To be honest, this exhibition felt more like a art theme park than it did anything else.
My favourite pieces were:
Richard Deacon – Infinity #35
Cory Arcangel – MIG 29 Soviet Fighter Plane and Clouds
Anish Kapoor – At the Edge of the World II
Allora & Calzadilla – detail from Solar Catastrophe
Richard Long -Pelopennese Line
I felt this piece was typical of performance artist Marina Abramovic whose work typically explores the ‘limits of the mind and body’. For me, the piece had more shock value than it did bodily expression, I could sense that through the confused and lost expressions of the audience.
The gallery space at 180 The Strand worked exceptionally well with the curation of each work. A giant warehouse with ‘half a century of artistic endeavour under one roof’. The cafe elevator music summed up the experience for me.
I have decided to pursue the ‘Moving’ project in preparation for the exhibition.
Partly because I can’t get the space I want to exhibit my work on.
Partly because of the blog tutorial prompted my need for experimentation and I began to feel a mental with the ‘Shrine’ project.
This project references my experience with ‘moving’ between hostels and familial. As in my previous project, it will entail literal reflections in reference to the cathartic self-reflective aspect of the work. I would also like to incorporate states of mobility whether that is static or continuous motion.
Below is some experimentation with my perception of ‘movement’, playing with colours and reflection:
I have decided to use various avenues of exploration to approach my practice, as opposed to one. Rather than pausing several projects to focus on one, using avenues will allow me to continue to compartmentalise my work whilst presenting each’s progress in a coherent format on my blog. This approach will also allow me to meet prepared supported work with exhibition dates.
Various pieces I am working on:
‘Feeding the Beast of Narcissism’ – after much criticism of the term ‘narcissism’, I am keeping the name as a form of feeding the beast; reflecting my experience with social media and as a credit catchy “clickbait” headlines we are consistently bombarded with
‘Paint yourself’ project – influenced by Anthropology lectures, art as a dialogue (social setting)
‘Moving’ project – inspired by my past comprised of a series of sculptures
‘Paint yourself’s starting point is the directive ‘Paint yourself’ where the viewer is presented with a paintbrush/marker pen and a mirror on which to ‘paint yourself’ on. Beginning as a social experiment, I hope this work will form a dialogue between those who do not typically engage in art practices and the art world. With an end goal to exhibit this in a Chelsea space, participant’s work is brought back to the artist’s environment which may reflect the views of the outside world on the art world.
Photo-realistic drawing, though it takes the most time, is the root of my practice. The series ‘Thought Leaders’ correlates the time taken to complete the drawing and the importance of the subject with the time taken to convey them intricately.
I have noticed that this project and many of its precedents prioritise the representation of the self, whether that be in the form of photo-realism or mixed-media sculpture. I believe that this happened as a consequential product of a society based in individualistic values, my observation of others and myself as we become increasingly self-absorbed.
My primary influences in this project have been Rachel Maclean, whose graphically entertaining ‘WOT U 🙂 ABOUT?’ sparked questions about our selfie and crowd-pleasing culture. Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’ raised similar dystopian questions.
I have been further influenced by the works of by Susan Hiller and Ryoji Ikeda. I realise that the work that sways me has a theme: screens. Screens confront the viewer with the technological and mental influence they have on us. I am choosing not to use them because I want to present the audience with their reality. I would like my work to act as the devil’s advocate, ‘feeding the beast of narcissism’.
I like to keep playfulness a fighting theme in my work which works to pose deeper questions as each element of the work is scrutinised. Typically, I do this by combining elementary colours and objects in my work that reflect what I see around me (balloons, canisters, recreational substances).
However, this time I wanted my work, rather than present what I see, reflect it. As a result of this, my most recent project includes the use of broken and whole mirrors – both which reflect ourselves and our collective broken psyche, being products of narcissism. The pool, included in the myth of Narcissus, saw the main character – the audience – drown in his own reflection. The silver/mirror paint adds a homogeneous aspect to the piece, catering to its aesthetic, posing questions of the shallowness of the creator and ‘crowd-pleasing’.
In the past, the act of owning a mirror indicated the social status of the owner therefore, becoming a means of both physical and social assurance. However, are significant part of our psychological development became absorbed in our imitations of reality, as opposed to what is in front of us. The vast shift from using Obsidian to silvered glass to cameras and our recent advancements in virtual reality has warped our perception, rendering us more isolated and self-absorbed.
I don’t typically read Dan Brown, but after many terrible reviews surrounding his fanatical ‘conspiratorial hogwash’, I decided to give ‘The Symbol’ a try. With his constant references to the symbolism buried deep within the practice of Freemasonry, I became increasingly interested in the idea of presenting this piece in the form of a shrine – complete with religious iconography such as candles, a baptism pool (Christianity), sulphur and an hourglass (Chamber of Reflection, Freemasonry).
A shrine or a “spiritual clinic” is traditionally used as a means to better oneself through a process of self-reflection and I wanted to utilise this notion by placing the audience in the position of Narcissus, by confronting them with an image of themselves using water and mirrors that both act a reflective and refractive surfaces.
I am using this incredible quote by Bruce Lee in order to flow through the obstacle of finding a ‘mirror’.
Should I give up the entire quest of finding an actual mirror? Do I settle for a ‘mirror’ (Rusoleum spray) that is unsatisfactory to me but yet serves part of the purpose for there being one? Why is the mirror important to include in the ‘shrine’ and how do I coherently convey my ideas surrounding the culture of narcissism to my satisfaction?
My project seeks to act as the devil’s advocate and feed the beast of narcissism by using mirrored reflections as a perpetual reminder to the viewer of the self).
However, to keep this project cost-effective, I have experimented with Rustoleum Metallic and Mirror spray – both ineffective in reflecting. They are eye-catching and provocative though, which is a plus.
Last week during the ‘Art and Anthropology’ seminar, Viriginia Whiles discussed the Malonovsky and Maussian ‘participant-observation’ methodology where she stated ‘the basis of how society operates is by giving yourself (art) by giving’. This led me to believe in how I am sharing my intrigue in the subject of narcissism and occultism by ‘giving’ a reflective representation these topics, rendering it laden in a paradoxical tennis match. This work aims to be the gift that keeps on giving, which historically disrupts the status quo, ‘poisoning the gift’ and the social structure.
Moreover, the discussion proceeded into ‘rituals being symbolic of social processes’, where the ritual is representative of ‘situations and experiences’, a statement largely relevant to my work. Naturally, the piece is experiential by ritualistic components as a shrine to the culture of narcissism.
The tale of Narcissus states that ‘Narcissus was once walking by a lake or river and decided to drink some water; he saw his reflection in the water and was surprised by the beauty he saw; he became entranced by the reflection of himself. He could not obtain the object of his desire though, and he died at the banks of the river or lake from his sorrow.’
I plan to use a Daffodil (aka Narcissus Pseudonarcissus) as a representation of Narcissus in order to make the viewer the main subject.
(2017). The myth of Narcissus, Echo and Narcissus. The myth of Narcissus. [online] Available at: The myth of Narcissus, Echo and Narcissus