PRACTISE BASED RESEARCH & REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
06 JULY 2016
Anthi Evangelou | EVA1035696
Throughout the beginning of the Fine Art Digital Master course, my interests laid upon the idea of the body being translated into a readymade object. This object/form is interacting temporary with its surroundings in an attempt to create new surreal conversations and compositions. Through unusual body postures I intentionally try to hide my face, limbs and body parts from the camera lens in an attempt to hide my identity. By rethinking and reconstructing the body’s restrictions I result in creating surreal and unearthly positions that therefore, challenge the perceptions of the real. What one is presented with, is depersonalised and uncommon forms are no longer reminding of the human body itself.
My first experimentations were an extension of my Bachelor’s work, were I experimented with merging this new art objects into different environments both exterior & interior. However slowly I ve have tried to encompass the body with movement, in an attempt to respond to other objects rather than remain passive among them. I felt that the stronger pieces were the ones that the hands were protruding off the torso reaching out to gasp the objects in its surrounding environment… Something magical happened there.. ‘An opposition of passive and active’, of the ‘laying on’ to the ‘connecting, interacting, responding and yet collaborating with all the other elements in an attempt to create new compositions.’
Around the end of my first year I have started experimenting and working in the idea of creating a sculptural composition from scratch, by using 3 different elements, two found objects – one of which I would transform/alter (example1 , example2) removing their initial function and my body.
In my Research paper my keen interest laid upon the importance of the very ‘act’ of participation in Community Arts Projects. What I was particularly interested was the idea that an event can become a social happening and yet ‘’The State of Encounter’’ as Baurriad quotes. Therefore I have tried to exemplify this by talking about two bi communal projects, which took place, both in Cyprus and Israel. In both cases the art projects became the social agents that provided platform on which conversation could take place.
The moments of great importance were the once that the beings responded and interacted with each other, and finally worked together towards a particular happening. As the British Socio – Anthropologist Alfred Gell highlights, art can blend perfectly with the social anthropology of persons; it can become the motive, which mediates social agency between people and objects, and people among them via the objects.
I realised that Process is a really important element of my own work. I became particularly interested in the idea that an objet a ‘thing’ can transform into a ‘being’. Looking back in my work I realised that the objects stop being simple ‘things’ at the very moment that my body selects interacts and collaborates with them (Heidegger/ Lacan). At the very moment that each being gives value to another, a new sculptural composition comes to the light (example of objects/beings found at the Sea side).
By integrating the above ideas, I am heading towards the creation of a performativity sculpture (example1). In the book Emancipated Spectator, Jackques Ranciere, quotes that the opposition of active and passive is riddled with presuppositions about looking and knowing, watching and acting, appearance and reality (2005, p16).
Two qualities that I pointed out from the procedure are balance and tension. Each being is responsible to keep all the other objects/beings together. In all my pieces I am trying to push the boundaries of my self and challenge my body’s restrictions. That is the reason why tension and balance are quite obvious in a lot of the pieces. As soon as my body stops being active the sculpture falls apart (example).
The performances vary in duration; some of them for example last from 2 -3 minutes and others more than 7 minutes. The ‘durational sculptures’ are changing every minute according to both my physical restrictions but also while attempting to change the shape of the sculpture. I preserve the sculptures existence via the use of photography and video. The photographs capture only a small fragment, the ‘apex of the moment’ whereas the video manages to preserve a couple of minutes more.
Through my blog I have tried to illustrate my step-to-step methodological approach in my work. By testing, experimenting with different materials (example), and reflecting more critically on my outcomes, highlighting the strengths and embracing any problems, challenges or failures arisen.
In addition I found myself taking more initiations that provoke social happenings like for example the primary school project (example), and RAUM Gallery. Raum Gallery is an artist run project space that collaborates with students and emerging artists to provide an area of exchange inside the realms of the UAL University environment. Our Gallery was hosting a series of weekly Events (Group or Solo Exhibitions) that are organized, curated and promoted by a colleague of mine and myself.
I took this opportunity to expand and further develop my:
1. organization skills,
2. my graphic design skills (example – though the generation of posters / image posts / exhibition description handouts),
3. my communication skills, through a) the generation of posts in both Instagram & Facebook, b) the creation of video documentation which was later edited by Donald, c) the weekly interaction with artist and students around the gallery space.