Monday, September 27, 2010

If I had to do it all over again...

I'd make the one with the pink top (switching it up with the yellow rose from the cake in the background) and float it in San Francisco or San Diego.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Business Cards

via. I cannot wait to purchase this.

Oh look! The book where this came from only costs $8500.

Business cards for the Regional Society for Photographic Education event in Kalamazoo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicago September 2010

I took a much needed weekend off and traveled to Chicago Friday - Sunday. It was great to catch up with old friends and one of my graduate school mentors in addition to seeing some artwork!

Barbara and I visited the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Art Institute at a record pace (since we arrived nearly at closing time). His photographs are so low contrast and dusty. Barbara and I were discussing when photographers started to care about the quality of their prints and whether or not it was due to the fact that Cartier-Bresson was working for magazines and this wasn't a priority. We deduced that it wasn't until the 1980s that artists universally started to care about fine quality printing.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Shanghai, 1948

Looking forward to Lewis Baltz's Photographs/Ronde de Nuit show on my next trip in November.

John Baldessari won the prize for best exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was hanging out in Barbara's studio seeing her new work. She's preparing for exhibitions in Germany and England and is going to Marfa, Texas in two weeks for an opening at Ballroom Marfa.

Barbara Kasten
Studio Construct 17, 2007, 2/5
56 x 46 x 3 inches
Archival Pigment, print on Harman paper, mounted on Diebond

Ballroom Marfa
October 1, 2010 – February 20, 2011

From Glasstire: "Curated by Founder and Director Fairfax Dorn, Ballroom Marfa’s Immaterial is a show of abstract art. Though this seems fitting in the context of Ballroom Marfa’s neighboring Chinati Foundation, it’s a bit of a departure for a space that in recent years has focused more on installations and performances, and not so much on pretty objects. It being Marfa, their press release drops phrases like “the physical and psychic tensions between form, color and space” and “art’s potential to transcend conscious states through a plurality of visual languages” and “an image or object which can create both physical and psychological spaces.” But don’t let the poetical redundancies lull you to sleep or drive you to drink; instead note that Ballroom has put together a show that features a nice roster of international artists—all of whom are women—without describing it as a show of women artists! It's the most promising show in Marfa in a while. –RK"

I also had a great time hanging out with Alison Carey, ate a memorable dinner with Walead Beshty at the Skylark. Yes... Alison and I did do the Photobooth! Met Vicki Fowler, an amazing performance artist who I need to get to know better in the future. I also spent time with Kelli and Aaron who I also adore. I need to go back. Next weekend. Tomorrow. Now.

Donald Judd's Library Online

The 13,000 books in Donald Judd's Library in Marfa, Texas are available to browse online here. It is more of an upclose and personal look than the Judd Foundation tour which only allows you to look inside the windows. I like the objects sitting on the shelves and underneath - stones lined up in order and even a pair of wooden Dutch shoes. It becomes more about organization - what is vertical, horizontal, how the blank spaces inform the groupings, etc.

In some ways, it reminds me of Ed Ruscha's Information Man (yes, I am still trying to finish Ed Ruscha and Los Angeles - not for lack of interest but mainly lack of time). Information Man can account for all of his books (hypothetically of course):

"of all the books of mine that are out in the public that only 17 are actually placed face up with nothing covering them. 2026 are in vertical positions in libraries, while 2715 are under books in stacks… 58 have been lost; 14 totally destroyed by water or fire; while 216 could be considered badly worn. A whopping 319 books are in positions between 40 and 50 degrees and most of these are probably in bookshelves with the stacks leaning at odd angles. 18 of the books have been deliberately thrown away or purposely destroyed. A surprising 53 books have never been opened….”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Postcard Documentation

The idea began with a photograph emailed to me by Shannon Mehaffey (the two images below are June and July 2010 respectively).

How do other people display these images? What life do they lead once they are out of my hands? So I asked and here is part one of the answers I received. Shannon's version from August 2010 (see her blog post here on the last of the cakes):

Speaking of blog posts, Camden Hardy ever so kindly posted this about the postcards.

My Mom's version of display strictly for the photograph as she keeps them in a file with my name on it.

Natalie and Richard were very creative with their photographs. I devoted a post to Richard's image and the one below is Natalie's on her pink vanity table:

Amelia and Drew hang all their cards over a doorway and suddenly it became the fake cake show:

And to round out part one, Sara Shoemaker Lind sent me this image but had a very special request... could she have another set of the postcards because she has an idea but doesn't want to ruin them? So they are off in the mail this week and since her specialty is underwater photography, I am most interested in seeing what she will come up with!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine Fake Cakes and Nine Bodies of Water Postcards, 2010

Items that fascinated me about the postcards: 1) how wrecked some of them arrived and how they were postmarked, 2) how people began to display them in very different ways/spaces, 3) actually accomplishing my first mail art project, 4) how the postcard backs became as important as the fronts, and 5) reintroducing anticipation via the US mail. Making these became a lesson in errors because my turn-around time in most cases was so minimal. I don't like to point out all their mistakes but they are certainly part of the creation process.

I forgot to include my name as a recipient with Louisville hence the scan of Hannah's for Big Pink's arrival (and then I forgot to scan the front of her card).

Here is where I printed the card on the wrong profile so it is far more saturated than it should be.

I started to go overboard in thinking of the back with this card - taking specific photographs just for it.

I really wanted to show the viewer how many attempts it took to get the right image with this cake so the back had to be an indication of that.

I had to use a Maid of the Mist image and the underwater cameras for something!

My favorite postcard back in ode to my family's relationship to 666 (displayed here with my brother and sister-in-law's current address).

Yes... the reasoning behind this postcard was well documented in an earlier post or four.

This would be the postcard that I didn't realize needed a nozzle check until printing all of the backs (but fixed before printing the front).

Yet another mistake (can you say rushed before school started four days later?). I knew how long this card would be but ultimately it was too narrow to mail so i had to rig a makeshift envelope that cost over twice as much as a postcard to send.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Nine Fake Cakes & Nine Bodies of Water" Artist Statement

I photograph worn, dilapidated objects with a history that expresses loss and sadness. These forms are ultimately self-portraits, communicating to the viewer significant memories that I am unwilling to let go. Spring 2010 featured several personal and career related disappointments and for the first time in my artistic life, I was devoted to a project that’s main premise is beauty, escapism and desire. Complete immersion in finding inviting bodies of water to float Styrofoam and acrylic-tinted, caulk cakes was a coping mechanism to come to terms with loneliness and unhappiness with place. Cakes – both real and fake – appeared to make people happy and I wondered, most simply, if they could make me happy too.

Two of the most desirous objects in 20th century art are Wayne Thiebaud’s thickly textured paintings of desserts and Ed Ruscha’s photographs of azure swimming pools. They were my biggest inspirations as I sought ways of combining them, creating a mixed media spectacle of performance art, sculpture, and photography. Ed Ruscha is a frequent reference in my artwork and the number nine was chosen in homage to his famous series Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass but I expanded the locations to include not just artificial pools of water but natural springs, the ocean, freshwater lakes, and rivers.

I didn’t stray too far from the concept of object as self-portrait. The “Slice” depicts the part of me I left home in the Pacific Northwest (as photographed in the Canadian Southwest) when I moved to Indiana. The “Desert Sun” captures one of the happiest times in my life in one of my favorite places (Tucson, Arizona) while the “3-tier” photographed at Niagara Falls acknowledges one of the saddest. The cake deemed “Little Great Lakes”, the smallest of them all, shows an underlying determinism and hope as it bravely faces the incoming waves, only to be toppled over time and time again.

The sheer amount of help I received from friends and strangers, the bending of the rules to take many of the photographs, the postcards sent between each location, and the performances that ensued during the flotations are nearly as important as the images themselves. For merely nine prints, this is the most extensively documented project I have ever conceived. The cakes, many displaying the ruins of their initial floats (cracks, bleeding acrylic paint, missing decor), will be displayed on glass plates accompanying the photographs. An artists’ book will soon be published documenting all aspects of the process.

Despite its beauty, Nine Fake Cakes and Nine Bodies of Water comes from a dark place – one that was momentarily forgotten as I traveled across the country searching for pristine water. I returned with a product that commented on the illusion of what is fake and what is real, what is happy and what is sad, and what is desirous but unattainable.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Large Photographs

I am spending Labor Day Sunday printing large versions (20x30) of the cakes and my "thank you" prints to all that helped. The overwhelming favorites (tied with most votes): The Slice (Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, Vancouver Island) and Big Pink (Galt House Hotel, Louisville, KY) followed by Little Great Lakes at Lake Erie (Evangola State Park, NY).