“I can never fully grasp it, hold it, own it – just like a moment in reality, a memory, it never really belongs to me even though it seems I am so close to it. I am too close and thus I am removed.” Fiona Cockfield
Aporia engages ideas of representation and the failures that come about through the literal and conceptual representations seen in art and imagery. This exhibition embraces the idea of failure by utilising painting and photography to direct attention to each medium’s own flaws as representational devices.
By nature any art form is always to be a re-presentation of something because art always involves the artists’ and viewers’ perceptions based on their experience. Because painting has a history associated with an inability to replicate reality, painting has become a means of engaging with the limits of the representable. Untitled (30/08/11) has it’s own enquiry into the space outside of what is presented, not only through the mechanical reproduction of the photoshop and painting processes but also through the conceptual origins of mnemonic experience and the failures that occur through such a process.
Photography is also a medium that becomes intwined with ideas of reality, representation and memory. A photograph deceives the viewer through it’s materiality as is attributed to showing ‘reality’. This facade of photography allowed for photography’s failures as a representational tool to easily be shown through I don’t really know what I am looking at. What is the purpose of a portrait? To show ones character, their thoughts, their beliefs, their experiences? A portrait shows everything of the face and simultaneously shows nothing. Without inhibition, I don’t really know what I am looking at and Untitled (30/08/11) investigate their own geneses as aspects that cannot be shown within the work.
Aporia is about representation and it’s failures but it is also more. Aporia concentrates on what cannot be shown through the images. Familiarity breeds blindness. So what better way to point to the gaps underneath the visual than that of the familiar? To contradict Kyle Jenkins, a respected lecturer at USQ, “it is what it is not”.
As a practicing artist what are the issues\concerns you have been consistently addressing within your artwork?
Well I’ve always found my work to possess these tensions in which it will try to be something or say something whilst also expressing the opposite, as if it has this conversation with itself that can never be resolved. I first saw this when I started to work with pornographic imagery. This kind of imagery was not used as a statement but more like an investigation into the collapse of reality and fantasy. I liked the idea of the appearance of reality, a façade.
During my Honours year I began to look at the idea of paradox, desire and banal imagery. I came to the conclusion that banal imagery has this opposite effect on the viewer. The picture seems to withhold information and creates a sensation where the viewer is fixated on the unknown. This is where my current line of inquiry is situated at the moment.
2. Do you classify your art as being one thing more than the other e.g. photography, film, painting, sculpture, music or installation and do you see an expansion into other mediums in the future?
No. Every medium is a material for me. It provides me with the freedom to associate a particular idea with the medium that suits it. At the moment it’s mostly painting and photography because those mediums are relevant to the ideas of interest at the moment. Yes I always see an expansion into a variety of mediums.
3. When you think about making new work do you always consider applying a degree of historical content or do the works weigh more heavily towards a more personal investigation?
My work always encompasses a historical element because I like art theory and I don’t like my work to be closely aligned with personal experience. There is no avoiding my work possessing personal elements. I think that is necessary. I just like to keep that distance, which in itself says a lot about my character.
4. When you look back through this body of work do you see any answers unfolding within this investigation?
Answers? I never see answers. All I see is more questions. My art practice has never been focused on finding answers otherwise I think I should have done mathematics or science. I think that is why I like art; it will always be a continual search without total resolution. Sometimes I will feel satisfied but that feeling will just give way to another line of inquiry. I do see a kind of evolution through my art practice, whether it’s good or bad doesn’t necessarily matter, it just changes.