Monday, July 20, 2009

Thinking Aloud – And Big

Apart from taking an hour out yesterday to respond to Hugh Macleod's questions, I've done little else except sit at my desk and draw. I've been laboring over the details of a study drawing for another Dangerous Career Babe. I want to have it finished by tomorrow morning so that the line-work can be completed on the gessoed timber frame now waiting in the studio and the main areas of colour applied.
This is the very last of the commissioned Babes. Another nine are for my own inventory and although I might eventually display them on my website, none will be exhibited or offered for sale – at least not any time soon.
As mentioned elsewhere, the 24 enamel on board paintings were originally conceived as one work to be experienced as an installation in a large-scale interior space. I worked out today that, when finished, the group will cover around 21,000 square feet of wall space. However, with individual paintings now distributed around the world, that's unlikely to happen.
Instead, I am exploring the possibility of creating enormous one-off billboard versions of each and displaying them in different locations around a major city – Los Angeles would be perfect, as would Tokyo. Can you imagine the subversive effect of The Terrorist (above), at night, bathed in halogen, right above Sunset Plaza or the intersection outside Shibuya station?
Of course, in order to pull off something so extravagant, I need money. Lots of it. A couple of multinational corporations have expressed their curiosity about the idea but I might try to fund it privately so I'm not be beholden to some brand or product strategy. I'm nothing if not stubbornly ambitious.

14 comments:

Kate said...

wow.....sounds wonderful!
their impact would be incredible

fstopr said...

Re: Can you imagine the subversive effect of The Terrorist (above), at night, bathed in halogen, right above Sunset Plaza or the intersection outside Shibuya station?

Actually, I'm struggling to imagine where the subversiveness would come in.

Stubborn ambition is undeniably laudable but what real degree of shock value are you aiming for and how do you think that particular image might be read?

It's interesting to see how the romance of revolution and violence as enhanced and mediated by popular imagery far outweighs the harsh reality of their occurence.

A penny for your thoughts my dear?

Janet B. said...

Just an observation: Why would you reply to some middle-aged ponce you don't know (presumably) who patronises by calling you "my dear"?

gallorob said...

If you were to accept corporate funding for such larger scale works, the 'shock value' which you seem to be aiming for, would be diminished. As a person who has only worked inside big corporations, I would view your work differently if the increase in your profile was associated with a corporate campaign.

You can however, attract larger scale funding for single issues (eg like AthiestBus campaign did) without compromising the integrity of your work.

Good luck.

robgallo dot org

b/rood said...

gallorob: Where do you think funds for the large-scale public installations of artists such as Koons, Hirst, Gormley et al comes from? And have you looked at the major sponsor lists for significant shows of contemporary art at museums all over the world?

Anyway, Hazel makes it clear that she is looking at a different route.

btw, doesn't anyone understand the difference between subversive and shocking? No mention of 'shock value' in what Hazel wrote.

fstopr said...

Interesting comments and debate!

Age is no excuse or justification for naivety concerning the real world impact and effect of symbolism associated with terrorism or violence.

Does anyone recall the response when actress Cameron Diaz was photographed carrying a bag emblazoned with a Maoist red star in Peru, home to the Shining Path groups who routinely and murderously terrorise the innocent local population in pursuit of their ideological goals?

Use of specific symbolism within imagery in one context does not necessarily cleanly transfer to another.

A clean, pristine white gallery, corporate boardroom or private residence is one thing, a truly public display is another thing altogether.

So, a tanned topless, headscarf camo-clad dropping the pin and grenade on viewer and public alike ... where would be the subversiveness if this image were to appear bathed in halogen above Sunset Plaza or outside Shibuya station?

Art-terrorism? A contradiction in terms.

Hence my original comment and use of an idiom that has nothing to do with age or 'ponce' status.

A penny for yor thoughts my dears?

;-)

b/rood said...

fstopr: The very fact that it bothers you, that you are questioning (questioning what were, after all just a few words in an otherwise innocuous entry), rather argues for Dooney's case. But I suspect the axe you have to grind has nothing to do with this.

fstopr said...

Hmm, 'an axe to grind'?

Lets look at Hazel's orignial comment on her blog:

"As mentioned elsewhere, the 24 enamel on board paintings were originally conceived as one work to be experienced as an installation in a large-scale interior space. I worked out today that, when finished, the group will cover around 21,000 square feet of wall space. However, with individual paintings now distributed around the world, that's unlikely to happen.

Instead, I am exploring the possibility of creating enormous one-off billboard versions of each and displaying them in different locations around a major city – Los Angeles would be perfect, as would Tokyo. Can you imagine the subversive effect of The Terrorist (above), at night, bathed in halogen, right above Sunset Plaza or the intersection outside Shibuya station?

Of course, in order to pull off something so extravagant, I need money. Lots of it. A couple of multinational corporations have expressed their curiosity about the idea but I might try to fund it privately so I'm not be beholden to some brand or product strategy. I'm nothing if not stubbornly ambitious."

I am genuinely interested in Hazel's imagery and projects, hence my initial comment/question.

Hazels' bio includes the follwing:
'Since 2006, Hazel Dooney has emerged as one of the Asia-Pacific region's most controversial young female artists. According to the Australian Financial Review, she "walks the razor's edge between respect and celebrity in today's artworld" (September, 2006).'

I'm interested in the processes and outcomes that enable both respect and celebrity for an artist. My questions regarding symbolism and possible places of display for Hazel's works arerelated to that interest.

I see no vitriolic attack in my posts so far, merely questions re content and context. We all have our own barrows to push but I have no axe to grind. Do you b/rood?

Perhaps Hazel might care to comment on her own work?

;-)

Hazel Dooney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Perhaps relevant to this: "Why can't art simply shock? No one ever accuses a work of being beautiful just for the sake of it"

- The Guardian newspaper
http://tinyurl.com/nw69d6

Hazel Dooney said...

I think I have commented on my own work quite enough in the close to 600 entries on this blog. If you've taken the trouble to read them all and still aren't satisfied then nothing I can add briefly here is going to help.

In any case, I've made it a policy not to intervene too much in the 'comments'. I make the art, I write the blog. You want to make more of either, that's up to you, not me.

capturedcastle said...

I would love to see one of your Dangerous Babes as tall as a building in LA. I think it's completely fitting to what you are trying to convey, especially in LA...and besides, it's exciting!

evildoer said...

I find this image disturbing, which in my book makes it good, but....

On the one hand, it cuts through our popular culture by mixing the positive sexy imagery of female assertive youth with the what is now a feverish object of demonization, violent resistance (which I consider a right of indigenous people as per UN General Assembly 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples).

On the other hand, the nudity and commercial chick of the image would offend many of these societies who are still fighting against colonial oppression, as well as the fact that the image appropriates and intentionally or not defines their struggle in a way that many of them would disapprove.

Hence, if I saw the image on an LA billboard I would be hard pressed to decide whether what I see is a successful subversion or successful co-optation.

If the effort to put it there becomes a major confrontation, I would be pleased, but if you just hang it there, pay the bill and get a mention in the arts section, I would probably conclude that co-optation is more like what happened.

Live dangerously! I posted this image on my (multi)blog.

Anonymous said...

A positive portrayal of a 'terrorist' in a contemporary poltical environment where they provide the excuse for, and rationalisation of massive state violence - witness the various wars on 'terror' conducted in Israel, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan - carries a major subversive charge but the impact is mitigated by the pornographic and comic-book aspects which transform this oppressed (presumably)Palestinian women into a Americanised babe.