Way back, when I was an undergrad studying Photography, my mentor and professor, Linda Adele Goodine, asked me one question which ultimately transformed my way of thinking about art.
Looking back I’m surprised that someone had to shake me in this way, but nevertheless.
In the basement of Herron School of Art and Design sat the Photography lab. It was late, I think, but hard to tell when you haven’t greeted the sun all day. A handful of us were selected for a special exhibition that would culminate in a scholarship. We were all in the basement scrambling to finish up our pieces and install them in the gallery.
Don’t judge, but I had grabbed my frames from Walmart…they looked okay, I thought.
Adele came down to check on our progress. She quickly looked past my work, whipped her head around, and stared at me with a wash of disappointment. She asked “Desireé. Would you cut off your baby’s leg?”
The way she said it was so sincere, and flat. She was serious.
In shock, I blurted “No, of course not!”
She replied, “Well, that’s what you’ve done.”
She was right. I had created work that I was proud of, that I had labored over and my nonchalance about the presentation of that work destroyed its potential.
Even now, as a Video artist, presentation considerations are still crucial to the works I make.
For example, one film is supposed to be shown at the Drive-In, a triptych of videos are shown on 3, 11-inch white tube televisions, another video is shown on a 11-inch tube TV with a clear housing, another 5-channel film is shown on 5 flat screen monitors in a U shape around a singular stool.
From a conceptual level, the ways in which women present themselves differently in various scenarios as an effort fulfill the many roles we are expected to perform drives this project. To compartmentalize ourselves is innate, perhaps, ingrained. I wonder if this daily performance of an individuals’ many selves begins to erode the true nature of her identity. I wonder how many women are asking, Who am I?
Ends Meet, is based on this curiosity. And the foundation of presentation, both in content and execution, challenges me to develop a work that is intentionally rooted in form as well.
Ends Meet is currently in progress. The documentation here may or may not reflect what will be presented for the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artists Exhibition in October.
The following images are documentation of tests done in my living room, hence the blinds.