Year: Fall 2015
Place: University of Pennsylvania
Critic: Kutan Ayata
Project Partner: Grace Kim
The realism of the objects as things in the world is further explored through a project in rendering and photocomposition. Each of the Donkey & Feather objects are inserted into different 17th Century Dutch Still Lifepaintings. These explorations are efforts to explore the aesthetics of realism for the objects in a different context. Still life paintings are incredible efforts to develop the techniques of painting in the description of reality. They are also fantastic examples of estrangement in realism. The everyday, the overlooked objects of our world enter into relations with each other that resists the narrative interpretations of poetic panting, and even further resists the intrusion of the human into the representation. These are the relations between objects themselves, aesthetic relations of color, texture, materiality, luminosity, and reflectivity. Rarely are the objects in a still life left alone. They are broken, tipped, peeled, overturned, and cut to reveal all the strangeness that exists in the everyday world. The new objects become subtle intrusions into this realism. They seek to blend in, but not to hide. They are adjusted through rendering and photo-compositing to address issues of color, light, texture and reflection. They are reflected into objects in the scene as they also take on associations within themselves of the existing context. When the realism is successful they new objects are accepted as part of the original scene, as if the painting took 350 years to complete. The strangest qualities emerge when it is not the new objects that look weird, but the context that existed previously. The estrangement of context is a crucial aspect of realism, where a shift allows one to see the familiar in new terms. This defamiliarization is an aesthetic experience tied to the Parafictional artwork.