I’ve been trudging through Slavoj Zizek’s The Parallax View and contemplating the theory that our inherent idea of an object alters the reality of the object. I’ve become very excited by this idea because, as Zizec argues, it creates a parallel understanding of the true nature of the object that stands beside our objective observation of the object.
From what I understand at this point (and this is constantly subject to change the more I read) the gap between what we think and what we observe is where all the magic happens – it’s essentially a gray area where reality is something we can’t understand but try to relate to in ways that don’t always go somewhere. In this gap we create symbols that act as substitutions for our inability to completely comprehend something.
In my own work a parallax occurs between the patterning and the birds themselves; while these two things are essentially about the same concept, their meaning exists separately and never truly overlaps. Zizec uses a mobius strip to illustrate this concept more clearly.
For me the pattering in the background references the history of mans romanticized relationship with nature and embodies Zizec’s idea that our understanding of the object alters the reality of the object. The birds also say something similar but they are a personal exploration of individuality and mortality. By juxtaposing the birds with the patterns, the works further comment on both of these lines of thought but retain a sense of separation.
This is a new realization for me and I’m still processing the ramifications of this acknowledgment.
While in the studio today I contemplated the duality of my subject matter and thought more about the role that patterns play in these works. In the bird portrait series I am still debating the inclusion of pattern. I took one of my drawings and played with them in Photoshop to see how the work would change if patterns were put into the background.
I rather like these images on their own. One of my committee members cautioned me from allowing the pattern to become formulaic in my work so I need to be careful to critically evaluate the role of patterning in each work to prevent this.
In Casualties I left the butterflies alone, isolating them on each format as odd suspended forms. My instincts prevented me from placing patterns into the backgrounds despite my original intention to do just that. The work says something different than the Eulogy Series but is none-the-less a significant point of view in this body of work.
The bird portraits have taken on a similar voice but these images say something entirely different as well. I’m a little in love with them at the moment and I’m worried that this may cloud my judgment. I’m looking forward to my final critique so that I can get some feedback.