This project is now over.
All of the work has sold.
If you would like to see the project in it's entirety; please check it out here.
You can view my other work here.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
21 x 33 cm
Found color photograph (thanks to S.L. for dumpster diving on my behalf), pink thread, watercolors
Please Note: The jumping man is hanging off the end of the page.
Today marks the end of the *38* Project.
I have come to feel that if nothing else, every Thursday has been defined in one way or another by this project.
I could say that I am looking forward to not doing this anymore - but that would actually only be a half truth.
But in some ways I could say that I am ready for something else - and yes, actually, that would be mostly accurate.
This reminds me of saying goodbye to a good friend or a family member; I always well up, my throat gets tight and I feel terribly nervous and anxious. Just recently I was in New York saying goodbye to J.H. and E.G. at the shuttle bus stop for Newark Airport. I could feel the tears coming as I gave them last hugs. When I was on the bus, the tears started rolling down my cheeks. I guess I am really sentimental and emotional.
This time around it feels like I am saying goodbye to a part of myself.
A great many thanks to all who supported me during this project.
Happy Birthday to some of my Gemini friends:
O.B. (9th), G.G. (10th), S.T. (11th), E.G. (a.k.a. Lady Boss) (13th), J.P. and S.S. (14th), and finally S.C. (15th)
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Found black and white photograph*, watercolors, graphite, various colors of thread
(The date on the photograph is September 30, 1938. The letter on the girl's (to the right) shirt has an 'A' on it.)
Last night I was at a BBQ at my friend S.'s flat. She told me that her 6 1/5 year old daughter, L., had composed a song the day before and if I was lucky she might sing it for me. I got lucky, she whisper/sang it in my ear. *The title of the song was 'When the time in my life was so good.'. I kept wondering how a 6 year old came up with a title like that, (and I am actually still wondering). I started to think about when the time in my life was so good. It actually isn't something that I think about that often. Thinking about that statement as is, suggests that the times in my life are not that good now. But I would have to say that this is not true.
This *38* is the second to the last one, which means my birthday is coming up, which means almost a year has passed (!) (and this project is almost over), which means I am starting to take inventory of all that I have (and haven't done); which is usually what I do around this time of year. But all that said, I think I can safely say that the good times in my life are not over.
There are always things to look forward to; like climbing some mountains in the Swiss Alps and staying the night in one of those little huts, or drinking a mint tea in Istanbul with my abbreviated name sake: A.V.G. or skinny dipping in the Baltic Sea with A., or having dinner with my family in Nice, or the residency I am going to in Niort next month, or actually something much more simple like having a beer in a beer garden later today with some friends, here in Berlin.
Actually it would be fair to say that the time in my life is good now.
See you next week for the very last *38*.
P.S. Happy Birthday and big hugs to my fellow Geminis this week:
L.H. (3rd), J.G. (3rd), K.T. (5th), and A.W. (8th)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
22.5 x 30.5 cm
Postcard, watercolors, graphite, yellow thread
Morning sickness, also called nausea, or pregnancy sickness, affects between 50 and 95 percent of all pregnant women as well as some women who use hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy.
A very close friend of mine, S., found out she was pregnant right before she and her partner moved to Florence, Italy earlier this year, for the whole year. Fortunately, I have seen her a few times and of course heard about her pregnancy. Needlesstosay she has had morning sickness that hasn't just lasted through the mornings...
During our most recent visit together, she told me about her attempts to "enjoy" Florence even though she was feeling badly, not to mention hormonal and very nauseated most of the time.
S. told me that she decided to try to be a little more positive about being in Italy. After all it is Florence, she thought. Unfortunately due to her pregnancy she can't stand the sight of, or the smell of Italian food. (Which she informed me is still true (!) even now!) That alone poses a big problem in a country that is not only known for it's food, but also very proud of it's food.
Aside from this (relatively minor) problem, which causes her to eat at fast food chains more often than she is willing to admit, she decided to go to the famous Uffizi Gallery one afternoon - to try and remember how great it is to be in Florence. The way she told me the story was that she was just minding her own business when she came across some paintings by Paolo Uccello (1397 – 1475). There she was suddenly, standing in front of 'The Battle of St. Romano':
She found herself on the verge of throwing up as she looked at what she called a "disgusting use of pastel colors throughout the painting"! She said she had to sit down and concentrate on not vomiting all over herself as she continued being repulsed by what she saw. She told me later; "Why would anyone want to paint a horse blue? - That is just disgusting!".
Dedicated to S.B.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
22 x 29 cm
Found color photographs, graphite, a photo corner, found paper from a photo album
A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular.
It was about 1982, or maybe even 1983, (I was 12 or 13) my best friend J.H.* and I were in her mother's boyfriend, L.'s truck on the way to Rusty's Pizza Parlor on Milpas Street to pick up some pizza. We were really close to Rusty's, and as we were stopped at a stoplight L.'s truck jolted forward - someone had rammed us from behind. L. screams, 'It's C. (his wife)!'. J.H. and I looked at each other in a panic, suddenly it felt like we were in a movie.
His English wasn't that good (he is Mexican) and he said, 'OK hijos (boys) we go near Rusty's, I drop you off at the corner and then I try to loose her.' We nodded breathlessly and scared beyond belief. L. handed J.H. a wad of money and pulled over to the side of the road. As we were jumping out of the car J.H. screamed at me, 'We have to run in a zig-zag in case she has a gun and tries to shoot at us'. It made perfect sense. We started running in a zig-zag to the front door of Rusty's. We made it inside, hyperventilating, feeling really relieved to have escaped all of the flying bullets that we didn't see or hear except for those in our head.
As we were waiting in line to pick up our order, a man tapped J.H. on the shoulder and said 'I think you dropped something'. J.H. looked down and saw a $100 bill on the ground, the money L. had given her for the pizza. She grabbed it.
We finally got the pizza and L. was waiting for us out in the parking lot. We ran to the truck and he told us he had lost her. We felt so lucky to have made it out alive.
(* J.H. is the same person who taught me how to drive. See this *38*.)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
19 x 22.25 cm
Found black and white photograph, color xerox, highway image cut out from Revista de Informacion Tecnica (Madrid, 1968), (the magazine was found at a flea market in Madrid), found paper, graphite and archival artist tape
Even though I didn't personally have the chance to drive down Highway 101 while I was in California recently - I was still reminded of the beauty on that drive. Everyone who comes to California for the first time always wants to drive down Highway 1 -and yes indeed, that is a spectacular drive, but not time efficient if you are driving between San Francisco and Santa Barbara regularly. Highway 101 is part coastal and part inland and therefore it isn't known for it's consistent beauty.
One of my most memorable trips down 101 was a couple of years ago. It was a warmish evening. I rented a car in San Francisco and had planned on driving down to Santa Barbara. It is between a 5 and 6 hour drive (325 miles or 532 km) - depending on how many stops you make, and of course how much you speed. Even though I have done this drive countless times alone, I have never enjoyed it.
Typical view during the inland portion of the drive down Highway 101.
I went to pick up my rental, a compact, which is what I reserved. I hate how the rental agency thinks they are doing you a favor and they "upgrade" you even if you don't want the upgrade. This is what happened - sort of. The clerk told me it would be a few minutes before they brought the car around to the front of the building. I was waiting and waiting - minutes turned into a quarter of an hour. Annoyed I went back inside, asking where my car was. The clerk said that it was waiting for me. I said I didn't see a car. He came out and said, "Oh yes here it is.". I stared at him blankly because parked in front of me was a white convertible (I can't remember exactly, but it was something like a Mitsubishi Spyder or a Chrysler Sebring). "No", I said, "This isn't the car I reserved.". He said "That's all we have. I thought you might not mind the upgrade.". He smiled, gave me the keys and walked off. So there I was, with a convertible. I had planned to leave town right then but instead called my friend M.K., picked her up from work and we drove around town with the top down, drinking smoothies while enjoying the city and the sunset.
A few hours later, after I had stolen my sister's big puffy winter hat*, I left town and you better believe the top was down, the heat was turned up and the radio was blasting as I drove down 101 to Santa Barbara. I think it was the first (and the last) time I didn't mind that drive.
*[Yes, I confess R. - I stole your hat.]
Thursday, May 8, 2008
8.5" x 10" (approximately)
Pages from Weather (Life Science Library, 1965) and Matter (Life Science Library, 1963), hot pink enamel hobby spray paint
Note about the work: The balloon shape is not connected to the main body of the work - therefore it is "floating" off the edge.
I have been thinking about the weather a lot lately. I grew up in Santa Barbara, California. It's a place where the sun shines 300 days a year, the average high temperature is 74 degrees fahrenheit (23 degrees celsius) - with an average of 15" (96.77 centimeters) of rain a year. Some say it is paradise. It's hard to believe that I live in Berlin sometimes knowing those weather statistics....
I happen to be here in Santa Barbara this week and low and behold - the weather ain't what I just described - BECAUSE (as I had forgotten) every May and June there is "May Gray" or "June Gloom": fog in the morning and then it (eventually) burns off to reveal a bluer than blue sky in the afternoon. Although at the moment it hasn't been burning off.
So what about weather prediction? Weather balloons and radiosondes are fascinating. The radiosonde hangs from a weather balloon and is used to diagnose weather conditions by measuring atmospheric pressure, temperature, and humidity. About 800 locations around the globe do routine weather balloon releases (!) - twice daily, usually at 0000 GMT and 1200 GMT. Here in May Gray two men are about to send off a weather balloon. It seems relatively archaic (although I am sure it isn't) that a balloon is sent into the sky and the atmosphere is measured but this radiosonde contraption. Surely it is high tech but we all know that weather prediction isn't necessarily something you can depend on.
All that said, I have heard the weather in Berlin is fabulous at the moment. Hopefully it will still be like that when I return!
Thursday, May 1, 2008
21 x 28 cm
Found black & white photograph, orange thread, found bird picture from a bird book
Ever since I was a child we had parrots as our family pets. The most wonderful parrot we ever had was Sammy. Initially named Samuel Gertler, but then, later on we found out Samuel was actually Samantha. (That's another story though.)
She was a Yellow - Napped Amazon.
She was the best parrot ever.
We got her when I was 11 years old, and she was 3 months old. After 3 days she already said her first word - "hello". It was out of control from there on out. Yellow Napes are the best talkers along side African Greys. Amazons have the intellect of a 2 year old child - and that is no joke. Not only could she speak incredibly well, but she could also word associate with various situations. If my mom was coming home and she could hear my mom's car - she would say "Hi Mom". If it was my dad's car, then the obvious (of course) "Hi Dad". It was incredible. I taught her to turn her head, look up in the sky and say "What's the birdie doing up there?". That was one phrase of many, many other phrases that she could say. Here is a partial list of her vocabulary:
Whatcha you doing?
How are you?
Here kitty kitty
Renee (my sister's name)
Lisa (my mom's name)
Como se llama?
I hate you
You stupid idiot
and the best word of all:
birdheart (she made that one up on her own)
The list goes on...and on...and on...
So this work is an homage to Sam.
She was remarkable.
I am welling up just thinking about her even though she passed away about 5 years ago (we had her for 23 years), and she has been sorely missed.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
21 x 29.7 cm
Found magazine clipping (thanks to K.T.), watercolors, graphite, blue thread
Note: The lines are sewn thread.
Sorry for the early post!
I am just about to leave town (in 6 hours to be exact) for 2 weeks.
Almost everything is packed except this computer.
Whenever I am about to travel overseas I always feel a bit on the edge.
Trying to find composure where and however I can.
Traveling is unnerving and terribly strenuous in general but especially on your own.
I used to live to travel - that was a long time ago.
I used to only want to be able to go places.
I remember being at the airport when I was a kid and a special excitement would come over me - I loved it.
There are of course two parts to this topic - the travels that one experiences to get somewhere and then the moment when one arrives at that destination. I think I much prefer the moment of arrival rather than the act of doing the traveling.
I am facing a long journey ahead.
But once I get there....I know how sweet it will be.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
21 x 29 cm
Found photographs - both black & white and color, (thanks to S.L. for dumpster-diving in CPH on my behalf!), archival tape
I have always been a communicator (after all, it is the main description of my star sign!). Even when I was a kid I would "hang on" (my father's words, not mine) the phone for hours. My parents always wondered what I was talking about. Now I can't remember... Although I am sure it was all very important at the time.
Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. The truth is, communication exists in so many various ways. As it is today - we are able to talk on the phone at any given time (and in Europe at least - almost in any given place), we can email, instant message both on the computer and on a cell phone, not to mention video conference calling (which I unabashedly love doing with my family - ok, admittedly with some friends too!) are all possible. There is undoubtedly a power connected to communication. I am fascinated by the various forms that are at our disposal...but that said, I think it is clear that a big question remains - whatever happened to the art of letter writing? Which of course is, in many ways, the most classic form of communication. Has it been lost forever? Undeniably it used to be all there was. Can you imagine - waiting for correspondence - for weeks, maybe even months sometimes?!
The best series of letters I ever had the chance to read (and I read them in their original form at the Marlene Dietrich archive here in Berlin for A.U.'s project) was the exchange between Joe Carstairs and her lover Marlene Dietrich. One letter has stayed in my mind: Carstairs was flying to her island in the Bahamas, Whale Cay, while she wrote a fabulous love letter to Dietrich in the air...quite the romantic letter...using the sky as a metaphor to describe her passion for Dietrich.
There is something to be said for hand-written text, the way an envelope looks, the postage that is chosen - these decisions don't have any weight any more - as that certain sensibility is definitely lost. Even a few days ago I was reading a text message from someone and wishing I could read it in their handwriting! Nevertheless we have of course gained so much in the meantime....haven't we?
Thursday, April 10, 2008
20.5 x 22 cm
Cover image from a SAP catalogue (advertising a fair on business and technology), archival tape, thread
Note about this image: there are 38 lines on her face - and that happened by chance. (honest)
..."Thank God for that face-lift. I was against it but I was wrong. Dead wrong. I got to admit it. That guy did a wonderful job. Thank God our Dawn doesn't look anymore like all that she went through."
"He did do a great job," the Swede said. "Erased all that suffereing. He gave her back her face." No longer does she have to look in the mirror at the record of her misery. It had been a brilliant stroke: she had got the thing out directly in front of her.
"But she's waiting. I see it, Seymour. A mother sees such things. Maybe you erase the suffering from the face, but you can't remove the memory inside. Under that face, the poor thing is waiting."
p. 298, American Pastoral, Philip Roth
There is a huge industry - as most of us know - in the elimination of wrinkles.
Anti-aging creams. Botox. Anti-wrinkle creams. Laser resurfacing. Injectable skin fillers. The list goes on.
Youth 4evr. Smooth, taut skin. Purity. Freshness.
As I have been told - fabric has a memory of it's folds. If you try to refold something after it has been folded in a particular position over a long period of time - it can't be refolded. The fabric "remembers" the initial fold.
Our face does the same thing - our repeated facial gestures fold our skin in a certain position causing those wrinkles to appear. (Sure there are other reasons for the cause of wrinkles: worry, smoking, a thinness in the surface of our skin, and so on and so forth). So one could deduce, as Mr. Roth wrote so eloquently, that quite possibly wrinkles hold our memories.
In the late 80's my mom talked about getting a face lift. I remember thinking about what a bad idea that was. Mostly because of how much a face is physically shifted and changed. I kept thinking how my mom just wouldn't look like my mom anymore, selfish reason for not supporting her desire - true. Granted we were in California - land of the freshly young and beautiful.
I am quite happy she never got one. Now - years later, I am faced with my own wrinkles. Just the other night at dinner L. told L.P. and I how much he liked our 'crow's feet' (what a horrible name to describe these lines!). He said he wished he had some like us. We both crinkled our noses...
Well, I will just have to try to be content that I have my fair share of crow's feet and I should, I guess, think of all of those memories those lines are storing.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
21.5 x 27 cm
Found photograph, tape and found paper from a book cover
Note about image: The bluish edge on the right side of the
image is the scanner bed.
The photographic image hangs over the edge of the paper.
This is one topic that really gets people riled up. As of January 1st, smoking is no longer legal in bars and restaurants in Germany and France. The two last strong holds in Europe who have attempted to refute this law. It has cramped a lot of people's style here in Europe - to say the least. It is true that Europe has been synonymous with a certain sort of smokey appeal - at least for Americans - for a good long while. On the one hand, I am quite relieved that the law has passed and people are more or less abiding ... and I do mean more or less.
But, then there is Marlene Dietrich and her cigar - in one of my favorite movies of all time, A Touch of Evil (1958), by Orson Wells.
All of that said, I found the image for today's collage in a photo album which was dedicated to a wedding reception. This image alone makes me love the smokey allure I mentioned above. There can be a seductive element to smoking, of course, and I do think this image captures that feeling.
Album cover (gotta love it)
A few years ago I was living with a young Irish lass here in Berlin and one night she was getting ready to go out on the town with her friends. I think she was 23 at the time. Her skirt was as big as a postage stamp - I really felt like her (much) older sister when I asked her if she was comfortable in her outfit (because I wouldn't have been)..."oh yes", she nodded her head coyly and smiled at me. I had to laugh. She then went on to tell me about her favorite part of the evening...when she would go out of the club "to get some fresh air" and have a smoke. I said, "Wait you don't smoke!". She replied, "oh I know, but this is the sure way to meet boys." She went on to say that she would have cigarettes but make sure not to have a lighter. While outside, she would find the most attractive looking boy possible, stand near him, and put a cigarette between her lips and start searching in her (microscopic) hand-bag for a lighter (which of course she knew she didn't have). Invariably, the young man would offer her a light which would also offer her a chance to have a flirt. I loved her unabashed method.
I am sure it all had something to do with the size of her skirt...
Thursday, March 27, 2008
21 x 24 cm
Found Postcard, various colors of thread, found black and white photograph, found paper
I learned how to drive when I was about 12 years old. My best friend J.H. lived on a cul-de-sac and her mom had a VW Bug circa 1962 (or thereabouts), as did my dad - but ours was a bit younger (1970). Can't say there was much to do on our weekends in SB. We'd go to the beach and hang out, but you could only do that for so long, plus it was "cold" sometimes!
One day I went over to J.H.'s and she told me she knew how to drive. I wanted to learn how real bad. So she said she would teach me. Me, J.H. and our sisters piled into the Bug. Now that I think about it - I don't think that her mom knew we were doing this...
First she drove up and down the cul-de-sac a million times showing me the connection between the clutch and the gear stick. Push in, (keep it pushed in) and push that stick into various gears.
"Don't rev too much."
"Don't forget to push the clutch in!"
"Don't let go of the clutch 'til the gear is in the right place."
We went up and down this block long street all day long. I finally got my chance. I was really small for my age - so we had to pull the seat as close to the steering wheel as possible. I did a lot of gear grinding and of course was anxious, scared but mostly excited!! and somehow I got the hang of it. It was great fun. It quickly became our past time and we would "drive" a lot - meaning up and down her street; Bonnie Lane.
The morning of my 16th birthday I took my driver's license test at the Department of Motor Vehicles and passed. Later I inherited my father's 1970 cherry red Bug. (He had imported it from Germany when we had moved to California in 1971). I loved this car. I used to get notes on my car asking me if I wanted to sell it because it was in such pristine shape. I think I liked the sound of the engine the most but I also remember loving the interior roof of the car which was coated in a white plastic sort of fabric that was perforated. Eventually the car got given away.
I used to have dreams about that car - and actually I just had a dream about the car again last weekend and that was my inspiration for this 38.
The title references the license plate number of my father's Bug.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
20 x 29cm (A4)
Found photographs, silver thread, metal chain, Hagenbutte / Rose Hip tea bag (used for the color)
Please note: The longest chain on the left hangs off the page.
"For years, scientists have known that attraction is more likely to happen when people are aroused, be it through laughter, anxiety or fear. Aron tested that theory in 1974 on the gorgeous but spine-chilling heights of the Capilano Canyon Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia -- a 5-foot wide, 450-foot, wobbly, swaying length of wooden slats and wire cable suspended 230 feet above rocks and shallow rapids.
His research team waited as unsuspecting men, between ages 18 and 35 and unaccompanied by women, crossed over. About halfway across the bridge, each man ran into an attractive young woman claiming to be doing research on beautiful places. She asked him a few questions and gave him her phone number in case he had follow-up questions. The experiment was repeated upriver on a bridge that was wide and sturdy and only 10 feet above a small rivulet. The same attractive coed [female student] met the men, brandishing the same questionnaire.
The result? Men crossing the scary bridge rated the woman on the Capilano bridge more attractive. And about half the men who met her called her afterward. Only two of 16 men on the stable bridge called. Fear got their attention and aroused emotional centers in the brain. "People are more likely to feel aroused in a scary setting," Aron says. "It's pretty simple. You're feeling physiologically aroused, and it's ambiguous why. Then you see an attractive person, and you think, 'Oh, that's why.' "
Any kind of physiological arousal would probably do the trick, Aron concludes from his studies. Couples who ride roller coasters, laugh at a really funny comedian or escape a burning building together get an emotional jolt and could attribute the feeling to the attractiveness of the other.
By Susan Brink - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The original study can be found here.
I read this article about a year ago and found it fascinating. In many ways it makes sense of course. Emotional bonding can take place in an extreme state of physical perilousness.
I used to wait tables at Christopher's Cafe (which I don't think is there anymore) in Berkeley, California. One night I was scheduled to work but was also on the verge of being evacuated from my house because of a huge fire (a.k.a Oakland Hills Fire - which in the end burned 6.2 kilometers of area) on the hillside. I notified my colleagues that I would have to leave in case things got worse or there was a wind shift...I went to work ever so slightly panicked (to say the least).
That night the restaurant was packed with all the regulars that didn't usually come on that night. Fear stricken faces permeated the place.... People's homes were burning and they decided to come to their favorite restauratnt to have some supper because they didn't know what else to do. It was an intensely bonding evening throughout the whole restaurant.
I will never forget that night.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
20.5 x 29.5cm
Found color photo, origami paper, paint chips, found paper
This work was inspired by my Levi's pants pocket. I rediscovered them in my closet and put them on today. Come to think of it, I got these jeans at Cross-Roads in San Francisco years ago.
How I wish there was a Cross-Roads here...
There are no characters today. Sure I have a lot of friends laying around my studio work table - but no one joined in.
And on another note, I have to admit that I am quite happy with the title of today's work - (which was lifted from a PJH song) and some how - I think it just says it all.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
22 x 29.5 cm
Found magazine clipping, photograph, black ink, graphite, red thread, alu tape
Note: The area behind Maya is cut out and the edges of the black rectangular shape on the left side are covered in metallic tape which doesn't really come through here in the scan.
I can honestly say I have never lived so centrally located as I do now. I am close to all forms of public transportation (even though they are all on strike right now...ugh) cafes, bars, restaurants, book stores, grocery stores and oh yeah! brothels. In fact I live above one called Maya (formerly known as Jasmine). Because I live on the 4th floor and the brothel is on the ground floor I don't hear anything (unlike my unlucky friend S. who also lived above a illegal short-term brothel and heard a client growling like a tiger one night) but I do see the occasional client (who have ranged in age from 17 to 70). Actually I park my bike in front of the blackened windows when I come home.
Fortunately 'my' neighborhood brothel is quite tame. There is so much sex trafficking that happens between Eastern Europe and Asia, to Western Europe it is terrible. But prostitution is legal in Germany. Prostitutes have to pay income taxes and even have to charge VAT for their services, to be paid to the tax office....Berlin has initiated a system where prostitutes have to pay their taxes in advance, a set amount per day, to be collected and submitted by the brothel owners...Berlin charges 30 Euros. All of that said I can't help but wonder who and what the women's stories are.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
21.5 x 29.5 cm
Found photograph, found book clipping, ink and found paper
Note - The (white) holes under her arms are cut out.
"No repetition will ever exhaust the novelty of what comes. Even if one were able to imagine the contents of experience wholly repeated - always the same thing, the same person, the same landscape, the same place and the same text returning - the fact that the present is new would be enough to change everything. Temporalization itself makes it impossible not to be ingenuous in relation to time." — Jacques Derrida and Maurizio Ferraris, A Taste for the Secret, p. 70
I didn't really think ahead when I started this project. One year. It is and isn't a long time. I thought I should do some reflection on the repetitive nature of this project since today marks the 38th *38*. That means 15 to go....(last one will be on June 12th).
My first conscious experience with repetition was when I was a kid and did Judo/Aikido for quite a few years. I was the only girl in the class - until my sister joined. I loved it more than most anything else and I think I didn't miss a day unless my family was out of town. Repetition consisted of learning the throws and falls. It was there that I learned about how to train your body to respond even if you were not conscious of what you were responding to. The idea that your body could respond without your mind thinking about it was really interesting. It proved to work, as years later I had a bike accident and flew over a woman's car to land in a perfect Judo fall. It was amazing. This could be seen as maybe the physical manifestation of memory through repetition.
But I think what has been consistently interesting for me is working with old photographs. I repeatedly look at the photos I have - so much so that I start feeling that I know these people. I had the very, very strange experience of buying a few snap shots of a woman at the (Mauer Park) flea market from one of my regular purveyors (of fine snap shots). A few weeks later I went back to the same seller and saw more images of the same woman. I remember recognizing her but not being able to understand how or why. I bought the images and only realized later that I already had other images of the same woman. Would this then be the manifestation of memory through the repetition of looking? What I do know is that this project has become it's own entity and subsequently carved a place for it's self in my weekly routine.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
19 x 27 cm
Found photographs, black permanent ink, found paper
Let's Make a Deal
Let's Make a Deal is a television game show which originated in the States in 1963 and ran consistently until 1976. The show was based around deals offered to members of the audience by the host. In the simplest format, a contestant was given a prize, and the host offered them the opportunity to trade it in for another prize; however, the offered prize was concealed. It might be concealed on the stage behind one of three curtains, or behind "boxes" onstage (large panels painted to look like boxes), within smaller boxes brought out to the audience, or occasionally in other formats.
The initial prize given to the contestant might also be concealed, such as in a box, wallet or purse; or the player might be initially given a box or curtain. The format varied widely.
Prizes generally were either a legitimate prize, cash, or a "zonk". Legitimate prizes often included furniture and appliances, or vehicles. Zonks were unwanted prizes which could be anything from animals to large amounts of food, or something outlandish like a giant article of clothing or piece of furniture.
I used to watch Let's Make a Deal a lot when I was a kid. I always loved the excitement that built up with what might be behind the curtain. In this current work Johanna is the lovely "Vanna White" who will open up door number 2. The key to the game show was that no one knew what the prize was going to be - and it is the same here.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
20.5 x 27 cm
Found black and white photograph, felt, ribbon (from A.D. in DK), red thread, paper bag from the bakery, origami paper and magazine clippings
This work was inspired by some old fashioned postcards (with thread and material on the surface) my grandmother used to send my sister and I from Hungary:
Happy Valentine's Day
I feel quite conflicted about Valentine's Day. On the one hand I completely recognize that it is a bogus capitalistic marketing scheme created by the service industry and the luxury sector to make some big money on the idea of "love". The question does remain: why do we need one day a year to "show our love to someone"? It is not really celebrated here in Germany... so does that mean they are missing out on the possibility of an extreme money making opportunity (For example think of how much money you could charge for roses today if you had a flower stand)? Or that couples simply don't need to be reminded that they should love their better half Today and only Today?! BUT that said, I do have to say I quite like this day and it could be because it always had to do with collage making when I was a kid.
I remember one time - a solid week before Valentine's Day - that my mom organized an after-school Valentine's Day making extravaganza. My friend's Lisa and Robbie came over (we were all about 8 years old), and my mom made each of us a heart shaped master pattern to use as the base of our Valentine's Day cards. She had gotten small shells, colored paper, felt tip markers (from Germany) and lots of glue and glitter. She encouraged us to make whatever we thought would be nice. We each made 30 cards - one for each of the other students in the class. I remember not liking everyone in my class but still making one for everyone (it was my mom's idea). The triumph of course came from putting those cards in each person's Valentine's Day 'receptacle' in the class room. Of course the question at the end of the day always was "How many cards did you get?"
(Thanks to L. for the title inspiration.)
Thursday, February 7, 2008
15 x 21 cm
Found magazine clippings, felt, graphite, watercolors, oil pastel
Note: The area between her raised arm and the collar of her shirt is cut out - in addition to her elbow sticking off the edge of the page.
I was looking forward to making the 38 this week. But somehow it was more challenging than most Thursdays.
Today is Chinese New Year - Happy Year of the Rat! That said, I thought I would be making a work about that. Well, somehow this is what happened... "Rachel thought about what was next."
Of course, I accept responsibility for this but my mind had such a different idea. I think it all started because I walked to the studio this morning - stopping off at the art store on Kastianallee. Immediately drawn to the wall display of glorious colors of pencils and oil pastels...I was reminded how I used to use oil pastels in art school forever ago. So I decided to get some. One thing led to another - Rachel and I became acquainted - and well, here you go.
P.S. Need I say how much I want her top? What is up with the fish?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
16.5 x 24 cm
A page from a book on Dresden that I found on the street, found black and white photos, graphite, felt
Consider the bizarre events of the 1962 outbreak of contagious laughter in Tanganyika. What began as an isolated fit of laughter (and sometimes crying) in a group of 12- to 18-year-old schoolgirls rapidly rose to epidemic proportions. Contagious laughter propagated from one individual to the next, eventually infecting adjacent communities. The epidemic was so severe that it required the closing of schools. It lasted for six months.
- Robert R. Provine, "Laughter", American Scientist 84. 1 (Jan-Feb, 1996): 38-47.
I was in the S-Bahn with F. while she was visiting and we were on the way to an opening. We were talking about this and that when we both spotted someone. Trying to be discreet - we both noticed that this person happened to have a big booger in their nose. I don't really know why things like that make one laugh but like school girls, we started laughing. The laughing did not stop. Because F.'s laughter is so infectious I continued to laugh harder. Of course as a result so did she. The tears started streaming down our cheeks. All of the commuters looked at us with blank stares - which of course caused us to laugh more. We got out of the train stumbling over ourselves laughing and behind us were two women who started laughing with us because we couldn't stop laughing. The absurdity didn't end as later we saw that person at the opening.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
23 x 26.25 cm
Found black and white photograph, wool ("Froehlich Wolle - Swiss"), pg. 141 from a book on Animals in their geographical environment, origami paper, found (black) paper from a photo album
Note: this work was a bit wider than my scan bed so the entire work is not shown. The part on the right extends out a bit more.
I started this work yesterday and last night had a dream about it...
The first time I learned how to knit I was working in a small shop in North Berkeley, right by the Solano Tunnel, called "Nine Patch". I have very fond memories of this time. Elaine runs the shop, (which is still around) specializing in selling quilts, baskets and knickknacks, including socks and stockings of all kinds. (I think that is when I got into patterned socks.) Needlesstosay there was a lot of down time. I sat in there with a colleague. Throughout the day with not much to do after the regular tasks of stocking and cleaning, my colleague was always knitting. She had a special knitting technique...she wrapped the wool around her pointing finger of her left hand (as Janice is doing here) - she said that was the "European" way of doing it. When I asked, she taught me how. Pretty soon we were both knitting together - drinking tea, and selling the occasional thing here or there. It was so very gemütlich.
Knitting has always been an incredible point of departure for me. I think because it is hard for me to sit still and do nothing - here was/is the perfect solution - I am forced to sit still but actually can be productive at the same time. And it is like anything you do with your hands - there is instant satisfaction. In addition it is a very meditative activity and everything around me always quickly gets covered up by the wool I am using.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
17.5 x 26.5 cm
Found black and white photographs, artist tape, origami paper, acrylic paint, found paper
The character - Josephine - comes off the edge of the paper - so her handbag is below the paper edge line. Hope that is clear in this scan.
"In metaphysics, Aura refers to the energy field emanating from the surface of a person or object."
I have always wondered about auras. Mostly I think it would be confusing if you could see auras - I mean then you would see an environment of colorful light around not only people but also things - because everything has an aura. Maybe there are some people out there who can see auras. I imagine so.
But I think it would be a burden.
Nevertheless I thought it might be nice to be able to see Josephine's auras - so here they are, although of course she does have more (if you were wondering).
Thursday, January 10, 2008
21 x 30 cm
Found image from Polish fashion magazine (circa 1973), found image of a snow leopard, graphite and textile paint
A note about this image:
The right pant leg is hanging off of the edge of the page and there is a cut out space between the female characters two legs.
Pink is silhouetted and is also above the top edge of the page.
Even though there is only a vague connection here - snow leopard spots and a checkered pattern- I have been fascinated for ages by the way man adopts patterns, colors and shapes from the natural world - especially in terms of fashion. A few years back I was at the Natural History Museum in Berlin perusing the bird section. As I looked around I was convinced that a friend had taken inspiration from the bird exhibition and modeled his new hairstyle on one of the species I was looking at, at that very moment!
Nature is a beautiful and wondrous phenomena.
If only we as humans could be so creative.
p.s. I love her jumpsuit.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
21.5 x 29.5 cm
Found black and white photograph, various pieces of colored felt, graphite and the foil from a beer bottle
Just for a bit of clarity - the foil goes off the page on both sides - and so does the lady who is awestricken.
I do like the new year in so many ways. It's a fresh start - a chance to get back to the things that we
didn't do the previous year (or years) and also a new chance for good things to come.
But that said, actually I am a firm believer that our real new year happens on our personal birthdays.
Nevertheless it is 2008 - and I wish you a happy new year.