To get the full effect this needs viewing longways and the head needs to be lifesize!
Doing something for the first time has its own quality that is difficult to recapture second time round. Take 1 of Smudgeface had us both laughing the whole way through. In reshooting the film to sort out some of the technical issues to do with the glass and its reflection the film lost it´s freshness. So we´ve stuck with the first version despite it being somewhat rough and ready. It´s interesting to think about what consitutes quality.
Our remote location, coupled with the activities we´ve set ourselves keep giving me flashes of being in a self imposed version of “I´m an artist get me out of here.” It´s hard to work out whether our attempts to do things differently are yielding results. On the whole it feels as if we are working against ourselves. The challenges we´ve set feel counterintuitive to how we “naturally” work and random exploration easily turns into anxiety over outcomes. I´m really surprised at just how difficult it is to play freely, and keep questioning whether what we´re doing has a point or value. I find it hard switching between ideas, as opposed to just developing one strand of work. And there are competing aims – working together, reflecting on what we do individually, trying to play and be in the moment, thinking about the overall purpose of this residency. At moments I feel liberated. And at others confused by stopping and starting and switching and unpicking. Some things we do work. Some things we want to change. But are these experiments hinged on random fairytales helping us work out what we think we want to work out, or giving us the answers to questions we havent asked at all. And does it even matter?
How the old man waited for death is a game Trish and I played this afternoon.
We had spent much of yesterday waiting, in various ways; for a file to upload, for a good idea, for a bus. That morning we had chosen the Estonian fairytale How the old man waited for death as the title for our next pairwork piece, but we did little about it. Today, in a roundabout way we made the piece after waiting a whole day for it to occur. The piece arrived in the form of an object-based game. The rules were simple:
Take turns adding or removing elements to a constantly morphing sculpture.
We gathered the elements from a barn next to MOKS that is full of detritus from an old collectivised farm that used to function here. I cleaned the bits and we laid them out in the studio room.
This connection to Moost might make the sculpture site-specific but we make no reference to this history in the game. We are not concerned with history right now. Our play is entirely in the moment. Of course, its hard not to make associations. When we had finished I thought Richard Hamilton´s take on Duchamp and Trish thought Alexander Calder, and Erwin Wurm once we involved our bodies. However, these associations are irrelevant.
We said nothing during the making. We were intentionally silent. I felt great tenderness for the thing we made. We didn´t mean to make anything good, we just meant to silently stop waiting.