Panorama photographs of the joint PRCA show with WeatherGrrrl after we finished hanging the show yesterday.
WeatherGrrrl and I spent most of yesterday hanging our first ever joint show, and these panoramas capture the exhaustion and mess and art at the end of the day.
L to R (starting at the little wall):
Two "old" pieces, our bios, & price list. The top piece ("Beyond the rim") is a sculpture of Sue’s made from wood and human hair. The bottom piece is a photo of mine from the train tracks here in Morris.
"Askance" – a large profile of Sue.
"Thought full" – a very large shot of the back of Sue’s bald head leaning slightly forward.
(Turning the corner) "Emergence" (top) – 2 horizontal shots of *very* short hair growing back in. "Home" (bottom) – Her very freshly shaved head.
L to R:
A group of 3 all coming from Sue having me use henna to tattoo "No freedom without privacy" onto the back of her freshly shaved head. First is a close up of the dried henna, the strip in the middle shows her hair growing back through the tattoo and the tattoo fading over time, and the third is a B&W shot from when the henna was still wet.
Lastly, a diptych of two very large "pages" of 420 different photos of Sue taken over a 3 month period as her hair grew back.
The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) asked us about possibly doing a show together this time last year, assuming (I think) that we’d just collect some of her sculptures and some of my photographs, and call it a show.
We both felt, however, that if we were going to do a show together, we wanted to do a show together, so we asked if we could wait a year and assemble some new, joint material in the meantime. The result was this collection of photographs (by me) of her head; in essence she laid the tableau through various treatments of her head as a sculptural object, I shot a metric crapton of photos, and then we sifted through them together and assembled this collection.
While it’s only 8 pieces, it uses over 500 separate photographs out of the nearly 10,000 we shot over the course of 2013 for this project. (We shot over 7,000 images from late February to early May alone!) We also chose to make some very large prints, with the 8 pieces covering nearly 100 square feet of wall. I really love printing large, but rarely can justify it, so it was quite wonderful seeing some of these big prints. :-) The original plan for the big diptych was to have a single piece, 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide, but we couldn’t find anyone that could do art quality photo printing that big, which is why we ended up dividing it into two “pages”.
For folks in the area, the show opens Wednesday, 13 Feb, and there’s a reception Sunday, 16 Feb, from 7-8:30pm.
Sue and I will soon be hanging our first collaborative art show next week at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery. The show opens 12 Feb, and there is a reception Sunday, 16 Feb, from 7-8:30pm.
In many ways the “simple” approach would have been a combination of Sue’s recent sculpture and my photography. We really wanted this to be a collaboration, though, and over the course of the year we worked together on a collection of photographs documenting her use of her body (in particular her head) as a canvas. Thousands of photographs were taken (over 7,000 in a single three month period!), forming the source material for the pieces that we’ll be hanging. Sue laid out the tableaus, I shot the hell out of them, and then we worked together to figure out what images to use and how.
Portraiture is one of the oldest of artistic disciplines, often providing an “objective” (or at least objectifying) view of the individual. These images examine an artist, Susan Gilbert, at work, capturing her use of her own head as canvas. Some of the photographs are disconcerting both in their underlying subject, and in their focus and presentation. Some are overtly political in their content, while all comment on how we see those around us and respond to change. No single image is the “true portrait” of the artist; they are all fragments of a whole, distorted by the cultural lens through which they are viewed.
The show includes the biggest photographic prints we’ve ever made (the largest is 60″x40″) and it’s quite something to see the work (and Sue’s head) that huge! We also have a diptych of collages that are 6 feet tall and together over 8 feet wide, so we definitely decided to “Go big or go home!”.
We’ll hang the show next Saturday (8 Feb) and the show will open on the 12th. There will be a reception at the gallery on Sunday, 16 Feb, from 7-8:30pm, where you’ll be able to publicly question our sanity while eating nummy snacks!