Monday, May 9, 2016

Additions to the Art Department

Although I am supposed to be engrossed in the Autobiography in Water series during my sabbatical, the Art Department creeps in to tell me that I am far more excited about making these photographs than any of the others. I am composing a brief story for this image (and the final one) - both are still in progress. It was taken at the Oregon State University Art Department in Corvallis, Oregon in March. Its history is tangentially related to mine and it is the first one taken that is not at a school where I attended (but I taught from 2002-2005).

At the end of April I revisited Boise State University for the fourth time in two years and was finally able to take the photographs of the next three classrooms properly. What a lesson in patience! Here is the old painting classroom, now a space for life drawing/anatomy but more notably the one where the peephole was cut into the homasote from my father's office. I wanted a blank chalkboard because despite the experience of seeing into a space covertly, nothing ever happened on the other side. Ever.

Awhile ago, I found an old journal where I wrote about the first two weeks of taking classes with my father for the first time. This circumstance took place in Drawing 1 in the very same location.

This space is much more important than the image would ever indicate. It was my photography classroom where my professor Brent Smith taught me how to see color. During his Color Temperature lecture, he pointed to the light shining through the top of the blinds bouncing off the ceiling. He noted how high noon sun is blue in hue - I never forgot what that looked like. Everything about photography centers around light (and for me, color) and now the windows are sealed. When examined at a larger scale, one can see the blue sneaking in through the center.

I am still working on the stories in my father's letter. Asking police officers to take their portrait, finding models to pose nude and in a body stocking, acquiring a metal box with very specific dimensions, and wondering how to make a facsimile of human feces is proving to be a challenge. So I wait until I return to academia to continue...

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