My show at Edo was fantastic. After 6 months of hard work and 3 nights of installing(one for 15 hrs straight) the show was finally complete. The opening was amazing and I got to see so many of my wonderful friends throughout the night, I was extremely happy and felt very lucky :)
Along with pictures of the opening, I thought I would also post some pictures of my process from the last six months. I put a lot of thought into the concept for this show, most of which came to me in my dreams (where I usually get my best ideas), and titled the show "Joanna the Imaginary Friend". Over the last year I was thinking about children all over the world being taught the same facts consistently in subjects like math, science, history, etc. and how we are conditioned to accept the same facts without question. Even when we think we are being objective and inquisitive in our modern day to day lives, could we also be questioning things that really are not meant to be questioned? Such as science? I had a lot of fun zooming even farther out and questioning things like...why does Jupiter have to be called Jupiter? Oh yes, because the Romans named it after a god, right? Well, how about I rename all the planets? So that's what I did as you'll see below. Or maybe, how are candles made? My friend Valicia told me when she was young she thought they were made out of ear wax....so I turned that into a painting, or three. I thought more about radical questioning and a person's ability to be creative (or in many cases uncreative), and decided that there is a piece of us that is able to question what is "set in stone" and it's like a muscle a lot of people don't exercise enough. I decided in my world I would refer to this creative force as the imaginary friend. After all, that IS what imaginary friends do don't they? They tell you things no one else will tell you and the grown ups always seem to disagree with the things they say and tell you to do. Pretty soon after this I realized I needed a name for my friend, and then one night I dreamt the name "Joanna", so that's it, I guess she's my imaginary friend and I guess she was finally able to reveal herself. I decided I was bored with this "reality" and Joanna believes in having a capacity for wonder (and sometimes magic)...so I'm gonna start hanging out and talking to her a lot more.
In the show you can see on the main wall that I created so that Joanna is in the space at all times. Infact, she in many ways became the space yet also somehow remains somewhat invisible. I also made all kinds of imaginary friend arms and hands, big enough to touch, feel, and play with reality as much as they want (they also make nice pillows).
The solar system I created in the front of the space is a solar system the way Joanna wants to think of it...where pluto is still a planet, the sun is a relative size to everything else, and instead of planets there are "sky rocks" because...that's just how things are in Joanna's world. I also based the sky rocks off of a "condition" I had as a child (and still, today) which I now know to be called Synesthesia. One form of this, among many that I've experienced since I was very young, is Ordinal Linguistic Personification, I naturally and automatically assign personalities to numbers and have been doing so since I can remember. To me, "6" is a conservative woman in her 30's or 40's while "9" is an older, taller, wiser, attractive but smug man, and the list goes on and on. I have also done this with months, letters, and various inanimate objects throughout my life. Inspired by this, I renamed the "solar system" and gave all of the sky rocks new names and personalities.
The whole show is also packed with glitter....because nothing truly personifies magic quite the way that glitter can.
OK, now that I've bared my soul a bit and written more than I've ever written on this little blog, here are pictures of just about everything. Hope you enjoyed the show :)
First draft of Joanna
second draft of Joanna
draft of piece
First nose prototype:
My main man Steve @ Robert's Hardware cutting the base for the final model of the nose
me hangin out with the nose after hours
First night of installing
me and Sam 3am
A great example of the learning process, how we used to imagine the moon before ever walking on it...sometimes how we connect the dots to make sense of the unknown is so much more wondrous than reality.
"I think you're fun"
"A Perfectly Good Person Turned to Mush by a Messy Room"
Candle factory 1
Candle factory 2
Candle factory 3