Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Makeup Artist is Present | Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I would like to take a spin on Marina Abramović's The Artist is Present, a phenomenal performance piece in which she sits across from a person and shares her energy and space to create an "energy dialogue" with her audience.  I don't think that I would like for my project to be quite as public as hers was, as I would like to create a dialogue with my audience to discuss their ideals concerning beauty and cosmetic, and how it impacts their own ideas of how they view and present themselves to the world. 

As a makeup artist and visual artist, I'm very interested in how beauty is perceived by women and men.  For the majority of cosmetics history, men have been largely ignored even though many of the pioneers in the makeup industry have been men.  With my project, I would like to film a "makeup application dialogue" in which I film another person applying makeup to me in a style that they would typically apply to themselves.  Throughout their application, I would like to create discourse in which they tell me of how ideals of beauty imposed on them throughout their life have impacted them, negatively or positively. 

This ideally would be presented in the form of a video, much like Marina's own documentary presentation of her retrospective and The Artist is Present performance.  Mine wouldn't be quite as long, though. ;) 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Beyoncé and the Maurizio Cattelan Experience

But of course you knew that.

I chose Maurizio Cattelan for my final project because I've always had an interest in him ever since I learned about him in the fall of 2013 in my sculpture class.  Partly because of his silver fox status, but mostly for his critical, ironic, and satirical portrayal of society through his sculptures.

But really, isn't he a babe?!
I chose to confuse my presentation audience with a reading of Beyoncé's biography and a series of images of her from my own personal collection, much like Cattelan's own personal style of interviewing.   He’s known for having ridiculous interviews where he actually sends in people for him that are prepared with absurd, evasive answers and non-sensical explanations that never directly answer the interviewer’s questions.  What a beautiful way to conduct an interview.  You’re able to evade this random ass stranger that’s wants to interrogate you and ask you all sorts of invasive questions about your life and what it all means and you just say "NOPE I’m not doing this.. here.. have an impostor instead. Thank you!"

What a beautiful art piece in and of itself.  I think it speaks to the artificiality of interviews and the wall that is created between the interview taking place and the audience intent on learning more about their favorite celebrity.  During an interview, we, as the audience, are trusting that the interviewee is being honest and trustworthy about what’s taking place in front of the cameras and microphones, but we have no idea.  We have no idea who’s coaching them, who’s feeding them the answers from the void, but Maurizio is letting you in on the sham.  He’s telling you exactly what’s going on.  And he’s being honest about it.  Isn’t he great?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vivian Maier | De-mystifying the Photog

On Thursday, May 1st, we were fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Pamela Bannos concerning the found photos of Vivian Maier, French/American photographer and live-in nanny.  Bannos describes her not as a nanny photographer, but a photographer who happened to be a nanny.

Vivian Maier in her signature selfie style.
The mystery and herstory surrounding her photographs is one of intrigue, fascination, and excitement, much like those mystery shows one watches late at night when flipping through channels. Throughout the lecture,  I couldn't help but wonder if Bannos was going to pull a "Punk'd" and tell us that she was actually Vivian Maier in the flesh.

What struck me most from Bannos' lecture was how influential social media was in Maier's rise to posthumous fame.  Through the internet and her crazy mad researching skills, she was able to amass a vast amount of knowledge that aided her in piecing together not only Vivian Maier's history.  She was even able to study Maier's photographic thought process with Google Maps by tracking her movement while taking photos in the streets of NYC.  As a said, Bannos has some maaaaad researching skills, albeit she seems a tad bit obsessed.

Overall, Bannos' lecture was a refreshing change of pace from the normal lectures that we attend.  Thank you Pamela Bannos!