Collision in Collage
The last day of the collage course at City Lit was all about COLLISION. This was the best day for me, somehow I found it easier probably because our instructions were to do "1 thing to 1 thing". In the genre of fake reportage and the art of misleading, we were to juxtapose two extreme elements together to make a convincing story, rather like splicing two actions together to create a new whole. "Poetic polarities". We could cut, paint on top of, fold, stick on, etc but only ONE idea to one image. Below are my efforts, but you should look at the work of the following artists :
Magritte - a genius at playing with word and image
Peter Kennard - did that Blair selfie in front of the explosion
Rachel Whiteread - Cuts out house - deleting, ghostly
Ruth Claxton - who sews onto postcards
Richard Prince - screenprints vintage seaside images with thick paint
Robert Gober - famous for his hairy butter
Salvador Dali - lobster telephone
Tacita Dean - does photos of Berlin in past juxtaposed with present
Arturo Herara - paints on top to change it
Ray Johnson - postcards including the used stamps
George Tony Stoll
Jake and Dinos Chapman - they bought up all of Hitler's watercolours in order to change them!
John Baldessari - coloured dots on faces
My efforts: I would have liked to have done more with paint and drawing.
Here are some of my classmates' pieces.
Towards the end of the lesson we did a sort of Curator - Game in which all pieces were hung on the walls, and then we each in turn silently chose and pinned to an empty easel TWO chosen pieces - for whatever reason we wanted, which we didn't have to articulate - for the rest of the class to look at. This was quite fun...
So that was the end of the collage course at City Lit. I do think it was a pretty well-designed course and I take from it a massive insight into how the juxtaposition of images and ideas has been around in approaches to art for a long time, and how it can be used as a tool on a creating journey. Perhaps it's also helpful to differentiate between another perhaps less clever kind of collage, which is more about textures, aesthetics, colour and shape than about juxtaposition to create new ideas.
But the things that continue to bother me are; what if you are having fun and then you begin to lose the point and feel it's all worthless; what is the point if you are only re-creating ideas others have had before you; what if you see nothing in someone else's work but everybody else seems to think it's the bees' knees!!
Well the latter, I find, is a valid point because it can be quite isolating and undermining to think differently to a majority, but on the other hand, I have to remind myself that you are ALLOWED to think something is not great because maybe it just doesn't resonate or hold meaning for you; art is subjective, and that's ok! It just brings up the question of judgment about art though; how can you tell others how to create good art, when is it ok to judge something or give an instruction that changes the piece's direction fundamentally?