Thursday, 14 April 2011


After Pip and myself had showcased 'Mementos' I still had all the equipment on hire for the weekend. It felt a waste to not put it to good use and treat it as if it was a home cinema. Reuben had recently bought Daft Punks 'Electroma' and this felt like an ideal time to view it. We added the candles to enhance the dramatics's of what we were about to watch as light hearted gimmick for ourselves. These candles proved to really amplify our experience of the film and highlighted poignant moments within the film itself. The first thing to strike me about this film was it's cinematography and it's use of the soundtrack. Within one of the opening scenes there is the image of an open highway with the deserts surrounding, this imagery is coupled with a low altering bass. This was extremely similar to 'Drive' as that was the same combination I had employed. It was a moment of personal justification as I felt this film was extremely well done and very interesting in it's dialogue between image and sound and these were techniques I had come to independently of the film. The film gave me grander ideas of where I could take future film ideas and has instantly influenced me in terms of the shifts in tonal moods that sound and imagery can share. The film also had no dialogue which gave it a richer visceral impact which is something that I feel I may have touched upon with 'The Great White'. The experience of watching this film was one that will stay with me as it was the best setting to view it. This viewing along with the viewing of 'The Great White' has highlighted the importance of presentation and setting, these are things that I haven't placed such great importance on until now.


Mementos was an exhibition I am very proud of and is a great foundation on which it build my practice. With all aspects I feel that myself and Pip really executed what we find interesting and relevant to both our practices. For me it held all things that I consider important and relevant to art as a format, and was succesful in avoiding the stale, cold feeling of a white-walled gallery space.

I had always shied away from being a part of a large group of people for this module as I felt that with greater numbers comes a higher risk of a less coherent exhibition. Mine and Pip's work had originally started more similar but as both our projects evolved, the differences grew. I feel that by this happening it gave our works more individualism whilst still retaining underlining, shared themes. Our presentation methods were also going to be within the same field but as my project progressed it moved into the film spectrum, which I feel gave as much diversity as possible being in a duo. I think the room choice we made was important also as my room was road side which I felt added a surprising dynamic to my road movies. It was something that could have hindered the experience but I felt that it enriched it. Similarly Pip's room being at the back of the house gave it a meditative and calm atmosphere which really suited her content. I thought Pip's work was a monumental tribute and a true testament to her relationship with her grandmother. The quality of craft work and well thought out ideas coupled with genuine artifacts gave her ideas a full and rich body of work both with emotional gravitas and visual power.

I ordered the films so that 'Drive' was first, finishing with 'Cana', this was a very conscious decision as I felt that within that order it held two aspects of Art I find continually compelling. Firstly starting with the mundane, within 'Drive's' opening scene of being a baron highway stretching on for what seems like forever, slowly building to the abstract and pulsating climax. From this second half of 'Drive' it leads into 'Cana's' atmospheric cloud of sound and visual. I always knew that 'Cana' would be the more appealing of the two as it's much more open to interpretation and has much more of a nostalgic vibe. 'Drive' always felt like an opener to 'Cana' which is interesting as I produced 'Cana' first with 'Drive' being the last film within the series. The feedback was that people enjoyed the experience but preferred 'Cana' as it was much softer but kept with on their toes with the audio and the visuals. 'Drive'is much more of an endurance by comparison but is needed to give 'Cana' context. "It was as if you'd closed your eyes and the changing colours were from light falling on your eyelids" -Louise Hastings has summed up something that I have been trying to do for sometime and I'm very happy that this was picked up on and was something that someone saw. The most uncomfortable aspect of the night was that I had to start and end the films, it was something that had to be done to best facilitate the films. The single most uncomfortable aspect was when the films would end, people felt compelled to clap as I was in the room, If I could have changed anything about the night it would have been to rig it so that I didn't have to be there.

Having free drinks, cakes and a bonfire was something that we both felt was important and possible as we were housing the event within Pip's home. The setting and the atmosphere was something we were happy to welcome with our event as we felt it necessary and important to making what we considered a 'good' event. Overall the night was a very relaxed affair and felt like a success and an interesting end to my source material gathered last summer.


Once I had decided to show 'Cana' and 'Drive' it was a case of figuring out how to show them along with the finer details. I was very uncertain of how to best present those two films. Weather they would be looped one after another or if I was going to put them together only to be seen in an order during certain time slots. My thoughts on the difference in presentation method's was that the later was more suited to my work as they seemed like films that warranted viewing in their entirety. I was very much at odds towards the presentation methods. On the one hand I wanted people to see them in their entirety as I felt that was the best way to view them but I was very aware that intern I would be forcing people to sit and watch my films which makes me very self conscious. From my experience when people watch films within a gallery setting they will give the film less time then if given a cinema type setting. I knew that employing this method would ensure that the audience would watch it in full which in tern gives them a full experience giving them a grater understanding of their judgements towards it.

I had been watching a lot of Flux films when I was editing 'Cana' and 'Drive' together and I was always fond of the way they began, acting as an interesting uniform for them all. The style was something I was fond of too, the flickering and flashing introductions of titles and artists etc... I applied a similar introduction to both the films having a countdown before each new film started. I wanted to give the audience a chance to take a moment between films, due to the nature of them I felt that running them one after another might have been too much and would have left them overwhelmed. The countdown was 30 seconds long, this was something I felt was as suitable time between films as it would give an appropriate comedown from the first, and a build up to the second.

The title of the collective films came about when I was reading 'Utopia Limited' by Marianne DeKoven. She was de constructing the sixties by breaking down some of the most prominent literature such as 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' by Hunter S. Thompson. In a section she breaks down Thompson's metaphor and use of the title 'The Great White' for his convertible whilst driving down the highway to Las Vegas where Thompson depicts the death of the sixties whilst referencing Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick'. I felt this appropriation of 'The Great White' was a fitting one as the films are road movies essentially but also contain my own mixed feelings of America and my place within it.


Deutsche Guggenheim

I had watched a youtube clip of Agathe Snow before going to Berlin and felt that it was a dramatic and grand way of expressing simple ideas through the use of found imagery and global symbols. My fears were confirmed as soon as I walked through the revolving doors. I really shy away for heavily political work and work that uses global companies logo's as 21st century iconography. I find it all a bit obvious and easy to do and found that she had taken one idea and was given the funds to produce monuments. The scale and grandeur of the work doesn't mask it's underlying pastiche methods of taking on certain political ideas and utopian ideals. I personally shy away from voicing my own politics as I feel that I don't have all the facts to voice a coherent and educated opinion. I find that this type of work is done by someone with my level and understanding of politics but has used found/obvious imagery highlighting major political up evils in the last half century. It felt interesting visually as the scale of it was so large and there was so much to absorb but if you singled out aspects of it they seemed weak and cliché. Volume doesn't give quality. It's low-fi and DIY aspects were the only processes that I found worked well with her own constructions of a balcony to give another angle to view the work from.

Hamburger Banhof

The Hamburger Banhof is the first gallery we saw whilst in Berlin. It was once a one of the first terminal stations for the rail system which is what gives the Hamburger Banhof it's distinct structure. It was converted to the "Museum fur Gegenwart" (Museum for Contemporary art) in 1996 after being reconstructed by architect Josef Paul Kleinhues. The exhibition that was on during our visit was Richard Long's Berlin Circles. Richard Long is one of the godfathers of Land Art which took fame during the sixties. I had only seen Long's work photographed insitute where his walks had originated. I thought that this idea worked well with his philosophy on his work and life and was sceptical on him bringing it into a white wall space. I realise he has been practising this method for the majority of his carrier but I always identified more with his work remaining in it's 'home location'. I felt that I had been converted once I entered the overwhelming and unexpected hall space. These two factors made me feel that the work and space worked well together but on reflection I'm uncertain of weather it was merely the space and the scale of the work that impressed me. On one hand really liked the grandeur and the nature aspects but on the other there were sloppy aspects to it. Such as the white chalk circle that they had used to ensure that the work was perfectly circular. I understand that they used that process as I would also have to employ it to ensure a perfect circle but it seemed lazy and careless to not removed the chalk once finished. I did however feel that it worked well with the other aspects of the gallery and acted as a good starting point for a range of diverse works that was spread throughout the massive gallery.

The Robert Rauschenberg series was in one of the rooms off from Long's main hall. They were a series of works that I had not come across before and instantly caught my eye. His use of photography, silk screen and colour was something that I found really interesting and was a process I felt that I could apply to the Charles Gershkovich photographs I still have lying around. They depicted his travels to China in 1982, he took hundreds of photographs and when he went back to The States he collaborated with a graphic studio. He had layered images on top of each other and played around with their colours giving them a ghostly and disjointed feel. They also felt as though he had put all the pictures on individual screens and then just played with arrangements and configurations whilst he was working, playing colours and images off one another. I felt this worked well as it gave the pictures an interesting dynamic against each other and suited the mundane styled photography whistling giving them a new collective dimension.

Whilst walking through the maze that is the Hamburger Banhof I had walked through a series of minimalist sculptures which felt me feeling cold and felt more like a glorified photo opportunity than an actual experience I came across a series of video rooms. The first of which houses the video piece 'The well-shaven cactus'-1970 by Ger Van Elk, I instantly laughed and saw this simple video piece as a breath of fresh comedic air to a potentially stale corridor of contemporary art. It's simple title and execution of the idea was something that I was instantly fond of. It's a great combination of the mundane and the ridiculous which is becoming a more prominent part with my relationship with the idea of the mundane and pedestrian.

There were moments within this exhibition where I felt that I was seeing some very interesting and challenging works of arts. There were also moments with in the exhibition where I felt that my particular tastes didn't match up to the types of art on display. It was at these moments married with the volume of intake that I felt myself merely taking photographs to fill the void. I was starting to see pieces as photo opportunities and on later reflection realised that I should have given less time to certain pieces and moved through the gallery faster and then go back to certain pieces that caught my eye initially. After this experience I don't know if I will take my camera in again as it's too easy to just switch off and click.

Monday, 11 April 2011


The 'Roots' exhibition was held at Corke Gallery with Lois Rogers, Angharad Rhys, Will Facer and Reuben Barr. It was an exhibition full of diversity and held a range of different ideas under the umbrella of the theme 'Roots'. It was a very polished evening with all the work looking very tight and focused but perhaps lost it's continuity between the differences in the different works ideas. Singularly all the works were strong but once put together it may have felt fragmented. I felt that by having Lois and Angharad in their own room with Lois having a separate room to house her video was something that worked well for them as they had previously tried to be a duo but unfortunately couldn't find a space in Wales. Will and Reuben's room was another slick part of 'Roots' having two extremes from photographic collages of Liverpool to illustrated emotions of 'Never'. The framing of these works spoke volumes about the differences, Will's frames were very swish white frames that complimented his refined photographs perfectly. Whereas Reubens were kitsch, old golden frames along side 40 individually hand drawn envelops, both suited and complimented the works within them perfectly. Reubens envelops were a personal highlight as I felt that paying £2 for a individually hand drawn piece of art was something I know is an important part of his practice and made 'Roots' a real event. Lois' video pieces of family and friend's hands along with a video of her Grandmother (Nain) were particularly strong within the work she presented on the evening. Particularly the video of her grandmother, I felt a real warmth and sincerity behind the video's and felt that she captured her feelings towards her family very well. Having her grandmother read poetry in Welsh, that she had written when she was younger was a very strong aspect and was something that I felt gave it a genuine intimacy. Angharad's work was a colourful and simplistic piece of craft work. Having Welsh poetry stitched within her colourful clouds of wool was something that I felt worked well and gave it a sense of personal purpose. All in all a very well put together exhibition from the Roots crew and a great evening was had by all.

Introspective was an exhibition within the LSU presenting a range of different artistic formats. As this event took place within the office spaces upstairs from the LSU I felt that aspects worked better than others. For example Louise, Tasha and Rachel felt the strongest given they had transformed their spaces and were separated from the large office spaces that contained the others work. Tasha's work felt like a suffocating and tight enclosure that lead you into a dimly lit corner of contemplation, working well with her concept. I felt that the instant comparisons to Sachiko Abe and Nicholas Hlobo's was something of a barrier for myself as I had seen both those pieces within a relatively short period before seeing Tasha's piece. Rachel's video pieces were very well placed within her room and there was a strong continuity between the concept and the display of the videos. I could also see some similarities between her work and my own, with her use of journeys and manipulation of video. Louise's work held the most intimacy within the office spaces truly transforming the dull, white walled into an entity of itself. I really like her work and think that her constructions with old found and bought objects are very compelling and work well. I found that she took what she had captured within her sculptures and done the same with the room by covering the windows, adjusting the light and placing old newspapers on the floor acting as rugs. Introspective was an enjoyable exhibition to attend and there was some real stand out pieces.

Relationship had the most artists exhibiting within the year, holding an easy majority of the year all apart of the show held at the Academy of Arts. Unfortunately it may have been my most unenjoyable of this years exhibitions. I think this can only be contributed to the volume of art on display which I felt made it hard to really engage with anyone of them in particular. There were a few pieces that I felt really shone through but unfortunately I don't know the people's names who produced the work. There was some very good photography on display that I liked and I thought that Kate Crowther Green's prints were interesting, I would have liked to have seen the more abstract ones scaled up. I understand that the scale of the space they had to work with was problematic and that's no fault of the artists but sadly I feel it was a real reason for my lack on engagement.


This is the final version of the poster that myself and Pip designed. It went through a series of versions but we felt that this encapsulated both our work well without giving the specifics of our work away. The cat is from a series of pictures I bought whilst in Alameda, California, I turned these pictures into a black and white film. The writing that lays over the top of the cat is the code Pip had to work out in order to accurately stitch her photograph's which she later turned the code into a quilt. We will be putting these around the university and also in local shops and galleries as to maximise our potential audience.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Exhibition Strategies

When I first started to engage with the rough film that I had taken over the summer I didn't know/remember what I had filmed. This gave me a bank of material that I could look at with fresh eyes but that could possibly be worthless. As I started to edit my way through I found a mixture of glimpses and atmospheric fragments. It is from these two types of film that the Cana series has developed, I was both making video's that held moments and created new ones. Cana and ADP were both pieces that felt that they held immersive qualities, both equally being about memory yet creating new moments within themselves. The glimpse work comes through with Baseball and Piana, they feel more like portraits of moments between moments. A tutor told me that he felt like Piana was more like a painting which I was happy to agree with. The latest one 'Drive' (it's rough title) is somewhere in the middle. Both playing with moments in time and evolving into a new moment which holds a more immersive stance towards the end. The one factor they all share is that they have a hypnotic quality and stem from the mundane.

These two types of film are very different from one another and both hold qualities that I'm very interested in. When I first made the first Cana film I was encouraged to continue to make films from the raw footage. By doing this I explored new ideas, learnt new techniques and started understanding the work in a more thought out and personal way. By the same token I realised that by talking to people about the work and showing them these shorts that they were obviously having different insights and reactions to the work, which in term informed my work more.

I'm now in a position where I have made the five video's and I have my exhibition space and it's now what strategies I put in place as to which pieces I show and which I don't. Which pieces hold my ideas best and which ones work well with each other. This process is something that I find most interesting in other artists but struggle to do it myself. It's a technique that I am keen to implement with the Cana series as I feel if I was to show them all they wouldn't create a solid body they would be fragments off the core of the idea. My initial idea of what will work best together is "Cana" and "Drive" (Rough title). They both work individually but I think that together that work well off of each other both harmonising and standing their own with different elements to both. Both travelling pieces of footage but both immersive and their own entities in their own right.


This is a rough demo of the latest video I've worked on. Since having a chat with Artist Blue Firth I have extended the end and shorted the middle. I'm very interested in the mundane and Americana and the start of this video plays to those interests well. The slowing of the organ and the pedestrian nature of the highway lours the viewer into a mesmeric lull. This is a conscious decision as when the video progresses it starts to change gear and builds slowly to a immersive finish. The second half of the film starts to build up a visual trick by looping and speeding up the clip. The sounds and imagery work well together as the organ feels like it's churning the video.

Drive from Matt Weir on Vimeo.


Piana came from a small moment that my sister did whilst playing the piano. It's these moments that have interested me the most throughout my art practice but it's one that's very difficult to attain. I've found photography to be the most common medium to capture these glimpses but with this short film I feel it works well. It captures a moment that would otherwise be forgotten, it's also her youth and the expression on her face that I find most memorable. It has no sound as I haven't found the right sounds to coincide with this video but this maybe a good thing as I think it may not need it. I see it more as a painting after speaking to a tutor and feel that it works well in that format.


Casa de Nada

Unfortunately mine and Pip's joint exhibition space Casa De Brujas has fallen through. After weeks of futile attempts at communication with the curator we went around there today only to find out that she had "left the country indefinitely" and the occupier of the property was in the process of "de-occupying it". This wasn't totally unexpected as it was something we felt could have happened at anytime. It has also given us the learning curve of nothing is set in stone and we ourselves are the only bankable commodity when it comes to our practice.

We have come up with the solution of exhibiting our work at Philippa's house, on Edge Lane. This works out better for us as we now have more control over the space and time. The size of the rooms are roughly the same as both Casa De Brujas and Edge Lane are old Edwardian houses. The date of the exhibition is now in flux but with a few more days behind us we should have pinned down the finer details. A momentary glitch on our exhibition.

Friday, 18 February 2011


Canaball from Matt Weir on Vimeo.

Canaball is the second film I made, I initially wanted to make a series of short 45 second loops and this was the first realisation of that idea. It came after Cana which was atmospheric so it gave me a different set of ideas and techniques to play around with.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Cana Angles

The aim of this projection idea was to recreate the angles of the wall within the photograph by using the moving walls in the studio. These are Photoshop files which were prototypes of the wall projection I did which failed miserably. Finding the right alinement's and placement of the projection upon the moving walls in the Studio proved too difficult. It was also day time giving the projection no impact, I will aim to alter the angles and project during the night time.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Orbite Rosse

The Expanded Eye

Whilst looking at Name June Paik's work in both Tate Liverpool and Fact I started to think of where and when I was first exposed to him. It was in sixth form when my engagement with Art was very basic. I had looked at a few of this pieces and found them visually interesting but that was as deep as it went. However whilst talking with my Dad about his work I mentioned it would be interesting to go along to on of his exhibitions and experience it first hand. We looked online together at where, when or if he had any shows on at all. He did, It was in Zurich, Switzerland.

This posed a problem as that would require a lot of money and time to get there. A few days later a stroke up luck came into play when my Dad called me and told me about a business trip he was having to go on in a few weeks in Germany. Thus cutting the price in half as his company would be paying for his journey. He said that we could fly over to Germany together and I would wonder around on my own for a few days whilst he did his work but after we could rent a car and five to Switzerland over the weekend.

After this unbelievable luck we were on our way to Zurich. We arrived at the gallery and on reflection I had no idea what was in store for me. I walked in blind to the notion that this particular exhibition and experience would have a profound effect on me. It may have been my first full contemporary exhibition. It held a variety of different Artists including, Nam June Paik, Andy Warhol, Bruce Naumen, Chuck Close, Olafur Eliasson, Anthony McCall, Sam Taylor Wood, Anish Kapoor, Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, Malcolm Le Grice and Jud Yalkut, to name but 12.

The houses some very interesting and diverse experimental film which has had a lasting effect on the way in which I interoperate and produce film. Films such as Ronald Nameth's "Andy Warhol's The Exploding Plastic Inevitable". Nameth's film documents Warhol's multimedia events including The Velvet Underground and a series of Warhol's films. This visual and sound orgy seem to have routed itself in my memory and had a lasting impression. It's not only the music's tangled relationship with the video's but it's also the interaction of the audience and the film focus' much more on them as they seem to be the final product of Warhol's Combinations.

Malcolm LeGrice's 'Berlin Horse' 1970 is something that has blown me away time and again, not only way I struck by it's minimalist and repetitive nature but it's electric use of colour and his manipulation with that colour. The haunting looped soundtrack which was created by Brian Eno matches LeGrice's visuals perfectly, they harmoniously make one piece. The experiment with colour has been a part of the incremental development of my fascination with colour, particularly in film.

I went to see Nam June Paik's 'TV Buddha' 1974 and was given so much more. It was on a few weeks ago that I joined all the dots and realised the the effect 'The Expanded Eye' had on me. The range of different experiences I was exposed to within that exhibition has never been replicated and probably never will be.

Berlin Horse

The Exploding Plastic Inevitable

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Casa De Brujas

Casa De Brujas is the Art House space me and Philippa Dye are going to be occupying on April 2nd to April 5th. These are only a few pictures of the spaces we have so kindly been allowed to take up as there were LJMU students from the drama department in there filming. I couldn't take pictures of one of the rooms as they were all against the main wall space of that particular room. I will rearrange another viewing of the space so we can get the full dimensions of our space we intend on inhabiting.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


The Tate Liverpool is currently holding the largest retrospective of Nam June Paik's work since he passed away six years ago. The exhibition holds a vast and diverse selection of Paik's work ranging from his most famous pieces such as 'Family Robot' 1986, "TV Cello" 1971 and "Buddha TV" 1974. I have known of Paik's work for several years now and have always wanted to see his most famous pieces in person. However I was surprised at how much more interested I was in his lesser known but more interesting pieces that were on display. Pieces such as 'TV Garden' 1974, 'Zen for Film' 1962-1964, 'Magnet TV' 1965, 'Egg Grows'1984-1989 and 'The First 'Snap Shots' of Mars' 1966.

Whilst it was exciting to see the big works I found that seeing them on the Internet gave me all I could take from them which is an interesting atheistic as I feel his more interesting conceptual stuff needed the live experience to lift it from the computer monitor. 'Zen for Film' 62-64, was something that struck this balance for me as it held my attention longer as it was something new to me and I found that it made me work for the pay off which I found interesting. The mixture of experimental film and the Buddhist nature of Zen and is captured in this contemplative video piece. It also paid homage to John Cage's 4'33, in this silent film and minuet, blank film.

'One Candle' 1989 had the same effect, whilst it's very simple in it's execution, it's nature and it's idea's are demonstrated perfectly in it's live performance. It plays with the idea of image and reality, it doesn't shy away from how it's produced as the equipment lay reveled on the floor. It's simple use of the primary colours was something that interested me as I have a fondness for simple and pure colour, this married with it's every changing nature was something that grabbed me.

Since seeing my first Paik back in 2007 I have waited with a keen eye to see more of his work in person. At that time when I first saw his 'Budda TV' piece that was enough Paik for me and was all I was interested in. Since then though my interest has grown along with my knowledge and understanding of art so when the Tate put on a vast and in depth retrospective I felt more open to see and understand his work.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Letters From BeeJie While In Berlin, Germany

I recently moved house which happens annually and whilst rummaging through boxes and family albums I discovered a purple folder which contents held a letter from my Grandmother to her Mother. She wrote these at the age of 18 whilst in Berlin only a few years after the Second World War. She was a Christian girl from a well to do family from North Carolina. It exposes her experiences whilst in a new country, the people she met, how she got there and what events took place whilst there. It's also an interesting insight into someone I never met as she passed away when my Mother was young. It's also interesting that I'm going to Berlin in March and there will be only a few years difference between us when we visited this part of Germany but at vastly different points within Berlin's history as a city. I feel this could turn into a project at some point.

There was also in depth research into The Davis' family and where their ancestors can be traced back to. It also had document titled 'Childhood memories of Jess and Lula Davis' which could be of interest for a possible future project.

Cana Film

This is a short film I've been working on over the last couple of weeks. I filmed it over the summer whilst in America. I'm currently doing alternate versions but this is how it stands at the moment.

Live Cana from Matt Weir on Vimeo.

Live Cana

Live Cana Projection

This was filmed in the John Foster Lecture room, I always intended on this video being projected to give it the atmosphere I feel it has. I wanted it to be an all encompassing feeling with the sound and visuals, this can only be left whilst watching the projection live but I feel that this came through and is something I want to exploit further.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


This piece by Nam June Paik hold's two points of interest for me. First its meditative, electric, trance and ambient feel absorbed me whilst simultaneously grabbing my attention and relaxing me. I first stood alone on the out skirts of the room watching it's colours and shapes I felt that this experience was one that left you feeling cold. It wasn't until I went back for a second time did I realise that it was more of an interactive piece where I could stand or lay under it and be absorbed within it. The mixture of nature and technology is interesting and it's something that reminded me of Olafur Eliasson's Weather Project. They share the same electric nature and hypnotic feel and with both I was able to lay there and have them wash over me for extended periods. The second aspect that I found interesting on reflection was it's links to maths and its geometrical shapes and how pure and clean that can be.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


It's now post-Biennial times and voids need to be filled, The Bluecoats empty spaces are flooded by the current exhibition 'Underwater'. As soon as I entered the main space I was awash with the feeling of being underwhelmed and drowned in disappointment. I was first met with Seunghyun Woo's sculptures of imaginary aquatic flora and fauna which occupied far too much of the gallery's main space as it seemed it was of a GCSE Art standard. This piece's reflection was an annoyance also, as I've been a fan of Bill Violas video work for a number of years but due to its nature and the set up, all I saw was Woo's sunken failure. Bill Violas work 'Becoming Light' screamed out for an isolated room in which you could fully submerse yourself in his underwater dance such as the room Dorothy Cross' video 'Jellyfish Lake' occupied, yet instead it's placed amongst limp sculptures and distracting sounds. I feel that the curator of this particular show should be dealt the fault, as he or she seems to have chosen and placed artists and art works in a rather uninspired way.

Not all of the works left me feeling adrift as Daniel Gustav Cramer's photographs grabbed me hook, line and sinker, as they were a subtle landscape of the deep. These stood out in a sea of mediocrity as it blurred the lines of being underwater. They also shone light on the dark unseen cracks of the sea giving them a dramatic and other worldly landscape feel.

Monday, 17 January 2011


I went to see the Altermodern exhibition during my foundation year, two years ago, with NEW College. It's where I discovered Gustav Metzgers 'Liquid Crystal Environments', but it certainly isn't where I discovered Altermoderism. I remember having vague conversations with my tutors at the time about the overall concept created by Bourriaud, but there was never a point where I found myself thinking about this potential new era of modern art. I didn't have enough background knowledge of Art's history to put it into context, that's only came recently for me. There are aspects of this new 'ism' that I've found I can relate to my most recent work with 'The Charles Gershkovich Project'. These area's have been running themes throughout my work of recent years and they are themes I feel I will continue to explore. Themes such as Docu-Fiction, Heterochronia, Boarders, Archive and Travel. Energy is another one of the themes Burriaud has touched upon that he feels "Modern Artists" are dealing with. I believe there are a lot of Artists dealing with these same issues and tackling Art in these ways and I think I've naturally stepped into these issues. Heterochronia is his most interesting idea and is something I tackled in my last essay. I believe it's his boldest but most accurate statement on today's Art and culture. "The last continent to be discovered is time" is something I feel is a incredibly insightful, powerful and is something that will only develop in the coming years.

No Colour.

Colour has dominated my fascinations for a very long time now but I've found myself recently being drawn to the opposite side of the spectrum, with no colour. I'm unsure where this gravitation has come from, weather it's been from recent album covers that I have been influenced by or if it's the natural progression from colour's dominance on my eye. I may be able to trace my recent allure to black and white photograph's back to a picture that I've had around me my entire life. I found a Walker Evans that my Mother had bought years ago, just lying around in the attic. I asked If I could take it to Liverpool with me as I had a bare wall and it's been in the family for so long going unappreciated. My attraction to the mundane and the pedestrian may have derived from this early exposer to Evans work. My Walker Evans has two gentlemen holding watermelons which is the only difference to the one shown below. I've also been looking at the work of more mundane photographers with their choice and use of the black and white. I recently found William Eggleston's pre-colour work and that's very interesting to see his early development. I also have recently bought Bill Owens Suburbia which was documented entirely in black and white. So I've attributed these recent exposers to my growing fondness to the grey scale and I want to develop on this by producing a series of black and whites such as the ones shown above.