nicole rademacher

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just a lil update.

Well, August is almost over and I feel like it just started. I have been super busy, so I thought I would take some time to catch you up and share some thoughts (this one is kinda long, so go get a warm-up on your coffee).

Since my return to Santiago I have been in contact with BLOC/Tutorías de Arte, which is an artists' space and educational residency - a really new thing here in Santiago. I would write more, but I am writing an article about them for I Love Chile (another new connection), an all English news and media source, and I want to save all the juicy details for my article (of course I am supposed to be finishing that up right now - perhaps I am using the blog post to get the juices flowing ... or to procrastinate - what would you wager?). The artists at BLOC have been really fantastic in talking with me and also in sharing their space with me. On the 15th I did a workshop there. It wasn't a personal workshop, it was part of my collaboration with AREA Chicago on their project Notes for a People's Atlas (the link is to the Chicago version).

The project is simple: AREA Chicago furnishes blank maps, basic outlines, of the city and the inhabitants fill it in. What can they fill it with? Anything. The idea is to get the people to make their city their own, to say that what is important to them (restaurants, places they walk their dog, sites of demonstrations, public sculpture...) are important for everyone to know - and then share those experiences, histories, and stories. When confronted with the blank map, most people just starred and asked for examples. This was great because we could show other maps that had been done - already starting to show other people's experiences of the city. Between the workshop at BLOC and smaller workshops done by volunteers with VE-global (a Santiago-based American NGO who I have been in contact with since April), about thirty maps, so far, have been made for Notes for a People's Atlas of Santiago, aka Notas para un Atlas por la Gente de Santiago. We should make more, Santiago !!! Thanks again, BLOC.

BLOC has also been a bit inspiring. They (and Die Ecke Gallery) hosted three Australian artists and one Aussie curator for 2 weeks. The ladies came to make work for an exhibition: Risk Potential - and then, of course, to have the exhibition; and they also presented their work (both past work and the work they made specifically for the show) last Monday at BLOC. It was a very thoughtful talk. The artists brought us through their process, allowing us to see the visualization of their thoughts, how they negotiate parameters and form for their work, and the place of "drawing" in their work. I have been trying to figure out exactly why I post these images from Fotolandia. Bridie Lunney, one of the invited artists, showed some photos as sketches - instead of the drawings and/or mark making that the other two artists shared. Now, I know I use video as a form of sketching, but I had never been aware that I too use photography as a form of sketching. I know, seems obvious, right? I guess sometimes you can be blinded by concentration of your own process. So, this talk was a big "Ah Ha!" moment for me, which are always delightful. But again, like I said above, I don't want to give too much away because this is all supposed to be a part of that article ...

I Love Chile. The media hub. I came upon it quite randomly - chatting with a former colleague on gmail. He had met the owner in a bar (one of those gringo bars that I don't ever go to because I am scared of my gringo-ness), and he was looking for contributors. At the time when I was chatting with my friend, I was looking for interesting things to do (that earn money, though I currently write pro bono). So I contacted him and met him the following day. He said that what he wants are people that are "excited about writing". That's me! I want to make some of the not-so-apparent things of Santiago to be a bit more inviting to us Anglophones. So I am going to write about all things artsy. Of course, like most of my projects, I start out with really great hopes, then I loose steam, only to find the momentum again, but at normal speed. That's where I am now: normal speed. I have only written one article (tragic, really) so far, but if I can crank out this one about BLOC - that will be two! And this week there should be lots of openings ...

Additionally, I have been weeding through the footage and photos from the bi-cultural project (we really need to find, if even, a working-title for this thing). I knew that we didn't have much - which has to do with the ambitiousness of the project and the time constraints for such an ambitious project. In other words, it was bad planning on our part, but that doesn't matter since it wasn't obligatory to finish the project during the residency. We have several hours of footage, but it really wasn't until the last meeting - maybe the second to last - where we got mostly usable footage. It all has to deal with building rapport, right? I really have to commend our participants for letting us into their personal lives. Now that I am watching the footage, even from the first meeting, it is very personal and intimate. I am excited about what the final product may be, but I do see that as being some time away.

More? Really? Yep. The video sketch below (that I posted the other day) is tied to an old project, one that I started a very long time ago, one that is very personal. It has taken some time for me to be more objective with the work/topic, so that I can make work rather than (just) therapy. Personal themes in my work come and go. Of course it is always personal, but not always directly related to personal events. Some of my first self-portraits were this: personal, self-reflective, raw. (Next time I'm back in Charlotte I will have to scan those and add them to the still in-process archive.) While these self-portraits were not about these events for the new piece (yes, I am being deliberately vague), there are ties. I wanted the same "raw-ness", but I don't want the work to be self-reflective. Instead I am looking to find points in the "story" that have a universal relationship, that while you may never have experienced these same specific events, you can relate them to your own personal events - empathy, basically. Perhaps that is what I am always looking for with my work, or what we are all looking for... Anyhow, I am once again tackling this project (I have a feeling that it will be a body of work rather than one or two pieces) - wish me luck! I'm looking at some of Sadie Benning's diary work, any other suggestions?

There is more going on, but that should tide you over for now. and yes, I promise to send a link to the article about BLOC and once I get a blog (for documentation) of Notas, I will also send a link.

1 comment:

Mindy said...

GOOD LUCK! The project seems exciting let me know how it turns out. Now that im back in school, my laptop is my third arm again so i think i will see you more often haha. Hope to see Santiago in the near future sounds like a cool place.