What is it about making contemporary art and photography that compels some to produce and destroy their works to improve their reception by others? I guess there is something of a trend as with clothing and furniture that can be bought new but with a deliberate distressed effects.
Is it pushing the boundaries to see how far one can go with being accepted in society or is it to do with casting the views of others aside with an attitude of not caring less what others make of it?
Visiting Unseen in Amsterdam in 2017, the Shape of Light at the Tate Modern 2018 and PhotoLondon in 2018 has begun to challenge some of my previous thoughts about abstract work. Not understanding what some have tried to say with their work I have been hasty to dismiss it as possibly infantile and therefore futile. Through studying I am more prepared to try to understand what a piece is about and why it may be heralded as something wonderful by others.
So does that mean such works can only be fully appreciated through acquiring knowledge? If that is the case the phrase ‘art lovers’ becomes circular and applicable to an exclusive section of society and excludes others who may have limited opportunities for access and exposure.
There is however a certain aesthetic appeal combined with intrigue as to the making and meaning that draws one into an image. Among those I am studying are Daisuke Yokota, Maya Rochat, Paul Kenny, Laura Nissinen and Matt Collishaw. It is not that I am planning a lot of destruction. I may try sea water with some of the items I find and some of the images I make. My materials are already in part or whole destroyed through damage and/or deterioration. I just need to explore what people have done before in order to stimulate my thinking and inspiration for my future work. As Welby Ings recommended in his 2014 lecture paraphrasing Keats, dwell in the space of unknowing…as a way of finding fertile ground. In this way I aim to allow myself to explore and experiment with methodologies for creation and ways of presenting images, continuing to build the confidence I have been developing during the Surfaces and Strategies module.
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