In Frame Visual Arts Issue 6

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An audience, as evidenced in the documentary images, that often smiles back. It is necessary to consider this captured amusement alongside possible alienation effects, but also as a representation in a long history of avant-garde institutional critique that may actually delight, rather than insight the institutions and individuals targeted or in question.

Experiences, I argue, that may interpellate other more diverse political subjects, and represent more complex implications for such events and disturbances. For example, the subsequent delight and possible anxiety of the black middle-class subject, to which her speech is actually targeted in her frightening iteration of the debutante ball participant. This outdoor environment, en route through a predominantly black community represented the political and communal arenas in which to recoup a collective history of elision and to imagine its revision.

These alien geniuses, like pre-established avant-garde creative producers, are said to exist on the fringes, tapping into a range of under-explored possibilities for radical substance, textuality and existence read survival. This, of course, is all part of the labor women identified artists in particular perform in the process of becoming art. Rather than an inherently negative occupational hazard, alien existence and alienation instead should be considered as generative sites for creative existence and survival.

A site from which oppositional imaginings take shape and flourish. What makes it performance art? And what or who counts? Performance art and the art of performance, thus, must continually be rewritten prior to its art world historiography of a limited white and male dominated cannon—it must come to terms with its alien avant-garde.

Summer Verso: New York, Online Access. May 9, Becker explores and analyzes the cooperative networks of art world participants, performers, dealers, critics, consumers, and artists that constitute a work of art. Durham: Duke University Press, The chrysanthemum whip recalls the historical suppression of black creativity—the enduring practice of mass enslavement and violent labor exploitation.

Hundreds of scholars since have taken up his challenge and have expanded his work to include theories and strategies for engaging specifically raced and gendered performances as well. The work of scholars such as Elin Diamond, Daphne Brooks, Dorinne Kondo, and Amelia Jones in particular, has been profoundly influential in the development of this essay as well as the larger project from which it emerges:. London: Routledge, Dorinne Kondo. Amelia Jones eds. Amelia Jones. London: Routledge.

Unmarked: The Politics of Performance. New York: Routledge, A process of becoming that McMillan terms performing objecthood. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Audience Participation , London: Praeger , p. The latter is a more retrospective response in which thoughts and choices between actions are considered with a view to improving effectiveness in future situations. This is a more critical and theoretical stance. One needs to value both types of reflection as the con- struction of a relationship between the two is a necessary aspect of being a reflective practitioner.

Such notions call into question traditional concepts of professional knowledge. Often, an outstanding practitioner in any field is defined not by the extent of their explicit, professional knowledge, but by qualities of wisdom, talent, intuition and artistry. It is interesting that such terms are often used to define phenomena which elude conventional strategies of explanation. As such they also elude conventional strategies of measure- ment and quantification. Careful reflection does not keep means and ends separate but enables one to define them interactively in response to a problematic situation.

This type of thinking and problem solving is often alluded to but less explained, as a crucial approach to knowledge and skill acquisition. It can be seen as a critique of prevailing, traditional hierarchies of knowledge where general, theoretical, propositional knowledge has enjoyed a privileged position as against a more problem solving, speculative and ontological type of knowl- edge where the mode of being or thinking is more intuitive than deductive. The operation of such creative artistry would seem particularly apposite to the practice of many different types of artist.

He cites jazz improvisation and conversation as evidencing this collec- tive and sometimes singular mode of improvisation. He discusses intuition as being more than unconscious tacit understanding and knowledge, but also to do with the faculty by which one is open to a dif- ferent flow of events or alternative ways of working. There is also a connection with processes of learning here. Michael Eraut, in Atkinson and Claxton contrasts modes of learning which are explicit and conscious with those which are implicit and more intuitive. These seem to me to be subtly related.

For example, you can be reading a textbook and quite consciously taking notes but the actual import of that text may only come later on when you are thinking about it at leisure. Among them are qualities of expertise, implicit learning, judgement, sensitivity, creativity and rumination.

In looking closely at the work of artists I think it is possible to recognize how these attributes can characterize their working procedures so I will go on to. The tacit artistry of implicit learning I think that both explicit and implicit modes of learning act upon each other and that both enable us to acquire knowledge that is not always manifested at the time, and that we are not always completely aware of acquiring? Katz, for example, talks about learning to make work over a period of time Sylvester The idea of performance is the other key aspect of the Katzian project.

Such works demonstrate how Katz achieves a distancing strategy by means of the progressive development of the image into sketch, then drawing, then cartoon and finally into the painting. In the work of Katz, the tacit expertise is expressed in the temporal but very deliberate process of making, the development of various studies over time so that enough information is collected for a definitive final performance.

Katz is preoccupied with problems of style and performance. He has a concern with the flatness and objecthood of a painting, and with the potential repertoire of marks and possibilities which goes into the making process. Katz explains how with. Sylvester The whole process is conceptualized beforehand. The subject material is transferred to the final canvas and the preparations are made for the final performance. In this way figures and objects are extracted from everyday existence, transmuted through the sketches and preparatory studies and then transformed into the artificial, simulated life of art.

The expertise of the painting procedure Some commentators have compared the distancing and artificiality in Katz with the Mannerist style of the sixteenth-century painters like Bronzino, Pontormo and Giulio Romano. Oliva describes the typical detachment of this style as not an outcome of a process but rather as the process in itself Oliva The concept of maniera was originally developed from a literature of man- ners in the Renaissance and was used to define a way of living which was cultured and refined, almost an artwork in itself.

This aspect can be plainly seen in paintings like the Katz Black Scarf of Figure 1 and, for example, a Bronzino portrait like that of Eleonora of Toledo with her son Giovanni de Medici of c. Every formal aspect is articulated across the respective surfaces which act like mirrors for our sensibilities. The painters have ensured that nothing is allowed to distract us from the evident beauty of their stylistic transformations.

With the Bronzino it is the richness and complexity of pattern and line which is being demonstrated while the Katz focuses upon subtle gradations of tone and colour.

What are the frames?

The conscious creation of documentation can be com- pared with the act of autobiography, which involves the attempt to control. At its worst, the ARTnews series romanticized the creative act, so giving yet another breathless account of the intuitive, inspired or tortured genius. Which matchings activity they provide depends on the faculty and programme. Unlike the thematic focused interview, or the monographic text, life histories provide individuals with a discursive space in which to construct their tales of identity and reflect on how this was achieved both psychologically and socially. It takes the dark canvas and splashes it with light and color, creating the journey it needs.

For example, in the Black Scarf there is a careful loading of different brushes with grey and white paint and caressing of these onto the surface with one continuous move- ment, from top of head to where it fades out at top of collar. Also, where the paint amounts are carefully judged to run out at a precise moment and place. In re-running an imaginary video one might detect one or two broad wedged brushes loaded with pigment being traced downwards in three or four strokes and on top of the wet black underpainting below.

In this performance it is perhaps the quality of improvisation which con- nect with the idea of implicit learning, where expertise is acquired by non- conscious, non-conceptual means by the manipulation of tools, materials and media. Katz attempts to describe this process in different ways. Katz identifies the importance of working with aspects or entities which are unknown, and to leave oneself open to this as a new way of working can result.

I like to open up and let any- thing happen and then try to figure out what happened. The process of improvisation enables the painter to short circuit pre- conceptions in the attempt to keep an image fresh and alive, and in order not to be circumscribed by previous solutions. Then, it is to the more implicit framework of knowledge and intuitive expertise to which the painter must return. The expertise of the procedure is located in the balance between the process of planning and intuitive action.

Katz again notes the importance of conscious and unconscious cognitive processes working in tandem. But when you paint, the performance part, you have to let your conscious mind go and float. You may know what colour is going on top of what colour but the marks you make have to come out of your unconscious… Brehm in Katz It is precisely because of the amount of preparation that Katz is able to make, that the final performance can be an intuitive and spontaneous exer- cise.

The statement implies that the pre-planning process enables the final performance to be freer, even a more unconscious and liberating experi- ence. That the paintings actually have to do with seeing. Katz talks about the primacy of the optical element of making and seeing.

Brehm argues that there is a lack of congruence between the original image and final painting which renders the act of seeing a more conscious one. This further implies that the act of transformation, in itself, is of vital importance, a progressive curve on the way to a definitive final performance. The distance traversed between the different stages of image making also enables Katz to work through any emotional attachment he has to the subject material so that the final work can be made in a more meditative and detached spirit.

There is often a disjunction between the perceived image, the planned stages and the final piece. The hand and mind of the painter intervene in conscious and unconscious ways. Despite their genesis in reality the pictures are defined more by the way they are made, by their stylistic attributes. This seems to indicate what Katz means when he talks about wanting style to take the place of content.

Conclusion I would argue that it is important for the contemporary artist to be able to acknowledge the often tacit nature of what they do. This runs contrary to the traditional position of artistic practices being largely hidden and unac- knowledged because of a resistance to theory and explanation. Esser-Hall for example argues that,. Theory is perceived as relating to practice as the rigid to the freeflow, the constructed to the playful, the prescriptive to the creative — almost as captivity to freedom.

Esser-Hall It is time that these rather simplistic binary oppositions were challenged. The making explicit by the artist of their particular position or mode of prac- tice is helpful in the way that practice can be defined, positioned and con- textualized. Why is this of critical importance? This is mirrored by the burgeoning of creative and practice-based MA and Ph. If we accept the idea of the artist as a reflective practitioner then part of that process is a willingness to articulate the tacit and more unacknowl- edged aspects of practice. This involves a self-conscious reflexivity and acute awareness of procedure similar to that demonstrated by artists like Katz and Francis Bacon before him.

It is in this articulation of practice that the processes and findings of artistic research can be analysed and understood. Of course it might be argued that the artistic endeavour is essentially a soli- tary one. As MacNiff argues,. I have generally found that a heuristic approach to research benefits from being tempered with an orientation to other people, the medium of expres- sion, and the objective properties of the process of creation. I have discovered. MacNiff I think that developing and sharing knowledge about the complicated processes of making art must inevitably lead to a more enlightened grasp, understanding and encouragement of the artist in contemporary society.

Thus, the common multiplicity of roles assumed by the artist, for example, as curator or teacher, should have greater acknowledgement and lead to an enhanced sense of the worth of art in our society. A more effective articulation of practice can enable the subsequent rela- tionship between artist, artwork and viewer to become closer.

The question for us, as artist practitioners, is not about the worth or value of articulating our practice but to consider how we can achieve an ever increasing clarity of utterance. References Atkinson, T. Brehm, M. Carr, W. Cohen, L. Collings, M. Dunton, C. Esser-Hall, G. Graham-Dixon, A. MacLeod, K. MacNiff, S. Oliva, A. Podro, M. Shearman, J. Schon, D. Soanes, C. Sylvester, D. Thornton, A.

Suggested citation Jarvis, M. Contributor details Michael Jarvis is an artist, writer and lecturer. He works at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne where he contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Teacher Education and Fine Art. Currently he is studying for a Ph. E-mail: Mike. Jarvis unn. E-mail: michael jarvis Abstract Keywords Between and , ARTnews in the United States included a series that art history focused on a particular contemporary artist who was interviewed while making creative process an artwork.

Hess and Irving Sandler. The format enabled the artist and commentator to talk about a particular work in terms of its aims, theme, preoccupations and interpretations, and for the commentator to provide not only a formal analysis, but also to describe some of the decision-making processes of the artist — why the artist had made a particular decision and rejected other alternatives, and to what effect.

The overall result was to create a series that gave a reasonably intimate insight into the everyday creative processes of artists in the United States in the early to late s.

The Frames

Rather than romanticizing the creative act, so giving yet another breathless account of the intuitive, inspired or tortured genius, the making of art is demystified by an openness about the making process, and a making explicit of what is usually tacit knowledge. Any creative practice involves knowledge and experience that develop through an engagement with the activity. Many artists,. The artwork was seldom presented, let alone understood, as a work that grew out of a frequently fraught decision- making process involving ideas, materials, physical manipulation, tech- niques, skills and judgement.

Rather it had, supposedly, suddenly appeared, to recall J. All we saw is what the artist did — the outcome. Even when those labours were captured on film — recordings of artists including Matisse himself and, later, Jackson Pollock are well-known examples — this did little to help an understanding of the creative process which still appeared opaque: we saw what the artist was doing, and how he was doing it, but why particular deci- sions were made rather than others remained incomprehensible to most.

Seeing Pollock ducking and diving around his floored canvas, jabbing and lunging with paint-filled brushes and sticks, may have made aspects of the creative process visible, but it did not necessarily make it understandable. We had little or no access to why. Today, it is still rare to see art works as other than the outcome of a hid- den process. This is, in my view, regrettable because it perpetuates the mys- tique of art, and keeps an unnecessary distance between creative practitioners and their audience.

It enriches our understanding not only of particular art works, but also of creativity in general. The opportunity for insight and under- standing is significantly increased when we are not just a silent observer, but an informed one, and this requires a spoken or written commentary by either the artist or an interviewer, so that seeing what and how is supple- mented by seeing why.

One of the most impressive examples to date of seeing what, how and why was provided by an irregular series that ran in the American art maga- zine ARTnews between and There were 28 articles in total, with three-quarters of them in the three-year period — Each article focused on a particular contemporary artist who was interviewed while making an art work.

Occasionally an artist was the interviewer: Elaine de Kooning wrote three articles, and Fairfield Porter, responsible for six of the articles, was himself a painter and the subject of an article. Photographs of the art work in progress and the artist at work were taken by photographers attuned to. The format comprised about 3, words text and captions, and about a dozen photos, including a colour illustration of the finished art work under discussion. This format enabled the commentator and artist to talk about a particular work in terms of its aims, theme and interpretations, and for the commen- tator to provide not just a visual analysis, but also to describe some of the decision-making processes of the artist — why the artist had made a particular decision and rejected other alternatives, and to what effect.

One particular set of photos that accompanied an ARTnews article has been reproduced several times and has become well known in its own right. Most monographs on de Kooning for example, Hess illustrations —2, —7; and Waldman 88—89 reproduce the six illustrations of the stages of the development of Woman 1 between and to demon- strate the notion of spontaneous and unpremeditated creativity as a key ingredient of Abstract Expressionism. Others in the series are limited by either too formalist an analysis e.

Seckler , on Stuart Davis ; the parochialism of the art e. Porter , on Jane Freilicher or the pretentiousness of the writing e. In this article, I am going to provide an overview of the scope of the arti- cle and emphasize some of the main points as representative of the ARTnews approach. The article on Rivers included fourteen illustrations, with the main art work in colour. What the viewer gained from these photographs is some sense of the environment in which Rivers worked, from the dimen- sions of a sketch and painting, to the size of the studio, and something of the process in terms of the importance of sketches and parallel material — all, I would argue, relevant contextual information.

Nothing better illustrates the idea that a painting evolves than this set of photographs although, as the text discusses, that evolution is far from steady and predictable. The third page is the final page to include multiple photographs. The four illustrations include the artist at work; a photograph of Berdie; an early drawing and an intermediate stage of the painting. The final illustration appears on the next page and is a colour plate of the finished Portrait of Berdie I, Figure 4. If the photographs are useful for certain types of information, the text in the article opens up a range of possibilities for understanding.

The second paragraph continues with bio- graphical information: that Rivers moved to Southampton, Long Island, in May and worked on sculpture, outdoors; and that he rented a garage near his house and converted it into the makeshift studio, illustrated in the article. This underlines that no one is claiming a masterpiece in the making, but a more modest approach to creating a painting which is, again, different from the usual claims made by critics in essays in terms of significant works.

The process is described in some detail:. When he draws, Rivers rubs out a great deal; about as much time is spent on erasing as on making marks. Next he laid in colour in thin washes. On the work table were several cans of turpentine and one of raw linseed oil, in order to make sure to get his brushes clean between colours, although he finds some dirtiness is useful as a way of continuing and unifying colours from one area to another. He kept pounds of rags under the table to wipe out colours. This makes for a similarity to pastel: the colour that is wiped out has partly stained the canvas already, and therefore it remains under succeeding colours.

Porter Porter tells us that Rivers then started another painting of the same sub- ject. Porter is convey- ing a sense of the artist making decisions, tentative decisions and ones that are sometimes reversed. One of the most revealing passages is an utterance by Rivers about the relationship between newness and familiarity:.

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This is pleasurable. These feelings sometimes are enough to make the artist feel that he has done something. Another approach comes out of a certain familiarity. Through familiarity the artist comes to something that he has not previously expressed, like the difference between a one-night stand with someone, where the evening is full of new and interesting relationships, or something that comes out of knowing someone for a long time, that seems to be more sus- taining….

I think one has greater art who seems to have even more than he has shown, not who has shown most that he has. The second para- graph on page 81 changes back to the work in progress:. After considering it, Rivers erased the whole charcoal sketch on the second canvas. He drew two ovals for two faces. I drew more natu- ralistically before, but now it has gotten to be something else.

Here we have a description of the process, with a description of what and how the artist is doing but, more importantly, why he is doing it. Rivers is able to articulate and explain his decision-making process, and his rationale. I wanted to find some method that would relieve me from the tension that comes from trying to decide what the picture is: to give the meanings of specific things I know, in a way that has nothing to do in a big sense with painting, but allows me to exercise enjoyment in painting and drawing, yet in a way removed form the magic of art.

Details help me forget that big sense of the painting. However, the details could present their own problems. The combination in the article of what, how and why —. The next four paragraphs address problems arising in the paintings, such as the size of the head, and how Rivers dealt with it.

In order to move forward with the paintings, Rivers went back to the model and did some studies, some of which were detailed, and some others explored different poses. The colours of the second painting were erased, and the first paint- ing was repainted. This helps the viewer see what is going on in the painting, and how Rivers achieves his style. Two paragraphs later, the focus moves out to Rivers reflecting on his own values and temperament:.

I have the moral idea that nothing easy can be good, at least for myself. I feel guilty about blankness on the canvas; unable to accept it — I have to force a thing to go on to something else. That accepting of the first strokes of a thing is an admission of a certain kind of character trait… there have been masters who have been able to do portraits in an hour and a half — the idea of virtuosity. Though I feel that I have some of this myself, it is meaningless. Why be a virtuoso? For whom and for what reason?

It is thrilling to have to go through many possibilities before I can accept anything… Though all may be equally good, all places, I have to have tried them before I can say any- thing is OK. This is the tone of an artist thinking and conversing informally with guards down, rather than issuing a carefully worded statement, that retrospectively makes sense of his practice. The rationale underpinning his aesthetic is continued in the next para- graph. The way he achieved the effect is a good. Decisions to do with visual balance could also have psychological implications.

According to Rivers,. As a non-driver is amazed at the number of aspects a driver has simultane- ously to co-ordinate, so too the viewer could only be impressed at the way an artist has to balance so many diverse matters during the making of an art work. The balancing act may not always lead to resolution:. Returning to the development of the canvases, Porter describes compo- sitional adjustments made by Rivers. He started to make a series of sketches of the whole figure, from the paint- ings, as if to get an understanding of what the painting was or could be.

They were on canvas, mostly about 18 by 12 inches. The idea of wholeness predom- inated. In two days, he started and went back to about six of these sketches…. To him, each sketch was valuable as a different organizational interpretation. One could be considered a block before an arc, another a variation on dotted- ness, another a composition between two vertical parallels, or between angles. He also spent a day considering whether to start a third canvas, but eventually decided against it. It is not that I have to know what I am doing every single.

A final decision Rivers had to make was which work would be reproduced in colour for the magazine. Most spectators were probably more likely to have selected the second painting because of its more conventionally unified surface and higher degree of finish. Yet I would argue that the approach of the ARTnews series as a whole has value that is lasting because it is generalizable. When one takes away the historically specific content and examines the series as an approach, there is much to recommend it. The range an article covers is impressive. The photographs play a key role in illustrating the working environ- ment, the artist at work and the stages of the decision-making process in the evolution of the paintings.

Description, analysis, interpretation and evaluation combine to give a rich insight into the evolution of an art work, revealing what is usually tacit knowledge and, most significantly, adding the dimension of why, to the usual realm of what, and the occasionally available how. This was an innovative approach; it remains so. Normally, even habitu- ally, we have statements by the artist for a catalogue or book, generally writ- ten with an eye on positioning the artist in relation to the contemporary scene and historical longevity.

Or we have interviews with the artist, detached in time and space from the decision-making process. Even further removed from the material process are the commentaries and essays writ- ten by critics and historians. These are, of course, all valuable and con- tribute to cultural knowledge and understanding, but they are different from the ARTnews approach.

It is in this sense that the approach is still valid today.

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Of course, any statement by an artist of what he or she is doing must be treated with cau- tion. Whether he is right or wrong, in part or whole, it also reminds me that art his- torians have no monopoly of interpretation, and that many of our concerns may be driven more by the internal dynamics of our industry than by acts of hard looking and intellectual adventure.

Kemp No account is neutral or objective, and it is important to get a range of dif- ferent types of perspective. I would argue that the most neglected perspec- tive, because it is often inaccessible and apparently mysterious, is the decision-making process. At its worst, the ARTnews series romanticized the creative act, so giving yet another breathless account of the intuitive, inspired or tortured genius. At its best, the producing of art was demysti- fied by an openness about the creative process, and a making explicit of what is usually tacit knowledge.

Now, at a time when so much art writing is difficult to distinguish from press releases, the ARTnews approach is. There is still a danger of this, as the de Kooning piece demonstrates, but it is generally less likely because the creation of an artwork is brought far more down to earth — the work observed may be mediocre, finished but unresolved.

And then it correlates with something I see and then I start out empirically and optically. I think with painting you have the opportunity to go inside yourself and find your uncon- scious intelligence or your non-verbal intelligence and your non-verbal sensi- bility and your non-verbal being in a sense. And you alternate between consciousness and unconsciousness and it can engage much more of you than if you just merely took an idea and executed it. Katz Whatever the term employed, what he is alluding to is a decision- making process that ensures the right sort of outcome as opposed to a mere illustration of an idea that someone without experience, skill, exper- tise etc.

When it was successful, the ARTnews series was an approach that gave us some insight into creative intelligence. The ARTnews approach could and, I would argue, should be revisited, tech- nologically updated and utilized to help us stand the creative process so we are less bedazzled by hype and mythologizing. References de Kooning, Willem et al. Chipp ed. Hess, Thomas B. Katz, Alex , in David Sylvester ed. Whistler, J. Suggested citation Whiteley, N. E-mail: n. Abstract Keywords The article reflects upon the visual practice of the author.

Special con- sideration is given to the hallucinatory quality of the work and the role of repeti- tion with regard to the performative constitution of the viewing subject. This is equally true, whether post-production relates to the practice of theory or artistic practice, but ideally both. Post-production or how pictures come to life or play dead1 The following article is based on a presentation given at the Estudios 1. The exhibition took place in April pp.

Foucault, Michel, is a post facto reflection on and documentation of this hitherto largely prag- Language, Counter- Memory, Practice: matic part of my practice. The theoretical thrust of post-production Selected Essays and becomes part of an ongoing practice and will feed into future work. The Interviews, Oxford: interrelationship between theory and practice as once described by Deleuze Basil Blackwell, , p.

In an article British philosopher Nicholas pp. Davey has taken up the challenge of the two, often opposing, camps. Although he refers less to the process of artistic production 6. On the one hand, London and New York: there is a hermeneutic interpretive element in aesthetic experience that Routledge, , p.

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See also Judith be linked to performativity. Citationality New York and London: Routledge, Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter: On the Therefore, there is the necessity to reflect on the specific codes and conven- Discursive Limits of tions that a particular practice enacts performatively. In my own example, Sex, p. Georges Didi- visual culture and the way in which my prints occupy the gallery space.

Visual culture is the point of reference Abdrucks, Cologne: Dumont, , p. At the same time, printmaking, as a technical art form characterized by reproducibility, is closely affiliated with While one of the oldest of the tech- in postmodern nologies of mediatization, it continues to play a cultural role, despite the practice, and more fact that newer modes of visualization typified by digital technologies now recently, with the arrival and complement and even supplant it.

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Artists in the last forty or more years incorporation of have utilized print processes to comment on the explosive mediatization of digital means, must the visual after the Second World War, coupled with the spectacle of com- due to space constraints remain modity production, as theorized, for example, by Guy Debord. This trend is unexplored here. While not wishing to suggest an essentialist Conference at Tate Britain, in Summer notion of a medium, the role, in art, of print practices is vital.

In German, the word Technik encompasses both the Their respective cultural significations could be said to be culture has been played out in artistic print through a tension between touch and surface. It refers to the signifiers of techno- logical mass modes of production, or reproducibility. Individual artistic expression and its signifiers, such as the facture, have traditionally connoted authenticity, originality and the real.

Emphasis on the surface implies the superficial, the artificial and the spectacle. In this way, varying codes are generated which in their turn are repro- duced in numerous and potentially infinite configurations Figure 3. I would argue that the tensions inherent in print as an artistic and cultural practice with their powerful cultural connotations between surface and touch are enacted in my work through the citational modus of the seem- ingly uniquely expressive and authentic.

The hallucinatory and kinaesthetic effect achieved through repetition can be argued to mirror the function. The performativity of installation I now turn to a discussion of the installation of my exhibition. What cultural modes of signification are cited or per- formatively enacted? Gallery My chosen exhibition space was the Galerie Zement in Frankfurt. A former industrial print workshop, this space is now used as a studio by a painter and an animator who also both organize and curate the exhibitions. The space is on these occasions turned into a gallery. Unlike in their earlier phase in the s, when artist-run spaces constituted a crucial element in the institutional critique and commodification of art, they now have to func- tion in a more competitive, enterprise-oriented environment for artists.

In light of the ambiguous and temporary character of such artist-run spaces, the notion of performativity seems especially apt. But per- formativity understood in a more narrow sense is an inbuilt feature of my work. Mine are mainly conceived as multiples or as a series specifically designed to derive their appearance from the chosen site.

Since minimalism,. This is a narrower tual genesis and theoretical problemat- reading of the term as is often currently the case. Instead of site specificity ics of the term, an as pertaining to a specific physical location, it now more usually implies examination of which work that occupies a broadly cultural space, such as a shopping mall or has recently been undertaken by various other public location.

Zement collided with the subtlety of the prints themselves. The work, there- fore, could be said to demand the features and rhetoric of the white cube. All the elements, such as heavy electronic surface wiring, rough and dirty stonework, and two rows of striking heating pipes, conspired to create a form of visual noise. Instead of treating this visual noise merely as a distur- bance, a performative hitch, the major interruptions were eliminated.

For example, the horizontal line of surface wiring on the upper part of a wall, ending two-thirds along the wall, was used as the reference point for the format of the work White on White Figure 4. The par- ticular pattern of White on White was, as the title suggests, printed in subtle white and off-white tones, arranged in a vertical, continuous row. The sheets were hung flush with the wall, following its line to floor level and then extended in a rectangular angle out onto the floor into the space. The uppermost horizontal edge of the sheets paralleled the wiring above it.

Its right-hand top corner was aligned with the wiring where the cable disap- peared into the wall. The disturbance of the wiring was integrated, yet it also conflicted with the work. Similarly, two rows of strikingly shaped grey. This large wall piece with a surface area of cm in width and cm in length consisted of twelve repeat sheets and was printed with a similar yet different pattern from White on White.

Aligned at its upper boundary with a pipe running below the ceiling, the sheets adhered to the wall and then loosely curved around the back of the pipes to emerge underneath them into the floor space Figure 5. Noise as excess of information — in the more general sense — is com- mented upon by Mark C. When information becomes the noise that. Mark C. Lines of separation become perme- able membranes where transgression is not only possible but unavoidable….

As these polarities between order — disorder, organization — disorganization, form — chaos slip and slide, they eventually reverse themselves to disclose the specter of dynamics that appear to be fluid. The workspace with its affili- ated connotations of honesty, reality and workmanship conflicted with the supposedly neutral white cube with its affinity with the spectacle. The codings of the white cube which separate the gallery space from ordi- nary architecture then become key to mark this citation as a citation.

Alex Potts in his study on the historical continuities between sculpture and installation has said:. Potts, p. The Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi: Sage exhibition at Zement had aspects that are already existent in classical sculp- Publications, , ture as well as in installation as suggested by Potts.

This is to do with the pp. The boundaries of what constitutes the work and the space overlap and may even collide. In addition to this general feature of installation, the hailing or constitu- tion of the viewer was played out in the exhibition at the Zement Gallery in a specific way.

This is because my pieces had a hallucinatory quality. In the two large wall pieces, White on White and Grey on Grey, this quality was achieved by printing in duotone colours. The result was that background and pattern are not visible in one glance. The piece consists of nine Perspex panels each measuring 71 cm x 71 cm , which were hung in a row. The position of the screen-printed pattern that was repeated on each of the panels shifts from one panel to the next.

The strength and hue of the semi-transparent colour also vary slightly. The effect of the hung piece was that the swirl of linear marks that appeared to the viewer seemed, at first, to consist of a chaotic mass Figure 8. Figure 8: Virtual 9, detail, screenprint on nine perspex panels, overall dimen- sion 71 x 71 x cm, Only from a certain position, when the viewer positioned himself or her- self at a particular distance from the work, did a relatively stable image, extending deep into space, gradually appears Figure 9.

Apprehension in these works is problematized; its performative nature becomes obvious due to the difficulties the viewer experiences. Figure 9: Virtual 9, installation view, screenprint on nine perspex panels, overall dimension 71 x 71 x cm, The disorienting, if pleasurable, effect of the work also alludes to the rela- Fundamental to achieving a hallucinatory effect is the use of serial rep- Briony Fer in an essay on female artists of the s Hesse, She also comments on how such art Rather pasted right along one wall the width of the than a sign for its surroundings, camouflage acts as a negative signifier, a block can also be sign of non-being, which effaces rather than produces connotational value.

The colour scheme extends the play on the work as Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz Publishers, being identical with the wall, being an addition or even an adornment, or , p. The most basic interference Grey could be considered its archetypal colour. The colour scheme in both White on White and Grey on Grey makes refer- ence to this. As Alex Potts has said of installa- tion art and its relationship to the viewer:. Installation has become part of the general fabric of things in contemporary culture, and in a way, art feeds on this situation … lulling us into mesmerized.

In this way, such work — instead of being wholly entrenched in the specta- cle, or totally resisting it — can be shown to have relevance within a broader cultural context. The concept of performativity has been deployed to trace the cultural significations of the medium, the exhibition venue, the particular works in the exhibition and the place of the viewer. Special consideration was given to the hallucinatory quality of the work and the role of repetition with regard to the performative constitu- tion of the viewing subject.

In this way, the work is deemed to function as participating in as well as resisting the wider cultural trend of spectacular commodity production and consumption. It is suggested that the insights gained through such theoretically inflected documentation or post-produc- tion become foundational for further practice, both for other artists and myself.

This is equally true, whether post-production relates to the practice of theory or artistic practice, ideally both. In a future article, I plan to inves- tigate the particular way in which post-production feeds into production both theoretically and practically. Buchloh, B. Taylor, Mark C. Suggested citation Pelzer-Montada, R. He is completing a practice-led Ph. Abstract Keywords The following artists pages reproduce five paintings made by Andrew Grassie Documentation between —7. They have been selected by the artist and the editors to demon- Painting strate how the documenting of a work of art can become the subject of a work itself.

I will attempt to explain how this has come about and what implications there may be. From my initial awareness of becoming the narrator of my own story, of standing back and painting myself painting, to the creation of implausible exhibi- tions that never actually existed. I hope to examine how the actual media and tech- nique of working closely from a photographic source correlates to this detachment and comments on the artwork itself. Courtesy of Maureen Paley. Suggested citation Grassie, A. Contributor detail Andrew Grassie was educated at St. We imagined what the space would look like in the production of some as yet unidentifiable art work which we would have liked to have been making.

This was not straightfor- ward though. We were aware that by documenting the process we were putting it somewhere which might stop us from being able to consider it still as acting. By framing it, we were of course freezing it, and making it into art. Although we took the usual huge amount of photos of the process the only photos that meant anything to us were the ones we were tightly framing.

So, after initially just taking snaps of the process we decided to get more.

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We made a number of sets in this way and found the three shown here to be the most interesting for us. A piece of work made six years later by myself and Steve Swindells goes into the matter further. The Text was installed as a large solid block of text on both occasions, making it awkward to read. The text attempted to address itself as a work in its own right, refusing to be demoted either to the status of reflection or document, or promoted to the status of art. It could be said that the aim of both the photographs and the text was to disrupt the relationships between what is supposedly a document, a work, a critical reading, a story or a performance and to address the question of whether any of these classifications are of any use to us whatsoever.

If any- thing, the approach to documentation, be it through a text or an image, was to make another set of relations, which would themselves be in need of documentation at some point further down the line. We write, in the presence of a potential, as it were, of objects of art placed in a gallery, with an over-arching remit which concerns the production of form with uncertain intent; or to be more precise the production of form that is unable to set its sights on anything other than the site of its own production.

Its very performance is under scrutiny from the critically reflective demand of the space and its curator. This compels us to ask something of this division, between the production of form and the production of meaning in respect of what makes art work. We imagine, ini- tially, that the divisions are propositional, for the sake of a moniker per- haps, or to suggest the presence of a critically engaged practice or institution, the assumption being that an exhibition suggests a resolution towards meaning, whereas rejections in the studio intimates practice as something other to meaning.

This would make sense considering the loca- tion of the gallery within an academic institution and an aura it might seek to create. In terms of production, which is the work and where is meaning really situated? After all, is not an exhibition, in terms of artistic practice at least, all about the openness of the work itself and, the work, the labour, of the reader or viewer in interpretation? This resistance is itself made visible with the aid of strategic refusals, one of which is, most crucially, the refusal to exile a profound sense of doubt from the idea of work — so a subtle system of feints hazards a form of existence as work.

We liken this process to collage, where we might meld documentary significance adjacent to the uninformative, deco- rative or fictive. We are interested in the fact that a series of tales and work both may operate in the interstices between reading, looking and listening, which involves not just the production of writing, but also graphic or archi- tectural design and a horizon of modalities that may be quite different to a world of cultural theorizing. In its defence, against accusations of clear intent, the resistance to protocol and closure in the production of tales reveals strange distances, borne out of the process of collage itself.

Instead of opposing this mental aberration, this impossible tension between work as one thing and work as another, we are caught in its cast as it becomes a sacred halo under which we are transfixed. We will never know if we are truly emancipated from the thing to which we are indebted for setting us free.

The obligation to work never ceases its interrogation, its registration of demand: it institutionalizes, professionalizes and rewards its own pursuit with more work. Work works. In contemporary art terms, successful work can range from appearing to disturb or disrupt the norm, shake the masses out of their semi-hypnotized states, critically affect, stir the emotions, send us to sleep, affect social change, affect magic, make money or maintain a cultural hierarchy, amongst a host of other hierarchies.

It is precisely the sensibility of a hobby or interest in relation to work which makes it pleasurable and gives a sense of value to the process.

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The affectation of art as work serves to delineate that which is professional against that which is not, that which is serious against that which is flippant and this delineation is understood through the presence of text, or critical debate. In this case, the signal of the word text tells us that the art is there to be read, like any other sign in the complex web of signs that make up our worlds.

The effect is to legitimatize the untethered effects of the work by framing it within the cupped hands of theoretical critique and thus integrity. This cupping never really allows theory to touch the work but carefully frames it within its protective enclosure, indeed, often in order to protect it from the critical aspects of the very theory by which it seeks to be framed. Victor Burgin amongst others has always maintained this theoretical cupping was subordinate to the demands of the art market. Dutton and Swindells Suggested citation Dutton, S. Contributor details Steve Dutton works as an artist both collaboratively with Swindells and individually.

Tel: E-mail: S.

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Dutton coventry. Abstract Keywords Artists engage in the production of their work through a number of strategies.

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It documentation explores a discussion of three fundamental elements of the photographic image: photography time, space and light. Figure 1: If…Then…Else, silver gelatin photograph, 96cm x cm, We … are animated by a constant fragile calculus of remembering and forget- ting, a constant tug and pull between memory and oblivion, each an inverted trace of the other. Young Eccentric Spaces is on at Frith Street gallery. My mind was not really on exhibitions. There was no focus beforehand on what I was going to see. When I enter the gallery space a film is running, its images engulfed by the soundtrack.

It projects in an indeterminate bluish hue. A figure flees through the enclosed spaces, its movement the result of startling agility. Images of baroque fountained opulence flood the narra- tive, offering a space of uncertain fantasy. The projection unfolds in a rhapsody of scenes that are furtive, archetypical, unreal, urgent.

I am reminded of relationships to other places which are not experienced: a postcard I have in a drawer — Potsdam, Schloss Sanssouci, Musikzimmer — shows a view of an interior I have never visited, the narratives attaching to its existence expanding endlessly. Downstairs in the gallery a strange alliance of improbable romance and familiar mundanity takes place. The film shows in a succession of lingering moments a sequence of follies and grottoes. The camera is static as a matter of fact. These obdurate pieces of architecture are tied to the present moment through the incident of ongoing sound and movement captured in the film.

The follies might have been built with reference to the artifice of ruin; in the contemporary world they become that very thing. More than engaging with the erosions of the past, they seem to point to a fascination with the incomplete, the yet-to-transpire. I am in the library. There is the usual flat winter light coming in from the window and some library users more or less absorbed at the desks. The space is on the third floor so the scene outside is sliced off, the top of trees, the top of buildings, a partial segment of a network of roads.

The space out- side seems infinite, the space inside sticks to itself. Next time I visit I bring a 35mm camera and use about half a film. Later I make a planned visit with a medium format camera and tripod. So much of the sense of the finished work spins out from this first moment with the camera. I am aware of the imperative to make optimum use of the time. Each decision attaching to the how of photography seems crucial. I tend to use more film than I need in an effort to ensure that I achieve the presence of the initial concept.

I make choices which go against what I want, that seem unlikely, just to split open the chance of locating what I think is there. I am conscious of the variations in the light. These subtleties affect what I have considered I may be able to achieve, the sense of re-imagining that first slate grey encounter with the space. You know, that was the first story I wrote. And then, of course, that story has the idea … that every time a book is read or reread, then something happens to the book.

Borges Within the unpeopled architectural space that I photograph, the nature of the space is highlighted, encouraging a focus on the qualities adhering to its structure. The chosen spaces are anonymous, off to the side, unremark- able. But they act as powerful witnesses to a mode of existence and carry the traces of that existence.

We are always searching for something hidden or merely potential or hypo- thetical, following its traces wherever they appear on the surface….

Journal of Visual Arts Practice: Volume: 6 | Issue: 3

The word connects the visible trace with the invisible thing, the absent thing, the thing that is desired or feared, like a frail emergency bridge flung over an abyss. Calvino A slide projector runs in the gallery space, throwing a light square onto the wall. Within the mech- anism is a gathering of dust, projecting a just discernable opacity on the wall. The projection alternates between sharpness and blur as the lens works to establish focal distance, the ongoing rhythm tracks a movement of inflation and deflation, paralleling the act of breathing.