the importance of experimenting / thinking about the 'real'
Had a useful session with my critique group, using my draft project outline as a main focus of the discussion. It was particularly valuable to have a discussion of ideas brought up in my project (especially realism) through the lens of others' media (especially painting).
Regarding the outline, some specific feedback included suggestions of adding greater contextual information about the project at the beginning. It was stated that I had provided this context to the group elsewhere but it wasn't really present in the document. There was also a mention that the work was strongest where there were concrete examples provided for example in the discussion of the disability studies thread the way that disability might be defined in different contexts, for example eyeglasses or hearing aids. There was also a suggestion that perhaps there be great discussion about the relationship between the strands in the project.
Another major emphasis of the discussion was on the importance of active experiments in one's practice. "Doing it forces you to make it happen."
Frequently out of some of these low stakes experiments might come objects that are useful either directly or as inspiration for other useful directions in the work.
On the notion of realism there was a discussion about the tension between pedestrian realism and creative work that attempts to better convey the reality of feeling and experience that perhaps may transcend or interrupt form and that's better connect authentically with a viewer.
This was framed as basically the difference between realistic paintings that you "walk into" versus powerful / perhaps disruptive paintings that "walk into you."
We also spoke a bit about the difference between grotesque realism – – placing pressures on the traditional limits of conventional 'real' and 'normal (body) and Brechtian realism with its emphasis on laying bear the machinations of the conventions and artifices creating the real.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!