Reflective Research Journal – 4th Year – Week One

Adams feedback after seeing my films from last year was that they reminded him of Jeff keen.

I looked him up and there is a silly, chaotic, frantic similarity.

This is also to remind me to look at Rachael McLean’s films (again) for ideas.

During the summer, 4 friends and I started Original Copy, an artist’s collective. We are the 5 core members. I designed the website and wrote the manifesto from our collected ideas about what we wanted to stand for. Laurie is organizing an event which has now become OC’s first event and I am helping. It will take place in FIKA Dundee, a cafe on the Perth Road on Friday the 8th October.

Develop the fermenting fairy (better name?) and Dr Wolf as characters. Have both in one film. More of a narrative…use flushing toilet with chemicals footage…? Have more emotion in the film…(or set of films…like a series this time?) 

I think of food as medicine, in fact I don’t differentiate between food, medicine or recreational drugs. When I eat wild greens and ferment cabbage and horseradish and chives, this is food medicine. When I eat instant cheesy processed pasta from a box, that’s my recreational drugs! Could I incorporate this into the F.fairy character…? Could there be a complex dance/ interaction/dialogue/ongoing relationship between F.Fairy and D.Wolf, investigating the difficulties in our health outlook as a society? Looking at the sickrole, at the looking to science as the new religion/doctors as gods/body autonomy as a selfish indulgence or irrelevance…?

Erica described my work as offering glimpses of my lifestyle and issues surrounding the female body. I would say the holism of the female condition maybe? Unless I want to continue ironically enacting Cartesian separation, objectification and reductionism? Using the language of our culture? Childlike language, for a childlike understanding…like Kate mentioned when I use the child voice to repeat “poo is a rich resource, resource poo rich…” etc… but that voice is educating? Do I want to try and educate directly? The F.fairy could be speaking in the child like innocence of the obvious…but not preaching or teaching…and the Wolf could be caught/stuck in the reductionist patronising language of the Cartesian medical patriarchy. 

Me running in turmoil through the woods (like cartoon of Charlie I did ‘inside out’) being chased by dr Wolf with scalpel or needle ( villain or hero/mender/repairer) This could be done as  a painting, but then animated…and later interspersed with live action footage…or superimposed…(use tracing paper for drawing cartoons to animate…) 

Sketch out ideas for possible paintings…with several elements…narrative scene…childlike, rather than well laid out/planned composition. To show the simplistic/separatist way we look at health/psychology? It could even be diagrammatic with words? Could include, vagina screen, me in Wolf costume, me in F.fairy costume, nature made from wool and silk and paper…can I paint that to look like those things without going super-real…? (See Alejandro Acosta’s work on insta for painting style and composition ideas). 

Coded poetry/lyrics is about feeling inarticulate/censored

Possible project names –

‘In the Flesh’  

‘Non consenting flesh’ 

‘All non consenting flesh matters. It’s not a privilege’ 

‘It’s not a privilege, it’s a human right’ 

‘Selfish choices’ 

Stejskalova says seeing birthing bodies ‘trigger experiences of abjection, that is, disgust, horror, danger, repulsion’ (2021) Add to this female sexuality which triggers many of the same feelings. See “I Love Dick” by Chris Kraus (1997) and the series of the same name on Amazon Prime (2016) (cancelled after the first season).

Looking at sculpture by Nancy Graves online. Love it’s colour, pattern and sometimes feminine shapes. I saw one which was made of lots of flat planes of different texture and pattern, wall mounted. With the flat objects projecting from the wall at different distances/depths. Some of the patterns looked a bit like the mono prints I did last summer, which I collaged onto a painting eventually after playing with them in different arrangements. 

I could try a series of flat hanging objects at different distances from a wall…different materials, like cut out canvas figures and found and painted objects/MDF etc… make some ceramic objects . Make a ceramic urine separator…as I’ve wanted to for a while…like a modern Duchamp…or not…make a fully functioning compost toilet…as part of a sculpture…Talked to my tutor Nilla about this and described it as part of the degree show installation I am starting to envisage. The main element will be a larger than life sculpture of a naked squatting woman, raised up from Dionysian to Apollonian status, with either a crowning baby between her legs or better maybe, a screen (ipad) with a video showing. The video could be a birthing animation or footage of natural births, maybe a medley of free birthing videos from YouTube. 

The toilet could include a sculpture of an animal woman, squatting on top, maybe claws for hands and feet. Maybe a video showing in the toilet too. This video could be me performing in my my celebration of bacteria outfit….which I am designing. Playing a cat hunting, (or this should maybe be a separate film) or it could be the peeing outside and compost toilet footage. Nilla felt like these two elements,  the raised birthing woman and the toilet were separate works, which is fine as we are building a body of work. Though they are interconnected through animalisation as a reaction to de-animalisation. 

The film in the birthing woman would be a reference to Candice Breitz’s Labourin the article ‘No creation without destruction: images of childbirth and Candice Breitz’s Labour‘ by Tereza Stejskalová

Had first group tutorial with Nilla, plus individual ones. Started to feel properly excited for the first time while talking to her about my ideas for my degree show installation. It is getting clearer what I want to do, and ideas came up while talking to Nilla and she had some great suggestions. I had started to think I could take the idea of Invisible and Deviant Women/Mothers from my dissertation and manifest that concept in the installation. A larger-than-life sculpture of a woman hanging up high, would represent the deviant woman, ‘the monstrous feminine’, squatting, maybe pulling open her vulva, maybe a baby’s head crowning, maybe the moon? The invisible women could be life-sized paper drawings on the floor…or painted on the floor. The audience would have to walk on them to view the exhibition. There could be a film showing in the hanging woman’s vulva…or inserted into the crowning babies head? (Would have to do a risk assessment).

We talked about how the audience would have to lie on the floor to watch the video, where the invisible women were lying…or maybe on a hospital type bed/ massage bed…or proper feet in stirrups maternity/gynie style bed…make them feel uncomfortable…vulnerable…like women in this position. I have been looking online for a second-hand portable massage bed, will keep looking for a cheap one nearby…am contemplating asking Jason in metalwork about making one or adding stirrups to a massage bed…

I had a Teams consultation with Sean in clay about making ceramic plants and a separation compost toilet seat and now feel a little clearer on how to go about that. When I talked to Nilla about the toilet idea, she said it sounded like two separate ideas, and I sort of knew it was, but hadn’t thought about the idea of having the hanging woman and toilet thing as separate pieces. I had been fixed on the idea of one big installation world that was all the same work but hadn’t thought about it being a body of work, which is silly as I had a body of work last year. Going to think much harder about having a professional finish to the work and how to install the film work in an innovative way too.

Have started making a mini wire prototype of the squatting woman and some plasticine figures and will make a little machete of how the whole installation will look.  

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