Andrew Cooks and I had our advisor meeting on April 25th. Initially, we discussed my new painting and I told Andrew about my experience in England and the response I had gotten to my video.
Regarding the painting, we agreed that I had added too many elements on top of the map of the Scheunenviertel and that the painting was too busy. At the moment, I do not know how to respond to this chaos and Andrew suggested that I let it sit for a while to avoid overworking it and making it worse. I agreed that I should rather start with a new painting now and re-address this one at a later point in time.
I had received very positive feedback to my video at the Future Imperfect Symposium in Plymouth and feel encouraged to continue with video in my second year. I told Andrew about some of my ideas regarding a new video. I mentioned that I am interested in giving people a voice and let them tell their story. In my second year of this MFA, I would like to go away from researching artists who investigated German identity but rather go towards researching video and film makers. I mentioned film makers Adam Curtis, Werner Herzog and Michael Moore who I could possibly write about in my thesis next year. Andrew recommended that I should focus on the story I want to tell and said that the research will fall into place in time.
One of my ideas is to create a video that shows different events that happen simultaneously all around the world. I was inspired by a passage from a text in Anthony Doerr’s book All the Light One Cannot See which I read recently. I want to read this passage while I want to show different events that happen at the same time. My intention is to raise awareness to the non-equilibrium around the globe.
Another idea for a video is to continue to tell Farid’s story. I told Andrew about Farid’s current situation, that he is in Berlin and his wife and three children in Turkey and that it might take several years until they can reunite. In the context of ‘giving others a voice’ Andrew recommended that I read John Berger’s A painter of our time and watch Marcel Welm’s film Wim Wender’s story of his early years, Les Blank’s Burden of Dreams, and Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisgatsi. Andrew also sent me links, among others to an interview with Cy Twombly by Carol Manasi Ungari, from the Artist Documentation Program.
Most importantly, Andrew confirmed that my project of the second year can indeed consist of two components: painting and video making.
I definitely want to continue to paint and improve my paintings. I am happy I did let more lose during the past year but feel now that I need to find a better composition while abstracting my work more. Also, I want to improve my brush work.
I thought about our conversation the whole day yesterday and I realize that it has become so much clearer now that I should make a film about Farid and his life as an artist and not (only) as a refugee.
It’s been an extremely useful conversation.