Wednesday, October 15, 2008

some more images

here are some more installation shots from the opening afternoon, courtesy of my friend dave. it was actually quite a lovely opening. someone removed their shoes. someone told me that they felt they were "connecting with G-d". someone felt that it was a sacred space. someone wanted to be careful they weren't intruding on something spiritual. several people had to get past the fact that an exhibition could be in the dark and on the floor, never mind that the work needed to be touched and opened. no one spent less than 15 or 20 minutes, and several spent considerably more time than that with the work. i realized after an hour or so that i had forgotten to play any music. other than sigur ros' ( ), i'm not sure that anything could have been better than the hush in the space...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the images

someone has requested that i make the specific images from the books in recipes for kneeling available for viewing so, as promised, i have obliged.

these are the 12 images (click on them for details) that were placed inside the lightbox/books. the initial stages involved a combination of collage images and more linear woodcuts as well as drawings. thanks to my wonderful webster's and my etymological dictionaries, as well as the input and contributions of both friends and strangers, i had numerous images and ideas to reflect on as i developed the images. at first i was unsure about including text in the pieces, but as the images developed and began connecting to each other, i decided to complicate some of those relationships by introducing text as simply another way to point the viewer or reader in certain directions.

the texts don't always function the same way -- sometimes they seem to confirm or affirm what's happening in the images, and sometimes they create a dissonance or a friction in the interpretation. and really, that back&forth is an essential part of what i'm interested in as that means that the viewer must make a decision as to how they will 'read' a piece, and then that reading will be complicated when they engage with the next (or another) piece.

Monday, October 13, 2008

some background

initially, i was approached and offered the opportunity to exhibit based on some previous work (i will post images if it is of interest to my readers). knowing the space, i was determined to do something new with my work and to try to take advantage of the lo-fi/ industrial mood of the space. also, i knew i had a lot of freedom and could use the space (and fill it or not) however i wished.

i had wanted to turn some books into lightboxes for quite some time (i have 4 or 5 boxes of condensed Reader's Digests, thanks to the local Catholic Church), but had no idea how to go about constructing them. that was the primary challenge since i was absolutely ignorant about the electrical logistics of the planned (hoped for?) piece, and the metaphors of books and light were core to the work. without the lightbox/books, i would have made an entirely different exhibition (though not really - it would still involve the idea of books and explore many of the same ideas). and now i can explore those ideas for other spaces.

in my sketchbooks i collect random [para]phrases and quotes, and recipes for kneeling was one that had been resonating for some time. that phrase became the generating impulse for the exhibition. i knew that i would use books, and i knew that i wanted to use light (and therefore darkness). i knew that i wanted to incorporate an interactive and physical (ritual?) element. the main issue was: how do i build them? the second issue was: what kinds of images do i want to employ (if any)? of course, there were other questions: what media? do i use collage? drawing? painting? should i use text? what size? how many? what arrangement?

to be honest, i tried revisiting previous abandoned images and pieces, but nothing seemed to really suit the piece. while i do tend to work more conceptually (.e. i have an idea and i work towards that idea, considering how the materials 'work' or 'speak', as well as what kinds of images or texts that i want to use) there is also an intuitive component to developing the work and the images/ texts, and the connections between those elements. the first image that seemed to work for the piece was a combination of the following 2 images (which did get used for the piece, albeit in slightly altered form):

these images started generating other related images, and that started the process. in addition, i researched the meaning and history of these two words, and solicited responses from friends, acquaintances and strangers through various forums i haunt. they ended up providing me with an interesting list of options and responses, both specific and general, which also generated images.

installation images

here are some images of the installation and space:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

and here is the invitation:

recipes for kneeling

i recently had my first solo exhibition in quite a few years. i've been in group shows, and have been working, collaborating and presenting workshops, but it was nice to do an installation again. over the next few weeks i will be posting the various drawings and notes as a way to document the process, and eventually i will post images. in the meantime, here is the statement:

recipes for kneeling

Books have always been the main raw material for my work. Richly metaphorical objects, they symbolize knowledge, story and communication. Books are objects with cultural value, with a human scale and dimension. We all share the experience of holding and even cherishing them.

Light is associated with knowledge, revelation, unveiling. We may seek it, or run from it.

In recipes for kneeling, the symbolic weight of light (as well as its absence) is combined with the metaphorical richness of books. Images and text suggest connections between the books as well as between the books and viewer.

The title for this installation, recipes for kneeling, evokes questions. What is meant by “recipes”? What is meant by “kneeling”? How are they connected, if at all? This questioning is a way to open up ideas for the viewer to explore and to find their own place in the work.

This is a contemplative space. The room is dark and quiet – take time to wait.

wherein the author introduces himself

and thus we begin:

i'm not sure what this will be or become, nor how sporadic my activity will be.

i am open to suggestions. that being said, my intentions are various:

~ to post images and examples of my work

~ to enter into discussion and critique about said work

~ to involve people in the process

~ to create opportunities for collaboration

~ to work through ideas and projects through discussion and critique

~ to engage in dialogue about the relationship between the arts and faith

~ to hold forth

and now, onward.