Tiffin and sighle (notes)

From Fine Art Wiki

What is the situation that a visitor is encountered with when coming to this exhibition?

SBC: In this show the visitor will directly become part of the work. Visitors will be invited into two rooms. One of the rooms is set up like a dining room and is titled “Dinner Date” and the other is set up as a doctors office and titled “Examination”. Within these two rooms there will be different actors in costumes that will act as facilitators for the visitors to perform within the work. In the work “Dinner Date” the participant will be seated at a table in front of a monitor - as directed by the facilitator. The monitor, which is hooked up to a CCTV camera is focused directly at their face and records the viewer as they eat a meal, while watching themselves eat the meal. In “Examination” the participant will enter a room that is set up as an examination room and proceed to be asked various questions by the facilitator who is dressed as a doctor. The questions are psychological and are related to the ideas of morality, shame and disgust. These works are quite experiential.''

How does this differ from a regular visit to the doctor?

SBC: The installation does look quite similar to a doctors office. Carpeted floor and florescent lighting. On the walls of the office there are six framed drawings which resemble ink blots tests that might be found in a psychiatrists office. These drawings have been enhanced by drawing on top of to create more obviously vaginal forms. The male doctor is dressed in drag - skirt, tights, red lipstick and a doctors coat. The facilitator and participant are also being filmed the whole time - so this is much different experience from a real doctors office experience. It is not private. The questions asked range from moral to political and sexual. The participant is only given the option to answer “yes” or “no” and in this sense they are forced to take a stance one way or the other.

People often eat in front of a television - or screen. How is “ Dinner Date “ set up?

SBC: When the participant enters the “Dinner Date” space they are met by the facilitator who functions as a waitress in this scenario. The participant is instructed to put on a body suit - the same suit worn by the facilitator. The participant is sat at a metal table set up with disposable cutlery and a lit candle, napkin and wine. This works as a scenario of a romantic dinner date mixed with a prison like aesthetic. While the participant eats, they are also exposed to the audience in the space that is watching them eat their meal. What happens is that the participant is trapped into a space of watching themselves while they are being watched - while they eat.

What are your motivations for making these works?

SBC: I’m interested in how behavior can be manipulated by a physical environment or social context. There are written social rules that go hand in hand with any given environment - we act certain ways in certain situations. At first the audience might feel comfortable because the set up environment is familiar, so they enter that way of behavior. The work can at first seem more playful and enjoyable but then it has more cynical and sinister undertones once the participant is actually in it. I am interested in how people behave once they know they are being watched and listened to. I wonder how the behavior of people will change from what they actually might say in these familiar situations after these situations have been modified with a layer of external monitoring or surveillance.

How do these works function together?

SBC: They are both familiar settings. What I want is for the participant and viewers to reconsider how they would act normally in those situations. Because this is placed in an art context the subjects are forced to think about it more and act as analysts of their own behavior. Both works have a sexualized component as well. The date has a sort of romantic leading up to a sexual act component and then in the doctors office they are being set up to be examined or questioned about private thoughts they would have had or actions that they have done. Both situations would normally be more private but are now being put on display.

place edited version here

A Fictional Exhibition by Tiffin MallaryItalic text

SBC: In this exhibition you are showing a large scale painting and a work of drawings (6 x 6), can you describe them?

TM: 6 x 6 is a series of 36 ink portraits, each is 8 inches wide and 14 inches tall. They are displayed in a grid formation, the grid itself takes on the dimensions of a portrait. They are drawn from memory or imagination, each is cartoonlike, with a painterly handling of ink. Each has a word or name such as Jimmy or Florence, or an adjective, noun or date.

The painting is a large scale made with oil. It is 15 ft wide and 6ft high and is unstrechted and tacked to the wall. It contains ribbon motifs, framing, and positioning of abstract forms. The palette ranges from dark and muddy to unmixed, saturated and light. It is layered with a perceivable back, middle and fore ground, whilst remaining abstract.

SBC: Where does your inspiration for this type of painting come from?

TM: I’ve been looking at and reading about romanticism and surrealism. I’m currently reading the surrealist manifesto. The works of Delacroix, Casper David Frederick have been a real influence. The painting contains the movement from dark to light found in romantic paintings. I’ve also been reading William Blake and thinking about the French Revoloution in relation to mans power, nature and liberalisim. This inspired the Zeus like motif in the corner, the multiple ribbons and the almost landscape backdrop which features in the painting.

SBC: How do you go about creating works like these?

TM: First I hem the canvas, then I tuck and mount it. I then add a wash as a base. I never have a pre-planned palette and only mix one colour at a time. I did know I wanted a dark to light effect with a strong directional pull. My method is one step at a time. I spend a lot of time staring at and being quiet with the work to understanding what is happening and how I should edit it.

SBC: How long does it normally take you to make a painting?

TM: I usually spend around a month or a month and a half on a large painting. Then I move on to the next painting when I feel it is finished.

SBC: If there is an intent for the viewer what might that be?

TM: With the ink portraits I have provided characters, which the viewer can arrange themselves to find narrative. The grid format denotes interaction. These portraits have several characteristics which the viewer may interperate based on their own social experiences, and connect them internally.

With the painting I have organised movement, the viewers eye moves with the ribbon around the painting, and can negate it by several routes, made simultaneously by the changing tones and colours and the abstract forms.