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The glitter wall

October 17, 2012

I’m getting ready for a major critique on Monday.

I’ve been closing in on ideas, trying to figure out what my work is about and why I think it is important to make it.

Some of the work in my grad critique class has felt sad. It lays in the grey area of indecision and discomfort.  Watching my classmates present work that is uncomfortably shifting though limbo makes me feel uneasy. I am empathetic to the process but when I offer suggestions they usually are along the lines of   inserting something recognizable, to move in a direction that is definable, and maybe even a little dramatic. That way, I know how to feel about what Im looking at.  Grasping the concept and being able to define myself in relation to it will make me feel good. <— in the end that is about ego.

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It is our job as artists to interpret every wonderful and shitty facet of life. Lately, I’ve been filtering my interpretation through a sensational wall of rainbow glitter. My visual language is heavy in ironic campiness. I rely on instant gratification and going over the edge with an orgiastic use of color, pattern and psychedelic visuals to titillate your eyeballs. I like to be in control. I like to be the captain of your thoughts when you look at my work. I leave no ambiguous grey area for you to insert your own ideas about the work, about yourself, or god forbid about me.

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The anxiety building up around this huge theatrical performance in my head (my critique) is the repitition of a pattern I have created in my life. I don’t like to feel undefined. I don’t like to feel ambiguous, or leave interpretation of my character up to chance.  I protect myself from any kind of criticism by always performing.

I hit people over the head with the concepts in my work. I spell every single detail out for you. I give everything away. That is a safe place for me to be. Nothing is at stake. I put on a show in my critique. An automated character running on enthusiasm, adrenaline and energy shows up and has no problem overshadowing (protecting) the work.

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To some degree this is an honest portrayal of who I am. But I wish i could find a more grounded balanced approach to it all. I think this would allow me to go deeper. I work myself up into a total tizzy putting up walls of insane enthusiasm.

When I cry is when someone tells me to slow down.

I also cry when I think about the first yoga class I will have to teach in a week.

I cant put up a glittery wall of insane campy enthusiasm when I teach a yoga class. Teaching  and practicing yoga comes from a place of honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability. When I go to my yoga mat, I go as myself. Its only me. When I stand in front of my yoga class next Sunday, it will just be me. And my students will be just them.  There is so much substance honestly and beauty in that space.

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What I need to work on at this point, in my work and in my life is a slow build up, a calmness that reveals, when the time is right, maybe one single gem of honesty. There might be areas of grey, but I need to be ok with that. And maybe after all, that is the key. Allowing for moments to be undefined. I would really like to create work that people can connect with when they are just being themselves. The human experience is filled with so many beautiful and sorrowful similarities. And grey areas.

I want to take care of people. I want to take care of myself. I want to connect with people AS myself.

Anyways.

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Randomly Generated Poem by the Collective

October 17, 2012

Evil lust knievel easel
Buy a huge car glass slipper
Spoon time sparkly faster stronger stars
Kermit fucks pig pinocchio donkey disney
Noise Kanye splooge, clear the boat
Ocean waves, vodka holocaust
Impressionism 14

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Sanford Biggers is awesome and famous. and I talked to his dad.

October 8, 2012

Stanford Biggers is.. amazing. brilliant. inspiring. fantastic. He was the keynote speaker on Friday at the International Sculpture Conference in Chicago this past weekend.

Here he is on a mandala dance floor he created. This piece is called Mandala of The B-Bodhisattva. He took it out of the gallery and into the real world, and took birds-eye-view film of break-dancers spinning all over in battle.  Here he with his mandala floor and some b-boys and b-girls. Yeah man!

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He interjects his travels into his work. Studies Buddhism. Uses a holistic comprehensive approach to sculpture and installation. The object is not just to be looked at. Like the floor above –  when the Body becomes involved the piece becomes a moving sculptural object. The spinning movement of the dance becomes meditative. The dance, like the mandala, becomes a portal into another realm. He doesn’t clean off the scuff marks- they are the ‘use petina’ of the piece.  The videos of the work are awesome.

In a similar cultural fusion he took hiphop bling and melted it down into Tibetan singing bowls, then created a performance out of it. The piece is called Hip Hop Ni Sasagu – the translation is- ‘In fond memory of hip hop’.

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In the Hip Hop Ni Sasagu performance he explores life beyond object-ness. He says about the piece: 

“A part of the project was to make Shinto singing bowls from melted down Hip-Hop jewelry that I found either here or in Tokyo, where there are several of Hip-Hop jewelry stores.  I worked with several traditional artisans to melt all of the jewelry down into an alloy to make the bowls.  The final part of the project was to actually perform the bells in the temple.  We used some of the temple’s singing bowls along with mine in the final bell chorus. I drew up a diagram for the 16 participants to follow, however, it was largely improvisational.  The head monk rang the final bell.”

He embraces Buddhist iconography in the use of trees in several of his installation pieces (this refers to buddhas enlightenment under the tree.) Here are a couple of pieces that use trees to explore heavy socio-political issues in African American history.  

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Heres another piece I love- a giant prayer rug made out of sand.  Bruno LeMieux-Ruibal says, “Harlem’s non-profit space Triple Candie hosts the New York debut of Sanford Biggers with a complex three-part mixed-media installation. Under the columns of the main space, a site-specific, expansive colored-sand painting resembles an Islamic prayer rug or an oriental mandala, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be a mosaic of words concerning politics and the media”.

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Finally- theres so much more- but he made a piece called “Cosmic Voodoo Circus” Long Island New York’s SculptureCenter. I love it. What a great combination of wondrous things. Cosmic. VooDoo. Circus.

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Biggers also is in a band, and makes music videos (of course). These performances are improvisational and uses moving image.  His band will play in Louisville Kentucky sometime soon. I will probably have to see that in person. 

After Sanford Biggers presented his Keynote speech on Friday I came out of the lecture and talked to a woman who had figured out during the course of the speech that she knew his mom. This lady called the Biggers household in Los Angeles, then passed the phone to me saying “Its his dad, tell him what Sanford just talked about.”  So I described his talk and the work he presented and told him the whole audience LOVED it, and that so far it was the best part of the conference. Dad was super proud. 

 

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Intentionally crappy show points out interesting concepts, makes me feel funny

October 8, 2012

The International Sculpture Conference was this past weekend in Chicago, Illinois. A group of students and teachers from UC drove in 2 church busses, arriving on Wednesday.

First we went to the Renaissance Society to see an exhibit by Dan Vo called Uterus. Right now Dan Vo also has a giant installation project where he took pieces of the Statue of Liberty and installed them in different galleries and public spaces all over the world. Its called “We the People”. Every single part of the statue is out there. Its a pretty big deal.

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http://www.renaissancesociety.org/site/Exhibitions/Intro.Danh-Vo-Uterus.629.html

So we arrived Wednesday in Chicago and the first thing we did was see Vo’s work in a show called Uterus.  

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The work in the show was a random assortment of pieces installed in strange ways- corners and far away from other pieces.  There were traps in one corner, an arrangement of dying flowers in another corner, some metal bars, an inkjet print etc. To me it looked like a show of early student work- students with little experience of how to put a show together.

So why would this guy, with this big deal Statue of Liberty installation all over the world, create a show that- was so odd, disjointed and kind of crappy? We got a talk and a tour of the show- and what I got out of it was this: the work was not actually the subject of the piece. Challenging the norm for what a good show looks like and that awkward feeling of the viewers looking at these unrelated pieces- THAT was the actual content of the show.

Ive heard art theories like this before. But this was the first time I had ever really witnessed it firsthand. It was great to bring a different kind of awareness to the accepted construct of what a gallery is and what shows are supposed to be. It is exciting for me to imagine the unseen dimensional layer – the EXPERIENCE-  being the main content of the work. It ties in really nicely with my interests.

At the same time, the show depressed me. This guy can intentionally make a crappy show because he is a big deal. The reason this show is amazing is because the artist, or a theorist or citric was able to talk about it in a way that new and exciting for the audience. Obviously, it worked for me. I LIKED  observing myself – the crappy way I was feeling about myself – being an MFA student seeing a shitty exhibit by a super famous artist who gets funded for stuff like this. It was all very confusing.  It made me excited and depressed all at once. The combination was strange and weird in a neat way.

 

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September 24, 2012

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Pon Pon Way Way Way!

September 24, 2012

This is incredible

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September 24, 2012