WORK DONE THIS WEEK ON PROJECT. Friday Feb 8: Loaded up a few rolls of film, and went driving (125miles) looking at fences. I found some nice images along the Interstate 5 to-day, there was a board on the barbed wire fence that said “Repent.”
Should the photographs resonate with the space and place? This question, like anything else depends on a number of factors. If the imagery is part of the environment, I would say yes, sometime a piece is strong enough to survive on its own, without having to be in context with it’s surroundings. Generally I think the weaker a piece or a photograph is the more labels, framework and context it needs, because without it, it would just collapse or fall apart.
In my opinion, most art-works are so weak that without a framework it will just integrate into oblivion. The modern day ‘artist’ has learned to capitalise off the ‘soup label’ without which you as a viewer would nothing about the work, or even it is is fact a piece of art, or a nother piece of sidewalk garbage that has just blown in. In my piece that will happen at the site below, I hope the viewer steals, mutilates, or destroys the image. The only reason I am going to leave a guestbook is to find out why. Why steal, destroy or mutilate? It’s a very brutal location, the people driving past the installation are blue collar workers and most of them won’t get it. Some may steal it because they may perceive it as a piece with value, they may destroy it because it is out of place and does not fit their. This is all conjecture. I would love to see how well I can predict the future.
I have submitted my space, its the one below. I had already made up my mind to do this before the weeks activity required it. I just posted it, it was a little late this week. however, I will go back and see the response.
My methodology if I understand the word correctly, would be a system or ideology of methods or a system of methods that i will employ Well, I have moved out from the strict abstract limited restricted environment of my home out into the desert. I will employ the camera instead of camera less photography, I am going incorporate motion picture into the mix, I am going to draw on my prior technical, photographic skill and equipment and empty new ones such as vintage digital cameras, and I am going to take an open approach to the out come of the project to see where it goes as opposed to a specific location that I had in Carmel to get my work shown. I will show it there if the opportunity came but I am no longer aiming for it like i did in the past. I feel like I have been unshackled, in a lot of ways. No that i did not understand the advantages of chance and opens. I have studied the Tao and the works of John Cage for a very long time. Rigidity is the mark of death. I understand this conceptually, now I am having the opportunity to experience it. I guess the old adage is true. One can never in words explain the color red, to someone who has never had the experience of seeing it. Im seeing it!
Link (Links to an external site.) Image courtesy of link.
I have already considered an alternative space to show my work for this module. This is Llano Del Rio (A socialist commune, that was attempted here around the turn of the 20th century) off Pearblossom Highway very close to where David Hockney photographed his collage in 1986, it is a half a mile from there. I like this space for a number of reasons, one, mentioned above, secondly, it’s the remains of an old hotel from around 1914.
My show is going to be in the lobby of this hotel with a guestbook, left to the public of the highway immediately to the right off camera 75ft or so, and the elements, which is very harsh out here in the desert. There are a few challenges here besides the people from the highway and the elements. This is a national heritage site and I am going to have to obtain permission to do it.
I figure I will handle the site rep like a gallery curator, it is going to take some salesmanship to sell them the idea. Besides having become fascinated by this highway through the desert, I have discovered some interesting people who have worked and lived out here. Another person of interest was Aldous Huxley. Author of Doors of Perception.
I went out into the desert to photograph Pearblossom Highway HWY 138. Inspired by the work of David Hockney.
I was interested to see how the location looked some 30 years later. Also to see how he transformed the landscape into the actual art piece. When I arrived at the location, to my disappointment the location had changed tremendously. The highway was widened to four lanes, the stop sign was removed and replaced with a traffic light. The HWY 138 sign was gone and the stop sign ahead was missing.
Originally it was my intent to make a 180 degree panorama of the location with a set of five polaroids. I also took my Leica Digilux made in 1997/8 to make a few images using old technology. I made the five polaroids using my Fuji 4×5 polaroid camera, but was not happy with the results. The images were too dark and the resolution and color did not serve the image well. It was difficult to see the traffic light color against the back lit sky.
So I decided to experiment with the Leica Digilux. I was limited by a small smart media card 3MB and 25 images, the battery of the camera is old and was running down. The winds were about 70MPH and the Temperature was around a 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so conditions were not pleasant, in addition I had driven out 21/2 hours to the desert location. So, I had to make something out of the experience.
I decided to make a series of five images, and decided to name it a polyptych instead of pentaptych which is the correct name for five images, because polyptych sounds more fluid and it means many.
Polyptych Pearblossom HWY138/165E #2., Jun 27, Noon. 2018 ©Pierre Chemaly
I decided to leave the date stamp on the image. This was the default of the manufacturers production date. Felt like I was looking at the images back in 1998. I used the color red for the traffic light, same color as old stop sign of David Hockney’s image, also it clashes with the color in nature symbolising the clash between industry and nature. Green was the same as the bushes and yellow blended to much with the sand. I went over to all the vertical poles, sign, light and Joshua tree and set them up side by side. I made a few versions on this image this one the horizon line is more of less even. In the others I had the centre image larger, more in line with the requirements of the polyptych, and in another version, I had all the verticals in the centre.