Notes to Myself 4
21/07/08These short notes are a way for me to try and find out how to proceed with my work on architecture. I see that this could be a fruitful way of moving forward my interest in landscape and architecture, as well as developing my painting.
Basically I'm interested in making paintings which can be developed further into paint, play with shapes, forms, brushstrokes, drips, stains, all manner of painting techniques.
But I also like the idea of working with found or composed images of architectural models, of structures and facades of buildings, and I am trying to find a meaning for them, be it personal or political.
So, I like abstraction, and I like landscape, buildings and patterns. My ideas initially included bringing patterning and abstraction together with this interest in buildings by re-imagining or recreating the fronts of buildings.
At the same time I find myself fascinated with our more low-level landscape, at the scale of the human body. How do we interact with our immediate surroundings? What is it about objects that makes them so fascinating? So tactile, so desirable?
And mazes too are a conscious manipulation of this human scale landscape. In a maze the choice of relationship to the space is pared down, taken to its essentials: move forward, double back, move to the left or right, turn around.
Furthermore, the signs and structures of corporate life fascinate me too; the generic, the standards of offices and workspaces interest me. Have the designers and architects of corporate space somehow arrived at a fundamental logic of human interaction? I doubt it. But I do believe they have imposed a certain view of the way we should conduct our lives onto a vast number of people. And, either by sheep-like acceptance, ignorance or indifference many people have taken on these ideas, and so they become the 'norms' of our existence.
I should build up a library of details from images, from comics, building details, fragments from all the little things that have always interested me, whether it is the particular curve of a mug handle or the pattern of grilles in the corridors of the Death Star.
The paradox is that whilst I like many things - films, paintings, novels etc., I'm not sure I like them because they are what I'd like to do, or that they're already what I like and are done already. Am I influenced by them to make or to give up because they've already been made?
Work on an allegorical or metaphorical level. Images can have double, even triple meanings. Encode the interests into the work, revealing and concealing simultaneously.
Facades are the outside, layering their contents, giving them a different look, a different outward appearance.
What is the point of artworks today? To allow contemplation? To raise consciousness? To provoke action? to soothe and please and give aesthetic pleasure? Or all of the above? If ethics is encoded within aesthetics then all aesthetic contemplation must have an ethical dimension. How we look and what we look at says something about who we are.
Entasis: "a lie that tells the truth."