Simona Sharafudinov on Natalia Sahlit

Historically an artist’s journal has been seen as a mythical world, which remains hidden until an artist’s passing, where the birth of ideas take their shape. Upon my first encounter with Natalia Sahlit’s work I felt I was being invited into this secret world of an artist. I instantly felt drawn in by the cornered in journal and a soft edge triangular illuminative light. It felt as if one was viewing a birth of an artist’s idea at an embryonic stage. However, as inviting as the glow appeared, it hid perhaps more than it revealed and soon I felt I was drawn into the game of the artist.

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I questioned whether the empty slots of the slide machine and the page upon which the pure projection rested was an open invitation for my imagination to write this page, and so I did. In this way the work was evocative, this light was my canvas. As the viewer I was shaping this work with my own slides of memory. At the same time it was provocative because the blank page felt threating just as much as the concrete block which Natalia placed below the work. I found this solid square anarchically blocking me from getting close to the work. A journal like a diary, its secrecy is fascinating and inviting, I wanted to turn the pages back yet I questioned my authority of doing so. When no one was looking, like a naughty child I did secrecy of the object brought excitement into the subject. Then as I moved back the journal and the light appeared as the all-seeming eye, here I was left feeling as if I had been caught in an act of transgression.

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The ambiguity and playfulness of this work left a lasting impression vis-à-vis the object-subject relations and made me question my position within it. This work is open-ended.

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Vinicius Assencio

 

Responding to the desiring machines brief I tried to reverse the process of digital photography creating something tangible with histogram pictures carved in soaps. My research on this topic began when I realized that the numerical sculpture of a photo (histogram) interests me as much as the final image, and to unravel and cross the invisible side of this process to another image type or material would be my challenge.

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In this first install class I showed two different experiments within the same assay. At first I carve three photographs of my childhood that only existed in paper photographs, which had never been digitalized, thus creating a sculpture for each of them. A reproduction of each photograph was displayed next to the sculpture.

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In a second experiment I did a reinterpretation of Bernd and Hilla Becher’s work, creating a sculpture for each photo in a series of nine photographs.

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Conversations with Suky were inspiring. When I arrived in the class I was with the fixed idea of exposing the sculptures on the wall, referring to the way of exposure photographs. Finally, I realized that it did not facilitate the visualization of the work and the soaps were exposed on a flat surface.

 

 

Simona Sharafudinov on Simona Sharafudinov

My intention was to get close to the object/s of my desire through materials and create an imprint of a memory – the work had to be big, ugly and vulnerable, which invited touch. I used a specific event, a photographic memory, to delve deeper into the process of making the work. I installed it in a shape of a triangle, holding a dismembered and fragmented form – hanging skin on hooks, a shell of a torso on a chain, a frame within frame on the floor from which a performance arose, and a flaccid body parts on a broken mirror.

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In light of viewing the latex torso, I was particularly struck by two allusions made by others: the Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch cover, and my choice of Caucasian pink colour which made the work about race, offering a space to think about the body as carcass, as armour, as a cage. I was challenged as why I chose to display the work about desire at sacramental heights. Placing an object which longs to be touched out of reach, something that can be passed over instead of being confrontational in one’s way losing the potential for the interruption of flow.

breastDuring the critique the flow was interrupted by a piece of work on the floor, which I made as an abstract breast. I instructed Carolina Mitsuka to participate in a performance, to invade my work by taking the bottle and ingest the milky substance – this was to break the orthodox rules of conduct within a gallery space and show desire in the form of lack. It was suggested that the unexpected and awkward action of the performance made the work. Without the performance, the work didn’t stand on its own and was too confusing and overthought, yet the piece opened way for consideration on how I can further explore the fascinating and expanding nature of materials in my practice.

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As we sat on the floor contemplating the work, the final element of the work was seen as the most accomplished, one that could be exhibited at the museum of anatomy or surgeons, objects that conjure up images of body parts of cyborgs.

Which brings me back (and leaves me) at the first question, upon the Daniel’s first encounter with this work, “Is this a self-portrait?”

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CAROLINA MITSUKA ON CAROLINA MITSUKA

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The excitement of my first install in a new context of a CSM MA PHOTOGRAPHY install got me thinking on what it means to take my practice and involve it in a new environment, to make it relevant to this particular event.

For that, I wanted to explore a new piece of work I have been making in response to the duration brief we were given. To be honest, I was opened for whatever could happen and was flexible enough to accept suggestions from the curatorial body (the group), led by Suky, as I experimented to put my work in different locations to see where would it be more relevant in terms of the whole exhibition and of the work itself.

Working as a group for this particular install was very helpful to question the space and the form of exhibiting our work.

The piece I showcased was the first experiment of a bigger installation I have in mind. It consisted on two projections of the same video projected on the corner of one of the room`s we have on the back. The fact that it was a white wall was not relevant at that particular install since it was just an experiment, but I think it helped to see clearly how the two projections would work together.

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A spinning moving image of the fountains right outside of the CSM building was the subject of the video. The idea was to make the viewer dizzy, so I placed the proctors as far as I could from the wall to make it a big projection, I also placed the projectors on a temporal platform that was not high enough for where I wanted the image to be displayed, but I had to work with what I had there, so I chose to put it in a lower level (turning the platforms sideways) and finally I adjusted the two projection to be lined and straight. Some difficulties appeared along the way, due to the lack of one of the projector`s leveling foot, I had to put some paper underneath it so I could line both projections. As time went by, however, the paper started to smash and the projector started to slightly unlevel and I ended up with a slightly unleveled piece, which looked a bit disturbing.

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In the end, I was very satisfied how the piece turned out and I though I placed it in the right spot.

Also, I thought there were two pertinent things that happened, which wasn’t exactly out of my control, but I let it accidentally happen. Which were: First, the way the two projectors showed the video in different resolutions, creating a juxtaposition of high and low definition images, which Daniel and Pat beautifully observed, created this relation of poor and high-quality image that can be compared with the area of Kings Cross itself, since it’s a private area, that looks public, with various high standards buildings and in parallel to it the Caledonian road is a much different zone.

Secondly, I had to synchronize the both videos manually, due to a lack of knowledge (on my part) of how to do it through technology. Even though I had synchronized the videos, they both ran themselves on a different pace; each one had its own duration. And it still worked as one piece.

I hope to continue working on that piece and the install really helped me to get a greater notion of where to go with it.

Ben Lansky on Ben Lansky

Exploring our perception of time and motion, I utilized video files of “events” and employed different techniques to reveal motion in a way we are not used to seeing.

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For one piece I took multiple frames from a video of a woman pushing a shopping cart and merged them into a single image. I then converted this image into a file format that could be 3D printed. The result was a sort of relief print showing multiple moments within an event. The attempt with this piece was to show the event in a single still “image”.

This piece also deals with the nothing in that it is a representation of a non event, a representation that never actually existed. Although the material was sourced from an actual occurrence, the resulting state of the image never existed. At no point did the woman exist in multiple places at the same time. Rather, her standing in these different places and moving throughout time add up to the event.

Though I really liked how the piece was installed and the overall look of it, the reasoning behind turning this image into a 3D image was sort of lost. During the critique someone suggested that it was to record time in three dimensions but I don’t feel as though this is a good enough reason alone to make this image a 3D print.

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The other two pieces consisted of a projection of repeating GIF animations and a large color print. The print was a composite image of one of the animations. The process for creating these images came about by Daniel’s suggestion that I try to reconstruct a moving object from a video. I took the separate frames from video files and realigned the moving object within them and then animated the different frames. The projection was quite successful and I will continue to explore these reconstructions. The print was less successful as it did not really convey the feeling of motion or time passing.

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Overall the installation process was a very good one. No one in my group had any preconceptions of exactly how their work should be installed so we were all readily accepting of Suki’s suggestions. In the end I felt as though our group formed a very cohesive exhibition.

Natalia Sahlit on Natalia Sahlit

For this install, I worked with the concept of the artist’s book, and my challenge was how to make a book the main piece in an exhibition. I installed my personal work-in-progress diary, composed of texts and photos.

A notebook is quite an ordinary object and I did not want it to be lost in the gallery by simply abandoning it on a table. On the other hand, I still wanted it to be accessible, so I decided to not install it in unreachable places.

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I wanted to create an intimate environment for it. Reading, especially reading another person’s diary, is an act of voyeurism. I was planning to install it in the wall, in a corner of the darkest area of the room, lit only by my small bedside lamp. But as one of my colleagues also needed that space, and I had to adapt.

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As another person needed a small lamp like mine more than I did, we swapped our light sources and I instead used a carrousel slide projector. What a nice surprise! The projector light made a very interesting shape on the wall were the book was, as if poetically indicating that the image projected was actually the notebook. Also, notebook and projector have a similar old materiality.

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The critique was hard and very relevant, but for me the best part was the feedback of people. One person told me that the concrete block that I put as a “chair” in front of the notebook had a double meaning: it could be an invitation to sit and look at the secrets of the book; but could also be something blocking access to those secrets. It is beautiful to see one’s own work growing in different directions after it is displayed.

remember nature – Yaoyao Ding

I did this work as part of an exhibition titled Remember Nature. I was interested in this topic because we are a part of nature and we also change nature sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a bad way.

I chose toilet paper because I use it everyday but I rarely think about it. We usually find it relatively easy to adapt to the environment or nature and tend to take nature for granted. When I looked at the wasted toilet paper on the floor everyday, everywhere, I was thinking what happened around us. Toilet paper is produced from trees, because of excessive exploitation and consumption, we loose around 30,000 trees everyday solely for this purpose.

After I did some research on toilet paper, and then tried drawing on it. It was really fragile and every movement of my hand and pen needed to be very careful. After I did some small samples of trees on the toilet paper, I decided to paint a very long tree on it. Before I started to paint, I went to look at the space of the Big White Wall in college. I hoped the toilet paper could unroll and hang against the wall. The height of the space (over seven metres) was really important for my work.

My tree on the toilet paper is stunted in growth in terms of branches and leaves, as tough sick and constricted. These drawings will represent the fragility of nature, not only in the media used but also the imagery. Each metre of the tree took me around 3 hours, this was quite a time consuming process, similar to the slow and steady growth of a tree.

I put five rolls in the space, three were painted and two were unaltered. I chose two raw toilet paper rolls because I think all work like speaking, should include a time to pause and to take a breathe.

They were very light and very high, if there was a little wind or audiences passed by, they would slowly swing mimicking real trees in nature. The slow movement of the toilet paper made this work more alive.

I was not afraid that my toilet paper would be destroyed during this exhibition, as real trees are often destroyed by the wind or by human beings.

Yaoyao Ding (MA Photography)

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Desiring Phones- Ebony Francis

I decided to approach this install with something more personal to me instead of something that merely represented my standpoint or view of the world. As a woman, a “black” person, an African, Caribbean, slave descendent, hybrid of multi national identity in times of post colonialisms albeit still evident White supremacy- isms!
I had a pile of old mobile phones which played music via a new phone, a song that was about abandoning, desiring newness and leaving the “old” behind. (..and yet when I write this now I see all of the above still in here, I guess you can’t really escape issues of identity) The install process was amazing and really challenged my motivations and process. I was unsure by the of end of the install if my piece would work, insecure about how putting a piece of my very own soul into a public forum would make me feel, a fellow student later that day, said once I put it out “there” it was no longer mine. This comforted me in a way, despite being completely opposite to my initial fears and concerns it still brought me perspective in a moment of feeling like a total failure. They didn’t get my piece! To be honest it wasn’t the criticism that the two did not match or that the message was lost, or even that the music was unnecessary that got to me, it was the comment that my music, my personally written, performed and produced piece, made for my family was termed as being “depressing, makes you want to kill yourself”. Tears burned my eyes as I imagined my mother listening to that half way across the world, I imagined how it made her cry now, although it was sent in love and as an apology, as a feeling, as am awakening, I imagined.

Siobhan Bradshaw on Siobhan Bradshaw

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For the install I brought a drawing, screen print, digital print and Gouache painted postcards all created  from my photographs of mannequins. Often I do not disclose she is not real and its naturally assumed a woman. My project is Desiring Machine and my practice is focused on female desire. Photography is always part auto-biographical and it is too my own journey as I wanted to be a boy.

Suky was excellent at enabling group to think outside of traditional format and away from individual space/concepts and see how we could work to create one contemporary space. This was not a rule but happened through the process of discussion deciding each piece together. The theme that dominated was sex.

I found it very beneficial and inspiring for my work to go into different sections with other artists and come away from their own entity.

Tomorrow Belongs To Me

My project is Desiring Machines and my photography began in Soho where I used to live, my window was this perpetual cinema screen where I became a voyeur. My identity then was male Le Flaneur, late night journeys randomly experiencing the heart of the city. Collecting images like symbols that represented to me what was happening part detective/reporter/poet and fascinated the layers of history.
Capitalism was a natural phenomenon with which a new dream sleep fell over Europe and with it, a reactivation of mythic powers” (V, 494). Under the spell of commodity culture, “the collective consciousness sinks into ever deeper sleep” (V, 492)
Walter Benjamin The Arcades Project.
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 At first the mannequin represented the prostitutes that were no longer there in Soho ( pushed out for luxury flats) that I used show as blurs in doorways. My intention was to make film out of stills linking past and present. She has become La Flaneuse, the female shopper of 19th Century Paris, and also the prostitute.  The mannequin to seduce the female inside shop on ground floor and the male upstairs to a real brothel served one purpose to extract their cash. The dynamic of this particular female gaze at this time in history for me is revealing to where female desire is today.
it is the material culture of the city, rather than the psyche, that provides the shared collective spaces where consciousness and the unconscious, past and present, meet.
Susan Buck-Morss, ‘The Flâneur, the Sandwichman and the Whore: The Politics of Loitering’
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Irene Domínguez Jervis

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“The Event”

The event  talks about the creative process that all artist have to pass during the construction of their Works. Most of the time when we start to work in some specific project we have our main idea and some relevant points to develop this new art work. But throughout the research it may change, either aesthetic or concept, slightly or dramatically. On the other hand, this work also is related to the creative reference point and that it could be anything, namely the idea or concept in which we will work could be born from a previous work, or from another person’s work, or from anything and also anytime.

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To represent this concept I have used Analog Photography. This was an actual creative process where I had to create something from a work which belonged to other person. During this process I had to figure out how to build an image completely different from the image, negative, I had at that moment.2

To install this work I used the museum sequence and placed all the elements from the end to the begin of the process, in other words I started from the last piece to the first one in order to emphasize the concept. Besides I played with the heights, putting some pieces on the ground and other ones very high as it enabled me to give the notion of discarding and selecting pieces, what is actually what we do during our creative process.1

At the end “The Event” had different appreciations from the viewers like: “It could have been an Archive”, among others. Which, as far as I can say, has just made the concept, about everything could be a creative reference point, or may change its direction during the development of the work at any second, stronger.