I just returned from my second meeting with my mentor, Justine Kurland. I showed her this:
We talked in our first meeting about this video:
Justine thought it was finished as it was, and encouraged me to explore different forms/approaches to the same thing. I had originally hoped to shoot more of the same to create a longer version of this video, and I still might end up there, but for now I'm trying different things.
The latest video was created with a friend, who I asked to collaborate with me. She's a therapist, and I asked her to "interview" me. As subject and author, I seek to address the inescapable trappings of working on my project on addiction & recovery. Specifically, my own presence as photographer (all photographers must contend with this), but beyond this, my own experience with addiction and recovery in my family. Additionally, with this video I am directly addressing the notion that "all artists are performing artists", an idea Stuart Steck introduced in Critical Theory I.
The feedback on the latest video is that it does not seem "authentic" enough. I have an agenda - a message, and it comes across too forcefully. I agree. I made the video under direct instruction from Justine though to "make a 40 minute video of someone talking about fear–I want to be bored". The new form brings up new issues though. This week I'm going to be trying two variations on this video/form. The first, to address the issue of it being too forced, is simply to interview someone else... This would be the next logical progression in my mind. The second, is to create a video that employs a voiceover - using select audio from a therapy session, talking about certain fears, and utilizing video of myself going about some daily activity... I will be trying two distinct methods of shooting this video. One, static, on a tripod, the other, getting an assistant to shoot handheld. We shall see how these explorations go...
I had a chance to visit several galleries and museums while in NYC, and the highlight was undoubtedly stumbling across the artist Erin O'Keefe giving an interview to Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting (collectively Gorky's Granddaughter) at Denny Gallery. Her work was quite lovely to view, and to hear her discuss the work was excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing the video on Gorky's Granddaughter's site as there was only so much I gathered from my (not so surreptitious) eavesdropping. Other highlights were Lee Friedlander at Pace/Macgill, and a great exhibition at the Morgan Library of Emmet Gowin's work (a retrospective) in conversation with items from the Morgan collection. I really enjoy seeing shows like this that can only really be experienced in person.