Manipulating Exposure

BLACK – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  WHITE

‘Black to White Windows’
2017
Ruth Linnell

Having been influenced by the work of John Hilliard, I started to explore how exposure could be a form of manipulating an image to remove information form it. This could happen in two ways, by turning black and in the other extreme white. I initially planned this piece to be far smaller scale, only 20 images but as I started to explore how to edit the images it expanded. I played with the exposure levels but as I was working towards creating a White image, I discovered that I could get there by producing harsh lines of colour or by softly facing the image to wash it out completely. These two techniques I found hard to marry together into a nice grid formation. However, with time I was able to create a layout which worked subtly in transitioning between the two.

        

Experimental process of creating ‘Black to White Windows’ 

Although the exposure was an important element in referencing the removal of an images information, I was more concerned with emphasising the time which the creation of the work had taken. The manipulation and sizing of each image, followed by the cutting out of each square, its positioning within the grid and finally mounting onto the wall in a systematic way all took an considerable length of time. I found that the labour involved in the works production, and its controlled aesthetic were of more interest to be than the photographic processes I have made so obvious within the piece – manipulating exposure.

Experimental process of creating ‘Black to White Windows’
Ruth Linnell
Experimental process of creating ‘Black to White Windows’
Ruth Linnell

Please see: John Hilliard

White Windows

A previous piece of work I had created in my sketchbook in which I used a wooden block to carve the symbol of a barred window into its facade influenced by decision to create a work which replicated the images development. I wanted to move forward from the exposure which I had previously looked by still keeping the focus of meticulous display and sizing, emphasising the time consuming process of the work. I felt that the neutral palette of white and the emphasis on form had a most sophisticated and pioneering interest.

Each piece built up the information which was allowed to be understood. It reminded me of some of Jasper Johns early experimentations with numbers. I really liked how the work sat within the space which I was displaying my work. It naturally embedded itself into the wall, requiring intimate viewing as at a glass you only saw the outline of each square. I think the work maintained the viewers intrigue far more so than the exposed images. I think it equally would be interesting if I had considered displaying these images in one long extending line around the exhibition space, this could have allowed the viewer to journey along the build up of information.

‘White Windows’
2017
Ruth Linnell

I think another really key aspect of the work is that it is CARVED. I would want to consider how the positioning of this work in space could capture the direct sunlight passing over it at one time. This might emphasis its engraving and during different times in the day appear slightly altered. Based upon the photography of each individual square I created a short film which builds up the image, I think the absence of any previous knowledge when watching the film makes the work into a more REVEALING process. I think that making the viewer slowly discover the final image would be more interesting then having all the squares laid out to be digesting in one viewing.

‘White Windows’ film created on Vimeo by Ruth Linnell

Please see: An Impressed Symbol

Scattered in Situ

Sca t t   e     r     e        d             i             n              s                i                  t                      u

                      

‘Strips Scattered in Situ’ I
2017
Ruth Linnell

I started to explore how scattering cut up images within a space could function as another form of disrupting the image. However, I quickly found that this form of presentation seemed unfinished and would only work on a larger scale, having been pushed further. I took an image which was primarily of a wall with some small widows within its frame. When cutting this image it’s subject matter became significantly obscured as many of the strips were just of brick work. I think that the work might have been more successful if i have considered which image to use sightly more carefully. I feel that the concept of the practical work is somewhat taking of the content of the image, being far more process lead. I want to push the work forward by changing the imagery I have used.

‘Strips Scattered in Situ’ II
2017
Ruth Linnell

I think in principle the concept of distributing sections of an image was rooted in a desire for the viewer to have to patch together the sections, creating a puzzle which needed to be solved. However, in reality because the images were only A3 in scale, they became more like off cuts which weren’t important, swallowed up by the space. I think that if I did want to pursue this idea further the dissection of the images would be far more thorough and I would hang the work in a more structured way. I feel that the relaxed form of presentation is in contrast with the subject matter. It seems to undermine the importance of whats being discussed- especially as the strips have been placed on the floor.

‘Strips Scattered in Situ’ III
2017
Ruth Linnell

Changing Focus

I wanted to play with the shadows of this work more, and shift the focus off the original object (the glass) into a more subtle response to environment. I started to photograph the work when the widows of my room what cast shadows. There is a barred black metal balcony rail outside my  window which was duplicating the experience I wanted my manufacture when painting the glass. Therefore by allowing the shadows to pass over its surface  I had created a poetic reference between the ‘created’ in the hands of an artist and the natural.

‘Black lines’ playing with creating shadows
2017
Ruth Linnell
‘Black lines’ playing with creating shadows
2017
Ruth Linnell
‘Black lines’ playing with creating shadows
2017
Ruth Linnell

I wanted to play with the shadows of this work more, and shift the focus off the original object (the glass) into a more subtle response to environment. I started to photograph the work when the widows of my room what cast shadows. There is a barred black metal balcony rail outside my window which was duplicating the experience I wanted my manufacture when painting the glass. Therefore by allowing the shadows to pass over its surface  I had created a poetic reference between the ‘created’ in the hands of an artist and the natural.I think my earlier idea of painting directly onto a window in a space would work better in creating a more subtle work which presented the viewer with a work which was of a relational scale.

When photographing this in situ, I started to capture the bars from my window as they were reflected on the glass’ surface. This started to create a really interesting illusion which confused the viewer but also started to play with perception. I think viewing these three images in conjunction with each-other forces the viewer to question their perception being manipulated by the artists. Photography can no long be viewed within the fine art practise as a recording device for documentation but it has the ability to manipulate a scene completely – as showcased here.

‘Changing Focus to the View Beyond’
2017
Ruth Linnell

Black Lines

I started to experiment with glass as a medium. I was very interested with how it works in conjunction with photography, so much of commercial photography is placed behind glass and presented. It also started me thinking on its properties as a medium- being seemingly transparent and representational. It promises to not lie about whats behind its surface but tell a true story. I think this is an interesting topic when discussing the relationship between role of the artist in controlling a persons perspective and the materiality of the medium in promising a form of accurate representation.

‘Black Lines’ and Experimental shadow photography
2017
Ruth Linnell

I started to play with the symbol of the barred window which I had simplified through the progression of previous work. I found that painting this onto glass, whilst completely abstracted in form, created a more relatable understanding to what looking out of a caged window might be like. The harsh black lines seems to sore into your mind as some form of tribal markings. I also was fascinated wit the cast shadows of the work and would be interested in crated in far more subtle work which dealt with the shadows- possibly painting straight onto the glass of a window in a building might create a work which is far more embedded into a situation, similar to ‘Situated Underlying Existence’ 2014 by Kishio Sug.

‘Black Lines’
2017
Ruth Linnell

When photographing this work in the studio it became drowned in its location, looking incredibly small and insignificant – the same struggle I had previously with the photographic images ‘scattered in situ’. I started to bring together other items, another piece of found glass and some mesh to frame the work. This was a very impromptu response to the studio location, and the work started to cross boundaries between sculpture and instillation. However, i felt the work was now responding to the Mono- Ha which acquired materials without manipulating them, and presented them as art.

Please see: Playing with situation

Materialisation and Dematerialisation

Material and Dematerialisation – A lecture by Andrew Chesher

Richard Long’s ‘A line made by walking’, was created by Long walking up and down in a straight line until the grass was trodden flat. The photograph is how this work is now presented. Long calls this work sculpture. There is a minimalistic sculptural reference but there is a huge different between this work and that of Carl Andre. Long’s work exists solely as a photograph whereas the other artists found photography was an inadequate form of presenting their work. For Minimalists, the work has to be a in a special reality, whereas photography is merely representational. The object has become mediated by reducing its material reality by making it an easily transmittable information.

‘A line made by walking’
1967
by Richard Long
‘Early One Morning’ 1962 Sir Anthony Caro

Richard Long ‘Untitled (Ben Nevis Hitch – Hike) 1967. At specific spaces, he took a photo of bot the ground and the ski. For Lon, his practise was walking as sculpture. Whilst walking doesn’t have a form (and his photographs don’t feature people walking) there is an idea of getting away from objects by dematerialising work. He instead points to something which can’t be presented in its entirety. It becomes a fundamentally important concept that part of his work is held in Ben Nevis and the work cannot be viewed collectively.

‘Untitled’
1967
by Richard Long

This work departs from the idea of ‘form’ as the ‘idea transcends the form’ (any form presented is only partial of the idea). Robert Morris said that previously the relationships within the work of art were what was important(e.g. between paint and the canvas), but for him the relationship was between the object and the viewer. Long extends this more to something which you can’t see but can only imagine.

Robert Morris’s work ‘Untitled’,1965 the work seems to continually push us out into the contingent events which surround the work. They’re always changing and therefore have no end – its context dependent and open to the influence of its environment. Robert Smithson moves beyond Morris’ work (with the idea that the object he was making had a form which could be recognised immediately e.g. it was a cube with 6sides). He plays with idea of ‘site and non- site’. Smithson would place mirrors in a site and then take photographs or take the material form the site and place in the gallery – ‘Non sites’. His work dealt with a displacement, he wanted to continually relate back to the space/location he took the work from rather than presenting an object.

‘Untitled’ 1965, by Robert Morris
‘Nonsite’ (Essen Soil and Mirrors) 1969 by Robert Smithson

This idea of dematerialisation is continued in Francis Alÿs piece ‘The Loop’ 1997 was made when asked to contribute to an exhibition in Santiago. Alys took the money for the commission and flew perpendicularly around the globe to arrive back to Santiago. He got from Mexico to USA by not crossing the Mexican/USA border. BUT the purpose of making this work is the ‘process’, although many would argue he has squander the money from the commission. The form of the work is a post card of the ocean with a text which describes what he did and why. This work is actually JUST A POSTCARD, but the it’s the’ experience’ which your involved in. Although this only exists as photograph, he said the point was to become a rumour. He wants his work to be told to a friend. RUMOUR = ART.

‘The Loop’ 1997 by Francis Alÿs

There is always a question of why does the work take the FORM that it does?

Dematerialisation– “When not on exhibition, the pieces are dismantled and cease to exist except as ideas. The dematerialisation of his sculpture makes it impossible for Andre to indulge himself in wasteful activities like polishing and shining…. “–David Bourdon 1966.

Carl Andre works with materiality always sourcing his work form the surrounding of where he is exhibiting his work. He also decided he would never make work if he couldn’t set it up by himself, the piece needed to be proportional to his body. However, he also followed the idea of ‘post studio’ art, focusing on creation without needing a studio himself. He makes the work in situ and because of having an idea and then making the work – he said he is interested in ‘seeing what it looks like’. Sol LeWitt said that conceptual art is when the ‘idea was a machine which makes the work’. Both these artists have very different approaches as LeWitt sees the concept as generating the outcome but Andre was also concerned with how his work is read in space.

Conceptual Art– 5-31 January 1969 (Exhibition curated by Seth Siegelaub). In one room there was a series of work which were physical e.g photography’s, paintings. In another room there was a description of the works written up in a book, these were descriptions which could be carried out. This first room was described as ‘secondary information’ where as the book was seen as ‘primary’ as it was where the work was created. The IDEA is now seen as the primary thing. Lawrence Weiner makes works which are ‘written up ideas of works’, and then carries it out. He’s very interested in the relationship between the idea and the creation and his work became about removal, removing parts of the location where he was invited to exhibit work. “Removal of the Lathing or Support Wall of plaster of Wallboard from a wall, 1968’ is where he started to remove a square of plaster. It could be argued he’s showing the materiality of the wall but he wants to emphasise that this is a removal and not a ‘form’ to be read therefore dematerialising the work.

‘Removal of the Lathing or Support Wall of plaster of Wallboard from a wall’
1968
by Lawrence Weiner

Martin Creed’s piece ‘The lights going on and off’ 2000, The lights of the room go on and off in 5 second intervals. Is this piece about light? The room? Is it the moment that the lights are turning off and on that the work exists? Have we arrived at the work of art? But the work is the questions, because we don’t know its boundaries. This is discussing the notion of materiality, if the idea is something which can have in our head, to some extent the materiality goes beyond form. 

‘The Lights going on and off’ 2000 by Martin Creed

Gabriel Orozco became a reference point for an art form which responded to the modern world but referenced the traditions of the Avant Gard. ‘Extensions of reflection’ and ‘Breath on Piano’, both only exist as photographs. We can’t say that the creation is the sculpture, or the photograph is a representation of the sculpture, nor is the photography the primarily reality. We are asked to think about how this act is done spontaneously in the world. This response to the world is also completely ephemeral- taking the barest minimal form. Therefore, we experience an idea which is made from encounter with the world. This is similar to the content of Martin Creed – Is it happening?

‘Extentions of reflections’ by Gabriel Orozco
‘Breath on Piano’ by Gabriel Orozco

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frank Stella’s work ‘Empress of India’, 1965 is a painting where he painted chevrons on shaped canvases, the canvas is shaped to conform to the shapes it contains of visa versa. Michael Fried wrote a critical book called ‘Shape as Form’ in which he discussed that Stella made a painting which sailed as closely to objecthood as possible and then came back. He does this by acknowledging the edge of the canvas. For Fried this piece acknowledged the objecthood by echoing an optical visual experience within the canvas but also comments on its object within the room. There is no longer a need for the ‘edges of a work’.

‘Empress of India’ 1965 by Frank Stella

Bibliography:

Playing with situation

I had previously researched about minimalist artists and their focus on the momentary conideicnes being a part of their art work. When I was in the studio, the light started to pass across my large white painting. The shadow which was cast started to act like a barrier in an of itself. This has started my thinking on how situation and the LOCATION of my work should seriously be considered.

‘Bars in Situ’
Experimental photography
2017
By Ruth Linnell
‘Bars in Situ’
Experimental photography
2017
By Ruth Linnell

The work really reminded me of Kishio Suga’s work ‘Situated Underlying Existence’ which laid plastic sheets on the ground and allowed the light of the gallery space to be a part of the work. As I was researching into this artist I found out he was a part of the Mono-ha movement which grew in Japan.

‘Situated Underlying Existence’ 2014 by Kishio Suga

Mono-ha was concerned with ‘not making’, as it was argued by Lee Ufan (founder) that the need for an ARTIST to make things had been made void by the introduction of technology.  In his own practise he ‘rejected traditional ideas of representation in favour of revealing the world as it is by engaging with materials and exploring their properties’. I recently saw Ufan’s work at the  ‘Everything at Once’ Exhibition at the Strand. He displayed both ‘Dialogue – silence’,2013 and ‘Dialouge’, 2017. I was particularly interested with the presentation of a blank canvas in one of his pieces. When studying minimalism both Greenberg and Fried argue that the object itself cannot be the work. They suggest that the object has to become something new, however, here we see Ufan breaking these rules.

‘Dialogue’ 2017 by Lee Ufan
Photography of ‘Everything at Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell
‘Dialogue-silence’ 2013 by Lee Ufan
Photography of ‘Everything at Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell

‘The name mono-ha was coined slightly derogatorily by a journalist in response to the lack of polish and perceived lack of skill displayed in the making of the work. As the movement gained international recognition, and through its association with arte povera, mono-ha came to be widely respected as a movement that was critically engaged.’ – Tate

I have started to consider how this concept of appropriating objects could work in presenting the viewer with ‘barriers’. I recently found some sheets of mesh which I have take from the skip. Im unsure exactly how I want to see them used but they also present an emotive reaction by themselves (Much like ‘Curtain (for William and Peter)’ 1969 by Melvin Edwards.)

‘Found Mesh’
Process photography
By Ruth Linnell
‘Found Mesh’
Process photography
By Ruth Linnell

Bibliography:

Please see: White White White

180 The Strand

“Nowadays everything happens at once and our souls are conveniently electronic (omniattentive)”– John Cage, 1966

EVERYTHING AT ONCE

The exhibition isn’t chronological or categorised by movement or influence but features 45 works which explore ‘experience, effect and events, invoking immediacy and immutability’- Alison Thorpe. I definitely experienced a sense of being immersed in all types of contemporary art whilst walking around the exhibition. I found that It was at points an overload of information which reflects the changes which social media have bought about, overloading us with information.

Entering into the exhibition were told to take off our shoes and enter a dark room where a a light a light display takes over the room with accompanied electronic sound. The black and white stripes which take over the floor resemble bar codes with sound transforming us into a digital world. Ryoji Ikeda focuses on sound and light using mathematical precision. ‘Test pattern’ is an ongoing work which uses data from texts, photos and movies and converts them into bar codes and binary patterns. In this space, people began to sit and get comfortable with the environment. They’re stays were extended over a period of time as they almost became hypnotised by the immersive experience. I was fascinated by the urge to record the work, most people in the room were taking photos or film for their own use.

Film created by Ruth Linnell

Ikeda’s work set the tone for the theme ‘everything at once’. Then traveling outside the to get to the first studio space, we were being transported into a wildly different environment which worked well in disorientating the viewer. In the first studio I was particularly drawn to the work of Richard deacon. His minimalist sculptural forms, by use of light and shape, have challenged my perception of what their construction consisted of. As I moved around the work I discovered its reality, which was disguised from certain angles, presenting itself in a very different way.

‘Vincent’ 2005, by Richard Deacon
Photograph of ‘Everything At Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell
‘Turning a blind eye’ 1985, by Richard Deacon
Photograph of ‘Everything At Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell

Similarly, ‘At the edge of the world’ by Anish Kapoor creates a sense of misunderstanding with his sculpture. The viewer experienced the audio form a large dome structure when standing inside its belly, however, when looking up- the surface appears flat- thereby confusing the viewer. This large scale distorts the air around it. ‘By combining them (the sculptures) with pigment and light – or the lack of it – he transforms the viewer’s perception of his work, creating ephemeral experience as much as actual objects.’ I find the power of illusion within sculpture very interesting and I want to explore this within the field of photography within my own practise.

‘At the edge of the world II’ 1998, by Anish Kapoor
Photograph of ‘Everything At Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell

Ai Weiwei’s work consisted on a wall which tells the story of displacement, conflict and alienation which has been displayed along side blasted tree roots. The iconography of the wall paper was inspired by Greek and Egyptian imagery which documented early movement of people. I think that the scale with which this piece was displayed payed emphasis to the scale of the refugee crisis. The work becomes overwhelming when looking intimaty at individuals which are depicted and connecting with their story, then panning back to see a 60 meter stretch of wall which holds repeated stories.

‘Odyseey’ 2016 by Ai Weiwei
Photograph of ‘Everything At Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell

Another significant piece of work for me was that of Lee Ufan (Please see ‘Playing with Situation’ blog post).

I found that the curation of the show massively played into its title. The viewer was not only overloaded with visual information form a variety of artists, but the movement around the exhibition brought you through a variety of different space. The slick opening was representational of a modern gallery space, but moving through we entered into darkened spaces where the light was ‘at the end of the tunnel’ so to speak. Much of the building seemed unfashioned and under construction which I personally felt added to the intended experience for the viewer.

Photograph of ‘Everything At Once’ Exhibition taken by Ruth Linnell

Please see: Playing with situation

Dali//Duchamp

“This is the first major exhibition in the UK to explore the artistic, philosophical and personal links between two fo the twentieth century’s greatest artists: Salvador Dalí and Marcel Duchamp”

The exhibition was structured into 4 sections: Identity, The body and the object, Experimenting with reality and playing games. Looking at the body, I found that I was particularly drawn to Duchamp’s ‘The King and Queen surrounded by swift nudes’ 1912, and was interested in the deconstruction of figures. I would be interested in replicating a technique which cuts in my photography (as I have been discussing destruction in my own practise). Similarly Dali’s ‘Cubist self portrait’ 1923 plays with fracturing his images to abstract shapes whilst keeping a string of representation.

‘the King and queen surrounded by swift nudes’, 1912 By Marcel Duchamp
‘Cubist Self-Portrait’ 1923 by Salvador Dalí

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duchamp’s readymade was secret for ages and his pieces were only seen by other artists in his studio. However, during the rise of surrealist movement “in 1930 the surrealist followed Duchamp radical reverent, using found objects in a kind of concrete poetry that produced provocative conjunction such as Dali’s lobster telephone as a surrealist object functioning symbolically’

‘Lobster Telephone’ 1936 by Salvador Dalí

“Surrealist objects are in no mans land between art and life. They confused the animate with inanimate”- RA

When in the room which was studying the erotic, I found the curation of the space to be very successfully linked. The room had been painted a dark purple, with gold mirrors around the space, capturing the light and self in a very luxurious way. The room had central cabinet which fetishises these objects collected and presented as art by Duchamp. I noticed people start to stare in a deepened way which they wouldn’t do if they had seen the object outside of a gallery setting. Its interesting to see the fascination with the work, now that the readymade has become an accepted form of art work, however, I started to question how many people understood its history. I  assumed most were just there to observe because they know its important superficially, maybe they felt a social pressure to appreciate the artwork. The mirrors significantly heighten the richness of the environment in which the art is viewed and people start to view the work as relics from a master in the art world.

Inside this room, there was one of the smallest photographs being completely overlooked by the many.  “Photograph of shadows cast by readymade” shows the shadows cast on wall from Duchamp’s readymade objects when hung in space. This adds projected a negative space onto a wall, fabricating a piece which might be more widely understood as art. We can understand form and something being ‘created’/processed, which for many, defines what art is.  Yet in this exhibition, the public are celebrating the object and ignoring the photograph. Is this representational that we now accept the readymade as art or are we merely following others in their understanding?

‘Shadows cast by Readymades’ by Marcel Duchamp
‘Fountain’ 1917 by Marcel Duchamp

Sarah Lea writes for the RA, commenting on the importance of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ 1917 – “Thinking of Duchamp’s affinity with Dada, we can perhaps understand Fountain not simply as a joke on the audience, but as the provocation of a genuine and important question: what is art? Does the act of simply placing something in a gallery make it art?”

Marcel Duchamp’s ‘the bride stripped bare by her bachelors’ 1915 is a large glass panel which records a ‘metaphorical account of the encounter between bride and her bachelors’. The work is made of oil, lead, dust and varnish on glass in a metal frame. Much of the work was left unfinished when Duchamp went to New York. Duchamp didn’t want to use canvas and therefore limited himself to working on large glass for 8 years. Both Dali and Duchamp felt modern art had become detached from its earlier functions of being religious, philosophical and moral. Therefore they started to compensated by creating personal iconographies. His work is ‘enigmatic’- hard to explain/ interpret, however, I am fascinated by the interruption of paint on the surface of the glass (what should be a transparent window to whatever surrounds it). The scale of the piece is similar to an altarpiece with the work being defined as neither painting or sculpture – its almost a monument.

‘Bride stripped bare by her bachelors’ by Marcel Duchamp

The use of broken glass is something which is interesting to be in my practise. Glass is by its nature a medium which is meant to simply continue a reality- it shouldn’t fracture or alter whats behind it. So much of photography is held behind glass, I think it is an interesting medium to play with, especially as I am considering how to distress my own images. I could consider smashing glass and re-glueing it back together to see how this alters the reading of a photograph which is underneath its surface.