Artist Statement Draft #3:

Madeleine Black is younger than the number of her sexual partners would suggest.

She is presently a student in, ‘How to change the World with Beauty and Non Violent Protests of the Heart’, at Concordia University in Montreal.

She drove a boat for the first time yesterday and isn’t afraid of the dark.

Notes: taken in my first year of Art School

I never write down anything like dates or whatever because I’m too easily bored by stuff like that and the profs usually post all of the power points online for us anyways. (For this reason, I also haven’t included any quotes or ideas brought up about/by any specific artists because I’m more interested in the unscripted comments in the everyday.) Most of my notes from school are just long lists of artists, projects, and techniques that I should research, mixed in with quotes from profs and little snippets or ideas talked about that I think are interesting/important, here are my favorites from notebook #1:

(AKA you can know everything I’ve learned. Like, basically)

– Prof on University: “practice play and hang out with kindred spirits.”
– “It’s best to wait as long as possible before making money from your art because it’s kind of awful.” – prof
– Ultra Marine Blue. Vandyke Brown. Hint of Cadmium Red. (makes Black) (watercolor)
– pure pigment vibrating.
– “I couldn’t help it, the colors made me sick.” – puked on paintings
– “I don’t really care about grades, I just wanna teach you skillz.” – prof
– The death of painting. – rumors
– “Painting is often dead from time to time.” – prof
– “If anyone ever tells you that painting is dead, and you’re dead set on being a painter, just ignore them cause painting will be stop being dead about 3 years after that.” – prof
– “I’m not a poet, I’m just drunk.” “That’s the same thing.” – overheard
– “Art forces us to live within a grey zone.” – prof
– Move away from abstraction and recognize the importance of specificity.
– “We’re kind of at this moment where ‘Queerness’ is a sensibility.”
– Dye lace with beets and blood.
– Try on skin before.
– “The identification of the body as a place to define us.” – prof
– “There’s no gender on the internet.” – unknown
– “The face is a point of contact with infinity.” – who said this? -> defined ‘the other’ -> the objectification.
– The rhythms of childhood.
– Relationship between social structure and the experience of being a person.
– Everyday choreography.
– Thinking about the body as a floating signifier.
– Hybrid Body -> a body that stages trauma through inscription.
– Mutable, malleable, performative -> explodes
– Looks at depression as an esthetic quality/sensibility.
– “Tropes of Darkness.” – can’t remember who/what/where
– “How is this esthetic excess framed?” – prof
– Lyrical film making.
– Coming to terms with mental illness and living with it in the home.
– Critically unpack the stereotype.
– “It’s an argument that you have a true identity.” – prof
– *The subject, you the person, is just an invention.*
– Feel like I’m getting a degree in how to be a revolutionary.
– “Male and Female is breaking down before our eyes.” – prof
– Come back to penetration during this.
– “Our glorious leader, who will lead us to heaven or whatever.” – prof
– Connection between ‘Plato’ and platonic relationships?
– “When you see color, you’re experiencing the atoms on your body.” – unknown
– “The revolution here is not the work of art, you become the work of art.” – unknown
– Performativity -> not performing -> we are it.
– Be critical -> of femininity.
– ‘Normally’ <- why you want this kind of normal?
– *Marriage set up as a structural false sense of choice -> Conform or Die.
– “Society as we know it is detrimental to our well being, so we would be better to dismantle it.” – unknown
– “He caused a complete scandal, and today we say, ah well, that’s what artists do.” – prof
– “We don’t learn anything, we just do it.” – prof
– “In this kind of work, boredom is perfect.” – unknown
– “Art History has a hold on how we see things -> they have institutional control.” – prof(s)
– Why do pigs have penises shaped like corkscrews?
– Maybe any, maybe not?
– To be ‘crazy enough’.
– When silent, people don’t perceive you as human.
– “There are more winters in the world than the other seasons, because there are more dark people.” – unknown
– Being a perfectionist about your personality.
– Self consciousness starts to perform itself.
– Esthetic in a critical way -> you make who you are, identity is not natural -> this is the nature of creativity.
– Having, ‘Pretty Guilt’.
– “She always exhibits herself, never anyone else.” – prof,
– “She wanted to touch on the things that men wouldn’t be bothered with…” – prof
– *Put her hot dog vid in my sketchbook.
– “In the absence of clearly defined goals we become enslaved by the day to day.” – prof
– “Love is that condition where another persons happiness is essential to your own.” – unknown
– “In any kind of erotic attraction your expectations aren’t realistic.” – prof
– Hair shadows, over pages of books, your face, peoples faces, walls.
– “It’s all Madonna’s fault, all of it.” – prof
– “There’s always going to be someone who pushes it over the edge, and that person should be you.” – prof

FLOWER POWER – part one

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on 3 films for 3 different studio classes, for one of them I’ve been filming myself getting ready, from fresh outa the shower to made up in full makeup. My intention for the project (after I’ve edited it all together) is to install it to look like a bathroom mirror itself in the gallery, as a commentary on beauty conventions, makeup rituals and the ways in which women inhabit this way of being.

To work on these projects I’ve been borrowing a Cannon (+ tripod & fancy time lapse programs) from school, and ooohhhhmygod it’s so much fun! I’d set up a floral theme for the ‘mirror’ video to farther emphasize the feminine quality of the project, and it ended up being a super cool effect in so many other ways too. Here are some of photos I’ve taken in between filming, while just playing around. (most are long exposures, fancy!)

______________________ ______________________ _____________________ ____________________________________________ ______________________

Yonic Lipstick Smudges

One night while watching TV alone in bed in the dark, I decided to record all of the lipsticks I own in my ‘Visual Resource Book’ – a yearlong project for my drawing class that is essentially to just collect imagery/art/anything/everything that we like (this is where all of my rotted leaves live). Because myself and my bed are generally a mess/as much of my life piled on top of itself as possible, I had a whole bunch of old essays scattered around beside me (as well as snacks, paints, books, ect). So when I was swapping between lipsticks, instead of like getting up and washing it off or something that would take that extreme level of effort, I just smeared them all over these essay papers that needed recycling anyways.

Since it was dark and I had no real intention for the smears, I wasn’t paying attention and also didn’t really even see them until the next day, but when I did I was like woah these are actually really interesting. So I cut them all out individually and played around with categorizing them, and then I realized that a lot of them look a lot like vaginas!

Yay yonic imagery! I’ve accidentally/subconsciously ended up with yonic references in my artwork before, and I think it’s really so beautiful. Phallic symbols/imagery/references are pretty much everywhere, (notice the accidental one in this photo? hint: glue) but I find myself constantly drawn to the yonic-like: flowers, kiss-lips, oysters, priests, ha, google it! so yonic!

Latest Hobby:

Watching and reading interviews of artists, performers, writers & film makers that I admire.

Mostly so far they’ve been all of George R. R. Martin (the author of the Game of Thrones book series), the Mad Men cast and writer Matthew Weiner, and Lena Dunham (best known as the everything girl for/in GIRLS, HBO).

This was sort of inspired by a comment made by my drawing class profs during a portfolio review in December, which is that I should read about/watch the way that other artists talk about their own work (in that context I think they meant specifically the use of vocabulary choices by female performance artists), saying that I “…don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”

This I guess might seem like an obvious concept, and I have of course done some of this in the past, but not much, or perhaps not as much as I need to in the future. I do feel that my artwork and the concepts I’ve explored within it have often come from a very instinctual place, without paying much attention to what has/hasn’t been done before, or if anyone would care. I haven’t even paid much attention to consciously deciding “what kind of artist I wanted to be”, or what sorts of topics I wanted to focus on. Instead I feel that  those things have sort of occurred to me “naturally” (I’m anti the word “natural” right now due to large university type analytical discussions about like, society, evolution and alien robot cyborgs, but the word still feels appropriate) — and over time, by way of noticing the patterns in what I keep coming back to, what I’m most fascinated, elated and enraged by.

“Not having to reinvent the wheel” admittedly kind of saddens me in a self indulgent way, but! but! I want people to care about my raw instincts, I want to feel like those feelings are valuable. Except that then I realized why it’s also sort of a huge breakthrough ‘DUH’ moment, it means that I can build my ideas to be so much bigger than they would be if I stayed off the internet alone in my bedroom and did nothing but write. It means that I have friends I have never met, women who died long before I was born but feel kindred to me. People who, without them, the words I use to express my feelings may not even exist at all. And this is so cool! And this makes art, as a whole feel like such a collective effort to me, if we build and expand on what’s already been explored than we’re capable of pushing so may more boundaries than we would be otherwise. DUH

(this is why I’m in art school)

Also more generally, to gain an adept vocabulary knowledge, and because I find it plain old inspiring and encouraging. These are people who have succeeded in fields/areas that I aspire to, and who create incredibly intelligent work, I want to know as much about their thought processes as possible!

some jems I’ve encountered: this interview between Lena Dunham and Miranda July aka lady writer gold, it’s really long and they cover so much, I’m even tempted to read it again but I might get lost for hours.

Also, “The only thing worth writing about is the human heart and it’s conflict with the self.” – George R.R. Martin – which makes me go teary

I have also read a lot of TV show reviews lately, often excellent, and often by people who either just sound really bitter or kind of scary, which is especially interesting to see the contrasting perspectives of artists vs. people who talk about art.

So just to end on a terrifying note with this quote:

—In the bad old days, men had to court and marry a woman to get sex. He had to love her. Now, thanks to feminism, women give their bodies first and hope someone eventually will love them afterward. Feminists call this “empowerment.” —

from this terrifying article about GIRLS.

***ohhhh how silly of my to be a feminist, DUH.

Lately – All that Glitters is Everwhere

My favorite shop on Saint Laurent.________________________________________________My walk to school. Taken downtown, beside the McGill campus._______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Taken in an alley way right before I took this._____________________Super cute sculptures in progress by a friend in my drawing class.
_____________________________________________I put rhinestone diamonds on every part of my arm where I have psoriasis as research for a self portrait using these on a 2D painting of myself for a sculpture project in drawing class. __________________________________________