Exploring Installation Art
Post Experiment in Installation Notes.
Part of this challenge was to occupy the space rather than fill the space. As you can see, I had a difficult time overcoming my impulse to fill and cover the space.
This was an experiment in redirecting my mental process from painting on a two dimensional surface to working in space. I’m doing this in baby steps, slowly coming off the wall. There is no hurry for me to leave the wall and if these experiments all end as failures, I will not have failed in learning through their creation.
I revised this particular piece 4 times and I’m starting to see the process of installation art a lot like the forming of objects out of clay only to ball it all up again and form it into new objects, repeating this over and over. The process is my discovery of what I can pull out of myself.
The images and elements that suggest a narrative are biographical, but apply to everyone. They reference the ephemeral nature of life and its moments. The delicate glassine paper lends itself to the delicate nature of the fleeting moments. Cutting the paper free hand with a loose razor blade was incredibly rewarding and held me in the moment, or maybe outside of time. It would have been interesting to have documented the act of cutting the paper, letting the loose ends fall limp and the circles float to the floor.
I combined old elements I have obsessed about before. The Oil Refineries from Commerce City, figures in a setting, motherhood and the modern world, children (alluding to raising children in an uncertain world), coping with lack of control, focusing on the moment. How do I, as artist and mother, cope with these things? How do I use the things I cherish and the skills I have to possibly affect any change for the better?
Perception. Reality is perception. Art has the power to alter perception.
I use my formal foundation to begin all my projects. Composition has always been my first concern and now it is built into my muscle memory. I also played with the conventions of perception of meaning in objects as real vs. not real in this installation experiment. Placing flat circles or dots irreverently on top of paintings, drawings, the wall, the paper, behind these objects as well, asks the viewer to shift back and forth between perceiving symbol and meaning.
I question whether or not my use of motherhood and children is too difficult to relate to for people who are not mothers or people who don’t have kids or who don’t care for kids. What bothers me is that rather than relate to the piece as remembering childhood to relate to the piece, some people might fixate on their non-parent status, and this way not relate to the work.
It was edifying to watch people poke around and investigate this installation. I was surprised at how close in people got and how some even lifted back the limp pieces of paper to see obscured images. I keep using the word limp to talk about the phallic shapes that are cut out of the paper. They are meant to mirror the very phallic shapes of the oil refinery smoke stacks, which are easily then suggesting exploitation and even rape of Earth. I’ve thought about creating a performance based on this idea, but think maybe it’s too cliche. Plus, I have a very strong interest in creating works that focus on uplifting and inspiring people, not in a Rococo sort of way, but in a…. sacred way? (words, words, words…. lack of words)
I just remembered, I had a dream last night that I met a little girl named Earth. We were playing in a swimming pool together. Which reminds me, I have some gorgeous photos that I took this summer of children swimming and have been meaning to use them in some future project, which brings me to thoughts considering my next project! October 14th is the date of my next critique (this is an extra critique that I just signed up for in addition to my others since there were some spots available. I’ve reserved the installation space in the studio to work with for this date and the week prior).
For the next experiment I want to:
-focus on efficiently activating/occupying the space rather than filling it
-invite some interactivity, investigation, a mystery and reward experience
Artists I am looking at: