Tuesday, December 22, 2009

UND National Juried Photo Show

In April, Elijah Gowin, a recent Guggenheim recipient will be at UND as a visiting artist and for the opening of a show, of which he is the juror. The show will be called "Of Memory, Bone and Myth". Take a look at the prospectus by following the link above.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Volunteers Needed...For a Print Series

I've begun a new series that I hope to carry into the spring building off of, or modifying some work I did this past semester. Last Christmas break I returned to campus with my family slides and began scanning them to use for printmaking purposes. My hope then was to make 4-color separation prints of my father and me distanced by a landscape (either mine or his). I never got around to making this idea, though I held on to it. This semester I began making the Landscape of Belief series which took creedal type statement overlaying a landscape to suggest how such statements orient us, as maps do, within the world.

This new series, however, combines those ideas and builds on them. The two prototypes seen here take a photo of my father and me on a ski lift at Terry Peak which then is chine colle'd on to a landscape with the Apostle's Creed, in my fathers handwriting over both. My ideas still include the statements as orientation bits, but they become more personal and intimate by including a photo of my father and me. My hope is to extend the series to encompass men and their sons or men and their mentors and the impact their words have had on their life. Daniele Hervieu-Leger's text Religion As A Chain of Memory rests a base conceptual idea beneath this project. Her sociological approach considers the decline of religion and contention that in today's culture, religion must be a chain of memory...where individuals become part of a community that links past, present and future shared as a collective memory.

I am beginning with my own family, simply because I have access to the photos. But I am seeking volunteers to be included in this series. If you are interested in sharing a photo and a short reflection on your sons/father/mentor please let me know. There may even be a print in it for you.

Neither prototype is perfect but I am curious as to which might have the stronger visual attraction. Thoughts? The text in the print on top is darker, and most who have seen the two appreciate the darker text.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Landscape and Politics

One of the things that came out of my summer residency in Cyprus with PKAP was the awareness of the contested nature of place and landscape. Cyprus is currently divided in half by a United Nations guarded neutral zone cutting the Turkish North from the Greek South. In recent years the gates have been reopened for residents to pass back and forth more easily. I made two prints with these ideas in mind. The first is a blind embossment of the island of Cyprus with a series “X’s” embroidered along the green line in such a way that it mimics not only the guarded barbed wire strung along this artificial line, but also the utter geographical, political, ideological, and religious divides that continue to plague these landscapes. My hope is to continue this series a little further as well by exploring other contested spaces/places which may well extend beyond landscape into ideological spaces/places.

The second print takes two urban landscape images; first, of the Turkish North and one of the Greek South and placed them next to each other as in a diptych. I then used Photoshop to cut and paste the copious amounts of graffiti that covered most city blocks in both the North and South. The graffiti represents the literal plurality of contests marked upon the landscape.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Landscape as Construction and Consumable

This semester I also toyed around a bit with ideas about landscape construction and consumption. Simon Schama has said that "landscape is culture before they are nature." Thus we are shaped and have ideas about the structure of landscape images already present when we look at the land.

The first image takes that idea in a literal way by applying both scaffolding and traffic cones over and extending beyond the landscape to suggest their pre existence or external existence to the landscape itself.

The second and third prints are meant to convey the consumption of landscape. One a natural object and the other, quite possibly the epitome of artificiality. These 4 color separation prints are meant to challenge the viewer and how they interpret the landscape. Does our consumer mentality filter into how we see the world around us?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Landscape of Belief

Up to this point I have only been sharing images of my photography from this semester. I've completed a good number of lithos again this semester and over the next few days I will try to get a few of them up as I am pushing to finish up a paper on landscape art and theory (which will hopefully make its way on here as well).

The series below was an idea I stumbled upon midway through the semester. I was reading how in the development of landscape art, landscape and cartography played off each other even merging at times. I began to think about mapping and what kinds of maps we use to get around today. At the same time I was listening to Krista Tippet's Speaking of Faith interview with the late religious historian Jaroslav Pelikan. It struck me that our creedal statements can function like maps to orient our participation in the world. My hope is to continue this series though in a modified format to be increasingly more inclusive extending well beyond typical religious creeds. A step in that direction is the Pledge of Allegiance. Conceptually I like them, but after a recent critique, I need to work on the visual aspects of the relationship between the text and landscape.

Below each text I've also added a blind embossing of a "devotional object" for the text. The first, the Shema, is the word Zakhor or remember in Hebrew. The second, is a couch suggestive of the therapist couch (in what I am making a judgment upon as a therapeutic kind of religious creed), the third of course is the US flag, and the 4th a pair of folded hands in prayer.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Between the Folds

I watched this last night on PBS...What an amazing film. Art, Math, Science. See it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Elevator Series

The semester is drawing towards a close, as you might have inferred from the lack of recent posting here at AOA. Next week I will be turning in 30+ 17x11 images of the Elevators Series. For the most part, I've been really happy with this project and look forward to picking it up again in next spring and summer when the North Dakota temperatures allow.