Sj7g09's Blog

Archive for November 2010

Some photos of my final, finished exhibition piece, because I’ve left the unfinished pictures up too long.

Not especially good, but it’s something. I don’t feel painfully inadequate to other students at my school, but also know I’m not exactly setting the world on fire or anything. Just don’t want anyone to think that I think what I do is really amazing… I’m just interested in the issues and at least formulating ideas into visuals makes me think about them more.

On a side note, the exhibition was called ‘Pain’, which personally I find hilarious. Who comes up with these things…?

My exhibition piece for tomorrow in progress. Better than I expected, considering I found out that I have an exhibition tomorrow at 3.30 this afternoon, and so had to go into my studio afterhours to take everything down and paint the wall white in preparation, then start actually making the piece. Obviously it’s completely badly made – it’s all stuck together with sellotape, but it doesnt show too much. My excuse for being able to link it to everyone elses’ work in my studio is that it has some stuff directly on the wall, and other people are doing murals, and the bedframe looks like an extension of the wall, or something. Failing that I’ll have to paint on the wall, which I dont want to do because I like how clean it looks as it is – maybe that can be my point, it’s not similar to the murals, it’s dissimilar, with black letters stuck to clean white wall. Bleh, dont really care. Not marked on it, will probably only be up for a couple of days. Totally unimportant, just dont really want to look like a twat for doing something completely different to anyone else in my studio, but not quite sure how painting a mural of kitchen utensils would really be that useful to my work, and get the impression that while the things should link together in the room, they are still meant to be something to do with your own working practice.


Here are some pictures from my studio shortly before it was dismantled. After moving in a couple of weeks ago, they’ve now decided that we’re having an exhibition tomorrow (which we were told about today), and are using the studio spaces to do this, so have to move everything out.

Luckily enough, I had my crit earlier today, otherwise I would have been very very unhappy seeing as I wouldn’t have a studio space if it were next week.

My crit was utterly bizarre. I’ve kind of given up writing on this blog now, or at least have done for a while. I dont think that it can really be that interesting to read, and probably would be of no interest to people who know me, let alone people who don’t. But maybe I should try to write, even if it’s just for myself.

The crit was strange and terrible, but not really that terrible. I was really nervous and nearly had a panic attack while people were discussing my work. It was horrible. The comments seemed to be that the subject matter was ‘dark’, ‘disturbing’, ‘horrible’, which I always find strange because there’s obviously nothing inherently dark, disturbing or horrible about the sex industry, in my opinion, and that the only reason you’d think it was dark, disturbing or horrible from seeing my work is if you believe the things my propaganda says. People seemed to think that there wasn’t any subtlety, that it was blunt and bludgeoning, but I hope that that’s about the propaganda images, as that’s exactly how they’re intended. I got the impression that people didn’t really understand that the views expressed in the propaganda wasn’t what I actually thought, and there wasn’t really any challenge of the views expressed within them.

The lecturer leading the crit suggested that with images of women, money, handprints, toys, etc. that even without the text she would have understood that it related to the sex industry. I think that that’s perfectly true, but can’t help but think that because of the level of stereotyping about the sex industry that people would get to the issue of the sex industry from that sort of imagery but that most likely they would arrive at the exact sort of thoughts expressed in the text on the images, without necessarily realising that those are stereotypes and generalisations, not universal truth. Part of why I use the text is so that when people read it they might actually question it, seeing as if they’re thinking those things then see them written down, they might wonder why those sort of things spring to mind.

I can stand peopleĀ  not liking the work, not thinking it’s subtle enough, or wanting to take away the text, but wanting me to not have worked on it at all is quite something else. There was someone who talked about having been told not to work on anything to do with any ‘issues’ by a staff member here, which I think proves that intelligence and academia is actively discouraged at this university. At foundation level she worked on the subject of human trafficking, but at degree level she’s told not to discuss female domesticity, because it’s too much work…

That one’s not so bad, because they were talking about their own experiences and not trying to tell me not to work on this, just saying that they’d been advised not to, but one girl makes my heart want to burst with rage. She said that maybe I could have got the point across with just 1 or 2 images, but I’d taken it too far. She said that she didn’t want to talk about it (so why did she start speaking infront of everyone?), because I’d used myself in the pictures, and she didn’t know whether I’d had personal experience or whether I was using myself as a prop, ‘for want of a better word.’ Then she talked about how I should be very careful, because lots of women have actually been through this, and, if she was one of them, then she’d tell me what for, trying to talk about something I didn’t understand or have personal experience of.

So, basically, offence. People pre-empting offence on the behalf of other people who havent seen my work, may never see my work, and may not even exist. The predominant theme throughout was that it’s reeeeeally hard to work on big issues like this, and that you need to research it really thoroughly (I research this obsessively), and should maybe find someone to talk to who’s actually been involved in this sort of thing, to get personal experience. As though talking to someone in the sex industry means that you’ll understand what it’s like and be able to make better work – it’s just lazy. It’s trying to prove that you’re not lazy, when actually you are and are just indulging in a bit of reaching out to and meeting undesirables. Aside from this, there’s the fact that this girl who said ‘exploited’ women would be offended was completely generalising. I even asked her whether she meant in regard to trafficking specifically, or the entire industry, and she said she meant it as a whole, which seems to mean that she thinks that any woman involved in the sex industry would react the same way to this.

I truly believe that people should be able to talk about and produce work on anything they want, whether they have personal experience on it or not. It annoys me when people create stereotypical art work based on buzzwords, but that doesnt mean that they shouldnt be allowed to do it by any means – they’re at least probably going to learn something from undertaking a project like that, even if they never bother to actually research it properly. This may seem a little conceited, but I think that my work comes across as stereotypical and cliched because it’s intended to come across that way – the propaganda was designed in order to show how shallow and simplistic those views are when they’re actually spelt out.

I’m not quite sure what could be offensive about my work other than it’s subject matter in general, seeing as it expresses so many viewpoints on the issue. Why is it suddenly considered offensive to have really strongly opinionated propaganda on sex work in an art studio when there are posters about sex work and trafficking out in public on the street, or commissioned by our government? Are they not offensive because it’s not expected that they’ll be thought about?

I don’t like doing one-up-manship, so didn’t rise to the baiting of only being able to work on this sort of thing if you have personal experience. The girl who really pissed me off for being generalising and patronising and condescending apologised to me afterwards, not for what she said, but for how she said it, although I wouldnt really say it’s an apology when you say sorry but then justify what you said. Apparently she was sorry that she bit my head off, but it was that she found out that my only experience of this was from the media, not personal experience, and that she actually does have personal experience in this sort of thing. Because I’m that sort of person, I obviously started trying to deduce exactly what sort of experience she has with this sort of thing, and I’d be willing to guess some sort of sexual abuse, but absolutely nothing to do with the commercial sex industry, although obviously I may be wrong. It’s just that when she was telling me my work might upset people who’d been through these things, she mentioned my supposed mentioning of rape in my work, which actually doesn’t come up at all. I kind of took it for granted at the time that my work explicitly and specifically had something about rape in it, but then later realised that’s not true at all, unless you’re going to argue that all sex work is rape, so I think it was just her projecting onto it.

Anyway, it was an interesting crit. Definitely worthwhile, if nerve-wrecking. At least I’m able to pretend that all the negative criticisms were because the work is meant to be obvious and bludgeoning. I still dont think that any restrictions should be put in place as to what you can and cannot work on, and that it shouldnt always always be a big competition of “well, this has happened to meeeee, so I can talk about it, and you all have to listen and believe me because I have personal experience!” It would be cathartic to play that game, but never mind. I want people to think that my work has integrity, but unfortunately by giving my work this, I’d lose any integrity that I had personally.

Posted on: November 21, 2010

Posted on: November 21, 2010

Posted on: November 21, 2010

Some bad cameraphone pictures of the stuff in my studio.

  • fred whitacre jr: they don,t have any sex invaled why are we so againce children being nude in pictures because of alll the sick fucking rapetist out there children
  • fred whitacre jr: she only 12 but it is not porn at all it is nude only only a sick person would want to fuck her not me but i will tell you the true she is a very hot
  • fred whitacre jr: i see noghting wrong just a nude girl no porn that would be wrong with a child but not worng with a grown up only nude pics of children is ok if no se