Eva Rothschild

Eva Rothschild often works with Pexiglas, leather and paper in her Minimalist sculptural works, along with wall-based works and videos. A recurring motif throughout her work is the use of unstable geometric forms, with each piece and element relying upon one another for support.

“Taking on a range of formats, her columns, frames, arches and benches form a fragile union of physical components, in which our experience of them is determines contextually by the temporary groupings the works inhabit for the duration of the exhibition.” – The New Art Gallery Walsall

The context that much of her work is considered in, is the space that the work will be displayed in. After working with the same galleries several times, she often finds it difficult to inspire new works, as she knows how her work was positioned last time. Rothschild uses colour sporadically, often toying with it in the space. The sculptures encapsulate the space, making its physical presence known.
I enjoy the complexity of Rothschild’s work, whereupon each element must be in line, for the others to fall into place. Some of her works structurally work, however when looking at them, they seem like they would fall. It is this wonder of gravity and structure, and the simple use of colour and design, that draws me to her works.

Jana Sterbak

Jana Sterbak looks at the themes of power, control, seduction, sexuality and the turn to technology to transcend physicality. Her artistic vision has said to have been influenced by a Marxist/Leninist educational system and a childhood in Prague.
Her works are often sculptural, including the use of the human body and every-day objects to portray a sense of the absurd and a vision of the darker forces that appear within her life. These sculptural forms often take garment-like constructions, including that of wire mesh dresses with uninsulated nickelchrome wire wrapped around it. This particular piece portrays how uncomfortable Sterbak feels, and challenges identity.
These garments have also taken on technological aspects. Remote Control is a large hoop dress, however the performer must place themselves into a canvas panty at the centre of the garment. Their movements are therefore determined by a remote control which is held and controlled by a male, with a female performer. The cage-like continuation of her work alludes to the imprisoning effects of technological innovation. (Art History)

Rebecca Horn

Rebecca Horn is well known for body modifications, such as gloves depicting impossibly long nails and a revealing body-suit with a large horn projecting vertically from the head. This are all accumulated into a flow of performances, films, sculptures, spatial installations, drawings and photographs.
Space is a key factor in her work, including that of the equilibrium between the body and space. There is a particular precision of the physical and the technical functionality in each performance and piece she creates. Many of her works also constrain the body in some respect, making it difficult for the performers to move. It has been said that her work, including those in it, are bound together by a consistency in logic, with each one proceeding from the last.
The lack of movement, or the new sensation of movement, alters the relationship of the performer with the space surrounding. Her works often touch upon the implicit ‘idea that touching makes possible an intimacy between our bodies and those of others’ (Martha Garzon) and the space around you.

Catherine Sullivan

Catherine Sullivan believes that the body has capacity for significant translation. She began her acting career after she felt, at the age of seven and no prior theatre experience, that this was the right path to choose. The family had no interest theatre but rather interest in the visual arts, yet she still pursued it. Now, working with actors, she finds herself working on pure task and creating characters.
The ideas that Sullivan have are those that would be situated in the fine arts, but executed through theatre. The eyes would look where they want to look, giving the audience direct engagement . This is also seen in the attention seeking installation Sullivan created in a private house. Here, reflections in the numerous mirrors in the house, were used to place video on top of video without extra editing. Some rooms were used as a presentation space, and others were created to be very personal, such as an oval projection coming out of a wardrobe.
‘Five economies’ was a paradox of pleasure at the misfortune of others. Working with certain actors, Sullivan found that one person can transform through several roles as well as several styles from which the roles are filtered. She discovered that she enjoyed working with actors who didn’t necessarily need the written word. Numerical sequences were therefore used to transform the theatrical piece.
Many of her works seem like automation to the viewer. This gives a sense of mindlessness, which is scary as it is arbitrary. This mindlessness of the actions is also another form of humanity.
Sullivan also experiments with photography in order to use it as an experimentation and research tool. Through photography, she is also able to look at things that she has no direct contact with, creating a more convoluted political discussion. This led onto works in with Sullivan extracted pantomime movements and placed other quick movements between one gesture and another. This is also used in conjunction with the calculation of character and context from which the movements are taken from. Sullivan finds a heightened theatrical context in somewhere with a rationale.

Alfredo Jaar

Alfredo Jaar looks at the power of a single idea and the difficulty of arriving at the essence of what you want to say. His main approach to works is that of an architect, taking the space into account and combining the essence of the space with the essence of what he is trying to say. Jaar often works with engineers to carry out his works.
Sometimes, the most interesting thing is thinking and then letting another execute this thought. Works, for Jaar, often come from thoughts and responses to tragedy, in which he travels to the beginning to gain the full story. This is what sparked the 6 year-long project on Rwanda. It began as a five-line story on page seven. Jaar visited Rwanda because he wanted to respond to it, after understanding and grasping what was happening.
There is a large difficulty in displaying and portraying these works, without taking away the peoples’ dignity. Jaar believes that as artists, we must represent these tragic and difficult situations. There is a strong sense of solidarity, empathy and emotional involvement when the projects are about one person and one story, which is why hundreds of photographs were displayed of one boys eyes. This child was one who saw his parents murdered with machetes, and his response was to stay silent for four weeks. To show his work for the first time, Jaar found it was like starting from scratch, and found it very moving himself.
Jaar moved back to Chile after five years out of the country, and came back to a divided country. This led to obsessing over the communication and how to communicate a certain amount to the audience. Haiku has a capacity in a short amount of space to communicate a whole world The work must make sense.
As he was shy as a child, Jaars’ father took him to see a psychiatrist, whereupon he was bought a box of matches. This is where he found magic and the beauty of control over what is seen. This, matched with theatre where he directed and produced plays, allows Jaar to make people see things, but think they are magic, or magical. He incorporates the beauty in the work but also must confront the beauty and the horror. This is why he subjected flowers to contrasting forces of being destroyed and trying to survive.

Mark Dion

Mark Dion loves the world of stuff. Yard sales, junk stores. He surrounds himself with the things that inspires him, sometimes getting these things transformed into sculptures. A part of the thought process that Dion goes through includes that of windows; windows into the past and a view of what the natural world would be like if humans had not come to that place. Humour, irony and metaphors often line his work, and Dion believes these are the bread and butter of an artist.
In a controversial piece, Dion covers rats in tar as a punishment and expression of tar, history and tolerance. He does not spend time thinking about the future but rather the present, and looking after the world in it. A critical foil to dominate water.
Dion also takes items that have already fallen from nature, such as trees. He uses these pieces to show the complex hierarchy of nature. Taking things from nature allows him to give them life after death, such as the fallen tree. This tree was returned to a site where it would have been found, transporting it to a new community, while also bringing its own community with it. Dion worked with scientists in order to conserve the ecological system of the tree, and to build a triangular building that provides the same conditions from which it came from. This is because when we destroy a natural system, it is very hard to get it back. In this building, there is also a forced perspective as people are urged to walk through the smaller end of the building, giving an Alice Through the Looking Glass feel to the entrance. This is inspired through the sense of the wonderful. The building is a very particular, not natural garden, trying to replicate what nature can do.
Dion often works on time pieces that will last generations, emphasising nature as a process, making lifetime commitments. Just like having a child.

Holly Pester

Now we are in the Spring Term, there are a whole range of artists that are being bought to us via our Wednesday artist talks at the university.
Holly Pester looks at the figures, methods, thoughts, compositions and strategies of her work in order to create. She has a relationship with research, poetry and is interested in the role of the subject and the author. There are several objects that which she focus’ on and which orientate her writing and reading. On the other hand, Pester enjoys creating her own way of creating, and engaging with each on of these in unique ways. These objects of focus and ways of creating can be interchanged and switched. Pester believes that there s an unfixed order between idea and material, and where the author steps into this. Pester, however, does not want to overstep these boundaries.
One of Pesters’ main inspirations throughout her works is Hannah Weiner, and has enabled her artwork and thought process. Weiner suffered from schizophrenia and imagined words wherever she looked, and eventually coined the term ‘Clairvoyancy’ for this experience. This was put into her work, turning an experience or bodily state into a composition of work (a book). ‘The Fast’ is the experience of where Weiner locked herself in her flat, and starved herself for several weeks. This enabled her to induce a state of mind where she began to hallucinate objects and animals talking to her. As Pester researched Weiners’ work, she found that she began to create a connection to her. When in the research, or archive space for so long, and being so involved, there was a feeling of agreement when Weiner wanted to move into the kitchen sink so she could ‘piss and drink at the same time’. The affect of the archives, the archive material and the materials that you work with, have a profound affect. This led Pester to writing about hallucinations in a node.
Hallucinations are part of Pesters’ life, as she admitted that she auditory hallucinates. This happens when she is in the state between sleep and awake. It is a realm to think of thoughts differently, and where “the voices confuse the sense of myself”.
Hallucinations can somewhat lead to gossip, both of which are considered methods by Pester. “A telephone drama of prolific call, horizontal speeching and an epic gossip” is a piece that was displayed in a telephone box, which is ‘a tank of reserved otherness’. This audio piece was very erratic, and made you give over the power of yourself to the other. Pester found that telephones meant friendship, as friends were often talking on their phones. It was through these conversations that it was also found that they are a space of practising politics of you. The gossip is a feminist node of knowledge and mode of dissemination.

“Friendship as a site of energetic gossip”.

This led Pester onto a book project, involving the special collections at Goldsmiths. Gossip was used as an archival and reading methodology by mixing and matching content from different sources. In a way, this was a fanfiction of artwork and archives. This was a book of poetry and experimental text, finding a discursive way around the text.
Common Rest was a series of tracks that used lullaby as a method and material to draw upon. Pester worked with other artists to produce lullabies, outside the domestic normative space. The energy and dynamism between singer and the song was protrayed through these pieces. Pester kept the spellbinding part of the lullaby, but also highlighted the menace that they have. Many of these touched upon subjects and items that were used in previous works, while working in conjunction with other artists. These lullabies then progressively became experiemental sound pieces including somewhat everyday and childish sounds, taken into an abstract sound context in a slightly disturbing lullaby. Sounds included brushing hair and scratching the carpet.
From this came a sense of nervousness, which became a state of resistance and a node in Pesters’ work. As it was a category of thought and what to think about, the pieces became an opposition to nervousness.
Abortivity came from one of the Bronte sisters’ obsession over  love letters, wrapping them in oil-covered cloth, wax sealing them in a glass bottle and buries them next to haunted ivy. It is also known as the decreativity and the new ability to create, by loving something so much that it almost becomes a raptured construct. In this written piece (see below), Pester also mentions the enclosure riots, literally digging in, along with the gesture of sounds and elements of posture.

like history this sliced-up worm carried on in both directions
I know tee, I have found thee, & I will not let thee go
They dug and buried
arrests were made
giving birth by a hedgerow I ask the hedgerow what it feels
like to be broken into
It was versus we should’ve sung
bring back my
I doubled up

Is there a dead bird in you?
– no
You’re a strike-through line
dived over your sitter to the next incur
Ask me. Do I end here. I fail. I drink a foot. I ask the wall,
What plot did you sneak
to improve the noun for staff?
to slur a rebel’s speech
livers split    out pours solution
– a worm
ask it

Pole GoPro Experiments

When viewing the videos on large LCD TV’s, I started to notice small imperfections in the background. This included a couple of times in which you could see someone on their phone, taking a photo clearly of another person on a different pole. I decided to edit these parts out in order to get a smooth transition between each part of the video.
Watching the videos on the larger screens, I also noticed the different ways of seeing. This was noticeable in Untitled [Close Pole], in which you were watching a screen, which showed me, watching myself. However, you could also see the view of the GoPro at several points, giving yet another point of view. The different way of seeing pole fitness can also be seen through the footage itself, as outlined in Movement and The Human Body and Untitled [A Pole GoPro Film].
Through further editing, I also added in breathing to extra emphasise the hard work  that it takes to do over a consecutive minute of pole fitness. I have been learning pole fitness for around a year and a half, and during this time the exercise has been very tough, and this is what I want the piece to portray.
These alterations where place into Untitled [Pole GoPro] in order to create the full effect, with all sound effects, on one video.

Alterations were also made on Untitled [Head Pole] and Untitled [Close Pole], for viewing on two separate screens, and different audio surrounding you on both sides.

These once again came together in a new version of Untitled [Pole], which gave a more intrusive and layered look into visual perception and pole fitness.

Untitled [Pole]

For the final edit of my pole films, I decided to bring together both Untitled [Close Pole] and Untitled [Head Pole], in a very Pipilotti Rist-esque video. The layering technique used created a confusing, yet flowing montage of footage. Often throughout the experience, you are unable to concentrate on just one image, sometimes with two or three flashing up in concession. This makes you concentrate, much like you have to in pole fitness in order to get the moves correct. I enjoyed this edit of the video as it makes the idea very playful and intriguing, rather than just simple edited clips of a pole fitness session.

Untitled [Close Pole] & Untitled [Head Pole]

The next two videos I edited were done in conjunction with each other and prepared to be shown on two separate screens next to one another. Untitled [Head Pole] was a minimally edited copy of Untitled [Pole GoPro]. I decided to have the audio of the pole fitness session on this video, and put the music on Untitled [Close Pole], in order to get the contrasting left and right audio through both of the clips when they play together. I also placed different audio on both of the clips because when playing the videos, if they were slightly out of step then the audio would sound very harsh and unorganised.
I found that the element of music that was added to this series of videos connected this project back to the aspect of music in the Guitar PerformanceUntitled [Singing Film] and the later operas such as Moonlight Dawn. With the element of music, I also found that I was able to connect to the piece more, as these are often songs that are playing during the sessions. This then became very personal because of these aspects.
These were displayed on two LCD TV’s that were stood next to each other. It was difficult to try and get them to play at the same time, however the final edits were still able to portray the complexity and smoothness of movements often found in pole fitness. Having these two videos play on different screens also makes the viewer alternate their attention, depending on the dominant image. Often this was Untitled [Head Pole] as this was the more full video, however when Untitled [Close Pole] did produce images, it did make people look.