Summary of Work for Week 6
- Notes on the article “Turn and Face the Strange” by Darcey Steinke
- Look at works by Maurizio Cattelan, Cindy Sherman, Erwin Wurm, Janine Antoni, and others. Watch my short lecture video.
- Exercise: Post 3 new faces with brief descriptions
Nathan’s Tech Talk time:
1. How/where to download Affinity.
2. A few moves on Affinity photo to improve the quality of their images – colour, light, contrast, minor adjustments, and reducing image size for the blog.
- Read the article below and write up to 250-350 words reflecting on the questions below.
In the article Steinke says: When I look at masked people my brain still feels like its malfunctioning, a skipping sensation, a tenuous connection is reached for and missed.” Describe a situation from your recent experience where not seeing faces has caused significant misunderstanding, confusion, or grief.
Which of the faces discussed in the text were of particular interest to you and your experience? How do you think about these faces?
Who are you without your face? How is your experience different without your face in public? Can you imagine new ways to face the world?
First created in 1992, the self-portrait Super Us
also demonstrates Cattelan’s irreverent
approach to this type of work. It consists of
multiple portraits of Cattelan produced by
police-composite-sketch artists and based on
accounts submitted by friends and
acquaintances. The results are a record of the
varying impressions that he had made on those
who provided the descriptions. Beyond
portraying the self as a network of other
people’s appraisals, Cattelan’s goal was also to
visualize the way in which our perceptions of
others can never form a complete picture. The
work provides 50 different views of the artist,
presenting a multiple and fractured self rather
than a unified, integrated whole. Cattelan
states, “That piece was really about how people
around you perceive you in different ways than
how you really are. So I was thinking about
visualizing the idea of the self. The drawings
really looked like me, but at the same time they
were like cartoons. They were terrific. I don’t
know if it was a fluke.” From Guggenheim.org
Janine Antoni has crafted her personal aesthetic out of everyday activities and the objects that surround them. In particular she focuses on the rituals of the body, such as eating, sleeping, and bathing, as well as what would once have been called “women’s work,” such as mopping and weaving. A polyglot when it comes to mediums, Antoni has created sculptures, videos, photographs, and paintings, but the unifying substrate in her work has always been her body and the actions and contexts that encode it.
Two photographic works have used her parents as sculptural material. In Mom and Dad (1994), Antoni made up each of her parents in the guise of the other, photographing them together in three different permutations with either one or both of them costumed in this way From Guggenheim.org
Ana Mendieta – Facial Hair Transplants, 1972
Ana Mendieta’s “Untitled (Facial Hair Transplants)” is a unique work that examines the boundary of what is typical for men and women. In this 1972 work, Mendieta transfers the beard of a fellow student at the time, Morty Sklar, onto her own face. The actual work is a group of photographs documenting the process and final result. (From here)
Erwin Wurm: From top – One-Minute Sculptures (ongoing series)
Cindy Sherman (and follow her instagram for regular posts of facial transformations)
Improvising with materials close at hand, Seat Assignment consists of photographs, video, and digital images all made while in flight using only a camera phone. The project began spontaneously on a flight in March 2010 and is ongoing. At present, over 2500 photographs and video, made on nearly 200 different flights to date, constitute the raw material of the project.
While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in January 2011, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror using my cellphone. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using the lavatory on the 14-hour flight. I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory’s own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone. At the Dunedin Public Art gallery, the photos were framed in faux-historical frames and hung on a deep red wall reminiscent of the painting galleries in museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From Nina Katchadourian
Jan Hakon Erichsen
Change your face three ways. Make up a new face, or a new way to hide your face. Make an alternative pandemic mask. Use your face as the base of a sculpture. Make your face into something that is not a face. Or that is someone else’s face. Be playful, and see how many ways you might explore your own face, and to think about faces in this moment.
You must do this manually, using materials found around your home – not by altering/photoshopping the images. Some gestures might be light and quick, some might take more time.
Document your new face with your computer (like in zoom) or with a tripod and photo timer, or have someone in your household help out.
Post your three best transformations, with a brief description of each.
Summary of work due AT THE LATEST: TUESDAY OCTOBER 27th, 2020
There is no new work to complete for this week .
I will be checking your Student page on the blog to find the work from the past 5 weeks. This is how your work will be evaluated. If work is incomplete, your will be deducted according to the amount of work incomplete. If everything is complete and the minimum requirements of each assignment are met – you will automatically receive a 75%. If it is completed with above-average level of curiosity, investment, effort and understanding of ideas – you may receive a higher grade.
See each week’s post to find a summary of work that should be on your blog.
Notes for weeks 1-5 (worth 20% of final grade)
Notes will be evaluated for completion, evidence of curiosity and full engagement with material, level of understanding of critical ideas at play.
Exercises for weeks 1-5 (worth 20% of final grade)
Exercises will be evaluated for completion, evidence of historical precedents for the work, understanding of conceptual ideas at play, evidence of technical investment and effort, evidence of experimentation and adventurousness.
TECH TALK TIME: In this week’s class, Nathan will talk about formatting your videos for uploading to the blog, and how to upload media to WordPress. Bring your questions – Nathan will join us for the last 20 minutes of each class.
Summary of work for Week 4:
- Actively explore and think about the work of Adad Hannah
- Make a self-portrait or portrait of someone else in the style of Social Distancing Portraits. Post and describe your 1 minute video.
- Explore the website and look at the past work of Adad Hannah:
Adad Hannah was born in New York in 1971, spent his childhood in Israel and England, and moved to Vancouver in the early 1980’s. He lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.
Focus on these works, and consider his conceptual approach to his videos. Think about the simple concept he begins with, and the prompts and rules he gives to his performers. Consider how when very action happens, all kinds of surprises and meaning happen.
Handheld Case Study:
Burghers of Vancouver:
The Screen:https: //adadhannah.com/2013-the-screen
VIDEOS from Traces:
Look at his most recent project on Instagram – he is collecting portraits of citizens of Vancouver living, working, shopping, protesting, teaching, studying and more – during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
An ongoing collection of works that speak to the historical moment – made in the past, or made today.
Adad Hannah: Social Distancing Portraits 2020:
Read the article about the project from the Vancouver Sun:
MAKE and post on blog:
You are going to make your own 1-minute version of a Social Distancing Portrait – based on the work of Adad Hannah (see link above).
You can make a self-portrait – or a portrait of someone you know, or of someone you don’t know. Strictly follow all public health guidelines during the pandemic at all times – and when you make your work.
Consider Adad Hannah’s examples, look at many of the videos from the past 6 months. What are the kinds of people he observes? How are they different from one another? How do the portraits change over time? How do the portraits witness important moments of the pandemic? What new insights or meaning does he bring with these videos – especially with so many of them?
Also consider the rules he uses to create the videos – in terms of framing, composition, and the prompts he gives his performers. Can you tell his concepts and forumulae for making these pieces? Use his rules – as far as you can deduce them.
We will be making videos with ambient sound – and not adding music to the videos. They will be unedited – just cut at the start and at the end to form an eternal loop. The will be approximately 1 minute long.
Adad Hannah has given his blessing to students in Experimental to appropriate his methods and make versions of his Social Distancing portraits. He wants to see the best ones – keep it real – and try to make them follow in the spirit of his concept for the series.
Post your 1 minute, one-shot video on the blog – and include a quote from your model (or self) the way Adad does. Include a description of your video, with references to Adad Hannah’s project, reflecting on some of the questions above in BOLD.
Summary of work for Week 3:
1.Look at all the material and watch the videos.
2.Write 6 sentences (details below) and post on blog.
3. Make an image of your action and post the image on the blog.
Conceptual Video Art:
If conceptually informed artworks are ones in which an idea determines the work. You can think of some of the works below as a response to a simple, one sentence instruction.
Watch this video by Lee Walton below.
If you had to sum up this action in one instructional sentence or formula it would be something like:
Use your hands to feel a diverse range of things in the city.
Notice he takes the common expression “Getting a Feel for Things” literally in this work, and feels things. See how he uses common expressions, and simple instructions as a formula for creating in the following videos.
If conceptually informed artworks are ones in which an idea determines the work, as opposed to the artist’s masterful technique, or the perfect handling of materials. In fact, when you follow directions, things might even turn out badly, things can break down, fail, fall apart. There is tremendous tension in this – when we really don’t know how things are going to go. Watch Jon Sasaki play with attempting to do something, and the possibility (and sometimes the reality) of failing, falling, or otherwise destroying everything.
WRITE: Watch the following videos by Lee Walton, Jon Sasaki, and Lenka Clayton and Yuula Benivolski. Sum up the actions in each work in one instructional sentence. See if you can determine the formula, or the task the artist assigned to themselves to guide the action of the video.
You have to watch the videos, and write one sentence for each . (Total writing, 6 sentences).
Dead End, Eastern Market, Detroit:
Here are some John Baldessari instruction pieces – used as assignments for students at Cal Arts from 1970. Notice how they sometimes play with language, or satirize artistic tropes. They sometimes read like eccentric proposals for science experiments, and suggest game like systems for working.
Have a look at this John Baldessari image, where he assigns himself a task to complete the work. The titles often give you a sense of the instruction he used to start:
MAKE: You will follow an instruction developed by John Baldessari (1970) – one of my favourites:
Defenestrate objects. Photo them in mid-air.
This means throw something out the window, and photograph it in the air. Post your image on the blog, with a short description.
YOU MUST BE SAFE – Do not throw something out of a high rise balcony – even a coin can be dangerous when it hits the ground – or risks hitting a passing person/animal/vehicle/property. Only do this in a situation where you are CERTAIN you can throw a benign object SAFELY out of a window with no danger to anyone or anything below. Make sure the scene is clear. Try to solve the health and safety constraints in the most creative way you can. If you don’t have access to a low window – throw something feather light. Or – simply throw something into the air from the ground, and photograph it. Solve the instruction SAFELY even if it isn’t exactly a real “defenstration”.
We will discuss a few good examples of your work in the next class huddle.