Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Well, 3 weeks ago I listed my objectives, the projects I had in mind...and talked about making a sculpture about the plural identities, I said I didn't have this idea quite clear yet...

Right now I've changed my plans, and I've started working on this, It's going to be a wood sculpture completely made of small pieces as if it was a puzzle.

We are social beings, we are small pieces of society, we need it to survive, to have all our needs covered, to be part of it we work, we have friends, we consume...and we make it work. a single person usually wont go too far, even behind the greatest personalities in history there is a lot of people working for them...That explains the shape of this sculpture, all the pieces together can rise higher, they are stronger and can achieve things that a single piece couldn't...a single piece would never be able to be a single spike

On the other hand, the spikes themselves have their own identity, as groups do...from bussiness, companies, political parties, even countries...when we think about them, they have their own atributes...and they do what we alone can't

Step strong

This is the sketch for the woodcut I talked about earlier...

As I said, it's related to the human signature on our world, how we have changed the world, building, destroying, polluting, croping, extracting...Nowadays there are really few places where you can go and fin no human traces...This is the proof of the human identity, because we all are part of it, we step strong on the world, and leave our mark, deeper than any other animal

The woodcut itself follows a lot the style of the ones I made last year, it's a way of working that I really liked, and that I wanted to use once more time...Right now I've started carving the wood

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Towards June

Well, we are now in march, and the end of the course and the exhibition draws closer...I still have a lot of projects in mind, with the hope that I'll be able to complete them all...They aren't still really defined, or there is no chance to make a sketch of some of them...

-Different identities: each one of us has in fact several identities, several faces, we aren't the same when we are with our family, than we are with our friends, with people we don't know that much...Some people just may know you when you work, while others just when you party. Nowadays we also have internet, where we can be whoever we want...I think this are parts of our identity, and I'd like to make an scultpure in clay about this...I have the idea quite clear, but not enough yet to make a sketch (and I should focus more on what I'm doing now)

-The human footstep: This project would be related to the finger print, being also a woodcut. I think it's quite interesting how each animal has it's own footprint, and by that you may be able to recognize what kind of animal it is. But what about humans? to begin with, we wear shoes, which makes us have lots of footprints and at the same time, they are all made of, because they are industrially produced...But the human signature on the world doesn't end up there, we've changed the world, built cities, destroyed forests...I think that is also the human signature on the world

-Just a photo: I find quite funny all what it takes nowadays to make a "normal photo"...or what is supposed to be so...lightning, make up, clothing, background, editing...images of people can be so artificial, yet, we are so used to them, that I thought it could be an intersting project to get started with photography...This project would be somehow related with the mirror

-A bunch of numbers: one of the most recurrent aspects of identity nowadays is the "official" identities we have, we are identified by numbers...by the goverment, by the banks...how many numbers can identify one person? I'd also would make a photo proyect about this

-Plural identities: groups also have identities, and have a huge rol in our society nowadays...people are just pieces of this, they make them work. All of us are related to plural identities, we are social beings, we get together...This is the project that is the least clear for me right now

-self-identity: this would be the last project for the course, and a must-do for me...There has been a lot of self-portaits, but as far as I know, there hasn't been any self-identity...I want to abstract the image I have about my identity right now, and make a sculpture about it, I think it's quite important to make this after this whole project, and also quite fitting for the end of my studies


As I said in a previous update, the idea of working about identity came when I was working on a woodcut project that dealt with life and death...What lasts?

Then, I thought about how humans have been signing up since they were humans, from the cave paintings, to craftsmen, artists...even grafittis are signatures.

Signatures have a huge importance, they represent ourselves, they are used to make decisions, to mark, and they last through time, they are used to last...A good example of the great importance of signatures is the anecdote about how Picasso stained someone's trousers (a french ambassador if I recall correctly), and how, instead of being upset, he asked Picasso to sign up the trousers, it was paint in some trousers, but a signature gave them further importance and meaning...I think this also has great importance for the art world, as a piece it's not only important by itself, but who made it is...

But signatures usually are written, or nowadays they are just numbers...they can be copied, and they are arbitrary, I don't understand a chinesse signature, and probably my signature won't mean anything to a chinesse...

But as humans, we have some characteristics that are common to all of us, but at the same time are unique...One of this characteristics is the finger print: all of us have one, but each person's is slightly different from everybody else...this is even used by the police to track down people

I thought it's quite funny that one of this unique characteristics is in fact a print, we stamp our finger to get a finger print, So I thought about making a woodcut of my own finger print, and making a stamp, a piece, which is actually my biological signature...And also, making a piece of my signature, is making a piece about myself, about me as an artist, and the importance that may have that I made a piece like this...It also conects with the asiatic style of signing, as far as I know, they have a stamp so their signature is always exactly the same...

Nowadays, this project is half-way done, I'm currently carving a disc of a trunk of ash...I don't know yet where or how I'll stamp it


This project will attempt to deal with the relation that each person has with his/herself, and how does time play a role on this

The starting point comes from the way that philosophy studies identity: identity comes from the word "identical", therefore  identity is treated as a way of sameness, sameness to oneself. Several philosophers such as Hegel, Hume or Locke studied identity and this issue of sameness. As in maths, sameness, or equalness its represented by "=", Then we can say that A=A where A is oneself

Hegel said that this identity is only an affirmation, because in fact, there is not only "A", there is "A=A", there is another A outside A, to represent sameness we just don't say "A", it must be equal to something.

Then, how does it come we are equal to ourselves, but we can't properly proove it? Here enters the concept of continuity, and how time affects identities, Hume and Locke worked on this. Usually, when we think about identities, or people, we tend to think about it (or them) as a static thing in the time, that doesn't change, but that's not how it is, isn't it? we are always evolving, meeting new people, having new ideas...As Per told me some days ago, there is a statement, which is quite true, that says "You can't bathe in the same river twice", because it won't be the same water you bathed in the first time...

But rivers usually have a name, and are thought of as something continuous, because they are always carrying water. Same happens with people and their identities...they are always evolving, changing, but they are still the same person...And that is thanks to the consciousness, memories and personality of each one, through time, we proove our identities...Such as you can't know a person from the first time you met him/her, it's continuity and time what allows us to have an identity...It's being permanently changed even if it's only small changes, one is equal to oneself also because of this...as time is something we can't elude, and thanks to it we are always evolving, that is also part of each one's identity...So evolving is also a proove of our identity and our equalness to ourselves

This is the argumentation for a sculpture hanging from the ceilling that is thought to represent a drop of water made of cloth. In Spain we say "identical as two drops of water". A drop of water is quite appropiate for this project, it's fluid, it's always falling, therefore moving through time, it's a symbol of equalness (at least in Spain)...

Made of different pieces of cloth, meant to represent how we change on our surface, but we still preserve our identity through time...Usually changes in the way we dress up, style and such are the first thing that people notices when somebody has changed/evolved...But it's still the same person, it's just the surface what changes...

So, as the drop falls, the different pieces of cloth are falling behind, but the drop of water remains the same through time...It's always evolving, but it's always the same


 Here is the second project, the wood sculpture about how we are influenced by our relatives, enviroment, etc, and how those influences are the foundations of our identity

About the process, I think it's quite funny (and also paradoxical if you think about the sculpture theme) that I made this sculpture breaking all the guidelines I was given on my previous years of studies: gluing the wood pieces "against fiber", and giving them colour and wax coating before sculpting the upper zone, also gluing those pieces to a massive trunk...

Basically, I chopped the wood into small pieces, polished them, glued them (against fiber), polished them again to give them the correct shape, coloured them with anilines, coated them with wax, and then I glued them to the trunk, which was later carved, polished and coated. Of course, guidelines are there for something, and I encountered some problems such as weak gluings, the wood pieces got quite dirty after the carving of the trunk, and I had to polish the wax again, and some of the wood pieces were displaced after the gluing, so I had to polish them, and even remove one

Anyway, It was a really useful project, I learnt how to use the big machines, that are forbidden for students in Spain, I got to colour wood with anilines for the first time, I experienced with difficult gluings, and carved for the first time a trunk, which was quite satisfactory

I'm satisfied with the final result, the sculpture is really smilar to the first idea, and turned out well