Title

Real State

Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Photography

Project Advisor 1

Tim Davis

Abstract/Artist's Statement

“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications”

-Marcel Duchamp

This project started with a fascination with surrealist artist John Baldessari’s book Prima Facie: Marilyn’s Dress. In English, the term “prima facie” means at “first sight”. The book is a compilation of diptychs: a solitary paint chip occupies the left page and its American paint company “name” sits to its right in bold black letters. In a work of art that appears to have no image, the lack of information ends up becoming a significant presence. In this book, the text is seemingly the only indication of interpretation, however in actuality, the interpretation lies in the eyes of the viewer.

In Real State one also – at first sight –can jump to the conclusion that these works of architecture are real. Baldessari believes that the juxtaposition between what is real and what is the created real are interchangeable. This interplay is what I am exploring in my work. After staring at these pieces for more than a moment, subtle evidence and incongruities emerge rendering this a created reality. At first glance the pieces look overtly literal, at second glance they do not. I feel there is a power in allowing the viewer to understand the image through their own personal experience and bias. Each original image, standing on its own, looks like a bad photograph or an inconsequential moment. However when they are compiled together as one, the composite image becomes something else – an image that is real, but not. Finally, the image shifts from being a photograph originally overlooked because of the “mundane” qualities it inhabits (like the paint chip) to a complex image representing a unique vision of the world. Ultimately, the work of art is more meaningful because a dialogue between the artist and the spectator is created. As Duchamp says “the creative act is not performed by the artist alone.”

Distribution Options

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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