Tuesday, November 6, 2012
I started out the semester continuing with the challenge of representing autobiographical memory through the mediums of photography and collage. Feeling all the while that a concept as multifaceted as memory required a complicated visual presence and perhaps, mistaking that a simple image would not impart the complexity of my thinking.
Talking with Deborah Davidson last night she suggested that there was a way of "de-skilling" art making, interrupting the way in which a person typically works. Skip over the steps of the usual practice and go directly to the end results. Interesting thought. I read a bit about "de-skilling" in both manufacturing and art, very heady articles mightily laced with academic jargon. Needless to say, I relate more Deborah's explanation of the concept.
We all have those "default modes", how we do everything in our lives including art making for those of us who dedicate our time to such. Obtaining an advanced level of skill guarantees certain, consistent results, the downside to this competency is that it may impede spontaneous and unexpected outcomes. By doing away with the regiment A to Z steps, there is room for new discovery.
I made the five photographs above a few weeks back and have been living with them hanging on the studio wall. Thinking, looking, feeling and thinking some more. They seem to be the pause within the chaos of the distressed photographs. And, although I wasn't even aware of "de-skilling" at the time, they were made by skipping over my usual hands-on manipulation of the image. These photographs are of physical forms that I had no hand in creating; physical forms already complete, manifested thoughts in themselves.