Friday, October 30, 2009

Week of The Perfect Game

I was in Chicago this summer to cook up something for the Art Institute of Chicago and constructed a site-specific installation piece for the photography gallery in the AIC modern wing. In one week I shot a series of photos, edited the photos, printed all the 13x19 inkjet photos that are included in the installation, spec'd the AIC site and created 4 different blueprints for final installations that could shift with budget.

That's right, IN ONE MOTHER FUCKING WEEK, folks. It was kind of nuts, but I'm thrilled with the finished product.

The time constraint was self-imposed. I really wanted to see what the work would be like if it I couldn't edit in my usual endless manner and I wanted to construct something complete from an immediate experience... and I wanted to create something that would fold into my larger body of work, and I also wanted to use the work I made during the week to be exhibited as a complete piece. I've done a few things in the vein of "Week of the Perfect Game" -Pioneer Portrait Studio, a Works in Progress project at Open Satellite and most recently Hola. Como Estas? in Madrid, but Week of the Perfect Game is a little bit different because it's intended as a permanent piece.

Part of the reason that I'm so thrilled with this project is that the time constraint shaped the work in a way that made me think in a different way about the editing and syntax of my photos by working with what was right in front of me, limiting the ability to create work that neatly dovetailed with my expectations. I'm certain I would have produced something different had I given myself even a day more to work on this project. I came to Chicago with an unformed idea about exploring Chicago post Obama election and thought maybe to weave together a series of photos to talk about the inevitable shift that had happened in the city. But I was open to seeing what was going on in Chicago and it led me to something completely different, and somewhat unlike the work I usually make. The finished installation features Lake Michigan, and the order of the photos in the complete installation come at fluidity and isolation, and quietly refer to both limited and limitless opportunities and choices.

So when I got there Kate gave me a tour of the AIC Modern Wing and mentioned that the AIC is actually built on top of Lake Michigan. That night I read that the Art Institute is built on infill, on debris from "the great fire" specifically, and is situated in Lake Michigan proper.

My proposals all had Lake Michigan as the keystone, as the connector for the images that were made that week. The Lake had to be brought into the space in a way that brought the outside in and implied that the building is in/on Lake Michigan.

After 3 days of making work, I felt a kind of disconnect happening in Chicago and Indiana, a disconnect between my expectations of what I thought I'd find as well as a big chasm between different sections of Chicago. The election was over and despite the vestiges of great pride and excitement floating around, of course, there was no definitive change that had happened. There had been a euphoric moment in Chicago, but people were living their lives as they had been before. Due to the vibe I knew I wanted an absence of narrative with the 13"x19" prints, a series of primarily unrelated images that seem somewhat unconnected, although they are much more connected in a literal sense than most of my work, considering that they're closely connected by time and place.

The portraits are all quiet, and they all needed either wall or sky as the background... no implication of place, and either wide-open or completely closed off.

Two photos that I made on the first day were the basis for the order of the other images.

if you can dream it you can do it_8651 web
Detail I-95 (If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"

It's statement that's both completely true and completely false.


robert_8602_1 web
Detail I-95 (Robert)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"


Robert is the person to help talk about the duality of "if you can dream it, you can do it." His expression is impassive and direct. He's got nothing behind him but sky. There's no reading that kid.

----

The 4 proposals that I cooked up included different configurations of full bleed wall applications of Lake Michigan, with photos hung on top of the Lake images or a screen covering the window with an image of Lake Michigan.


Here's some of the specs...



week of the perfect game chicago working facing window walls 3 web





3 walls full lake image, one west facing out window, the East facing reverse of that wall, 18' long permanent wall, another freestanding 9 ft. wall that faces west.

week of the perfect game working chicago wall 1 web

2 walls east facing wall on 18' long permanent wall and freestanding 9 ft. wall that faces west.




1 wall 9ft west facing wall, with lake image printed on flag or similar material covering window.


Out of these ideas came a variation I hadn't proposed because I thought it would be too much money, but it ended up being the final. THANKS, KATE! I really wanted a transparent lake image to adhere directly to the glass, but because there were a number of mullions I thought it would be a billion dollars. Hello, interior/exterior lake image...

interior week of the perfect game lake michigan.jpg
window lake image seen from inside.

exterior week of the perfect game lake michigan
window lake image seen from outside.



-----
final order of small prints

east wall web

north wall facing into gallery web

north wall facing toward window web


-----

Photos in "Week of The Perfect Game"
bev and frank bed_9468 web
Detail I-95 (Frank and Bev's Bed)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Gary, In


shorty_8817 web
Detail I-95 (Shorty)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago,IL


week of the perfect game_8488_1 printed web
Detail I-95 (Week of The Perfect Game)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago, IL
White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle throws perfect game


robert_8602_1 web
Detail I-95 (Robert)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"


if you can dream it you can do it_8651 web
Detail I-95 (If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"

----

gary football field_1048_2 printing web
Detail I-95 (Gary Football Field)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Gary, IN


lincoln was a good old man white he jump out the window with his dick in his hand mean manner drives taxs kids prematited company game us problem all that they mistake_9617_1 web
Detail I-95 (lincoln was a good old man white he jump out the window with his dick in his hand mean manner drives taxs kids prematited company game vs problem all that they mistake)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Gary, IN

tiger lounge_8777 printed web
Detail I-95 (Tiger Lounge)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago, IL

rip Isaiah_0518 web
Detail I-95 (Rip Isaiah Zeko)
Isaiah is standing in front of Lake Michigan
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago, IL

bevs mother_9475 printed web
Detail I-95 (Beverly's Mother)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Gary, IN

-----


michael jackson bad_9114 web
Detail I-95 (Michael Jackson House, Bad Poster)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Gary, IN
Michael Jackson Mourned In Gary, Indiana Hometown


puerto rican day east chicago_0797 printing  web
Detail I-95 (Puerto Rican Day East Chicago)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
East Chicago, IN


hemp lover in miller hat_ NEW _0623 printed web
Detail I-95 (Hemp Lover in Miller Hat)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Whiting, IN
Pierogi Fest

mcdonalds window_1305_2 printing revised web
Detail I-95 (McDonald's Window)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago

yes we did_0510_1 printing web
Detail I-95 (Yes We Did)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago


woman striker_0447_new printed web
Detail I-95 (Woman Striker)
For "Week of the Perfect Game"
Chicago
Congress Hotel Strike

More later on all this.

No comments: