In the frame?
A frame is a way of fixing and contriving a view, unfashionable in age where the periphery gives us a sense of irony, a sense of art spilling over into life, blurred edges and boundaries. In a time of austerity, art takes on a moral urgency; can we be satisfied by sheer sensory indulgence now that environmental and economic imperatives shout at as from all directions?
Sight implies responsibility. We are witnesses to unfolding tableaux, real or contrived, yet still, given the exponential growth of technology, confined to the fascism of the rectangle.
I am interested in the symbol of the circular retro frames of the 1930’s to explore our relationship with the landscape.
As a counterpoint to the arrogance of the Romantics who would move trees and mountains within the composition to create their idealised landscape, I wish to take the model of the spectacle frames to physically FIX the gaze.
As in Malcolm MacDowell’s character Alex in Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange, the attempted rehabilitation via a controversial psychological conditioning technique involves forcibly opening Alex’s eyes to witness the horrors of the world. Not that I am quite so dystopian here!
I am interested in demythologising the landscape, our relationship is now one of pleasure tainted with guilt, anxiety, impending punishment/hubris. It is interesting to note that the average person can cite only seven names of wild plants but over two hundred brand names. We can no longer decode the landscape as we can cyberspace. We have lost touch. People are now introduced to nature through sanitised farm and nature visitor centres.
By locking the face into the frames we look through a selected vista. The frames are laser cut in rigid card, with images of tree feeling, drowning, genetic engineering.
Our anxieties about sight and laser surgery are also inherent in the object.