Monday, August 29, 2011

Join me for the Opening of Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse  will be on display at
Fulton Street Collective Gallery
2000 West Fulton Street, 2nd Floor, Chicago
September 2 - 17
Opening Reception, Friday, September 2, 7-10pm

Traditionally, Exquisite Corpse "explores the mystique of accident" and "a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse)." The exercise was based on an old parlor game played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.
Sneak peak of images by myself, Carrie McGath and Brittany Majka below. Also check out this link, this link, this link and this link for additional sneak peaks at our artwork that will be on display during Exquisite Corpse.

Introspective, Digital Composite, Photograph

Woman's Day (Partially Finished) Photograph, Digital Composite

Untitled (Partially finished), Photograph, Drawing, Mixed Media

Unbinding Our Secrets

A collaborative piece for Exquisite Corpse by myself, Carrie McGath and Brittany Majka.

Unbinding Our Secrets

The worries of brassieres and anatomies keep us sullen and sweet.
Peepers’ eyes steal our fire and we sit there as one soft object
amid the ranks of Tom, Dick, and Harry.
We can never turn down the lights.
Unbinding our secrets,
exposure expensive like electricity running old lamps
in nighties of bunny-white purity.
Exposing unveils power
There should be parking tickets for Peeping Toms.

Poem by Carrie McGath

Official documentation images to come, but for now check out the images below. They were taken at Fulton Street Collective when dropping off artwork.

 Unbinding Our Secrets, 2011

Unbinding Our Secrets detail, 2011

Unbinding Our Secrets detail, 2011
Unbinding Our Secrets detail, 2011

Unbinding Our Secrets detail, 2011 

Unbinding Our Secrets detail (before addition of the poem), 2011 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Objectify Me. I'm an Artist, Slightly Askew.

Marilyn Monroe is an easily recognizable, iconic sex symbol.  Everyone loves Marilyn – or at least the idea of Marilyn. Apparently Chicago loved the image of Marilyn Monroe so much that they paid an East coast sculptor to build a 26’ tall replica of her to be displayed on Michigan Avenue.

The theory of sexual objectification and sex object culture makes apparent the blatant gender inequalities that exist in our society - a culture saturated by sexualized and one dimensional representations of women. Through advertising, societal norms and pop culture, women of all generations and all socioeconomic backgrounds have, in some way, become de-personalized objects of desire. 

Sex object culture, which urges women to feel the need to exploit their sexuality, plays a role in reinforcing sexism and the attitudes it promotes which underpin inequality. Some would argue that women chose to exploit their sexuality as an exercise in power and control. Others would argue that they choose to do so because they believe their worth lies solely in their sexuality.

My photographs were created with Marilyn's sexual potency and objectification (both through the media and self-induced) in mind. The decision to recreate the image of Marilyn as a disembodied, sexualized being was a conscience decision to portray Marilyn (and ultimately every woman’s) sexuality objectified through the eyes of an artist, slightly askew.

-Jennifer Moore, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

A New Medium Calls For a New Interpretation

Traditionally, Exquisite Corpse "explores the mystique of accident" and "a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse)." The exercise was based on an old parlor game played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.

But I'm not traditional. Or a rule, I'm not.

When the artists in my group were chosen for this exhibition, we were told that we could interpret the Exquisite Corpse process any way we wanted. Collectively we interpreted the process slightly different than the traditional approach: We decided that each of us would start a photograph and pass it on to the next artist for an addition. No parts of the image would be covered as they were traditionally. We also decided that anything would go…as long as the base of the photograph remained the same. 

After our first exchange, I had grand ideas of tactile additions such as sewing and using alternative (for a photographer) materials such as lace and fabric. When the first piece was handed over to me, however, I decided the best way to attack it (but not hurt it!) would be to use my old pal, Photoshop. This I did in the second addition to Carrie McGath's Mary and Feet images. See progression pictured below.

Carrie's original image

Carrie's original image

Carrie's original images with my additions

Photoshop was also my go-to for the third addition to our Exquisite Corpse that I've titled (but haven't yet consulted with the other two artists), I Am. See below.

 Brittany's original image with Carrie's additions

The final piece with my additions

The third piece (the one that started with my photograph) is troubling me though....check the progression below....

 The first image that I provided, Pit Pit, Bang Bang

 The image after Brittany's addition/subtraction and Carrie's addition

 The image after I got it back and reworked it; I incorporated my original image back into the piece, but kept parts/most of the additions by Carrie and Brittany in tact. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sexual potency, objectification and surrealism on my mind…

"A good nude photograph can be erotic, but certainly not sentimental or pornographic.”
- Bill Brandt

What happens when we recreate a pop culture sex symbol as a surrealistic manifestation?

Marilyn Monroe is likely one of the most recognizable sex symbols in the world. I’d almost bet my right leg that everyone, from every coast, over the age of 12 would recognize the infamous Marilyn Monroe. Apparently Chicago loved the image of Marilyn Monroe enough to pay an East coast sculptor money to build a 26’ tall replica of Marilyn. Read some of the controversy over “Forever Marilyn” here and here.

My idea for this installation and collaborative (Exquisite Corpse) project has little to do with capturing Marilyn's pin-up style and more to do with the nature of surrealism. When shooting, I had the distorted, high contrast images of British photographer, Bill Brandt on my mind.

Although I lack a fun mirror, I used perspective and directional light to create a disorienting effect in most of my images. My photographs were created with Marilyn's sexual potency and objectification in mind. This is Marilyn Monroe's (and ultimately every woman's) sexuality objectified through the eyes of surrealism.

Below you will see my images (still in the tweaking/cropping/shooting process) coupled with Carrie McGath's images to create a large installation piece for our Exquisite Corpse - final size will be approximately 7' x 5'. The empty white spaces are where Brittany Majka's images will be placed. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Exquisite Corpse once again....

I am still shooting and reworking for Exquisite Corpse. The climax (no pun intended) for the show will be 2 pieces; one installation piece mocking the Marilyn Monroe sculpture (or eye sore as the locals call it) on Michigan Ave. Our interpretation of the sculpture (lewd and comical) is mocked - surreal style. There will be 15 photographs, each representing a portion of Marilyn. Each artist is responsible for 5 photographs designated earlier. Below are two of my images. I wanted the images to be slightly distorted/contorted - perhaps even solarized - Man Ray style! Photographs will be printed on a metallic surface.

The technique was definitely part of the process of the second piece, a triptych representing feminism and beauty....images were printed on rice paper, and using several coats of Shellac, they were adhered to clay boards. The images were purposely mounted incorrectly. The statement is still being flushed out. More to come on this one!


On a Hans Bellmer Kick....

After my work with the last Exquisite Corpse and through the urging of fellow artists, I'm on a Hans Bellmer kick. Exploring humanity and sexuality through surrealism and the absurd - now there's a project I'm well suited for!

As my tilapia is still wrapped in the fridge, I will be doing some more shooting with it. I hope that the smell doesn't prevent me from spending much needed time with the fish under hot lights. Perhaps I'll even be able to get a model or two to pose with the fish....

A little sketch/sample of what I have in mind....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Exquisite Corpse, I'm getting busy!

A few source images that I've shot to add to Brittany's and Carrie's images. Doll legs and Tilapia. More updates to come.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Exquisite Corpse, my turn....

Oh my......I need to get busy!!!

Brittany Majka and Carrie McGath already worked on this piece. My turn.....Stay tuned for updates!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Exquisite Corpse work continues!

I met two talented artists (a photographer and a poet/photographer) who are my partners in creative craziness for the next few weeks while working on Exquisite Corpse. Both are talented artists in their own right and I think our strengths, although not the same, will serve as a great partnership. We've had two wonderfully creative and quite liberating collaboration sessions already.

BUT....I have to say that this exquisite corpse business is not easy!

I'm a control freak when it comes to my work. I printed two copies of Pit Pit Bang Bang (pictured above) along with one copy of Dark Light Orchid (pictured below). I placed them in a clean, neat cardboard portfolio case...they stayed there - safe and warm - until I met with my fellow collaborators. Something came over me when it came time to hand over my prints....Letting them go gave me a nauseous feeling - like letting your six year old sleep over at a friend's house for the first time! Sure, they are just prints, but they are my prints, my thoughts, my late nights, mine. I took a deep breath and let them go. I let my babies go.


Good news though: I gave my images to a very talented photographer and I am waiting anxiously to see what she has done with them. Like all critiques, jurried shows, and interviews, I am  also nervous to see the results - nervous to see how she interpreted my work.

I did not leave empty-handed from the meeting. I carried away with me two prints from the poet/photographer. Pictured below are Carrie McGath's Feet and Mary. I have been working diligently all weekend to do Carrie's images justice. It is my hope that when I return her babies, she recognizes them for what they were, as well as what they have become.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Photography Fun with the Kids

Children in my photographs....

I love incorporating my children into my work - both as models and assistants. When setting up a scene in my kitchen, my daughter asked if she could participate. She helped set up lights and props. After I told her what the concept was, she had no problem coming up with ideas to shoot. Of course she wanted to be in the photograph as well.

Darling, don't eat so many socks! It will ruin your appetite!