So in addition to getting a supply grant from the College of Liberal Arts for my current project, I was awarded a University level grant for a curatorial project that will debut after next spring, and I was awarded an Indiana State Individual Artist Project Grant for a new portrait project. Yay!
I have been experimenting with making quick, short looping videos with the dogs. They may be mo homage to William Wegman’s early video work, or John Divola’s “Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert”. I like the idea of making work with them, but with YouTube and the easy-access to video taking and editing technologies, I’m not sure they are interesting anymore. While the Wegman and Divola pieces had a certain banality, they were also fresh at the time.
I made these to be fun, to be unexpected, to expose the actions of the dogs compared to what we would do. “Laser on Target” (above) is meant to look like a first-person shooter meets Blair Witch; the undulation of the laser in the dark is the indexical indication of the animals chasing it, even when they can’t be seen. “Luna and the Birds” (below) reflects the dog’s patience, as she listens and looks for the birds.
Group of Venuses
Ceramic with stick. Soaked in a solution of homemade Oak Gall Ink and coffee grounds; about 5 inches tall
Found deer bone, carved; about 2.5 inches tall
Ceramic in found stone with water-carved depression; figure is .75 inches, rock is 3 inches long
Salt-fired ceramic with glitter; about 4 inches tall
Salt-fired ceramic; about 4 inches tall
This last year, I have been experimenting with process-based art works. Some involve making chemical transformations to things (such as soaking found bones for weeks to clean and sanitize them, or “brewing” Oak Gall Ink), while others are about collecting or researching.
This image set contains some of my “Venuses”, the tiny, mostly feminine objects I have been drawn to at museums such as LACMA, the Met, the Denver Art Museum, or the Chicago Art Institute, to name a few. I have been making these objects to explore what it must have been like to make them originally (these figures vary in geographical as well as chronological origin), and what they might have meant symbolically.
Using archeological photographs, I recreated the Venus of Willendorf to her approximate size and proportion (I am not worrying about being 100% true to the original, but trying to capture the essence of the object), and was most surprised by the way the size of the object felt in the hand. She is always photographed floating in space, but there is no side of her that would stand or lay comfortably. However, her form fits comfortably and satisfyingly in the palm.
The speculation around the function or reason of these objects range from goddess representations (Isthar, Ashtar, Venus, etc.) to fertility spells, toys to masturbatory aides. They could have been a means to objectify the female body, but they could also symbolize an overall appreciation of the female body within the culture and species.
I will post more as they are photographed.