Artist Statement

For a considerable amount of time throughout my practice I have been captivated by the theory of distortion and how I could potentially alter the viewers perception of a subjects original or true state. Distortion could also be defined as the changing, manipulating or transforming in a way, which creates some form of unclearness.

With finding a strong connection to my sleeping condition called ‘sleep paralysis’ (which is a condition which affects the subconscious mind, most often when one is falling into or out of a deep sleep), I’ve been able to express a more personal development through my own distorted and vivid visions. As a result of the intensity of these happenings, they have driven me to begin documenting through collage, photography and most recently video. I almost always merge my photography within my collages as I feel this isn’t just a way to express more prominent links but it also tells an abstract story. Through fading manipulations and uses of many layers and textures, I am then able to really bring my collages to life. Silhouettes appear and mark-making often gives a finishing touch. My video work often stimulates from my photography,  with also expressing the sounds and feels gathered from my sleep. Changing the speed and imagery quite harshly throughout, I have been able to bring my ‘nightmares’ to a sense of ‘blurred realism’. My most recent photography are an extension from my video work and I have worked to capture the eeriness and shadowing in particular risen from these dark places.

I am currently working on a smaller book of ‘distorted collages’, where I am considering how my everyday encounters may be interacting with my sleep. Whether it’s something I watch or something someones said to me which has stuck with me, I feel documenting these small things could build up my work to a whole new level.

“The artist creates by selecting, arranging, and deforming” – Kurt Schwitters.

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Man Ray: Photography

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Man Ray’s imagery has started to make me think more about the angles in which I present my photos, layering them into montages and so forth has sprung some fresh ideas also. Considering all angles of the body and how they construct against one another seems to develop a new angle of perception entirely and I’m thinking that I could definitely now look at layering my screenshots.

Ray named much of his photography ‘Rayographs’; The rediscovering of how to make “camera-less” pictures. For Ray, photography often operated in the gap between art and life. It was a means of documenting sculptures that never had an independent life outside the photograph, and it was a means of capturing the activities of his avant-garde friends.

 

Hannah Höch

Hannah

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Hoch is most famously known for her images which portrayed strong social commentaries, political messages, and sarcastic humor. Her work often depicts around the subject of her love life, having three entirely different relationships at different points throughout her life. As a growing feminist, she focuses around the subject medium of androgynous figures and a mixture of fine and applied arts to comment on gender roles and femininity in 20th century Germany.

all these different points that Hoch draws up on have recently got me thinking even more about the different thoughts that go through my head not only consciously but with my subconscious terrors. Where she draws upon different thought processes through her love life and commentaries she reads upon, I want to bring these thoughts and so forth through in a way which  I feel may react in my sleep paralysis. Whether this is through just noting down strong words and phrases I hear, read or even say myself, I think it will be interesting to see if any of this comes through in my sleep or if it sometimes even makes a completely new reaction. Also, actually noting down some mornings what i remember from my sleep terrors may help the development of my practice.

Sophie Calle

Calle is a French writer, photographer and installation artist who’s work evokes eerie tendencies and frequently depicts human vulnerability, and portrays identity and intimacy. She is recognized for her detective-like ability to follow strangers and investigate their private lives. With her photographic work often including panels of text of her own writing, her work can become deeply personal and expressive.

After going through a phase of boredom and not knowing what to do next, Calle began following people in the streets and one her most famous quests was when she asked to sleep in stangers beds:

During her stalking days, a friend asked if she could sleep in Calle’s bed. “That made me think it would be fun to have someone in bed all the time.” So she asked friends and strangers to sleep in the bed for eight hours; one participant thought there was going to be an orgy. It sounds like a conceptual art project. “It wasn’t,” counters Calle. “It only became so when the wife of a critic told him about it. He came along. He said, ‘Is this art?’ and I said, ‘It could be.'” She took photographs and wrote down everything everyone said. The result was The Sleepers, text and photographs that could readily have hung on her father’s walls.

After reading up on Calle’s stalking tendencies, I have starting thinking not only how I could document more frequently how my collages react with my sleep and daily antics but how what people say, impact within my sleep and what words and phrases people say stick in my mind the most.

Bruce Nauman: BBC 1 DVD

(Imagine:Bruce Nauman; The God Father of Modern art, 2004)

-At vast turbine Hall – Sound art – coming from 20 pairs of loud speakers: Using greetings, jokes, statements etc. -emotions.

-Always doing the unexpected.

-Turning the ideas of art upside down quite literally (video – pioneer)

-Never painted, infact used almost every other medium around painting.

-1980’s: Sexually explicit signs

-Recently filmed what had happened with his studio once he had gone to bed (nothing much)

-What art can be? Anything could be art?

-“Enigmatic and reclusive giant of the contempory art world” – Alan Yentob

-“Allows you to play with anything, anything could be art” – Daimen Hirst

-Controdictory and yet surpprising.

-Hardly ever goes to interviews or explains his work.

-Wark – 1994: Conventing a group of sounds into once space.

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-Assembling groups of videos into one video.

-Uses his body throughout: “Treat your body like an object, give it tasks” – Bruce Nauman

“Making negative space into something positive so that you become aware of it” – Michael Craigmartin

“Commununication not advertisement” – Robert Storr

-Minimal intervention

“How can an everyday activity be transformed into art?” – Yentob (repetition)

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How tension is created from this? – Tiredness – not so much a story but an activity of reaction – passage of time.

-Language + physical – altering of perception – recurring themes and scary consequences.

-Making the viewer almost take the artists place

“More orless experience what I did, dictating what a piece can be” – Bruce Nauman

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-Didnt essentially want viewers to have too many of their own thoughts.

This dvd has helped me to not only distinguish areas within the artists work to use in my essay for in relation to distortion but to also re-consider how I manipulate my own work and lay it out for an audience.

Personal Statement

Throughout the progession of my Fine Art study this year I feel I have truly started to express and find myself from an established artistic angle. I’ve moved away from focusing on topics surrounding texture and surface and came onto personalising my collages with my own issues. With mark making I have began to find a definate style which demonstrates a push towards what I want my work to express. I have always been inspired by the likes of Robert Rauschenberg, Kurt Schwitters and Cy Twombly, who all have tendencies towards the ‘found’ and ‘discarded’. I want my work to also emulate these titles, focusing on the layering of them but intertwined with my photography. Playing around not only with mediums but scale and shape, I am coming to understand exactly what works best with what and how I should handle the quality of the work. The above artists manipulate in such a range of textural surfaces to often either express their modern day influences of artist movements and personal memories. Dumas (my selected artist focus for this year) also creates work which focuses around personal memories but can often be slightly politcal for ‘rights’ such as famous gay, black and mentally disabled people. And with focusing around the subject of Sleep paralysis and it’s sub-heading ‘Distortion’, the work I have developed express my memories of tormenting dreams in a way I feel becomes just as personal as Dumas’ strong views on memory and daily issues in life.

Sleep paralysis is a sleeping disorder which gives you the temporarily inability to move or speak which occurs when you’re waking or falling asleep. This is a conditon I am currently dealing with and have been for the past nearly two years. The video and photography manipulations I have created are a kind of replica demonstrating the traumatic experiences that have taken place during these episodes. At times i’ve found it hard to breath and feel like i’m moving which the majority of the time I can’t but on small occasions the odd little thing has occurred, such as my arm being in the air and the gittering of my teeth. The main issue would defintally be the hallucinations though. in these situations it has got to points where I feel like i’m being stabbed in the side, chased out my room and even strangled. But these don’t even touch the surface of the list of events which occurred and i’m now using my work to portray these happenings. Through video i’ve been able to create sounds which relate to the struggles with breathing and speed of the breath and so forth in relation to the intensity of the vivid incidencies.

Bruce Nauman was a massive influence in the expansion of my latest video especially and after watching his videos with repetetive, creepy sounds and bold gestures with his face, i’ve been able to really consider what areas need to pushing further and to an extent dramatising. Whether you find my work disturbing and/or fascinating, I want you as the viewer to be on the edge of your seat and really feel the impact of seriously eerie and hopefully powerful work.