Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Epic proportions

I will have the order of 95 done tomorrow and will be dropping off the copies to be laminated on Thursday or Friday. I am one full month behind due to the Whitney and ICA but I will be ready. Bank on that, baby.

I regard this installation as epic in scale, literally and figuratively. Epic describes the acknowledged scale as well as asserting a narrative not bound by time or geography.
I'm working on putting forth the particular to describe the universal.

As always, it's a surprise when the ordering is done. Many photos that I love don't make it and other photos that aren't as dynamic make it because they fit formally or are appropriate for inclusion in more than one theme and help to make the installation more fluid.

And all the photos must work next to each other, across from each other and within their row all the way across, particularly the North/South row but also the East/West row. Plus, they have to make sense within the context of the whole installation.

Gaslight Square made it again this year, and it's a pain in the ass to order it. It should be in row three and if it faces west, directly across from a row 2 image, it probably won't face an image with text or a gender ambiguous portrait, which are heavy in row 2. If Gaslight Square faces East, it will face an image that deals with the schizophrenia of working out American identity, e.g. Limerick Houses.

As it is with the placement of all the photos, there are many factors that determine the placement of Gaslight Square; to make sure it's not heavy handed, that it balances formally taking into account geometry and color, that text isn't read as a literal commentary on the photos on either side of it or across from it.

There will not be as many Mississippi photos as I thought, there will be between 10 and 20. My guess is that many will find their way in next year as I continue to reorder.


One thing that's been a problem for me has been I have not had a respite from thinking about my work for at least a few months and that's super hard for me. I like to think and all, but within the framework, structure, and parameters I created for the 95 project, the production of the photos along with the ordering needs to be organic and unconscious. Certainly I work endlessly on checking out the formal structure within each photo and ordering them using a sense of continuum from one to the next, but I need to be a little outside myself to really nail it.

Also, at this point I am waking up in the middle of the night with concepts of reworking the order or including a new image. It's like Lord of the Rings at this point, "I see it with my waking eyes!" Christ, I am one step away from Byberry!

(An important aside- The biggest problem in my marriage is my lady's hatred of science fiction and fantasy. I'm trying to tell her my deepest emotions and she can't even hear the Lord of the Rings analogy I've cooked up to describe the intensity of my feelings. She can't even hear the word "Frodo." Don't even get me started on when I tried to use Dune.)

In addition when I'm in the home stretch of ordering and going over my work, I become hyperemotional. I am exhausted and in a state of constant heightened emotions.

Such a big part of my work is the letting go of the precious qualities involved in photography, like the obsessive need for spotless prints. My biggest issue, the slightest difference in color and saturation is something I have to let go of and it can make me fucking nuts. I generally like the photos to be color correct on the warm side, but sometimes they need to be a little cooler but whatever with that. If I start with working on the photos past glaring color errors and differences, I'd never get anything done.

Look, I love beautiful prints as much as the next lady, but that's not what I'm about. I make myself crazy with this, but I've got to let it go and have the images go through the color copier at Staples and still hold up.


An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero.
A literary or dramatic composition that resembles an extended narrative poem celebrating heroic feats.
A series of events considered appropriate to an epic: the epic of the Old West.

Of, constituting, having to do with, or suggestive of a literary epic: an epic poem.
Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size: A vast musical panorama... it requires an epic musical understanding to do it justice Tim Page).
Heroic and impressive in quality: Here in the courtroom... there was more of that epic atmosphere, the extra amperage of a special moment (Scott Turow).

[From Latin epicus, from Greek epikos, from epos, word, song. See wekw- in Indo-European Roots.]


adj 1: very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale); "an epic voyage"; "of heroic proportions"; "heroic sculpture" [syn: heroic, larger-than-life] 2: constituting or having to do with or suggestive of a literary epic; "epic tradition" [syn: epical] n epochlong narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds [syn: epic poem, heroic poem, epos]

But what makes the ordinary, extraordinary?

My most influential movie ever.

An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: Frankenstein, Dracula and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories (New York Times).
An ideal example of a type; quintessence: an archetype of the successful entrepreneur.
In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious.

Everything is everything.

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