Friday, December 17, 2010

everything all of the time

hello folks.
well, yesterday was my last presentation for my Expressions in Clay class, where I debuted Diagnosis: Make A Wish. Yes, I changed the title a bit. Its my prerogative. Hmph.

Here are photos of the results of the past weeks laboring to make clay look like wood, to make clay look like pills, to make clay look like medication bottles, to make clay look like cloth curtains, to make clay look like frosting. Essentially to make clay look like everything EXCEPT clay.

the whole piece

close-up of the 'stage'

close-up of the steps and pills
I had some technical issues when setting it up. Ceramic is so fragile. A couple of my 'very' steps broke off and shattered on the floor. I didn't have time to feel devastated- I simply took a deep breath and set up the rest the best I could.
I carefully placed all the pills along the stairs, one by one. You see, I had thought I would just scatter them precariously, but then I realized I wanted the tiny words I had painstakingly applied to the pills to be easily seen. It took a good half hour. Damn those pills.

Then the critique started. In art school, 'finals' are code for 'critiques'. We all set up our art pieces and all the students in the class gather round and stare at it in silence and then someone finally speaks up and usually uses diplomatic words and phrases like 'incredibly resolved', 'evolved concept', 'successful', 'intriguing', or 'evocative'. Ugh.
Well, my Borderline Personality Disorder acted up while I explained my piece. I tried to be vague, and merely said: "My goal was to create a piece that spoke about the drama of growing up with a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder, and the trauma that it creates."
I was so self-conscious as I stood next to this ceramic faux-wood collection of slabs, I dissociated. I didn't make eye contact with anyone. I looked at the floor. We all stood there in silence. Eventually people said things, though I barely heard them. I heard only negative comments, and even now I can't remember them. My psyche checked out and left me hanging on a critique ledge.

However, during the lunch break, a classmate and I took a stroll and she raved on and on about the piece. "Really?" I was slightly stunned. She said "Yeah, everyone really loved it Kendra. C'mon you heard 'em." Too embarrassed to admit that no, I actually hadn't heard them, I simply thanked her and changed the subject.

I did learn some things about myself and my art this semester, though:
-In Mold Making, I learned that I don't want to use molds. It feels artificial, making copies of things. Its just doesn't sit right with me. It feels dishonest, somehow. So from now on, if I need multiples of something, I will just make them one by one. Yes, each one would be slightly different. But that's what i want.
-In Expressions In Clay, I learned that I don't like the idea of making clay look like something it isn't (i.e. wood, cloth, etc). That whole process feels somehow evasive. If my sculptures require wood, then why wouldn't I use wood? If my piece calls for cloth curtains, why wouldn't I use fabric? I am much to honest with my Self, my viewers, and my Art. It only makes sense that I would be true to the materials as well.

Now excuse me while I pray to the art school gods for a good grade.

current mood: sincere.
current music: deerhoof - you can see.

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