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Controtendenza

Studio Logs

JP Delaney
Controtendenza

Fa parte di una serie di lavori sul tema di "crollare".
La cosa che m'interesse di questo è che nonostante la mia idea di costruire
un'opera alto ma debole e di lasciarlo crollare piano piano per vedere il
risultato, questo invece mi sembrava di voler mettersi ancora più in alto e
invece di crollare di reggersi addirittura bene in piedi, alla fine mi fa anche
le corna! (non esiste nei disegni iniziali!).
Comunque, mi è piaciuto il suo spirito di resistenza contro la mia
tendenza di lasciare capitolare le cose. Il fatto che ha la forza di cambiare
le cose (cioè cambiare le mie intenzioni) lo vedo come uno stimulo per andare
avanti - bisogna resistere e le cose possono essere cambiate.

Here's what I meant to say - in english:

This one is part of a series of work based on the theme of "collapse". An interesting aspect for me is despite the work being conceived as tall but weak in construction, with the intention of allowing it eventually slowly cave in upon itself to observe the result, instead it seems to want to resist and stand proudly tall and erect on it's own two feet, so to speak. It's even modified the original drawings to produce the sign of the "le corna" - which is quite a derogatory sign here in Italy (look it up). However, I liked it's spirit of resistance despite my own tendency to resignedly allow events overcome any sense of determined enterprise. The apparant fact that it wanted to change my projection of it's role stimulated me (in as far as an inanimate object can do so), and tells me that one must resist, that it's possible to change the course of events.


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Studio Logs

2006-01-20

2006-01-20

A couple of preliminary sketches just to get an idea of what I needed to do.

In retrospect, I had thought it would eventually collapse neatly upon itself whereas over time it actually began to buckle at a couple of weak points lower down in the structure, and crashed over awkwardly and with great theatrical effect I imagine (I wasn't there at the time).

The other image shows the beginning of the wire structure. I hadn't expected it to end up as tall and robust as it did. It's an interesting aspect of putting all those flat bits together to occupy three dimensions - it's often surprisingly different than I had imagined.

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2006-02-01

It's moving on up. I had thought about stopping it at this stage and just work on it as it was, all dishevelled and confused on a zig-zag base. However it would have been too cute and easy to simply do that just because of effect. I think I've mentioned somewhere before of a need to pull the work down to the depths, that it has to go all the way, and come out the other side if there's any hope of it becoming anything of significance. Any artist will understand what I'm referring to here.
Maybe one day I'll revisit it and build another piece like it and stop it at this stage just to see what would emerge.

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2006-02-18

2006-02-18

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2006-02-18

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2006-03-11

2006-03-11

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2006-05-24

2006-05-24

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2007-01-07

2007-01-07

These photos I took in the autumn (there aren't any more leaves there now).

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2007-01-18

2007-01-18

Back into the studio with this one, and the initial "mapping" phase begins. This is just a very erratic application of paint though it's more the beginning of a physical rapport with the object.

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2008-01-22

2008-01-22

The studio log feature on the site seems to have gotten lost along the way (a whole year has passed since I last posted an image of this project)... I'll try work on mine, and maybe someone else will be interested to start and continue theirs. I'm putting the latest "slog" entry on the homepage to prevent them from being buried and lost back in the dark corridors of the website.
Anyway, back to this work. It unnerves me to say this has been going on for two years now, and there's no end in sight. It was a piece I'd planned to allow collapse in it's making but early on seemed instead to want to stand up straight. Over time though, it's gotten top-heavy and slowly began it's descent until finally tipping over a short time ago. I was saddened in the sense that this one seemed to buck the trend (hence the title "controtendenza" or countertrend) but in the end succumbed to the inevitable. This, allied to Hillel pulling my leg that I make works that either end on the rubbish heap or collapse or both made me decide to build a second piece as a support to keep him upright - at least for the time being.
I've posted two recent images of the basic structure, and the first base layer. You'll notice it's not precision engineering.

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2008-02-04

Here I am from an earlier photo striking an heroic pose beside the thing. It had finally collapsed, and couldn't stand by itself anymore (in this photo it's held upright by leaning against the wall). I'm heading the same way, I suppose.

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2008-04-19

2008-04-19

The support gets a layer of jute, and begins to feel something a little more substantial.
Next comes the gesso. One more coat, and it'll be ready for painting finally.

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2008-12-05

2008-12-05

Lately I've been making drawings on flattened beer boxes, but there are 24 cans of beer in each box. What to do with those cans? I decided I'd flatten them out too, and use them to build an armour coating for the support piece. After all, this will end up dumped outside somewhere as there's no space to store it, so at least it'll have some protection from the weather.
The only issue I have is I'm obliged to empty each and every one of those cans... that's such a difficult task - to drink and get drunk for art.
As a result, I then end up sending anonymous abusive emails to Kagan, so I expect that may be one of the reasons he's been so quiet of late.

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2009-01-20

2009-01-20

It's taking simply ages to cut up those beer cans and screw them into the support piece. In the background is the original standalone work that unfortunately isn't able to stand up alone anymore (it's leaning against the shelf in the photo). So now it becomes a two-piece work - the original that's now collapsing, and it's beercan-clad support. I'll probably do even a third element before it's all completed. When will it ever be done? I'm quite bored screwing in tin cans. It's a wholly manual process - I refuse somehow to use an electric tool - this has to be manual, slow, and tedious (don't ask me why, but I regularly put myself in this kind of exasperated situation). Anyway, I'm not so impressed with how it's turning out so far. I'm updating this 'SLOG' just to see if it encourages me to try complete in the next day at least that bottom section in front. The two sides not in view in the photo are still to do.
The big news of today will be Obama's inaugural speech - I wonder if he'll declare the US as a new Kenyan colony? Just kidding of course. Seems half the world is waiting with bated breath for a message of change and a sign of true leadership.

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2009-08-26

2009-08-26

It's been painfully slow in completing... but I've finally finished the support section by drinking all that beer, then creating a coating of aluminium by screwing the opened-out empty cans to the piece.
Man, what a waste of time, and what a useless task.

At least now I can store it outside (if the neighbours don't complain) and it won't get destroyed in the rains, I hope.

And I can begin to think about working on the third section to this monument of worthless dead-end (in)activity.

As an aside, one of the few advantages of my dishwashing job is I can buy cheap cartons of beer. The only problem is there's no choice available - you take whichever brand is in stock at that time. While I would be courageously emptying the contents down my throat, then cutting up the cans, I would regularly read the words "Probably the best beer in the world" written on the can of a particularly uninspiring brand. For some reason this would piss me off every time and I'd say "f*ck off!" disdainfully and drunkenly to the piece of metal in my hand. I'm thinking now of renaming this piece to "Probably the best artwork in the world" in order to give you all the opportunity to cry "f*ck off!" with equal satisfaction.

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2010-05-04

Not much to say about this. I've begun the last piece of this thing that's turned out to be a sort of tryptich. Again, it's taking me ages to do (according to this log, I began over 4 years ago) so I'm hoping by posting now I might want to speed up a bit with how it progresses. I'm thinking of leaving it just a bare skeleton with the rusted wires holding the wire netting together, or hanging leftover parts of the beer cans on it. In a way I'm avoiding bringing it to a finish as it's so big, I won't know where to put it when it's done.

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2010-06-06

2010-06-06

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2010-06-06

2010-06-06

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2010-06-06

For some reason the underwater setting on my camera seems to render most faithfully what it's like to work in this windowless garage.

Here I've sat the work up on a pallet on wheels so I can see what it's like from different angles, as there's no space to walk around it to get an understanding of it's 3-dimensional presence.

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Studio Logs