This project is a reflection on the "subject" both in the sense of a topic  and  the particular forms of consciousness associated with a person or social condition. I ask  "what is the subject" by  devising three works that explore different ways of scattering and gathering materials, methods and collaborators. Currents of contemporary art and discussions among anthropologists and cultural theorists  flow into these reflections and makings on subjectivity, relationships, art and the senses in this era of digital promiscuity. 

The program includes three projects that get at different aspects of subjectivity and subjectness. I developed  "Invitation" and "Self Portrait in Place." in 2020-2021, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, while living in Paris." "One and Many" will be presented and remade  at the Museum of Riverside, in  California in March 2022.

I use this site as a space to exhibit, publish, reflect on and perform the art/experiments as they evolve. I work with a ready-made digital platform, much as I might paint on a pre-stretched canvas. Other iterations of the individual works and the project as a whole will take shape in galleries or in print media as the project continues. Reflecting on how "the subject" changes as it shifts among media and genres of publication and diverse audiences becomes part of the experiment.

This project explores communication, touch and truth. The piece  is composed of 33 pieces that I made over several months, then mailed  to people around the world. These individual pieces of the single artwork will never meet except on this site, where I diversely configure and refelct on the subject of the art by way of the photographs and texts recipients send to me. 

 

The process of making, sending, receiving the photographs and assembling them has sparked reflections on  conceptions of the "full picture, " that I did not imagine when I first  concieved "Invitation."  I probe the generative capacities of the project design and the questions of subjectivity, be it individual, collective or dispersed.

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Making

 

Sending

Receiving

 

Assembling

Reflecting

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This project makes the  Montmartre quarter  of Paris a canvas and a frame for an interactive, dynamic self-portrait/landscape. The work was scattered within a  kilometer of the apartment where I  lived  from June 2020 to June 2021 during the  COVID pandemic, while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

 

The portrait as parcours twas exhibited on  May 16, 2021 . Visitors received a map with twelve sites  they could chose to visit in any order. Viewable, palpable, on-site materials were  enlivened by slides shows, videos and audio recordings accessible on a cell phone. Participants were  invited  to make  their own recordings and notes  about the bits and pieces that made up the  scattered portrait.

This  self portrait literally mingled  its subject (me)  with the  landscape. frame/calendar of the quarter. Working within  the confines of  a year, a place and my biography  the artwork led me to contemplating questions of time and visibility, surveillance, and the body-self in motion.

Habituellement, les autoportraits sont réalisés seuls, en studio, puis accrochés pour être visionnés dans une exposition ou un musée. J'adopte une approche différente pour ce portrait dans le cadre de mon programme de travail en cours sur les « sujets éparpillés ».

Pour mon portrait, j’inclus l'environnement et le spectateur dans le cadre du processus de composition, qui n'est jamais tout à fait complet, jamais entièrement présent, comme n'importe quel sujet dans une œuvre d'art, ou dans la vie.

 

Ce travail intègre naturellement les conditions particulières de mouvement restreint et de distanciation sociale au cours des derniers mois pour tout le monde. Il comprend aussi ma découverte et traitement pour un cancer du sein qui a chevauché les mois de pandémie et qui a transformé une visite à Paris en une migration de retour provisoire.

 

One and Many
 

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The final project in this series explores  collective and composite subjects. At a time when people  are beginning to meet in public places  again, "One and Many"  will be a large public artwork that instigates an active, collective reflection on the body and the body politic, self and community and the  the part to the whole.

On March 3, 2022  I will exhibit a 25 foot long painting of a poppy field across the front of the Riverside Museum. The work will be composed of over 100 individual artworks. Viewers who attend the "opening" of the one-work exhibition during the city's monthly art walk will be invited to select one of these individual works to bring home with them. In return, they will fill in the empty space on the canvas revealed by removing their artwork. Viewers will thus become collectors and participants.

Why poppies? Poppies are among the first flowers to burst into bloom  in spring. In California there are entire parks dedicated to the huge hillside tapestries they weave with their petals.

In this work, I celebrate this beautiful if fleeting bloom, along with other properties and symbolic meanings of the fragile flower.  Poppies  have been associated with  spring fields and life since antiquity, so too their narcotic properties. They symbolize fertility and life, dream states and death. Since WWI red poppies have been worn in English speaking countries to honor veterans. Trade in the products of the poppy were at the center of the colonial Opium wars in China. Today, in Afghanistan, and around the world, farmers uproot food crops to plant opium poppies  to survive. ( for more click here)

On-site ethnographers will explore the making of the work and talk to participants. Later, they will follow up with them to see how the scattered artworks have taken root int their lives. When someone contemplates the piece they hang in their living room, does the original painting persists as an after-image? Does that memory reactivate thoughts about "one and many" ?