Showing posts with label 2015 artwork. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2015 artwork. Show all posts

My day at the mall

Bob Georgeson, underground car park, 2015, Photograph

Nobody laughs in here. They avoid eye contact at any cost. Shop assistants yawn as they finger their mobile phones. The mall swarms with bodies disembodied. Being tall I peer over their heads. A small woman tries to walk through me. I play chicken, determined not to move to the last moment, then jump sideways to the left. She does the same. I jump the other way. She does the same. Our little dance clearly irritates her.

The young girl says “Can I help you Sir?”. I “smile and say “Don't call me Sir”. She looks taken aback. I say “It reeks of British upper class imperialism and the the subjugation of the workers”. I can see this explanation is not helping. “Don't worry...I'm a surrealist” I shrug, realising as soon as the word has rolled off my tongue I have made a mistake. Any word ending in '√≠st' these days is to be feared. This is not going well...

Perhaps I am a cultural terrorist. My surrealist ancestors advocated going into the street with a gun and firing at random. These days that is so common that it no longer has an impact, and besides I cannot stand sudden loud noises and hysteria, but I do have the perverse thought of planting a bomb in the food court. It wasn't the drumstick through the forehead that got him, it was septicaemia from the secret herbs and spices.

A woman walks towards me pushing a double pram. She looks a bit too old for a mother, a bit too young for a grandmother. She is very protective of her babies. As she passes I look back at the twins. Two identical plastic dolls stare back at me. Nobody is laughing...

Shadow Chase



Sometime in the latter half of last year Ana Cordeiro Reis (Hyaena Fierling) had asked me if I was interested in providing her with a half-an-hour of video footage that she could then compose to with a view to it being used in a live performance in the UK. Naturally the chance to work with her was all the motivation needed, and so we began discussions on the what, the where and the how.

I had recently had my work projected publicly for the first time (as opposed to being shown on a flat-screen TV in a gallery setting) and was thinking about the need to tailor the work to the environment in which it was to be shown, so my first questions were about where Ana was planning to perform. Locations in Birmingham and possibly The Gregson Institute in Liverpool were mentioned and I spent some time researching the type of places these were and the type of performances held in them, as well as looking at Ana's other recorded live performances on YouTube and Vimeo.

The spaces were fairly small and intimate (as opposed to stadium type) and the projection would not be on a huge scale. I had to consider peripheral lighting, possible people movement and that Ana would be weaving her magic against a backdrop of my imagery. To produce a narrative or anything too subtle seemed pointless, so the challenge was to make something visually interesting in such a setting over the space of half-an-hour as well as maintaining some continuity and having some alignment, if not meaning, with Ana's aesthetic.

We discussed via Skype a theme. Dreams, journeys, imaginary landscapes, juxtapositions...

Ana sent some footage via WeTransfer of road movies she had taken in Portugal and also some still images from her vast collection. I had also been working on footage from unrelated sources, so it was a matter of trying to find a balance between her suggestions and what I needed to maintain my interest and enthusiasm.

I had never made a video of this length before (10 minutes being the previous max). I also was used to working to a soundtrack, not in silence. I was not comfortable with using still images (seemed like a slide show) so I began merging the road movies with dream like snippets. At this point the combined footage ran for less than 20 minutes. I thought that to have some footage of Ana herself might be a nice touch, so that the audience could see that the film was specifically about her as opposed to some random imagery.

Over a few months life and work get in the way of the best laid plans. Other little projects crop up, ideas get modified, directions change. I was doing long road trips from one end of the state to the other, Ana was in UK one day, Portugal the next. Occasionally snippets would arrive, we continued our Skype discussions and I continued to try to build the film without really knowing what the soundtrack would be. I must admit at this time I was really struggling to maintain continuity, so when some more footage arrived of Ana dancing it became the catalyst to start bringing it all together. I compiled the film out to around 28 minutes and sent a rough cut back. I had called it 'The Dreams of Ana'.

It was only a matter of a few days when a 10 minute soundscape came back with the title of 'shadow chase'. From here on it gave me the direction I needed to start pulling it all together, and so began the tightening up and working out the colour harmonies and 'flow'. Also Ana sent some more footage of her hands and shadows which helped me to resolve issues I was having with the start and end. I got to a point where I thought that this was about as good as it is going to get, so sent off the second draft. She continued with finishing the composition, and so Shadow Chase was born...

The soundtrack will be released as part of an EP, and we will let you know when the live performances are likely to take place. 

You can download the film from the Internet Archive here...

Our other collaborations have been:

Why is this happening?

The Illusion of Freedom

I forget you

Ana's website is: akousmata

Beneath the Surface



The third release on the anonymous waves channel on Soundcloud...

Untitled abstraction (for John Peart)

Bob Georgeson, Untitled abstraction (for John Peart), 2015, Photography

Self portrait on top of the scrap-heap

Bob Georgeson, Self portrait on top of the scrap-heap, 2015, Intervention at Bermagui Rubbish Tip (destroyed by fire 7/04/2015)

I love going to the tip. Not only the satisfaction of offloading a ute load of rubbish, usually gardening prunings, that earn me a couple of brownie points for a few days (believe me not that easy!), but I also get to admire and photograph the mangled piles of human detritus that would for the want of a few simple tools be turned into accommodation in the poorer cities of the world. There aren't too many favelas in Bermagui, so the piles build until crushed by machines or torched by delinquents. 

The staff at the tip often get suspicious seeing someone taking photographs, thinking it must be going to end up a negative reflection of their work practices splashed across the front page of the Daily Telegraph so I am always excessively polite in asking their permission and explaining that I am artist who uses this imagery in my artwork. "What do you do?" asked the attendant at my last visit. She looked a little apprehensive when I explained I worked in photomedia and video art and am involved in online collaborative projects, but when I added that over the past two years that my subject matter had changed from erotica to an interest in decay, disorder and social disintegration I could visibly sense the relief in her eyes...

If You'll Excuse Me



The second release on the anonymous waves channel on Soundcloud. As an aside I had been thinking about crowd funding (I desperately need a projector or two) and thought rather than embarrass my friends who won't or can't afford to support me publicly, I will offer a new alternative where you can pay me to stop producing this rubbish. Any offers (financial that is) gratefully considered. Advice I can get anywhere ;-)

Self portrait as toxic waste

Bob Georgeson, Self portrait as toxic waste, 2015, Intervention at Bermagui Rubbish Tip (destroyed by crushing 23/03/2015)

My Father



Considering that some of my friends are among the world's most esteemed sound artists you would think that I would have more sense than to try aural experimentation myself, but then, better judgement has never been one of my strong points. The first release on the anonymous waves channel on Soundcloud...

end game



Following on from the last post Denitsa had sent me some footage that she had edited down from the workshop with Griet in Sofia last June. For some reason when I first saw it chess came to mind, and so this mashup is the result...although at times one could easily find some similarities between the game and the collaborative process. Your move...

The grass is always greener...perhaps...or is it perception?

Too easy to be tempted by trivia...not so easy to be tempted by purpose...

I posted this on Twitter and Facebook this morning after a few weeks of being busy with travel, interruptions, rejections, proposals and plans. Did I just say Facebook? Yes...I now have a presence so you can follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook (links in the nav bar above). It is mildly interesting to see the difference between the two...could you possibly call Twitter more intelligent? and even though the belligerent layout and behaviour of FB still annoys the **** out of me, it was a matter of being able to access other's FB pages that drove me to such distractions...hence the opening line of this missive. Perhaps update might be a better word...

So, to recent activity. First sent off 25 minutes of footage (sans sound) to Hyaena Fierling as draft for possible composition and performance in UK. It has been the longest video I have worked on so far and quite a challenge for that reason, and the fact that I was working in silence without a soundtrack in mind is a departure from previous efforts, and trying to create diversity and interest while maintaining some continuity, as well as working with supplied footage!. She has sent back a 10 minute draft of composition, and I like, so on we go. Also have been submitting videos using her soundscapes for various international video festivals and prizes. The Illusion of Freedom didn't make the final cut in the Aesthetica Art Prize (UK) but did make the second round of judging, and Why is this Happening wasn't quite within the curatorial brief of Kyle Chung's Bright Shadow Exhibition (London) but we have agreed to do something together in the future. Also Hyaena has/is playing around with some words/sounds for a possible remix of I forget you. Her website is here...

 Hyaena Fierling in performance, Birmingham, UK, 2014

My other major project with Griet Menschaert and Denitsa Dicova (previously mentioned in the posts Across a Troubled World and 3 Points of a Circle) stumbled a little late last year but has now found some renewed vigour and direction. I can't let too much out of the bag yet, but there will be a website coming soon, and we are still hopeful of reaching the point of a performance in the future. Meanwhile these two very talented and hard working artists continue to inspire as they push into new directions at a fast pace. A couple of examples:



You can check out their websites here...Griet & Denitsa.

The blog is still chugging along as you can see. Over 57000 page views (equates to about 50 per day since February 2012). The direction has changed. There is not so much in the way of art reviews and commentary, and the focus now is on quality rather than quantity. I continue with my video experiments, and would dearly love to get into more projections, performance, interventions and installations but lack of equipment and money the eternal inhibitor. Over at the Internet Archive where I publish my videos there have been over 13000 downloads. (Just to explain this numerical diversion it was necessary in the information required by an ArtsNSW grant application!) I am not sure what this all means, but someone is looking at my work, which brings me to the local scene...

I had thought that I was cutting off my nose to spite my face by ignoring the local art world and focusing on the global, and so recently have made a number of forays to make local entities aware of my activities without much success. Whether it be a parochial defense of territory, a lack of interest in contemporary art, or they just think my work is crap is unknown, but the silence at times is deafening. It is curious that I have managed to engage with, and gain the respect of, highly credentialed overseas creators who value my work and yet in my own backyard I may as well not exist...but then at my age existence is always a tenuous proposition ;-)

And now it is time to get back to work...

No entry

Bob Georgeson, No entry, 2015, Digital print

The last broadcast (video)



You can download the files from the Internet Archive here...

...and to see all the videos go here...

The last broadcast

Bob Georgeson, The last broadcast, 2015, Mixed media

Apocalyptic perhaps? Video to follow soon. An ending you would not want to rather miss...

I forget you



You can download the files from the Internet Archive here...

The soundscape is by Hyaena Fierling from her album super flumina Babylonis, available on Bandcamp here...

You can visit her website here...

The woman is Brigitte Schiller, from Lutz Mommartz's Die Schiller.

With thanks to all those who work in the Creative Commons...

Je suis Charlie: four points of a compass (a view of the world)

Bob Georgeson, East, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, West, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, North, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, South, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, Four points of a compass, 2015, Digital print

Happy New Year! Not. Last year ends with mindless violence in Martin Place in Sydney. This year begins with it in Paris. These photos seem to sum up the situation. I have generally avoided politics in my art and on this blog (Twitter is a different matter if you want to follow me). There have been a few exceptions: the Worlds in Collision series and the Why is this happening? video to name two, but it does raise the question of whether there has been (or perhaps should be) a link between politics and art, and ultimately what purpose that might serve. And do artists have a responsibility as the eyes of the world to address the socio-political situations that we find ourselves in?

I don't have an answer for this any more than I have a solution to the Islamic problem, or any other issue you choose to pull out of the hat. What I do know is that silence and a reluctance to, or fear of speaking out against injustice will always play into the hands of the perpetrators. And so we set the tone for the year ahead...