ElblocDeltoniGuida - You already have had a few solo shows of this work and in the exhibitions you take a multi-media approach when working in a gallery space. How does this enhance the viewer-experience and what are your goals for developing it in the future?
I have actually only had one multimedia solo exhibition of the series entitled Pine Tree Ballads:Labor Omnia. In the exhibition, I wanted to explore the narrative possibilities of an immersive, multi-sensory, aesthetic experience that is based on a photographic sequence that I treat as being in a constant state of “situational flux.” I find it refreshing to explore a broad range of media including photography, video, audio, performance, sculpture, and olfactory experiences to transform an exhibition space into a multimedia storytelling event. My desire is to push beyond the simple display and reading of “classic photographs” towards a new type of docu-literary inspired exhibition that challenges photographic conventions and questions the nature of the act of looking.
For instance, I recreated the image Plaster Bat as an actual plaster wall at the end of a photo lined hall that was lit by a nightlight. The hall had a 100 year old wood floor installed that was purposely left “spongy” to unbalance the viewer. The floor was also sprayed with the aroma of black pepper. I was interested in creating a multi-sensorial situation that put the audience in a particular state of mind when viewing the images. I also wanted to keep Pine Tree Ballads from ever being a fixed work of art. In my opinion, it is less about it being a single, definitive, collection of images and more about considering how one tells a story in a nuanced manner at a particular point in time. Plaster Bat is simultaneously an image, a physical plaster reproduction of a farmhouse bedroom wall, and an actual bedroom wall with a strangely familiar, plaster repair job that takes flight in low light. I mentioned “situational flux” which means that my methodological approach to photography, art making, and storytelling in general is that no work is ever finished or needs to remain static. The overall aesthetic and emotional tone of the work should have definable boundaries but other than that anything goes. An example of this is when I edition images, I do not specify size or whether or not the image will be in color or b/w. I decided long ago that I will not play by the standard rules when it comes to telling my story. As long as the audience finds intellectually stimulating substance and emotional resonance, I am satisfied and prepared to take risks .
In the far future, I would like to get to a point in my work where I could install an iteration of Pine Tree Ballads deep in the woods of Maine far removed from audience. The exhibition would simply consist of a murder of crows feeding on a bed of antique glass evil eyes. Only one “viewer” at a time would be given a map to the location and one of my grandfather’s cameras. The work would always start in the middle of night … and maybe I would give them a flashlight. (riaucitizen.com)
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