Before creating my final piece, I went to the library and took out two books I felt would be relevant to what I was trying to produce. The first of these book was Memory, a Whitechapel book edited by Ian Farr. I had heard previously that the Whitechapel book series was a good source of information so I took it upon myself to read some of the essays from this book in order to inspire my work. The essay I looked at first was by Siegfried Kracauer called Memory Images and was written in 1927, I pulled out several key quotes which I felt were influential to my piece.
“Compared to photography memory’s records are full of gaps.”
“Memory does not pay much attention to dates- it skips years or stretches temporal distance.”
“An individual retains memories because they are personally significant.”
I also looked at an extract by Georges Perec from his book Places (1974). He explained that in 1969 he selected 12 places in Paris that he has lived or formed an attachment too. Each month he created a detailed description for two of these places, sometimes he got a friend to photograph them and he occasionally put other nick nacs in. Then each location was placed in a separate envelope. Perec did this every year for twelve years. He wanted to look at the experience of the ageing of places , of his personal memories and how his writing changed.
These thoughts were really realistic in what I was feeling about my piece. I wanted to create a piece that showed my memories of France but not necessarily in an order, I wanted it to be spontaneous.
This is what lead me to look into further detail Robert Rauschenberg. Robert Rauschenberg is an American painter, sculptor, printmaker, photographer and performance artist. He was never fully part of an artist movement due to his unique style. What firstly caught my eye about the book was the opening line, a quote by Tatyana Grosman “With Rauschenberg to work is something heroic. There is always a conquest, a subduing of something unexpected. Always some new discovery” I really connected with the element of discovery due to the fact that this was one of my main themes to begin with. I also discovered that Rauschenberg as very curious about his surroundings and had a unique way of perceiving them. His aim was to push the boundaries of art.
This is what I created as my final piece for Cut Up.
I was highly influenced by Rauschenberg and his technique and therefore wanted to make my piece mixed media, this would be mainly photography based. I also wanted to bring a Richter element into my artwork as he was my first research influence. I saw one of my classmates work and was inspired by his use of typologies and this came through in my work. In my tutorial Hannah encouraged me not to be afraid of using people in my work and this is why the human figure is present.
The aim of my piece is a personal piece for me whilst being a discovery for the viewer.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about my piece. I was not sure it was the strongest artwork I have created but it said what I wanted to say and I feel it shows a lot of where my influences lie. In terms of creating the piece I was quite messy and not so precious whilst I was making and that is something that differs highly from my first experimentation when I painted photographs. I was pleased about my new method of working. If I could change my piece I would experiment more in order to refine my outcome. I appreciate the materials I decided to use but next time I would consider not filling the background entirely. I feel it would give a completely different look and something I find more aesthetic. Overall I will be pleased to present my piece and I am interested to know what feedback I will receive and how it compares to my own.