I am thinking a lot about images, and about iconography, right now. A deep discussion about my work and where I was taking it led to so much buzzing between my ears that I can barely tune it down. There are two projects currently being processed in my head:
One, which is very object-based, material focused. I want to gather together people with "invisible disabilities" - ones that are not readily apparent, and are thus often overlooked or even scoffed at - and have them sit with me in the studio or other such setting. I would take two photos - one with and one without my sitter. I would then use the the first to create an ink drawing of the sitter on rice paper. I have found, almost by accident during some ramshackle collage work that rice paper and rice paste make a wonderful semi-transparent overlay. Almost ghost-like. I could then paste the drawing of the sitter onto the photographic background so that the background would show through without overwhelming the drawing. I would like to see if I could also mix this application with a coating of wax to allow for some almost sculptural relief and further separation from the image. Maybe some stamps in the wax, who knows?
So much trouble, anyway.
For my second trick, I would like to take my lovely plague doctors (the physical representation of my unpleasant medical condition) and bring them into more "real" settings, while still fabricating images of a surreal nature. I want to use a more classical look (less S&M, more preacher hats), having the character interact with or shadow myself in otherwise normal or pleasant situations. Except by me I mean someone else (funny - I am either being someone else or someone else is being me). I feel I want more control of these shoots and would like to remain in the directorial stance, rather than self portraiture. I've done an awful lot of that lately and I feel it would be trickier to capture the aesthetic I want to pin down. To complement these, I want the model (myself?) to also take part in scenes where she is seemingly lost, floating, in a dreamlike "other". I see these two realms coexisting with each other. It's a little tricky to explain, perhaps. In this avenue, I was reminded of artist Brooke Shaden, who I featured before, with her billowing dresses and floating girls. Reading her blog is rather informative, but I can't help feeling that I will need many shots and probably a leaf blower.
I was worried, then, after making these decisions and over my desire to use outside, dedicated models. Where would I find someone willing to sink in that sort of time? I made a posting on Facebook, asking for volunteers.
It took all of five minutes.
For some reason I don't think the rest of it will go so smoothly.