Sunday, March 16, 2014

John Coplans/Body

In considering the female form and the idea of the body, I am ultimately led to consider the male form and body as well.

Below are some photographs by John Coplans.

 I have seen many photographs of hands, but the photograph of hands above I found especially interesting because I responded to it on a couple of different levels. Viscerally, they made me think of birth because of the vaginal nature of the composition and at the same time of a sculpture by Louse Bourgeois called "Cumul" shown below.

In terms of my own work and how it relates to why I may have been drawn to the Coplans photograph above, I have been working with Caspar's hands in the frame of the videos I have been making from his perspective, and the way they are constantly grasping the camera itself and are a constant determinant in how he relates to the world..

As I think about both the male and female body as a theme, I have been considering how the three photographs below relate. The first is a self-portrait by John Coplans, the second is a self-portrait by Elinor Carucci, and the third is a photograph by Sally Mann of her son called "Popsicle Drips".

Kiki Smith

Looking at Kiki Smith these days, a couple of her prints are below, "All Souls" and "Untitled (Baby Heads).

I found a great interview between Kiki Smith and Chuck Close which is located here ... I loved the conversation between these two, and responded deeply to a couple of things said by Kiki Smith. She mentioned that on a plane ride, an environmental scientist she sat next to told her that after one year, you've breathed all the air that everyone's breathed in and out that year and in her words, she thinks that the "whole history of the world is in your body"

In discussing the repetitious nature of her work, she talked about screen-printing, and despite the fact that she is making exact copies, every time she duplicates an image it changes.

 In working with a baby, there is a rhythm that is both linear and circular, and though every day is different, they are stamped from the same mold. This is an idea I'm working with as I consider how to structure the video footage I've collected from Caspar's perspective.

I loved Kiki Smith's "Mary Magdalene" (pictured above) because of the unforgiving tactile nature of the body. Lately I have been considering the body in a tactile sort of way, probably because motherhood is an unrelentingly touching role (in the most literal sense). In creating and nurturing a human being, I continually relinquish the idea that my body is autonomous.