Art Foundation Week 9
For this week, we were told to bring in a jacket (with or without sentimental values) and transform it.
Me being me, I obviously turned up on Monday without a jacket to transform, but this didn't stop me from transforming the jacket.
I read Michael Craig-Martin's book 'On Being An Artist' over the weekend and whoa, was I blown away.
I could easily write an essay (which I shall do when I do a review on a collection of books I've been reading), but what struck me the most, was Craig-Martin's piece 'An Oak Tree' (1973).
In his book, he wrote that he was trying to address a question that preoccupied him and many other artists at the time: is there something, an essential bottom line, that distinguishes a work of art from other things?
He thereafter taking apart a work of art, claims that its single basic and essential element is BELIEF: "The confident faith of the artist in his capacity to speak, and the willing faith of the viewer in what he has to say."
I felt very inspired by the idea of belief, and I thus dedicated this week to testing the boundaries of belief.
This is how the project developed
AM: No jacket. Came up with this challenge 'How do I convince/make some believe that I have transformed a jacket without them seeing or touching it'. Asked around what makes something believable - people agreed on 'narration' (with the idea of religion in mind, this would be the sacred texts that explain the origins/myths behind the belief). Spent the rest of the morning meditating, thinking about the humble origins of my invisible jacket.
PM: Spoke to one of the tutors, who brought me to the fabric room and convinced me there was a jacket without me 'seeing it': what I heard was the unchangeable, essential qualities of a jacket, and this gave me inspiration for Tuesday
recorded some sound extracts at home, of me not only preparing breakfast.. washing dishes... wasting water... boiling the kettle...but also beating the hell out of my pillow, jumping onto a pile of clothes, accidentally hitting the lampshade...I used anything but a jacket.
I don't remember who I spoke to, or maybe I was dreaming. Basically I was told (me to me??) that in a real world, shadows are always present. If the shadow is there, then the subject of the shadow must be too... I slept on this idea.
I recorded some more sounds in the fabric room and edited it into the final audiopiece, which you can listen to here.
I decided to make the shadow of a jacket. I was initially going to tape up a silhouette/shadow distorted across the pavement and the wall, but as I realised how difficult it was to do so without reference, and so I got an overhead projector on which I used the newly bought, incredibly smooth electrical tape to make a jacket (in my head, a jacket is a coat, so essentially, I made a coat...)
I was going to tape up the actual shadow that is projected, but I felt that this unexpected piece has a lot more presence than a fake shadow, even though it has gone a little astray from my initial idea of there being no physical subject to project.