Earlier this month I had posted about how I was obtaining some feedback on my project Middle Ground which kinda of set me back a tiny bit regarding my artist statement and the underlying concept. But in a very good way.
I have known that frequently artist, including photographers, are not the best persons to fully understand the full extent and meaning of their own art-work. Which is not to say that we do not have a focus (luv that term for photographers) on what we are attempting to document or subject to investigate for a project. Usually we have a reason to embark on a specific artistic endeavor, but we may not fully understand all of the artistic and aesthetic nuances of the project. I think this may be due to the emotional blinders we inadvertently have as a result of being too close to the project.
Thus the reason behind what I have always been a proponent of getting your work seen by others, then carefully listen (which means you are not talking or planning your rebuttal) to what is being said. For me it was having the work on my project advanced to a certain point of development (yes a bit of pride or insecurity of showing raw work and potentially getting slammed) that I felt I understood it well enough to clearly articulate where I was coming from and heading towards. So now I am starting to get some critical feedback, which has mostly been constructive.
Case in point; is my concept was entirely creating a visual satire on a pending WH wall just because somebody made a presidential campaign on building a bigly one between the U.S. and Mexico?
I had thought so, but I am now getting to understand that this could also be a symbolic wall or barrier for other broader social, cultural, political, economic and religious issues. That my subject is a urban-barrier that is actually located entirely within America, it could be symbolic of the recent internal political barrier(s) erected by the WH to block, impede and otherwise stop the DACA Dreamers from reaching their goals of acceptance and potential citizenship. Wow.
Thus my project which at one point in the beginning appeared to be addressing a very specific issue has become much broader in concept and scope. In some ways, when this project was really focused on one idea, it was nice and tidy. By making this concept much broader in scope creates a bit more messiness, which I am adapting to. Just continuing to try to get my head around it. So at this point, I will take it one part at a time to get this artist book out there and see how organically it grows from there.
So in the meanwhile, I have modified my artist statement to expand on the symbolic nature of this urban-built structure as to the broader social, cultural, political, economic and religious issues we are facing as a country.
Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!