Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Stalking Artists: In Pursuit of Home" (working title & statement)

Stalking Artists: In Pursuit of Home exists as an action, a collection, and a curiosity. I am interested in the public vs. private domain in the era of the Internet. Vito Acconci’s Following Piece and Sophie Calle’s Suite VĂ©nitienne are inspirations. The art world’s acceptance of their acts of following random strangers in the general public until they disappear into a private location is an impetus behind my series.

It began in 2009 when a pilot from Sedona, Arizona heard me wonder out loud where James Turrell lived while guiding me to Roden Crater. He did a fly-by over Turrell’s compound and I started comparing the experience of seeing his house to my inability to name anywhere I have lived in the past five years “home.” In 2011, I wrote a letter to one of my favorite artists after finding his address online. A month later, while standing in front of Ed Ruscha’s house in Venice Beach tweeting about it, I realized that I wanted to see where famous artists lived and how their success is translated into the place they call home.

I have a set of rules that I adhere to when taking these photographs:

1) The artist must live there currently (preferably it is a single family dwelling).

2) I cannot trespass in any form, remaining on public property at all times.

3) The photographs are straightforward interpretations of the front of their house (almost like one would find on a realtor’s website). I will include details if I am comfortable enough that I will not be caught.

The artists that followed include: William Eggleston in Memphis, Tennessee (I requested to see it instead of Graceland); Arthur Tress in Cambria, California; and Julian Schnabel in Greenwich Village, New York. The failed attempts are also included in the series. I learned that Ann Hamilton lived one mile away from her studio location in Columbus, Ohio after the fact which produced a tangential introduction to my process. I am still waiting for Jeff Koons to move into his Manhattan palace and return to photograph it with every visit to New York.

I am interested in the Internet as a source for artistic pursuits. I map the land through sites like Google Street View as well as my actions through Twitter. It’s difficult to admit my curiosity in this subject to a public audience but when asked why I am doing this, the closest answer I can give is: If I keep searching for other artists’ homes, will I eventually come to find my own?

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