Cem/project proposal

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Second Draft

I want to make an exhibition that questions the construction of identity, memory and collective memory, consisting of series of still images, moving images, and spatial images (3D, like a statue) where they can act together. I want to form pieces out of pieces, a photographic image created out of discarded film negatives, a video collage out of found footage, a sculptural image out of the waste objects that I collect, aiming to reconstruct a new memory out of the deconstructed pieces.

For the photographic collage I aim to work with discarded film negatives that I collect from different locations: photography studios/shops, the WDKA darkroom, flea markets, online mediums and so on. After a process of analyzing images and deconstructing them to its elements, I am going to do analog prints of selected photographs in the darkroom and create a new photographic image out of them.

For the moving image collage, I will be collecting videos from online mediums and archives, related to the political statements of ministers, religious leaders, and the public.

For the 3D collage image, I want to use my medical waste that I have been saving for the past months, and create death masks out of them, as the collection of these objects contain two meanings; in one sense the passage of time and another sense my identity defined by my waste.

The relevance of the project to the previous year would be the darkroom printing process, which has a direct relation to the indexical attributes of the photographic image: using the film negative (an indexical object in terms of the light leaving a trace on the light sensitive material, offspring of optics and chemistry) to create a printed image (actually the repetition of the previous step with different material; subject becomes the film negative and the film negative becomes the light-sensitive paper) with my interventions between these two steps that takes place through the transfer of the photographic image to a new surface which creates a third meaning, a new set of information, a new trace.

First Draft

What do you want to make?

I want to make a series of work consisting of still images, moving images, and spatial images (3D, like a statue) as an installation where they act together in a coherent way, or one work that feeds off of the other mediums, in that case an example would be to create a video piece that uses the documentation of the 3D structures and still images that I have created. I want to form a piece out of pieces, this rather be an image created out of photographic images, or the medical waste that I collect. The final work or works are planned to carry traces of me, resulting in an alternative way of self-portraiture.

How do you plan to make it?

I want to create a collage image composed of:

1) Film negatives

2) Waste

3) Synthesis of these two can result as: film negatives that are wasted

I acquired a handful of negatives from a photography studio that I visited back in Istanbul. Collecting negatives that people left behind -stuff they did not bother to pick up or maybe simply because they do not think about the physical presence of the image they have created- arises a quick thought on the ethics of the situation, but this a topic I am not going to visit right away. I am thinking of putting up a ‘recycle your negatives’ box in the darkroom of WDKA, for the desiring people to leave their images on a voluntary basis, which would also be good in the ethical sense as they would know what they are contributing to. What I aim to create would be collages, that can either be:

1) Designed on the miniscule scale, cutting up bringing together the negatives itself

2) Make prints out of them and create collages on a larger scale, probably more chance to experiment that way, at least at the beginning. The second one seems more suitable.

I also have the idea of creating art pieces that consist of smaller particles such as my medical waste to create a non traditional way of self portraiture as well.

What is your timetable?

1) Putting up a recycled negatives box in WDKA darkroom

2) Check what I have in my hand, maybe creating texts of descriptions of the images I possess.

3) Skipping part two and basically making prints (digital to make it lest costly perhaps?) of the images I have collected to look at them on a big scale and start deconstructing them to see the smaller parts they contain inside.

Why do you want to make it?

In general the theme of my method is reusing a neglected particle, be it a negative or a medical/everyday waste, the two things that intrigue me about this process:

1) The indexical traces they contain about the former usage / former user

2) The alteration of the meaning through creating a piece out of pieces

On one aspect, film negatives that are left behind by their creators are similar to the memories that are buried deep inside the consciousness. They exist but they are unreachable by the subject. The appropriation and manipulation of these memories/images that are processed by my interference create a new memory-image.

Who can help you and how?

1. Anyone who would be willing to give me negatives

2. Tutors from the masters especially about the topic of indexicality

3. All the other fellow students

4. Owners of the photography studios

Relation to previous practice The first one contains remnants of my work in the first year of the masters, what I have been doing with the film negatives, my manipulations in order to create a new kind of image with my impact. The darkroom printing process has a direct relation to the indexicality of the image: using the photographic image (the negative) as an indexical object to create another indexical object (the print) so what I achieve at the end is an index of an index when I basically print an image. My intervention that takes place through the transfer of the photographic image to a new surface creates a third meaning, a new set of information.

Relation to a larger context

1) The book I am currently reading “Photography, Trace and Trauma’ by Margaret Iversen

2) The analogy between psychoanalysis and photography, memory and photography.

3) Other artists that work with waste material, or the idea of recycling.

4) Artists that create experimental self portraits (the dutch artist that scanned and recorded all the barcodes of all the products he has used over a year)

5) Indexicality and its applications in art

My review on this text:

1) Describe indexicality and make sure the difference between Index (of a book, in the sense of grouping) and Indexicality as a topic of semiotics.

2) There are two paths that I am currently thinking of:

a) one based on the practice I did last year with the negatives, creating a collage by deconstructing and reconstructing photographic negatives

b) creating unconventional self portraits that are made up of waste (waste as id)

these two ideas share the concept of waste reuse, recycle, carrying indexical traces of former use and therefore and identity of its user.