Invigilating in Venice – Monteverdi

On the day after I arrived I went off to explore. I had just finished my first day invigilating so I went off for a gander around Venice to familiarise myself.

I got horrifically lost, which seems to be a talent of mine, but did find my way eventually. I popped into a few garden exhibitions en route… nothing awe inspiring (I did question the purpose of casted swimmers on beach balls a bit) but there were a few gems.

 In the  Seychelles gardens there were tortoises which had been painted by different artists. It wasn’t the sculptures themselves that piqued my curiosity, but the descriptions next to them.

Very different to most descriptions you see of art. They were unusually personal to the artist. A strange sort of poetry, entertaining in its prose.

After some more wandering I found the Frari Church where Thomas had found a free concert of Monteverdi was occuring! I’ve studied Monteverdi and Gabrieli in the past, so to hear his the music where it was written and next to it’s composer’s tomb was quite something.

I understand better now his and Gabrieli’s use of antiphony and counterpoint. I could hear the way alternate choirs of instruments and voices interracted with such an elegant building, their melodies resonating skyward. It made me think about how different qualities of sound react with different spaces.

FINAL ASSESSMENT

FINAL PIECES:

FIELD FINAL PIECE:

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/field-final-piece-in-darkness/

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/final-piece-for-field/

SUBJECT FINAL PIECE:

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/final-piece-subject/

CONTEXT

A post about an artist that has informed your first final piece for Subject:

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/subject-final-piece-research-camille-norment/

A post about an artist that has informed your second final piece for Subject.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/subject-final-piece-research-harry-partch/

A post about an artist that has informed your final piece for Field.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/final-piece-research/

A post about an influential artwork you saw on a London trip, or any other trip through the year.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/runa-islam-blink/

A post about an artist of your choice who has inspired your work for either Subject or Field this year.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/degree-show-reviews/

(Both writing the reviews and interpreting Aislin and Gweni’s work helped me to solidify my ideas)

DOCUMENTATION:

A post documenting one of the material projects that you did at the beginning of the year that has inspired one of your final pieces for Subject.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/influential-material-project/

A post documenting one of the Field projects that has influenced the work you have made for your final piece for Field.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/influential-field-project/

A post documenting a new material skill that you have learnt through the year.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/aluminium-sand-casting/

A post documenting a piece of work that failed in some way, or did not turn out as you originally planned.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/unplanned-outcome-piece/

A post documenting a key moment in your work through the year of your choosing.

https://heleddcevans.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/key-moment-in-work/

 

Sorry I’m not here for the assessment! If you have any questions or something hasn’t worked, let me know – my email is st20102578@cardiffmet.ac.uk . Invigilating in Venice is going well so far!

Runa Islam – Stare Out (Blink)

I don’t usually revisit exhibitions more than twice, but Runa Islam’s piece, ‘Stare Out (Blink)’ kept calling me back to it.

It was tucked away in a confined room in my local gallery; an odd contrast to the rest of the exhibition focused on Light. A wall of sound generated from the previous piece’s four slide projectors guarded the entrance, isolating Islam’s piece from the rest of the gallery. As I walked through my eyes were immediately focused on the sole point of light – an A5 sheet illuminated by a 16mm film projector behind.

I find analogue technology far more grounded than digital. The mechanisms themselves are very physically present which in turn grounds the records they show in reality. In contrast the projector floats on a clear perspex stand. It feels grounded yet possesses the illusion of weightlessness.

The suspended sheet holds the negative image of a woman’s face. She passively stares at you for seven seconds before a second of darkness snatched her away. Yet she remains. Her negative image is still ingrained in your retina, her face a lingering presence painted by your eyes upon the dark sheet.

It’s an odd sensation. I experienced a tangible connection with a stranger, their presence solidified by the heavy technology. It was the kind of connection you never have – uninhibited eye contact without any knowledge of the subject: nothing to judge them by, and no fear of being judged yourself. The strongest form of human contact without touch, impacting upon the viewer as a real person.

I didn’t expect to see her positive image at first. I felt vulnerable, like I’d been caught. Yet she also seemed vulnerable from being revealed. I soon couldn’t decide which was the true image: the ¬†physically projected negative, or the lingering presence imprinted on my retina.

It was refreshing. People need human communication, though with the sheer volume and variety of methods we can use now, face to face contact is often lacking. To sit and stare at this stranger was to both understand and be understood. I mostly experience art as separate from myself or as a sensory exploration. Maybe that’s why I kept coming back. I felt connected to this piece far more inwardly than I would have consciously consented to, though I am grateful for it. It was like art therapy.

 

 

Influential Material Project

The material project most influential in my outcome was probably deep listening. We explored sound in art and made our own instruments, though they were quite crudely made. I want to continue working in this way, but also record and compose the recordings of the instruments.

More detail here:

https://wordpress.com/posts/heleddcevans.wordpress.com?s=deep

 

Influential Field Project

None of the field projects were very inspirational to my final outcome. It was more inspired by constellation conceptually as I didn’t feel any of the skillsets learnt etc were the right medium for the concept to work through.

Chris’ workshop in the Fine art field groups was the most influential, I think. He showed us the effect that darkness has on your thoughts, perception, etc. ¬†This was a good pathway for me – an absence of light focuses your other senses, especially that of hearing. The idea of darkness leading to sonic ambiguity instantly appealed.

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/unilever-series-miroslaw-balka-how-it

We looked at ‘How it is’ by Miroslaw Balka – a piece from the Turbine Hall. Chris spoke about his experience inside. He said the gradual descent into pitch black darkness made him move in the space differently, and his other senses were extremely heightened to compensate for the loss of vision. I wanted to achieve a similar sense of initial unease and heightened hearing from unaccustomed darkness.

Balka’s work is also about trust – by walking into the tunnel you’re placing your trust in it, that you will be safe. I want the audience of my piece to put their trust in their ears and appreciate them more.

Subject Final Piece Research – Harry Partch

Harry Partch was an American composer and artist living in 20th century America. He is best known for creating his own instruments, mainly from found objects.

Partch questioned the constraints of music. He thought classical music was a white European tradition and had no place in society anymore. Why should music be restricted to 8 tones 12 semitones? Partch created music free of tradition, making one instrument that had 43 keys between one octave. He wanted to make people reconnect with more experimental sound, and thus to reconnect with their pure human nature.

This has been an argument I’ve had many times with artists and musicians alike. Have we been trained to find ‘conventional’music pleasant? Or is there something inherently enjoyable in certain frequencies? I believe it’s a combination of both: if we had been raised on atonal music, listened to Schoenberg as children etc, I think we would be more accustomed to it and probably even enjoy it. Four years ago I couldn’t stand sonic art or atonal music – I thought it was a degression of music and was torturous to listen to. As I have grown older, wiser, and more knowledgable of this field I have found a love for the things I rejected at first, amd I wholeheartedly believe that’s because I got used to it. Partch’s work is often described as this: at first it is unbearable but after 10 minutes you get used to it.

I want to experiement with making my own instruments, not trying to tune them to perfect pitch, but to embrace the raw sounds of them.

partch