Placescapes: STL to LGA
Placescapes: STL to LGA
The piece Placescape: STL to LGA was created in my final semester as a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis. It was exhibited at the Mildred Lane Kemper Contemporary Art Museum during the summer of 2009 and now is part of a private collection in New York City. The title uses airport codes from St. Louis and New York City to allude to the transient nature of the imagery, which is a merging of phtotos taken of my travels. Along with creating the piece I wrote a thirty-page thesis paper discussing the historical, theoretical and contemporary context of my work. This work is in important to me in that it was the starting point for my current body of work. I included my thesis abstract below for your viewing.
This thesis will argue that our notions of place are formed through the conflation of the imagined and the experienced. This conversation will concentrate on how moving between locations, especially the architecture of the urban landscape, can transform our relationship with the practice of everyday living.
Our reality cannot be broken down into a formula, it is multi-faceted and at its core it is relational. We are constantly imbuing that which surrounds us with meaning, whether it is our possessions, a cafe, city, or church. This meaning cannot be explained or known completely since it is partly based on emotion. Therefore, this thesis will discuss how our conception of place is about a relationship between two worlds; the imagined and the experienced, the ideal and the actual, what we know and what we don't, what is an abstraction and what is deeply felt. Through dwelling poetically we can perhaps begin to understand how these opposing entities merge and how they may transform our relationship to place. I will establish a conceptual framework for my thesis project by expanding upon these topics by discussing the writings of architectural historians such as Christian Norberg-Schulz and Alain De Botton, geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, author Wendell Berry, anthropologist Margaret Visser and the philosopher Edward Casey.
The act of moving between places is something that may help us to develop this connection. Through this movement we simultaneously experience the three divisions of time through the phenomena of imagination, memory and place. Through our imaginations we see what our future may hold, we rely on our memory to reference where we have come from and place holds us in the present moment. This will be explored in the following pages by discussing various modes of passing by architecture such as the walk, the Situationist derive, and the journey.
Another way one may modify their association with a particular location is through the act of creation, which could be described as an internal journey. This will be discussed as it relates to architecture, the history of Chinese painting, and the work of the contemporary artists Diana Cooper, Julie Mehretu and Franz Ackermann.
I will then show how this investigation supports my current body of work as an artist, which is inspired by the character of locations where I have lived or traveled to.
I will apply this discourse to a larger social context, by discussing the questions, "What role does the individual carry out in our communities?" and "Through the simple act of forming relationships with our neighbors and neighborhoods could we perhaps form a new local economy?"