Friday, February 21, 2014

Meeting with Shellburne Sunday, February 16th

     At Shellburne's request I brought the best of the large pin-hole prints from my 2nd & 3rd semesters.  She really liked the work, and said that my fondness for my cameras was apparent.  She talked about the importance of having a good working relationship between the photographer and their equipment.  She said my pin-hole images were really my own.  She said she would love to see them bigger, because if they were closer to human scale they would really push the metaphor of the building as a stand-in for the body.
     She said she liked the way the buildings I drive by every day have become part of my own narrative.  She said I've projected pieces of me outside of myself and onto these structures as a way to understand myself better.  I was happy she said that.  These buildings really have become a part of me.  I am connected.  I call them, "My Barn" (possessive), or "The Old Man's House" (familiarity with strangers), and I worry about missing changes in their structures.  In a funny way they have become family.
     She particularly liked a couple of the pinhole images of my copper house sculpture burning.  She said it didn't matter if she knew what the images actually were of, because they conveyed a sense of transcendence through the light.  She said maybe I should look at some Tibetan texts.  She said these images are expressing a deeep need to understanding the cycle of life.  She said maybe I don't need the structure any more.  She said maybe it's time to move out of the house and into the landscape.  She said in some of my work I'm using the light as a kind of fire.  The light has the ability to illuminate an to obfuscate.  the light giveth and the light taketh away.  she said it could be interesting to end up with just light and shadows in my images. She said it would be interesting to lay out some of my pin-hole images in a narrative form, starting with the structure and then dissolving into pure light and dark.
     Then I pulled out my most recent work: Photoshop combinations of pin-hole exteriors with color interiors.  I also had  eight of these combinations physically constructed, with the printed color photo over-laid by a vellum black & white pin-hole image.  Shellburne was very excited by these.  She said she knew that the fact they were physically constructed was very important to me.  But she loved that the construction was invisible to the viewer.  She said that in a way I was constructing a painting.  She said the best of these images were elegant.  By that she said she felt they conveyed only what I was trying to say and no more.  She said to her elegance is self assurance without the ego.  And she said she believed I was too intelligent not to strive for elegance.  She said they reminded her of the reflection images I first brought her, where you couldn't tell what was inside or outside, and things were pushing backwards and forwards onto themselves.    She said I should pay attention to this, because when you start doing the same thing over and over again you have to recognize that there is something important in what you're trying to communicate.  Shellburne felt I should definitely make more of these, but to strive to have the interior and exterior images meld together.  She said neither image should compete for attention.  The two images need to be balanced so the viewer feels a sense of what's going on.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014