Monday, February 25, 2008

Dirty Art

I love being photographed, I'll be the first to admit it. My inner six-year-old runs up to that camera with her cheese face on every time. And lately my six-year-old has been very pleased because my friend Ryan has photographed me for several of his art projects.

This one is called "Playing Nice With Others". Ryan took portraits of seven of his friends, and printed the images with white paint on white paper.

Then we each took a pigment-like substance and applied it to the image (which appeared as a blank page) in any way we wanted. As we applied the pigment, the image of our own faces appeared on the easel.

One person used clay slip, one used M&Ms. There was tea and Hershey's syrup, pastels, and blood oranges. Me? I used compost.

The performance was an exercise in self-expression and self-representation. The final pieces are informed by the way that each pigment was applied, and the way that each person chose to pose at the end, as their photo was taken with their revealed image. To me, my final photo says "look what I did!," which I find kind of fitting.

I rubbed compost on a blank piece of paper, and my own face appeared to me. Compost is the medium that I am represented by, and it's through my own actions that this is so. Why did I choose compost? Can one medium really represent all of my complexity? It's a simplification that seems necessary sometimes. This is me, I can be represented by a pile of decomposed vegetable waste. Hmmm.

All (truly amazing) photos courtesy of M.

1 comment:

Gentlewhoadie Apt One said...

awesome. the photos came out well!