Advisor Meeting (28 Feb. 2018)
with Jean Marie Casbarian
Our conversation always gravitates into fascinating territory. Jean Marie recommended reading Citizen (Claudia Rankine) which I have ordered online. Claudia Rankine uses text and images in an interesting way. Using text in fragments.
Jean Marie showed me a book she had made a few years ago using photographs and a fictitious story about her Grandmother. To write the text she wrote in her Grandmother's voice each morning and night as though writing a journal. Jean Marie also recommended I read the new Patti Smith book, Devotion. Particularly the first section of the book that talks about the creative process. Also, watch the Andrei Tarkovsky film, Stalker.
Jean Marie and I also discussed the possibilities held within the space at Flutgraben. Questions of the potential held in the outside space came up. And what would happen if the weather was able to interacting with the work? What would happen if the work was in the rain, was wet compared to being in the sun and heat? How would the weather change and interact with the surroundings and canal? Reflection in the water compared to water drops dancing across the surface. Is this interaction something to consider? Weather will change a space. Think about Cristo and Jeanne-Claude's use of the environment:
Go on google maps and have a look at the space from the outside. Think about reflection.
Jean Marie also recommended watching the film, Stories we tell.
And read the essay: Shame and Forgetting in the Information Age
Charles Baxter Published: Summer 2001
We have transformed information into a form of garbage.
You have finished out this first semester with an enormous collection of work to sculpt for your thesis (and beyond), the least of which speaks to the deep relationship you have with process-based attitudes both in and out of the studio. Solitude and time, darkness and lightness, existence and scientific inquiry are all constant themes that are running rampant throughout, culminating in an unreachable landscape that is as much present as it is elusive.
As you already must know my response to your lost notebook, there are no mistakes. You have to rely on memory now / what was the experience / the imagined vs. the real / the surreal that you were living in Iceland. However, don’t forget the work prior to in the studio. The blackness is the same though speaks to the shock of light / the fire / the dust / the smoke of embers emanating from projected or natural light.
Rely on these experiences to some degree. Falling through ice / walking through ice / vulnerability / permafrost / frostbite / beloved dog – guide / waking into darkness when there should be light / loss of sensorial direction / northern and southern hemispheres / silence.
I might add Werner Herzog’s Of Walking in Ice to your bookshelf as well as Man’s Search for Meaning (Viktor E. Frankl). Have you read The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin? Go to the planetarium or visit the observatory in Sydney one afternoon. Tap into those resources around you. What is in your own backyard that you’re searching for?
Your thesis and bibliography is extensive and you’re asking big questions. Try to find a balance between your paper and your studio practice. My concern is that you will overwhelm yourself with one over the other. As you have been mapping all along, map this territory out as well so as to keep yourself in a frame of focus, respecting both.
As always, Jo Michelle, it has been such a pleasure to work with you and walk alongside this journey of yours.