"Cans"

 Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky

I constructed a series of images influenced by Andreas Gursky's work, surrounding themes of materialism, manipulation of food, mindless spending, and excessive marketing. 

 Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky

 Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky

In my research of Gursky, specifically their 99¢ project, Gursky takes an ordered, indexical approach and enhancing and adjusting the structure of his photographs in order to create pieces that while rooted in reality, are presented as hyperreal. Gursky deals with themes such as consumerism, composes it in an organized, rigorous, and formal fashion, creating photographs that are symbols of contemporary life. Gursky’s photos are big, bold, rich and color and detail, manipulated to be graphic, clean and organized.

In Gursky’s other projects, this theme is carried throughout, as they tend to create photographs from the realities of daily life. “Gursky finds inspiration in his own visual experience and grapples with the abstract aesthetic structures that underlie manmade or natural  environments, and reconstructing real subjects according to his inner eye, Gursky presents a worldview that fuses the flux of life and nature with the stillness of metaphysical reflection.”

I resonate with Gursky’s style and find myself looking for “abstract aesthetic structures that underlie manmade or natural environments” and then using a camera to reconstruct to create a visual experience according to my own inner eye. Wherever I am, my eyes look for shapes, structures, complementary colors, interesting angles and perspectives. When I pull out my phone to take a photo, often my aim is to take a photo that emphasizes these aspects of the visual world.

Thus in this project, I took on the grocery store, with Gursky’s ideas of looking for abstract aesthetic structures, taking unusual shots with brilliant perspectives, bringing alternate life to an “ordinary” location. Upon uploading the photos I then took to do Gursky’s pattern of emphasising bright, bold, and clean with digital manipulation.

Here it is — "Cans". 

Let's Rip This Art Up

This Winter I took a course titled Art and the Body. For our Final Project we were instructed to: Create an icon/image that reflects an aspect of personhood and being made in the image of God. This image can be explicitly Christological or more abstract. 

Here is my response:

 This is a mock-up of the original piece, painted with oil on wood, that I neglected to photograph before I turned it in. 

This is a mock-up of the original piece, painted with oil on wood, that I neglected to photograph before I turned it in. 

 

———

Before I was born, my parents knew I was going to be a girl. They picked out a denim dress for me to wear as my first outfit. In many ways, a narrative was set out for my life. I was to be a beautiful daughter, embrace my womanhood, marry a good Christian man. I don’t think my parents, or others invested in my life, were distinctly aware of their vision for my life, but I think they grew more aware with time.

At least as I recall, I never liked pink. I avoid dressing up at all costs. I rarely do anything special with my make-up or hair. I was never, not ever giddy about boys. I played Co-Ed Roller Hockey. I bought clothes in the boys section. I made mud slides as a kid. I have and continue to express myself in a way that extends beyond the binary that society has set up for me. When I came out as gay to my parents, I think my mom would likely say that the hardest part was grieving the loss of her daughter as she knew it.

I painted this piece, inspired by Piet Mondrian, as a reflection of how I often feel as a member of society. I look around and I see people continue to play the roles set up for them, expressing themselves as the binary beings they think they are or should be. I don’t feel like I fit. I am not blue, or red, I am yellow. Sometimes I love to be yellow, I think more colors makes something more beautiful and full. Sometimes I hate it, and I feel lonely as a yellow square. Sometimes it seems easier to be red or blue. But for me, it is not honest.

I really look up to Alok Vaid-Menon, a nonbinary trans femme writer, entertainer, and performance artist. These are some of their words:

“Gender is not a binary system. You cannot take billions of people across the world and collapse them into one of two categories without a consideration of their histories, knowledge systems, and cultural practices. There are as many genders as there are people in the world.

Gender non-conforming people are not a minority, we have become minoritized. Because we live in such a deeply racist, misogynist, and classist world — many people have to choose safety over authenticity. We have no idea what people would look like if they were given permission and safety to experiment with their identities and appearances.”

I hope for a day in which the grid all humxnty is free to express all of themselves, all of their intersecting intricacies, detail, seemingly-contradictory parts.

When I look at the piece I created, I like it. It is controlled, organized, easily understood. I used primary colors, I used the most basic geometric shape and created a grid. Humxns like to have control, organization, defined edges. I believe this is why society pushes the binary with immense force, it feels good to understand, define and claim certainty.

If this art is a reflection of humxnity though, how boring! How straight! How clean!

Humxnity is a mess, a multitude of color, an eternal and evergrowing movement of life and love.

Humxnity is a mess, a multitude of color, an eternal and evergrowing movement of life and love. This art is a commentary on the structure I see in society. But I want to destroy this art. I want it to be ripped up and glued back together in a new form. I want every person to know that the binary is dead, and the only way to live is to express oneself in all of our queerness.


Why are we so afraid of queerness?

 

International Womxn's Day

Just some thoughts on this #internationalwomensday .... (a cool but also problematic celebration in my opinion because it perpetuates the gender binary and expression as exclusive and polarized)

I think that humxns create boxes and binaries and structure, in part, out of a desire to understand, find control and stay safe in certainty. But in reality the glowing humxn spirit is too big and beautiful to be labeled or understood. 


Most of the time seems that upon birth, babies are thrust into a room and dress of blue or pink, and a single narrative is set before them. I hope for a day in which the gender binary is absolutely demolished forever, and from the moment a baby is birthed into this horrible and beautiful world, they step into a life of free expression of love, life and self.

May we acknowledge the intertwining spectrums and marvelous complexities that collide to form a humxn spirit. And may all identities and expressions be celebrated.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Ian

For a class assignment, we were to take a photo of a stranger. 

This is Ian. We met at PCC.

Silent Short Documentary

In the waves of depression I have experienced in the last two years, I have experienced a wide variety of thoughts and feelings that include: apathy, desiring death, feeling unwanted, wondering what is beyond this life.

I sought to visually express these waves of depression, a breaking point, and some sort of imagined hope at the end of it all. 

Featuring my friend Kohen Camp.

Silent Short Documentary By Hannah Hislop. Filmed with Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro. Music by Sigur Ros "Ekki Múkk"