Ron Mueck


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In Bed (2005) and Dead Dad (1996)

Ron Mueck a photo-realist artist, who was born in Australian but currently, works in London. Mueck much sought after for being inscrutable in personality but also for his sculptures. Mueck worked on children’s TV shows for 15 years, and then progressed to special effects in films such as Labyrinth in 1986. Mueck started an adverting company where he would make photographic models to be or used in advertising. Keeping many of the dolls, he made in this period. He started to notice that the sculpted objects felt as if they became an apparition all by themselves. Mueck fascinated by their presence; this ultimately led him to believe that photography terminates any physical presence that the sculptures may have. The obvious answer to Mueck was to reintroduce him to fine art and sculpture.

Mueck used his skills he gained in the commercial world of special effects, model making, and animatronics to shift into a new movement as an artist. Whilst he was in advertising in the early 1990s, Mueck was commissioned to make a sculpture that would be hyper- realistic. Initially Mueck was unsure of the materials to use, in making a realistic model; He tried working with Latex, but shortly found it was not the material for him, so he tried fibreglass resin, as it is much harder and more precise. He also worked with silicon and acrylic in his career subsequently casted them with clay.

In 1996, Mueck made a figure of Pinocchio, which The Saatchi Gallery saw and instantly wanted the work exhibited in the gallery. Once Mueck finished making Pinocchio, he then started working on Dead Man in 1997.This was a model of his late father, this work was also part of the Saatchi collection. Dead Man brought him international success shown in the Royal Academy of Arts in London, even a record-breaking price paid (by the National Gallery of Australia) for artwork of a living artist in Australia at the time.

Mueck certainly is not procedural with the multi-staged process when it comes to making his conversion into the accurate life-like sculptures. Mueck uses many different techniques; such as modelling software to create the base point for his ideas of the design. Mueck still uses the standard traditional methods, enabling him to be spontaneous, making discoveries whilst experimenting. Whilst designing the models he will make many adjustments, this is paramount to his uncanny and eccentric vision. Mueck is masterful with his control but also allowing the freedom to create one off pieces, adapting himself  to different materials all displaying their own unique qualities, both in the models and used materials.

Mueck thinks that if he were to make life size figures that it would spoil the concept of his work, the viewer he feels would not question the sculpture and would lose the emotional and psychological impact, the audience would feel a sense of normality and would lose some of the object’s appeal. Mueck simply listens to the outside world, never speaking whilst he is working.

Mueck does not think of his sculpture as just as mannequins. He believes the entire object has an ability to captivate the human nature but also the human soul and yet they still work as object in their own right. He aims to make you question if they are living beings and he likes the confusion it can bring to the viewer. Mueck makes a variety of different sizes when it comes to his models; his disposition is for them to be in crowded gallery spaces, making the work do all the talking for him. This enhances the intimidation the viewer receives, so that it withholds the most poignancy. The idea is that the exhibition becomes a trap for the viewer due to the folds of skins, hairs, toenails and sweat visible, the viewer will question the models and the reason why they are important and purpose they serve, but also enables the audience  to value the sheer beauty of artwork created.

The agitating responses via the viewer are transcendent of an uncanny question of realness that will make the viewer examine the vast detailed surface. Mueck’s has a vast array of skills. More interesting is a discussion of his standing in the history of figuration. His ability to show graphically and yet still displays a clean and fresh extremity, visualising clarity and acute observation that can distinguish him from his contemporaries, who also explore strategies of realism. Mueck is a master at orchestrating the lines between the vision and reality. His figures invite the audience to interrogate the subject layer upon layer of subject matter, “warts and all” so to speak. A journey through the undulating images every aspect on close inspection only illuminates the beauty of the captured details.

Mueck continues throughout all projects to be spontaneous, this dramatically inspires me to do much the same, trying new or traditional methods, or experimenting with more unique methods may potentially suit the project best. The sense of scale is something Meuck takes into significant consideration. This is something I want to take into consideration myself when planning to exhibit my own work. I feel life-size a bed would create the right depth and atmosphere but much like Mueck in thinking my other object should be altered to not look so lifelike/realistic so that the viewer will question it, hopefully forcing them to understand the meaning behind it. Like Mueck I feel like objects are very captivating in presence, and shall say more about the story, I’d like to tell not just use photographs alone, I feel I would benefit from using realistic objects. I feel that there should be a confusion towards my project as a viewer, as it should be a metaphoric reference but also so that the viewer is completely captivated affording greater time trying to understand it. Freestanding objects and photographs will allow my work to speak rather than a section of text on the wall explaining it. I would also like to explore hyperrealism but still be intimate and fragile much like Mueck’s work. I would also like my work investigated by an intrigued viewer.



Olafur Eliasson



Your Body of Work (2011-2012)

Olafur Eliasson was born in Denmark 1967. He studied, from 1989 to 1995, at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He has had many highly successful exhibitions that are some of the most visited in the world. In 1995, he moved to Berlin and founded Studio Olafur Eliasson, he had by then aspired to become a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Eliasson directed the Institute for Spatial Experiments for a five-year term as an experimental programme in art education in his studio. With architect Sebastian Behmann they created ‘Other Spaces’ (this looks at interdisciplinary and experimental building projects within a public space), an international office for art and architecture.

This core idea of art not being a picture Eliasson said, “The idea that art can actually evaluate the relationship between, what it means to be in a picture, and what it means to be in a space.

What is the difference? The difference between thinking and doing. I think it makes a difference whether you have a body that feels a part of a space, rather than having a body which is just in front of a picture.”

In 2011 he installed, ‘Your body of work’ engaged with three institutions. This one is an experimental installation for the viewer’s experiences revolving around colour perception and spatial orientation. He looks at temporality and he feels that most of today’s exhibitions do not facilitate temporality and become momentarily timeless. He feels it should be relevant that the process is part of the experience through all of your senses. “Experience is about responsibility. Having an experience is taking part in the world. Taking part in the world is really about sharing responsibility.” This work is a labyrinth engulfing you and inspiring you to use all of your senses to feel the experience. It should make you question your body to the very core of existence, how you are entrenched in the notion but never questioning why. It should make you appreciate the physics of doing. He cited “to sort of find itself and to navigate and to get lost and found” this should make you question that you haven’t lost your natural senses, just you need to refine your method of getting lost and if we lose our sense we get new ones to solve the problem. If you become stuck in your way of feeling lost, you often will not want to find the solution and therefore you are stuck in the space. The audience drawn into a situation whereby they have to modify and reorganise their skills thus questioning the reality. To reproduce ourselves, much like the colour scheme is the support mechanism he has used to become lost as colour is confusing but the colour responds to movement and changes colour in order to guide you to focus on the singular thing in front of you.

Eliasson’s art is determined through his interests in perception, movement, embodied experience, and feelings of self. Eliasson likes to highlight concerns of art and make them relevant to society using: sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installations.

Eliasson’s work inspires you to think you are an assembly of parts, one who questions the reality and provokes a determined question of what reality is. Eliasson puts the viewer into a tangible space (sense of dimension) with objects with certain connotations (enabling you to judge the time and therefore the distance between) which becomes part of the process of art and with art does it become a kind of responsibility? Eliasson likes to configure the relationship between space and body. How do we configure them to make a difference? If so what consequences does it have? “If I have a sense of the space, if I feel that the space is tangible, if I feel there is time, if there is a dimension I could call time, I also feel that I can change the space and suddenly it makes a difference in terms of making space accessible. One could say this is about community, collectivity. It’s about being together.”

He questions how do we create an idea, which is tolerant to individuality, and responsive to the collective, without separating the two into two opposites? He finds art and culture, incredibly interesting in contemporary times, his work has successfully proven that one can create a kind of a space which is both sensitive to individuality and to the collective,

Eliasson looks at the space as a part of the photographic production, devoting the viewer completely into an experiment though all their senses. This supports the idea of making a story with intense depth. This concept is something I feel my work would benefit from; inevitably, it could be the sufferers, who truly understand the reasoning behind the chosen placement. Much like Eliasson where the viewer is taking part in the responsibility, I would like to force the viewer into a whirlwind of emotions but mainly awareness it is the viewer’s responsibility to address the issues. Like Eliasson it will make you question the whole existence and why things happen, how we can prevent atrocities. Like for instance the intense feeling of loss you feel when viewing Eliasson’s work, I would like to channel a lost feeling within my work but using a slightly different method. The idea of a reality machine to reprogram and organise. It will allow you to modify your whole being, which is how I would like to represent the positives in my story as you quickly modify your whole self into personal understanding and ultimately helping yourself evolve into a better person. The artist exhibits work about his own experiences and feelings of self, which, make them relevant to society. This is something I want to place huge emphasis on within my work ‘Uncertainty’ but also like Eliasson I’m happy to use any medium to achieve the results. Eliasson displays you with objects with associated connotations in a tangible space, thus enabling you to truly “live and feel” the story. Eliasson looks at the togetherness of a community and this is something I feel is very important, in my story as it should be understood the story it is trying to convey gaining support from each response. Eliasson looks at something, either collectively or individually. I want a direct link to this concept, I wish to deploy this idea in my own work either to the sufferers of the disease or if the viewer has experienced similar ill health.


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Laima Oržekauskienė


Dedication to Father, Vilnius City Hospital Laima Orzekauskiene Photo-based on woven cloth (2013)

Laima Oržekauskienė was born in Vilnius on the 13th February in 1959. She-studied textiles from 1980 to 1985 and decided in 1987 to become a lecturer, later becoming the head of the department and then a professor. She is highly recognised for her work in textiles, using many new materials such as hair and gold thread therefore, adding new dimensions to the work, building the character and illustrating the meaning behind the work. She embarks upon the idea of combining the contemporary with traditional methods. Oržekauskienė’s ability in which she is creating the work has meant she has subsequently developed many new techniques in weaving and thus devised the technique of using digital prints that she wraps and morphs, making her able to put delicate details into the photographic object. She uses the semiotic meaning behind textiles to aid her work as she researched origins, symbolism, traditional forms in her studies and this intrigued her in to finding new methods of working. She likes to document the mundane temporality, domestic, in the metaphysical reality that we find ourselves in. In her work, Oržekauskienė is inspired to fuel the imagination by conveying ideas, many about human emotions, such as anguish, memory, longing and sorrow.

Oržekauskienė has thoroughly inspired me to embrace natural textures of transferred prints. Embedding textures inspires me. I feel I shall do this by layering pieces together within my work so that as a whole it conveys power that is much more meaningful than the beauty of subtlety of interweaving delicate texture. I would like to take the approach much like Oržekauskienė adventuring into old and new methods that will use conventional textiles, helping to build upon my knowledge into the unexplored medium that will internally help me understand the process behind textured prints. The approach I shall take will combine two sets of multimedia accompanying my photographs. I appreciate the concept of printing photographs of sheets onto sheets. Oržekauskienė’s work has been eloquently designed and manages to a add dimension and ultimately manipulating the way the work is perceived by the viewer. I want to convey my own personal references by using semiotics to aid a higher understanding of what the mundane day-to-day life is like when having lymphoma by using such an object as a bath and a bed, which have significant meaning in my memory and of what lymphoma meant to me while suffering from the symptoms. I think that the use of textiles is fantastic especially when used in this contemporary way. Textiles are a very traditional form of the creative field, yet are still widely used today. I would like to give the impression of engraving my photographs into fabric; helping to branch out into alterative media shall ultimately draw far more attention to the subject matter. To use the idea of hybridity is to gain and capture all the viewer’s senses at once. This is key to the inveiglement; I want the viewer to be captivated by this.

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Lorna Simpson


The Bed (1995) Serigraph on four felt panels with one felt text panel.

Lorna Simpson was born in New York in 1960. She is considered to be a conceptual photographer who is well known for her serigraphic images onto felt, which she started in 1994. She completed both her B.A. and M.A. by 1985.

Simpson works on a very large scale in order to get her political points across. Simpson incorporates issues such as race and gender into her work, (which Simpson personally relates to and feels strongly about) Simpson’s work is about coloured women living in America. Simpson is very experimental and frequently juxtaposes images with confrontational text. Using felt in her photographs helps to engage the audience’s attention into the visible textured appearance. This contributes to the material inter- relationships. The use of felt obscures any content, adding surface detail and elements of substance. It is her depiction of reality, appearance and identity, questioning the audience’s memory and representation of the subject. In the series, she removes the human presence as character or subject feature so that we are looking at the atmospheric environment, which surrounds someone’s life in an almost sculptural form, provoking a narrative from the lack of human presence.

Simpson uses many visual metaphors transforming stories of victims. The figure/character of woman of colour helps Simpson project. She articulates her opinions especially relating to stereotypes, aiming to expand the perceptions of others.

Simpson inspires me to be experimental with my project. I wish to incorporate different surfaces especially felt, as the texture of felt resonates with the feeling of itching I have. The aim is to capture how all the fabrics felt on my skin, regardless of fabric but exaggerated by woolly materials. It also instils the idea to make part of the bed out of a textured material. Using the transfer prints onto cotton sheets then folding over the textured material (like a felt blanket) integrating the concept of dimensions, my aim will be to will help build upon the clinical ambience. The inspiration that Simpson gives me is to create my own metaphoric language of my diagnosis, for Lymphoma suffers and generally to help raise awareness but also for the public to appreciate. I want to remove the human presence just like Simpson. As a practitioner, I realised very early on when starting this project (through the sheer shock of discovering the disease and not knowing what it was) I wanted others to know and be educated about the disease. I hope by removing the human presence it will achieve a metaphor that human presence can be lost to the disease. I want it to draw upon that the story does not just affect me singularly but that it can affect anybody; I want the disease to be known and represented and exhibited in the public eye, especially as humans fear most what he or she fails to understand. I have chosen to add objects; it will add a more complex meaning to the images, which can become hard to grasp, as the objects will be seemingly out of place. I will visually encapsulate lymphoma through my photographic images it will be necessary to make them physical as I believe viewers like a tangible presence.

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Félix González-Torres


Untitled (Bed) (1991)

Félix Gonzalez-Torres was born in 1957 and died in 1996. He used a very wide range of materials for his exhibitions and installations he also deployed minimalism in his photographic work. I have chosen to look at Untitled (Bed), 1991. This photograph represents the emptiness that can experienced after losing a partner though death (from AIDS), a homosexual man, the stigma that he would have felt imposed upon him by the public scrutiny. The judgement of him as a victim of HIV (at the time opinions were formed though ignorance, the belief that it was gay men spreading this epidemic). This would have been an intensely intimidating feeling caused by the social injustice of the time, but it has inspired him to commission this melancholic and vacated bed. He wanted to be empowered to show his side of the story, the horrific HIV/AIDS epidemic and use his rights of freedom of expression, to gain social justice (with a multitude of others) but there was also many interpretations of the meaning of his work. The work to me is thought provoking, illustrating the empathy required to accept the mental loss and thus accepting the grief that follows. The tendency to treasure the belongings of that person and so displaying the bed as if recently vacated shows an indication of attachment to the memory of the loved one.

I admire the creativity of this work; I can draw parallels in some respects to the sense of loss, by having lymphoma. I would like to highlight a similar retrospect determined by loss, the intrinsic self-empathy required and the perceptions of others. I would also like to juxtapose the sense of questioning, the mind’s processes and the way the world operates; I strive not to have a sense of entitlement, which makes you far more appreciative of life. I would like to make a bed in my exhibition where I use transfer prints, projections and variety of materials to depict many of my symptoms, whilst having lymphoma. This work helped me to feel a sense of freedom, empowering me to want to tell my story, therefore, enabling me help increase awareness, understanding, emphasis. Félix González-Torres’ work symbolizes the delicate beauty of emptiness, I would like my work to represent this quality, as it is a feeling I experienced during this journey. The glorious mundanely of the white sheets has an essence of clinical emptiness, which is why I feel that I would benefit from to use  of white sheets to print my photographs on. It will be a contrast to the darkness of the background in my photographs, as it will help make the photographs look fierce, vivid and intense. It shall be harsh to the eyes, ultimately stealing attention.

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Contracting justice: the viral strategy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres|A241280248&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&userGroup=ucca&authCount=1

Martin Newth


8 Hours (2001)

Martin Newth is extremely experimental as a photographer, based in London; he looks at alternative ways of using different photographic methods of enhancing his subjects (mainly using long exposures). He has a storytelling aspect to his work, this helps the audiences to portray and grasp his hidden meaning. In this series he has taken eight hour long exposures in American motels, most of which are of his honeymoon (in 2001). The images are perhaps suggesting the philosophical futures of marriage as a rhetorical interest (or in modern times the stigma that we may feel as the viewer).

His captures display the movement as a haze or series of trails that exist with time-consuming exposures. It is discernible that they were asleep during night whilst being photographed. The viewers may want to know if the artist and his wife was happily married and perhaps fifteen years later ask if they are still believe themselves to be harmonious, or perhaps if the ghostly aesthetic within the photograph is foreshadowing the contrary. Newth used large 10×8 negatives to create the series to ensure the most accurate amount of detail and high contrast where upon was seemingly captured in order to give us a sense of dreamy feelings. This potential notion of the series is suggestive, speaking about his relationship and proposing that it would’ve been their dreams to be happily married and that they’re now incorporated in that dream. His setup was simple; he would just place the camera on the television overnight and then develop them in the bathroom every morning. This process continued throughout his honeymoon, this provided the inspiration that enabled him to create the series. I believe that the movement fascinated Newth during long exposures of the night; he wanted to find the outcome of the aesthetic created, after researching the history of photography, this inspired the quest for new theories to try out, in essence remediating. Newth is still a practitioner working today.

I feel deeply inspired by this work however, I would utilise a more directional narrative, the work I feel would be modified differently therefore, relating it to my own personal experiences with lymphoma as there was countless nights for several months in which I didn’t sleep, insomnia caused by scratching and the need to reduce the desire to itch . I became too overheated at night; I would like to illustrate my frustrating symptoms by using long exposures whilst moving between two blankets, complimentary in colour. One blanket will be red symbolic of fire and danger. It will illustrate the coldness but also the hazard of potential danger. The captures will display movement between the two blankets correlating the amount of movement made during the night corresponding to the message of overheating by ‘throwing the blankets off’. I would also like to empathize what it can do to a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. I would like to have a similar aesthetic to my images, withholding the same movement, thus inspiriting a mystical air, with use of high contrast blacks but with intense colours to enhance the images aesthetic.

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