Bill Brown, Heather McDonough and Spencer Rowell
Studio 2: Moments and Markers
Jeff Koons: Puppy, 1992 Stainless steel, soil, and flowering plants, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Moments and Markers: Making mountains from molehills.
This studio explores the ideas of marking and making history. History is not simply ‘the past’; it’s arguably a complex personal/social and cultural construction. We are living in the present but we are always looking back or preparing for the future. We will explore significant landmarks or monuments, in both the physical landscape and conceptually, investigating the notion of marking important moments – with visual communications, objects and textural documents.
Indeed, when writing on history, Michel Foucault refers to historical documents, or what are often called ‘primary sources’, as monuments. Documents, like monuments, can be seen as relics, structures, formations with boundaries and territories. We will discuss ‘monuments’ of every kind, that celebrate the lives of people who have been significant in history and how these individuals have been represented and portrayed in various media.
In practical terms, the Studio will be an active and creative participatory environment. You will often be expected to leave the comforts of the studio space and take drawing materials and cameras out and about to discover (and create) new monuments within our city. You will enjoy and actively seek to explore important lives and places that have contributed to history, with the intention of enabling us to make work of significance and importance for the future.
Ultimately, Photography is subversive not when it frightens, repels, or even stigmatizes but when it is pensive, when it thinks. From 'Camera Lucida' by Roland Barthes.
The camera is an obvious starting point for recording and documenting and we will cover all aspects of how to make professional images for use throughout a range of varied possible outcomes: advertising campaigns; editorial use; for print media and or for the web and moving image. However, the camera and indeed other tools such as drawing, text and sound etc., will always be seen primarily as a tool for communicating your ideas.
We will be exploring how text and image work together and there will be an emphasis on how meaning, narrative and subject matter are conveyed in both 2D, from printed material to 3D objects, interventions and installations.
Creative projects will embrace a range of audiences and creative scenarios in both artist-based and commercially driven collaborative projects and the details of these will discussed as the Studio develops over the weeks ahead.
Creative Projects will include the following:
Early weeks: The whole group will take part in a series of quick-fire projects in the first weeks of term, creating actual design outcomes and also exploring ideas for FMP (Level 6).
These projects will include:
Find a monument and re-tell its story/remake it
We will consider ideas such as ‘the monumental’ in visual terms, scale and audience impact.
Make a portrait of someone from history
Not only looking at well known historical figures but also considering those largely undocumented and perhaps, as yet unknown – and how ‘ordinary’ people are often overlooked?
Choose an everyday object and make it a monument
What is a monument? For example, how can everyday objects help us communicate new ideas by making the familiar strange and make us look afresh at others and ourselves.
Large Concept Project - Level 6 for FMP
The will be a largely self-directed Final Projects, once a personal brief has been written and agreed with tutors.
There will also be short ‘mini’ projects and ‘assignments’, often combined with trips to stimulate your creative ideas and research and these will be to both local locations (London) and further afield, plus a study trip abroad, destination to be discussed by the group!).
All of the above will be supported by a focused series of workshops and practical learning sessions, crits and presentations.