the demotion of sensual engagement with the world, you can’t quite see it or touch it, but it has a compelling presence."
Make a shortlist of who you want to talk and think about in relation to the work, and then what you want to represent of the work. I think the paintings and the photographs are really related and I think about how prominent the hand is in the production of the paintings or the installational situation and what happens to that in the production of this work… I think skimming and cruising is an efficient way to cover a lot of ground and it helps you to discover your interests. I’m interested in the resonances that exist in the work in relation to the environment that you live in, and the vast distinctions that exist in your cultural identities. I’m interested in these overlaps between painting and photography in your work, those relationships – are they different discourses that come together? Is it the dimensionality of work that functions across media? These are interesting formal questions.
Isaac Julien – sound (musical scores, singers, insect voices – very lush/sensual and could have been scary)
UBUWEB : TV – storehouse of artist videos
Joan Jonas – enclosed boxes
Aimee Morgana – peep boxes
Lili Dujourie – herself, video, windows and doors
Julia Kristeva - hysteria
Kate Linker – gender and psychoanalysis
Laura Mulvey – narrative, pleasure and cinema
Gustave Moreau – forfeiting vision
The Rosicrucians – mix of mysticism, romanticism, Gothicism and a turning away from the industrial revolution and from contemporaneity to plumb this from the past and analogous to dream states
Louise Bourgeois – scares the viewer
“What about orientation for the viewer?... There seems to be a range between a luminous seductive beauty and something that’s slightly sinister in terms of the imagery and the experience of that discomfort and attraction is made much stronger by the ambiguity of what we’re seeing – and that middle space between whether it’s a person or a bird. The challenge is hitting that balance between maintaining doubt and being too heavy handed with obscuring things – there are places as a spectator where you are just on the verge of being sure and if the object is then too obscured or too buried, then you don’t try anymore. I feel like I’m one frame away from figuring it out – keep me in suspense... When the camera starts moving there’s a sense of subjectivity – the motion of the camera as an eye moving in the space becomes closer to the eye of the spectator. The image in the centre can become safe and one I can remove myself from, I’m on a safe platform with no danger of falling off - see if the camera could move – that would create a very different experience... What engages me is beauty and mystery... There’s a huge difference between looking at a viewing box, so we know we’re looking at something, and Duchamp’s ‘Étant Donnés’ where you’re looking through a door and there’s a sense of scale and what you’re expecting to encounter. If you want to frame the experience for the viewer it’s important to think about whether you want to mount the work behind a peephole in a door or something where one doesn't really expect to have a constructed world inside it, otherwise it could be a little bit precious, like a music box.
Ghost film – was a familiar image in terms of body, flight, window, transformation. It was put in a place where things were kind of cliché - images from fairy tales.
Bucket film – It was disquieting because I kept seeing grotesque faces. I felt it was a weird hybrid of mask and dog and I didn’t have a clear metaphoric, poetic fix on it, it didn’t tell a story (as opposed to the ‘Ghost’ one – preparing to depart or something like that). I could imagine the duration being forever, whereas it would be difficult to do that with the first one because it comes in and then it goes out. The duration of the video might be determined by how it’s made.
Cell film – I’ve seen a lot of people making films of observing themselves sleeping. What was interesting about your film was the funny way the editing was working between stillness and motion and your cat’s tail is a memorable character in that. There were moments where it looked like we were looking at a still picture but then the tail was moving – so the effect of motion and stillness was effective.
Bruce Nauman – Mapping the Studio
|Bruce Nauman's 'Mapping the Studio 1'|
“You wouldn’t want to tie everything you do to the Gothic, just tie it into the work. I wouldn’t be afraid to be ugly. When beauty is aestheticized, it precludes the viewer spending time with it and dealing with it in the present moment. Set your work up as a series of questions (colliding kitsch and poetry).”
Chris Marker – La Jetee 1962 – film told by photographs, narration, music, sound of speeding up heartbeat, film
Thierry Kuntzel – installation, poetic + anti representational, wrote for ‘Camera Obscura’
Nan Hoover – memory, light
Gary Hill – memory and the body
Alain Resnais – intense white and greys, ‘Night and Fog’ atmosphere
Optimize production for the screenings
Surrealism – Maholy Nagy, Duchamp, Meret Oppenheim, Max Ernst, Morgan library exhibition ’Surrealism and Drawing’, Andre Breton
Janet Cardiff & Georges Bures Miller
Rachel Harrison – collides sculpture and painting
“You need to have a strategy for display which is part of the concept. You should have your own space, get the place downstairs, and the videos should invade the viewer. It is challenging to present something that is formally constructed, and really jar the viewer beyond a cheap gimmick. Your art is a very serious exploration and the Gothic has been the topic of irony. You should show these videos in January but need to incorporate them in installation mode. The films are so short that you can strategise the presentation in a way that the shortness of duration leaves an impression, these are nightmarish visions we are having, they are not complete, they don’t tell a story - they are vignettes that you wake up with. Consider exploiting the unusual shortness of their duration - any sense of lingering will spoil it because it will bring back the camp.”
“The Gothic happened specifically around the time of Industrialisation and includes ideas of the survival of anachronistic forms and aspects of perversion. ‘Otherness’ in all its forms is all-inclusive, is no longer ‘Other’. Otherness will never be assimilated. The video with the skull feels too much like a prop. The one with the cat is quite disturbing- Why is this woman in this cell and what’s the relationship between her and the cat? - and the idea of the cat as a familiar. You need to be careful not to treat the Gothic as just a set of props and effects with a vague evocation of the notion of otherness in very abstract terms – you have to be much more specific. Why is the Gothic relevant to you and your particular situation? What are the historical determinations of this? etc… I don’t think you’ll get anywhere simply evoking otherness - that’s been done for a long time. It can become meaningless very easily. I mean who’s going to disagree with otherness? In some way, it might be more interesting to go the other way and do the refusal of otherness and address sameness.”
Leo Bersami ‘Is the rectum a Grave and other essays’
Freud ‘The Uncanny Valley’
Bread and Puppet Theater – Peter Schumann