I wanted someone to bounce ideas off when thinking about how best to display my work so had a conversation in the studio which forced me to consider how I wanted the piece to be read/ understood. It made me consider what it would be like for someone with no prior knowledge fo my work to view it. They need to have some foundational information to appreciate what I want them to understand- or do they?
We spoke about how the work could be a personal discovery which I’ve worked out myself, these cutting and shredding sessions almost becoming ritualistic, performing a memorial to those who are currently working under forced conditions. I think those periods of time where I’ve been alone and cutting up the documentation, I’ve been able to really connect with some small part of what they experience, however, this won’t be a shared experience with my audience.
It was suggested I could make the work performance based and physically continue to shredding the information in front of the viewer, this might enable them to physically understand the labour in the shredding which is ‘the work’ and also have a connection emotionally with the process. Some of the other ideas put forward included :
- Displaying a table which had the process shown. Papers which were whole, shredded into strips, cubed and put into a pile. Making sure I showed the ruler, scalpel knife and scissors as a part of the work.
- If I wanted to pursue this, I should also consider how the hight of the table could alter the viewers perception of who the ‘ worker’ could be. If it was a particular short table, it could be in reference to child labour.
- I could display images which have been shredded, pasting them back together? – I explored this in my sketchbook however, It could be interesting if were to have pasted back the wrong pieces so the images made no sense.
I’ve concluded that it would be beneficial for me to include a list of the articles which I’ve shredding and explain to the viewer that this has all been done by hand, none of it happening outside of human capacity (eg. a machine shredder). I also think I want to pursue a more fluid and subtle piece, where the shredded material is the main part of the piece. I think this will also be reflective of how forced labour is invisible and dispersed around the world and our environments. I also believe that as the shredding becomes slowly kicked around the space it will have a haunting quality to it as it follows the viewer around the space when looking at other works.
A recent conversation with one of my peers in the studio made me question how I could solve the issue of time containst in the run up to my exhibition.
I had been worrying about how much time I had left to create the sack fulls of manually shredded images which I wanted to create. It was suggested that to try to make th work happen faster, I could see how many people i could persuade to work for me in a sweat shop environment.
I found this idea really interested however, may not be feasible at the present time as the work I would be asking people to participate in would be very time consuming and their own project deadlines are fast approaching. However, I do think this is an interesting concept i could pursue later on in my practise. I could be interesting to employ different age demographics such as 60 year olds, students and children to analyse how they react in the labourer environment. I do feel that I could never replicate, nor would i want to, the conditions which people are facing in forced labour camps.
My practise isn’t around the re-creatino of these conditions, even when pressing myself to create a piece which is time consumptive, I am more interested in highlighting the problem through the process of creation.
When explaining to a peer about my plans for looking into the manual shredding of images to be representational of forced labour in dente ion camps, we started to discuss how travellers can also end up in these forced working conditions.
I was told about how two girls who my peer had met on holiday in Thailand had been put on a working contract which claimed they would be working in an animal sanctuary which looked after animals who otherwise would be killed and exploited. However, when the girls arrived, contract signed, their sleeping conditions hosted a number of infected animals and they were unable to go out after working hours to socialise, shop or use their free time. The animals they were supposedly looking after were kept in awful conditions and the girls weren’t allowed to leave their jobs because of the contracts they’d signed.
I think its interesting to head through conversation the idea of forced labour being even closer to home than we might think or experience. Even though these situations might not be as extreme as those of labour camps, I think it could be interesting to research these experiences more.
I might include this information in the format of printed documents and imagery within my own shredded information for my final display.
Comments on Blog layout:
- Make the images larger.
- Include Bibliography for blog entries 0 reference the info/quotes I’ve used from websites and books.
- Make sure that I credit my own work in the subtext of an image. Include size and material where relevant.
- Make tags and navigations for blog so its easier to view.
- When generating ideas of the back of blog posts, when I’ve pursued an idea make sure to link back to original post.
Practical research actions:
- Watch ‘Gulag’ Documentary on BBC which covers Russian Detention Camps
- Research into ‘Inconography’ as a process of editing history.
- Look into the removal of religious imagery through the religious reformation removing images.
- Elizabeth Price describes the production of her work (massive tape ball made for PHD exhibition) and the discursive production of work becomes laborious.
- Research Performance art as objects can be a more subtle reference to a laborious production, ‘Durational performance’ might show time consuming work more explicitly.
An impromptu converstation I had with a peer about my work from Crit day started me questioning why I have been holding onto the representational.
It was suggested to me that my exposure images were blocking the viewers thoughts. I feel that I defiantly wanted to hold onto a representative form which might suggest to the viewer that i was dealing with subjects of confinement but including a barred window as a symbolic theme.
It was agreed that the images reminder her of gates, therefore the work was associated with some form of protection from danger which to me encapsulated some of the issues surrounding refugees rights for protection. When living in liminal states they are vulnerable to exploitation
It has been suggested that the further destruction of images might carry the work beyond what we can easily process to a more challenging level. I think I want to start looking at covering the surfaces of images either by direct destruction e.g. sanding or by applying materials onto their surface.