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.
These latest journal collages are from the 26th of May up until the 2nd of June.
I’ve now started to consider text and documenting thoughts and reactions i get to my sleep in association with the sleep i’ve had that afternoon or evening. Whether it’s simply to do with something someones said to me which has triggered something in my sleep or something i’ve watched and so forth, I feel doing this will help me understand what my collages are expressing more so. In future developments, considering using the text in my collages could enhance these things even more so.
Following on from developing my photos, I’ve decided to make a little tape strip of my selecting exhibition images. I wanted a little emulation of them to use along side the video. If i was to take this experiment further, i considered printing onto acetate to get a more reflective and professional response.
I feel in these further manipulations, shadowing and shaping becomes more apparent, there’s a more in-depth feeling of the essence of another being present. They feel quite eerie and uncomfortable to an extent. Using these in my collages could even work effectively as next steps.
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.
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.
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.