Saturday, March 12, 2011

Final Presentation and New Discoveries

  All too soon  the term has ended with lots of  wonderful and creative projects. Looking back to all the work and progress made this term, I  would say I have learnt a lot. My project plan for the term was ;to produce a photobook  with photos taken from  two countries Ghana and USA comparing the visual  culture consumerism through display.  Using a cellphone I have created a series of photographs from Ghana and USA.

   One of the requirement for my digital class was to produce a product from our project idea that would actually could generate some revenue or simple compensate our ideas best. With this requirement my final product ended  up being  a ''11x17''  calender which turned out to best describe my idea of display. The most amazing thing is that the can be customized. That is you can order this calender and have all your special dates and event you don't want to miss. !n this case you get the ART( photos from Ghana ans USA) as well you taking the place of the artist by adding your own special dates and event names.
Personally, am thinking of expanding more on this calender idea to see what I can come up with.

On the other hand, my mates from this class presented lots of interesting products as well. Ranging form books, prints, films and music videos my colleagues portrayed an array of talents some of which i hope they would explore because they all full of potentials. The whole process was a learning experience and as I work each  time, I learn new things and my creativity expands.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Henri-Cartier Bresson

    Born in 1908, Henri-Cartier Bresson lived his entire life capturing moments and exploring the world near and far. We can understand his life  better by how much work he produced. Just like Ray Johnson who lived his leave as a performance art till his death, Cartier Bresson spent his entire life capturing and documenting profound moments from around the globe.  One quote that I relate to mostly when thinking of my project is one said by Cartier Bresson and I qoute

 "To take a photograph means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second– both the fact itself and the rigorous organisation of visually perceived forms that give it meaning...."

This to me makes perfect sense. It is with this same idea that I decided  to expand more on my visual display project to see how visually people are made to engage actively in consumerism . It is very difficult to remember events long past the happening time but having and image in a print form helps to remember and to bring to life moments long lived especially those that are specific  to specific time and place. Below are some photos by Henri-Cartier Bresson that I can relate to my own work even though I acknowledge that  meanings varies among audiences.

     These photographs carry strong visual messages and also shows the documentation of time even when it passes. The composition of each image may or may not have been intentionally positioned but one thing is obvious. That is it get the viewer thinking about the action or event, time and place, and lastly the reanson(s) for such profound images. Comparing these and other photographs by Cartier Bresson, I realized that even though my project  All Displayed which is about comparing a visual culture of two countries Ghana and the USA on how things are strategically displayed to promote consumerism, the idea of visually appealing to viewer to stop and interact with whatever it is before them.
Henri-Cartier Bresson has created a library of history through his art work which is serving not only to his fame but also as a resource len through which the world an dthings around us can be viewed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Into the Real World - Life after GRADUATION!

     After a short but intense weekend at the11th Annual SEA conference in Lisle, Illinois I was left with nothing but to think of what I can do as an artist  to make a leaving right out of college as I enter into the real world and particularly the art world.  With these taught of  life after graduation and then what?  still lingering in my mind, I somehow found inspiration from Kristin Boehm  an established young artist and an alumni class of  2009 from Lawrence University who has found her voice in the art world.

  Much was said at the  conference about having a web presence as an artist and presenting one's self as professional as possible. Speakers at this conference spent much time talking and discussing the need for a wed presence  and the role it plays in getting our work out there   and building a bigger audience, publicity and networking.  It was not until Kristin got on campus to share her experiences  that I realized the need for me not to take for granted all the resources i have now to make and keep my web presence alive.

  Kristin Boehm talked a lot about her  journey after Lawrence. As a young artist graduating right at the peak of the Recession, she took advantage of all possible means of getting her feet in the art world by concentrating more on her web presence as a means of getting her work recognized.  Her interest which started from right on the LU campus where she took her first Digital Processes class where she just like what am doing now was encourage to keep a blog, self design a project and also create a product which introduced her to the idea of selling online using online markets like Esty among others.

The inspiration and advice I took from listening to older professional artist at the Self Employment in the Art conference and lecture from Kristin Boehm, it is very important that as  young emerging artist we involve ourselves into the art community by collaborating with other artist in our own field of interest and sometimes volunteer time or donate some work to help build your resume for future job prospecting.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ray Johnson, Mary Jane Jacob and the Collaborative Process

     Ray Johnson, a contemporary artist of his time left behind a legacy. Known for his intricate and indulging collages, Ray Johnson is also known as one of if not the pioneer of mail artist. According to the documentary How to Draw a Bunny  Ray Johnson had multiple personalities which made it very difficult for all who came into contact with him to truly define him as someone they knew very well. Nevertheless, he was very creative and passionate about art and lived all his life making art and sharing it with others. As and artist, Ray was very well connected with his fellow artist in one way or the other and collaborated with them directly or indirectly. I believe it is through this collaborative process that his unique works still leaves today.

     I find its very inspiring as an upcoming artist, that in fact one can leave a life full of passion for one's profession as Ray Johnson did. He made more prints that anything considering the amount of art work found his house before he committed suicide. The irony of his death, the stories and memories he left in the minds and hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him in of its self can be seen as art. Ray Johnson's life was a performance art as explain by Stephen Perkins at his WC Gallery   in De Pere, Wisconsin.  Having had  his fair share and experience with Ray,  he believed his suicide should be seen as the last performing art of Ray Johnson. As sad as his death might have seemed we can all agree that it was well thought out and ended the way he had planned for himself. On one hand Ray Johnson was a strong self motivated artist who work carry with it strong thought provoking messages but yet very unique and somehow childish look whiles on the other hand he was a lonely, and unhappy man.

    After listening to Mary Jane Jacob and her talk on collaboration, I couldn't help but think about my collaborative process as I work on my senior project. in she speech she did address four important points that helps or works in favor off a collaborative process especially if it involves and outside world. In order of importance she lists observation, co-generation, action, and integration. From personal experience dealing with people who consider you as an outsider, it is very important even if you are from there but leaving outside the country or town in this case to step aside and observe how things are done before jumping in to offer solution or advice. In such case there will be less of a resistance as you take time to reassess your approach.

I think co-generation, action and integration can works together since it all tends to address the issue of incorporation of one's audience in equally to achieve whatever it is that you as the artist works towards. As Mrs. Jacob talks about her project Places with a Past and how the had to engage the community to which in turn help them to successfully achieve their aim of making Charleston a place with history and painful emotions become a place of healing for the community and the artist themselves.

   One thing I also noticed with Mrs. Jacob was how she relates her work closely  with her religion. Her Buddhism beliefs are very much a part of even how she views art and curatorial work. It was all about faith and experience one encounters with an art work something I realized after several discussion forums with her. It was a privilege having someone very influential and  experience to come talk to us as we seek career goals and aspirations

Friday, February 4, 2011

Allan Kaprow's Happenings and todays' Reinvention.

   After listening to a real life experience from an art historian and her first hand encounter with Allan Kaprow,I realized that Kaprow did not only owned his work but he gave future generation of artists the chance to interpret it their own way by reinventing his work. If art is and can be anything and everything then it makes much sense why many famous artist of all times made fame doing what they did . When art becomes very interactive it gives meaning and create an aura that resides with it's audience for a lifetime. After watching a series of videos on youTube on reinventions of Kaprow's "Happening" I realized that art can very much be a part of one's daily life not necessarily to make sense but to be a feeling and a state of being when in interaction with it. The idea behind his work, In my opinion Was to create art that changes with time,place and audience because only people around at time the art is being performed get the chance to witness the action which in deed makes the audiences participants rather than spectators. In of everything said about Kaprow' works and style, it's undeniable that he redefined performance art and it's future.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Reality of The American Dream pt2

  Werner Herzog's film Stroszek is indeed an incredible documentary/film that adds to all the other famous and daring films he has to his credit. After watching the ending to Stroszek, I couldn't differ but to agree with Dan Schneider's review, A voice in the wilderness describing Herzog's extraordinary approach to film-making.

   Not only did Herzog leave his viewers/ audiences in suspense, he gave them the chance to read into the ending scene as they deems right. The irony of the whole ending scenes where Bruno S ends up in a native American neighborhood carrying with him a frozen turkey. Or leaving his truck running in circles with a fully dressed Native American right at the scene without but still isolated like nothing odd is going on around him.

   One big connection I made with the "professional" dancing chicken, pianist chicken, and the fire rabbit were their environment and how that might have been in relation to Stroszek's personal experiences leaving in institutions. Even though Stroszek felt a sense freedom after his release from jail and new life in the United States which was the best either, his past experiences were constantly at play in his now life which lead to emotional flashbacks which I believe lead to suicide. But then again why would he come all the way to and animal recreational center to end his life? Did he feel like he has been treated like an animal all this while? Perhaps, he felt that way or maybe it was time for him to move on with his life hereafter with hope of finding a safer haven elsewhere. Hopes that were from "TheAmerican Dream".

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Reality of The American Dream

Coming from a different country to America makes a person realize the importance to appreciates ones own culture and lifestyle to and extent and to let go the illusion of a safe haven or " The American Dream". One most important question that people fail to ask themselves before pursuing such dream is What really is the America Dream? How many Americans are living this dream? And what is the actual cost of living this dream?

Most a times, people get talked into believing that America is the place to be and that all is rosy and smooth running. We all know that is definitely not the case. Just like any other country in the world, America for that matter has its own flaws and forces to reckon with. Technology has and indeed to a greater deal created a global monster that is gradually eating us all up. As much as we are learning more about other parts of the world, we are actually not not receiving the right information.

In Bruno S case, he taught and believed strongly along with his friends that America was the safest and more free place to live. Initially this might have seemed like the case because they had jobs and were able to safe up something to buy a mobile house and all the little things that came with it that made it looked as if their illusions were becoming a reality but after a while when one gets to fully understand how things work in the "free country" then the reality sets in.
Yes America has wonderful things to offer but its actually not the best of place to be when you have a somethings else to compare with. There are the hidden truth that you only find out when you finally gets in. And due to preconceived notions about this place and the idea of the American Dream it is very difficult to prove otherwise to others on the fence. Maybe some day people on the other side would accept that there is nothing really like a free American Dream for all.