Listening to three artists talks back to back–well, one gallery owner explaining an artists work and two Grad student artist talks–has proven to muddle my mind today.
As a color photography class field trip, we met at Whitespace Gallery to view the work of Beth Lily. Her work up in Whitespace is comprised of voyeuristic photographs involving cars and the people in them. The first room has black and white prints on rice paper of contemplative people in their cars as they pass the car Lily is in. Lily is a practicing Buddhist who finds her meditation fully erected in travelling by car. The second room has three groupings of work. The closest is of color prints of people in their cars, this time with more drama. The people in the cars had more narrative than just looking thoughtful. There was an old woman reaching out of the frame, for what we won’t know. There was a man driving a car with two younger passangers, one with gauze over his eye and resting on a pillow. This part of the series struck me because I could stare at the images as long as I pleased. It wasn’t the fleeting moment of a car passing on the highway. It was the image of that fleeting moment that my brain could never solidy for comprehend extensively. To the right of this group, Lily played with that idea of playing God with fleeting moments. She made hand-turnable flip books of people in their cars. I noticed myself and my classmates controlling the speed of the images as preferred. The last wall interested me the most. It disconnected from what was outside of the car and connected with the passenger within and what that passenger experienced. It was the more abstract and painterly group of the series.
The Grad talks consisted of, I think, five graduate students. We made it to two. The first was a student named Trevor Reese. A sculptor, Reese had an interest in objects and their existence and perception within the world as well as objects’ responses to human interaction. He also mingles in human response to objects outside of their normal display.
The second talk was given by Jack Deese, a photography grad student. His work is an intimate documentary, in my opinion. He approaches his work head on with his experiences. His presentation was intimate in itself in that he created it into a narrative rather than a setlist of his work. Each series presented had personal memory and consequence. However, he prefers to give his work no context or a universal context, so that no matter where the images are seen (he visualized them in book form, so no matter where the images are read) they would have some sense of narrative that may or may not be influenced by context and still hold its own.
“I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.” -Marcel Duchamp