Show your workings….
May 4, 2011, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Seren Stacey

This week, as the residency draws towards an end and the opening looms, I am thinking really for the first time about the presentation of the space and about what to leave in and what to take away.

I had it in mind to leave it as a working space, seeing it as a work in progress and the process as an end in itself, as the physical manifestation of the journey I have been on, the visual diary of my time here and the mess of creation. But as soon as there is a viewer being invited into the space then it feels to me that everything I choose to leave or to take away becomes a self conscious act.

A friend told me about an interview they’d seen in Francis Bacon’s studio. By all accounts there was no attempt to preen and fettle out of pride or vanity, it was left messy and squalid in parts with pots of rancid liquid, etc. The mess bore witness to the intensity of his creativity and perhaps it may have lost its potency had he begun to decide what would be acceptable and what would appear squalid.

On the other hand, Tracey Emin’s bed was brave and unashamed appearing to lay herself bare, but the fact of its re-assembly meant that each bit had to be considered, and so despite its brutal honesty, there was a conscious act of presentation.

That got me thinking about the authenticity of showing your workings. When considering how to leave the space as a genuine working space  I began to I wonder what to remove and what to leave. Questioning, should I touch up the paint or even vacuum the floor?  In the end I vacuumed because I broke a glass lens.That’s honest.

Now I am leaning toward showing my workings in a more material way. The cardboard box, beyond its usual utility, has become my portable studio space and my window on the world. I have been using cardboard boxes as a means to view the outside world differently, creating a dialogue between external and internal space. The film I have been making cuts back and forth between blurry dream-like footage and the reality of the cardboard box which captures it. Some strange magic seems to happen when the footage is brought full circle to be projected back into the box. Suddenly from the single path chosen many more avenues open out. I have the exciting sense that there are many more routes to explore.

Like magents, they like to be together. The footage of the box looks at home back in the box and there is a sort of authenticity in that.

So I will be true to my process, and the cardboard box will feature in the work somehow. That is my way of evidencing my process.


1 Comment so far
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this is all really interesting and written with such consideration.I hope to be able to come and see the outcome especially now,in view of your deliberations. thankyou.

Comment by toria

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