Thursday, December 3, 2009

Assignment #9: Through the Looking Glass

Because our latest featured artist, Susan Silton, is also among the group of artists in our most recently featured exhibition, "I Feel Different" at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, we at I Make Picture thought we'd kill two birds with one stone to create an assignment that relates to both trademarks of Susan's work as well as the broad theme of the LACE show.

As you likely read in the earlier post, "I Feel Different" centers on the concept of feeling removed from society in some way. Appropriately, included artist Silton creates work focused on overwhelming concerns of modern society and frequently does so by playing with the public's perception. Merging the ideas of isolation and perception, Susan and I decided on a fitting assignment.

Assignment #9: Through the Looking Glass

Focusing on a personal trait (internal or external, physical or emotional) that makes you feel "different," create a unique self-portrait using any medium.

Since she has done a similar self-portrait project using digital manipulation (all circa 1995), Susan lent us these images as an example of an answer to this assignment.

I, too, tried my hand at the assignment. Using this amazing self-timer with my Polaroid SX-70 camera, I aimed to focus on physical characteristics that have caused me much insecurity and feelings of isolation, particularly by other women. My body (specifically its more childlike than womanly nature) has won equal negative attention and curiosity and has at times been a source of guilt and anger. Only recently have I come to accept the things I once viewed as flaws, but these images were taken to capture a voyeristic view of the image I have projected to others before this time of acceptance.

As always, you all are encouraged to try this assignment with individual interpretation. That is, you can't do it "wrong." The goal of I Make Picture is to provide a loose framework or guideline within which you can explore themes you might not otherwise have considered. Use video, use crayons, draw on a napkin, take a picture, it really doesn't matter. The important thing is to offer others inspiration and new ideas. I can't wait to see you all make picture. :)