Critique notes from Seminar: 1

Student Led Critique (Cold reading)

  • Reading of books, found items, chance
  • Humour where the text comes through
  • Enjoyment of the workmanship
  • Collage as not fitting with the rest of the work
  • ‘Cool’ thread diverging strands that seem like a sum or a whole
  • They all feel like drawings, accepted as drawings
  • Found things that have been brought together
  • Finding and looking through, sorting
  • Apertures, holes to look through
  • Physical exploration of the material and exploration of the idea/concept
  • Ambiguity is successful – some drawn, some writing, makes you switch between the two
  • Forced to think about text as art –typefaces as art, handwriting as art
  • Really speaks about me, my personality
  • Outdated technology
  • The work By Tuesday you’re imaginary holds it all together because it is text and image and materiality and something to look through
  • Suggestion that Parade Pavement and Untitled (spectres) don’t fit
  • Odd things together as a group, they all tell a story separately but also tell an odd story together
  • Cut-out feels like the odd one out
  • Ochre and blue become neutral
  • It’s confusing, but it doesn’t matter –like a red herring, -like a puzzling full stop
  • Odd, odd, odd
  • Funny little stories
  • Wondering what ‘the void’ is (from my artist statement), the negative space as the void?  Not sure the statement fits the work
  • When I explain a personal connection it can derail the conversation
  • The void is the bits that are left out, the fragments of memory, the holes and negative space
  • Potential as a book
  • Suggestion of hanging eclectically (rather than linear) to fragment the narrative to break up the works vs creating a narrative by hanging in sequence
  • The idea of ‘the void’ could be enhanced by removing one of the works but leaving a space with just the pins
  • A map reference in the newspaper cutting
  • Suggestion of drawing straight onto the wall
  • ‘By Tuesday you’re imaginary’ as a phrase is a really powerful talking point about the lack of existence.  Lyrical, seems like a song lyric
  • End of a relationship?
  • Seems like ambiguity is an important thing
  • When the work is explained, it is closed down
  • Embrace the poetry
  • Letting people make their own connections
  • Bring in the artefacts as well?
  • Maybe put it into the artist statement that these are things from my daily life?
  • Felt there was a disjoint between the statement and the artwork
  • Enjoying the text that is being used.

What I got out of this critique was that the ambiguity in the work, although it seemed to frustrate a couple of people, meant that people worked harder to create their own meanings from the hints I had given them in the works, the titles and the statement.  It meant that people were critically engaged with the work for longer, and seemed subsequently to enjoy it more.  I feel as though this resulted in the work being much more open, and therefore more successful then the work I presented in April.

I have highlighted in bold the comments that were particularly helpful, or have reinforced thoughts and ideas that are of interest to me.

I am interested in the idea of a dysfunctional narrative.  Because the works contain text there is the temptation to pull them all together and try to make sense out of them as a story.  This was a consideration when hanging the work and the reason they were hung in a linear fashion helped to reinforce that they should be read left to right, with the knowledge that it would be a frustrated reading because it doesn’t fit.  I am intrigued by the idea of exploring this further by creating a book.

The biggest lesson I learned was explaining the work shut it down again.  This has made me think a lot about how work doesn’t have to mean the same thing to me as it does to the viewer, and my way of working or the rational behind why I have collected the things I have is better to be left out of the artist statement and conversation.  Even though some of the group felt there was a disconnect between the artwork and statement, I feel that on the whole it was successful to have done it that way, as the statement didn’t explain the work and allowed for the level of ambiguity that had people engaging more.

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