As I try to find footing in my dissertation research again (my attention span and energy levels have been wildly oscillating for a while now) I am inspired by a recent article I came across on Hyperallergic discussing an exhibition at the Musem of Fine Arts, Boston that focuses on the objects that influence Matisse's artwork and artmaking process. The exhibition is called "Matisse in the Studio" and it is apparently one of the first exhibitions to look into the objects that inspired Matisse's artworks. Because my dissertation research details the importance and agency of material and the materiality of artmaking, this exhibition is of particular interest! The exhibition, through a display of objects and artworks, creates a connection between the stuff and space Matisse surrounded himself with and the artworks that emerged through his "entanglement" with his artistic environment. The influence of things and space has long been ignored, particularly when art historians address an artists work. This exhibition seeks to rectify that oversight through five thematic sections titled “The Object Is an Actor,” “The Nude,” “The Face,” “Studio as Theatre,” and “Essential Forms.” My research aims to show the importance and active participation that the material of artmaking and the material of living have on not only our lives but an artist's approach to artmaking practice. This exhibition takes an extremely well-known and respected artist in Matisse and allows patrons of his work to develop a deeper understanding of his process and practice.
The article: The Eclectic Objects that Inspired Matisse’s Art by Debbie Hagan
The exhibition: Matisse in the Studio
This image is from an ongoing artmaking engagement enacted through a partnership with jasmine plants. Through the course of two years I collected jasmine flowers from two plants. Recently, one of these plants met it's end. Either through my own carelessness or negligence or through it's own volition this jasmine plant died. This image is the scanned remains of the plant. It serves as a kind of elegy for this collaborator. The image has been manipulated in photoshop to evoke a kind of tenebrous/Caravaggesque coloring. As if the plant is both fading and receeding into darkness with a light source that one is unable to quite pin down. Although it's a simple image, it seems to become active through the flattening of the scanner through which this image was produced. Perhaps it is a good description of one of our final collaborations in artmaking. In any case, one last series of artworks, this one definitely more somber than the series while the plant was still alive.
Just registered for the Innovate conference at OSU!
It is shaping up to be a day to explore technology advancements and approaches for teaching and learning. Might as well keep up with technological methods as a way to enhance learning inside and outside of the classroom. Perhaps the use of technology can help students better engage with material while building technological proficiency that will increase their preparedness for their prospective workplaces and beyond. The thing I'm most curious to discover is how technology can help further the arts and art education as a vital and necessary part of education and economic viability.
The keynote speaker sounds so interesting as well!
"Innovate is thrilled to invite Kathryn Finney to share her impact as an innovator and change-maker with our community.
Kathryn Finney is the founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided (DID), an organization that invests in the success of Black and Latina women tech founders by providing them with the network, coaching, and funding to build, scale, and exit their high growth companies. DID runs the BIG Innovation Center, home to the BIG accelerator program, a 16 week program for high potential startups led by Black and Latina Founders. She is also a General Partner in the Harriet Fund, the first pre-seed venture fund focused on investing the untapped potential of high potential Black and Latina women led startups." (from OSU email press release)
This little girl lost her stuffed animal giraffe named Raffi. This kind of loss in commonplace in our lives, but it brings up the intensity of our connection with non-human entities (things). This kind of connection informs the current track of my research and I explore whether this is the connection that most artists have with the material of their practice. That thinking and being is informed by intra-actions and entanglements through material and other non-human entities.
Bombay Jayashri: Vatsalyam - Traditional Indian Lullabies
This video discusses the term intra-action as discussed by Karen Barad whose philosophical works I have been entangled with for a while. This simply explains a interesting and complex concept.
Been thinking about Hedy Lamarr lately. I so admire her intellect. It's strange to think that the way I am accessing the internet (and also wasting time rather than focusing on more pertinent tasks) is because of Lamarr's contributions to science and technology.
There's some research/art fodder in Lamarr's work for sure. Currently ruminating.
I read the novel Ka just after I graduated college. It was one of the most difficult and enjoyable texts I have ever worked through. The beauty of the language is what compelled me to actually finish this incredibly rich, complex work. I wanted to quit several times especially after having to read some passages multiple times to try to understand what was happening. It was in this reading I realized that reading this kind of text is not about comprehension, but it is a completely different approach to writing. This is not a linear work the narrative flows and its course is rhizomatic. Ka used the framework of Indian mythology while the story lingered on its own course. Sunil Khilnani writes in the New York Times: "To read ''Ka'' is to experience a giddy invasion of stories -- brilliant, enigmatic, troubling, outrageous, erotic, beautiful. Yet ''Ka,'' like the two previous books, is not a novel. Calasso's form-defying works plot ideas, not character. A writer with philosophical tastes, he thinks in stories rather than arguments or syllogisms" (November 8, 1998).
I have been thinking about this book while figuring out my own work. I am so often tempted to defy form and convention in my dissertation work. I wonder if this would seem obfuscating or if some readers might find it liberating. A work that is formless but formed--sounds lovely.
Calasso wrote in his novel Ka:
"But what was it transforming? The mind. The mind was what it transformed and what was transformed. It was the warmth, the hidden flame behind the bones, the succession and dissolution of shapes sketched on darkeness--and the sensation of knowing that that was happening. Everything resembled something else. Everything was connected to something else. Only the sensation of consciousness resembled nothing at all. And yet all the resemblances flowed back and forth within it. It was the "indistinct wave." (p. 21-22)
Something about seeing a work by an artist you admire and respect and have a personal connection with is different. It is amazing to see what a woman with a cultural and linguistic background similar to mine makes me feel empowered to do more with my work. BTW -->(we are both first generation Americans with parents from South India and we are also Tamil speakers). I was looking forward to seeing this work in person for some time and I was not disappointed. The textures and colors of Chitra's work evoke blips of memories. The dreams, nightmares and musings I had, both as a child and adult come alive when I look at this work. It connects with my own experience in a way that is difficult to articulate. Looking at this work with its bright pinky peach gradient wash in the background coupled with the hair textures and the words written out in hair. These feel like forms to which I can relate they have a kind of warmth I can't explain--it feels almost familiar, like visiting a friend.
Beyond the kind of emotional response the setting of the work in the Herstory gallery next to the timeline to which I contributed a small portion of facts and research during my time at the Sackler Center was neat. Coupled with the fact that if you turn around from this installation you can see the AMAZING installation of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago. I have never seen the Dinner Party installed differently, but I can't imagine it any other way. The triangular room adds a stoic reverence to the work that really makes the work stand out.