- For the Dublin Contemporary Project each person in the group had to choose 2 New Media/ Filmed pieces from Earlsford Terrace Exhibition and answer questions on the artist and the work. Each of us had to choose different artists so overall our group of 4 people had to talk about 8 artists.
The artists I chose from the exhibition were Matt Calderwood and Guy Richard Smit.
Guy Richard Smit: Grossmalerman (The Pilot Episode)
- His work in Dublin Contemporary is about a painter called ‘Jonathan Grossmalerman’ who is a sleazy, politically incorrect man, drinks vodka all day, takes drugs and spends his money and time on prostitutes instead of looking after his eight year old daughter.
- The video was installed into the room by a projector attached onto the wall and projected onto the opposite wall without a screen. The duration of the sitcom was 23 minutes 28 seconds.
- A variety of shot types were used which included; long shot, mid shot, medium close ups, over the shoulder, point of view and cut in shots. The 180 degree rule was used throughtout the episode.
- Shot types/ camera angles/ movements: The most significant wide shots were used when one actor(Grossmalerman’s assisstant) was trying to put up a ladder in the background while Grossmalerman in the foreground is in the middle of an enthusiastic phone call! Also the bedroom scene and scenes showing someone coming in the front door while characters were sat around the table near it. Mid shots and medium close up’s were used during all conversations for example between the artist and assistant to capture body language,facial expressions and to draw attention to the objects like the vodka bottle or bandages they were holding from time to time.
- Over-the-shoulder shots were used when two characters were interacting, as well as point of view shots and close up’s to capture their reactions and expressions. Point of view shots were used especially at the beginning when a invigilator and gallery visitor are looking at a piece of art and discussing it. Also when the gallery owner comes into Grossmalerman’s bedroom in the middle of the film as she looks down on the bed, we see what she see’s. We are her eyes. Again when the daughter is seated at the table she looks up at her father (low angle point of view shot) and he looks down at her (high angle), he comes across as this big powerful figure when in fact it’s the eight year old daughter which seems wiser than him. The angles and shot types really make this film effective. Guy Ricahrd Smit gets across his point of greed, power, desire and failure. He gives the characters ill Important roles, such as the prostitute, the gallery owner, the assistant, even the daughter. They all want him, either to earn a living, to be part of something famous. He is presented as a figure of power, he can tell the others what to do but his greed and corruption have led to his own destruction and failure as an artist, father and teacher.
- Editing Techniques: Text has been added at the start of the video for the titles and names of the actors in bold aqua colour. This text scrolls across, jumps, separates on screen. The text is layed over a background of close up shots about 2-4 seconds each of art materials, equipment, paint tubes, ladders, etc. Then as the font reads ‘Guy Richard Smit is…’ a shot of a hand painting a word on a wall plays behind, Then a close up of this red paint reveals ‘Grossmalerman’.
- Music is also added at the start of the film to create an atmospher and to draw the viewer in. The music is loud, bright, cheerful and in your face at the start. The pace quickens and the sound is almost piercing just before Grossmalerman himself appears on screen and stares down the camera as if insane.
- Cut and pasting on motion means that the action of characters is smooth for most of it, scenes with equipment are not cut on motion and so are more jumpy, this adds to the disorder of his life as a whole and the drunken mess he is.
- I think by using the filming technqiues and editing I have mentioned above, Smit has successfully articulated his ideas of desire, failure, political corruption and unfair power. The props like the vodka bottle and cocaine, The staple gun which hurts the assistant and even the bandages add to these themes. The corrupt, the greed, the hurt and loss, and the attempt to fix things.
- I find his use of video interesting because it’s entertaining while still getting a message across. If I seen this on tv i would watch it, it’s like a sitcom. He appraoches his subjects and themes in a humorous almost vulgar manner but I think it’s more receptive to a contemporary audience who spend most of their free time watching sitcoms anyway. The language used was accessible and although I wouldn’t like a young child to watch this, Smit certainly amuses and engages his audience.
- He was born in New York and still is based there.
He has been in shows every year. For example:
2009 ‘Born in the Morning, Dead by Night’ crated by Tony Matelli, Leo Koenig Gallery, NYC.
2009 ‘Popisme, Le Lieu Unique’ curated by Frank Lamy, Nantes: France.
2010 ‘Spasticus Articus’ curated by Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Faune: Ceri HAnd gallery, Liverpool UK
(Images taken from Dublin Contemporary Website)
Matt Calderwood was born in Northern Irealnd and is now based in London.
His work in Dublin contemporary was called ‘Rebuild and Unfurnished a film and a sculpture’. In this video he uses 6 identical geometric sculpture elements which he made out of plasterwood. During the course of the film he stcks and builds the 6 pieces so that they become one whole shape. Calderwood tries to get them to points just bbefore they might fall, the pinacle of balance where at any point the slightest movement can cause disaster right on film. He tries to convey the objects extreme potential and so I felt on tenterhooks waiting and hoping it would stay still but yet wanting a piece to fall to create excitement and drama. The objects are the characters in his film.
The video was installed in a narrow black room, at the far end the screen and the projector behind as you came into the room.
Calderwood does not use any angles or shot types in this video other than zooming in and out. The frame is kept on the same spot, the camera locked in place. Rven though the camera does not pan the scene I think it is interesting none the less. Calderwood has a challenge to keep the pieces inside the frame, so that the viewer can still see, if a piece falls it goes outside the frame and we can imagine how it sits outside it.
His non use of editing techniques in itself articulates his idea of boundaries and risk. It’s raw, it’s happening it’s like live tv. Mistakes are part of the process. he pushes the boundaries of the materials, balance and gravity. I think if he were to have used editing techniques it wouldn’t be interesting to watch. It would just be perfect sculptures on a screen. The fact that he doesn’t use editing is the part I liked most about his work. He does not try to hide from teh reality of the objects and materials. He doesn’t give a false impression to the viewer. The inanimate objects beome more substancial in their stature. For some time they have power over him, moving against his wishes until the point where he masters them, where they stand on their own. The ordinary objects are made extraordinary by their risk of failure.
Some of the other exhibitions Calderwood has taken part in are;
Quite Revolution, 2009 - curated by Chris Fite Wassilak.. artists Davis Beattie, Matt Calderwood, Alice Channer, etc.
Summer Exhibition, 2009, Royal Academy of Arts, Curated by Richard Wilson.
he also showed at The Hugh Lane in 2005 with 4 other artists. The show was curated by Clarke and McDevitt.