Archive for January, 2009


the seldom seen kid-elbow

Position Determines Perspective

I sort of laugh at the irony of this statement, even if the irony exists only for me, essentially the Room 1 installation is based on my childhood bedroom and as I sit here writing this I am sitting in said bedroom and even though I am 29 I am not sure I feel much older than the kid who used to sit in here in a listen to records.  Is the birthplace of my ineffable supposed to revert me to a helpless child?

It’s funny to me for other reasons.  I had a supervisory meeting with my Director of Studies (DoS) before Christmas and we got to speaking about the issue of space v. place and the idea of site specificity.  During that conversation I argued that there was an element of site specificity in play with this particular piece but it’s not a physical place rather it was a mental place.  But if was purely about being a mental space then it wouldn’t matter what the installation looked like, right?  I mean honestly if the construct of the space was to illicit the viewer into a mental space (which is frankly of their own construction based on parameters that I have provided) then the construction of a bedroom would be simply about my needs and wants as an artist.

But as I sit here in the room that started it all, I know that the matter is actually twofold and it’s not a question of space v. place but of site specificity in an abstract manner.  This work, especially room 1 is most definitely place specific: and it’s because I am asking the viewers, the expert readers, and anyone who comes in contact with this work to believe in the way I learned to listen and interact with the ineffable.  It’s probably impossible to ‘walk a mile’ in someone else’s shoes, or to see something in the exact same manner as someone else but what this work and I am doing with this work is creating as close a context as possible to enable others to see and hear things the way that I do.

This brings us to the question and the idea of aesthetics.  Obviously as a child my room was decorated and organised by my mum and then as I got older I added bits here and there but for the most part the decorative aspects haven’t changed, but in the room that I am creating I am choosing to make it persona neutral.  For a long time I felt it was important that people not make any associations between the room and me as one and the same so that they could more easily place themselves within the work, but then by stripping all the personality out of the equation have I negated one of the more tangible aspects of the work?

Bedrooms by the very nature are intimate spaces due to the activities that occur within them, and the room that I am creating will be pleasing to look at but won’t have the cache of being a space where those activities take place.  It will quite obviously be a room constructed to be a work of art.  I just wonder if this factor will against me, rather than for me.