(Image: ‘We Laughed Together’, Je Baak)
Today’s lecture was incredibly interesting, as it focused on the concept of ‘Post-Perspective’ and how perspective has morphed and mutated into contemporary practice. There were four main topics covered;
+ The Multiplication of Views and Viewpoints
+ Adding a Non-Human Viewpoint
+ Doubling and Repitition
+ Historical Perspectives
The first topic, multiple viewpoints was at first interesting to me purely for technical skill evident in the paintings, until the image above came onto the screen. Now, I could tell something was strange about this piece, and this drew me to it, but it wasn’t until the fact that it is an image made up of 4 other images that I was blown away. The piece is actually showcased as a polaroid. How does that even work?! It’s fascinating as a piece, both conceptually and technically. This sparked thoughts in my head about the possibility of photo manipulation; could I evoke the same sense of unknowing, but comfort within my own work? As humans we perceive anything like ourselves as a comfort, even when we can instinctively tell that something is wrong.
The second area, Adding a non-human viewpoint, fascinated me with the scientific/abstract ways that it looked at the human form Marilene Oliver’s ‘Family Portrait’ still haunts me, As it is nothing more than sheets of perspex printed with the CAT scans of her family, you feel a heavy, physical presence in the room, but as you close in on the piece the ethereal forms appear to ‘fade out of existence’, as if they were never there in the first place. Could this be seen as a reference to Life & Death? The fading is incredibly spiritual after all. Another artist from this section that fascinates me is ‘Angela Palmer’, and more importantly her work ‘Unwrapped: The story of a child mummy’, much like the previous piece, it is instead Drawn on layers of glass from CAT scans of a child mummy, which allowed scientists to study it even further. Thry boyh play with the ideas of portraits of oneself and humanity that disrupts and deforms the conventional human form.
The third section actually holds one of my favourite pieces from the lecture; Vija Celmins. Her series ‘To Fix the Image in Memory’ is actually astounding; It is a series of resin casts of Rocks/Stones, which are then painted to look identical to the original stone. Despite the massive technical skill needed to craft such a likeness, which is amazing in itself, it also creates a strange situation; As we cannot pick up the artwork ourselves, which is the only way to discern which of the two is the real one and which is the cast, we cannot perceive which is which. Now, this creates this aspect of not knowing which one is the artwork, and which one is the naturally created form. It’s as if we’re playing God, as if we can achieve a superior understanding of the laws of nature and reality. Could I create something like this? There’s a consistent sense of unknowing throughout these pieces, which is quite possibly the most fascinating aspect of them. I will have to play with these concepts more.