Monday, August 16, 2010

Thesis 2010-2011

Brief description of previous work upon which this new body of work will be built:

My previous work involved site-specific research pertaining to the Greektown community located in East Baltimore. The project became an investigation about not only the history of the community but also the history of a specific abandoned building soon to be demolished. The project end result was an installation with sculptures and found material from the site that otherwise would have become wasted materials. Themes such as consumption, nature, and urban theory come across in much of my work.

I am interested in beginning a new study of a different community through the means of images, material experimentation, and large-scale site-specific installations. I lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a total of 7 months and grew very fascinated by many aspects of the city, in particular the visual imagery of favelas on many of their mountain sides. I think they are of great interest to me because of visual comparison I see within my own work being clustering, growth, organisms, and chaos but I am interested in interpreting these places through things in nature which goes through a similar growth process. There is a fruit that I grew rather fond of during my time in Brazil called Jabuticaba. What I discovered about the way it grows I found rather fascinating and thought it would be an interesting way to represent these clusters of communities since both relate rather well to one another.

Problem Statement and/or Existential Question that will launch new investigation:

Create an installation that represents different sensory or memories of architecture or spaces in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I see this being done through a series of mappings and then large scale installation or site specific installations that are incorporated into my past research but interwoven into my current location, Baltimore.

This is a pretty precise and rigid statement but should be open to interpretation. I recently have grown fascinated with the favelas located in much of Rio and most major areas in Brazil. They consist of shantytowns where often times you find the working class of Brazil. Most fall in the lower class but there isn’t much of a middle ground between the very rich and very poor in the country. Their jobs consist of pretty much anything but often they are maids or matainence helpers for the upper class and once they have finished a long day of work they return to their homes which are inside these favelas. It is full of more culture (both good and bad) and I think much of the rest of the city simply has in many areas become Americanized and converted to meet international standards that don’t really preserve Rio’s history. I think most tourists that I met who came to Rio, wanted to see these places and still am not really sure if it was for reasons such as medias involvement in portraying communities such as in Cidade de Deus (City of God), which is a real favela in the West Zone of the city BUT I think the majority of the people that did visit left with an overpowering sense of how different life is there from the rest of the city and wanted to help.

Plan for doing the work including a description of steps in the process:

• Updating and actively posting in a daily blog that contains a collection of notes, images through the development process.
• Working weekly in my studio space on further developing experiments with materials and research.
• I am interested in possibly planning to be involved in an event held at the Creative Alliance in February about Brazil. I am in contact with the person in charge to discuss about exhibiting during this event.

Nature of work to be done in terms of quantity and quality:

I am envisioning a large-scale installation that explores new materials and new ideas about Brazil but furthers some of my past explorations with materials such as newspaper, metal, and wood. Depending on the size and labor intensity of the work, I hope to complete 2 – 3 pieces.

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