Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Work in progress in the studio.

Artist statement
Meghan Quigley

My practice concerns the mediation of images and the contextualisation of women in nature, focusing on both the production values behind images created in the media and the throw-away nature of the magazine. I am interested in the language used in advertising: the artificiality of staged performance, exaggeration of the mundane, hyperbolic gesture and the indulgence of colour and romantic ideals, in order to create a sensory experience that immerses the viewer. My interpretation of this becomes a recorded and exaggerated parody or un-mediated response in the video work highlighting the absurdity through repetition and exaggeration.                                                                                                            Removing the body becomes an exercise in removing the historic of women in nature; traces of the body remain and lend a haunting quality. The viewer is free to use the space to re-imagine the scene and be transported into the mysterious, dream-like romance.  In this way, I explore and critique notions rooted in cultural perceptions of the body such as: landscape art historically, the ‘muse,’ the male gaze, the unidentified gaze, post-feminism and the human condition.                                                                                                                                               Female magazines fascinate me: you can flick through the material within five minutes and be satisfied. Piles and piles begin to collect in doctor’s waiting rooms; issues from December 1990 linger next to May 2012 - stacked and ready to be thumbed through by the next patient. Or they are left absentmindedly on planes or in train stations. They are dog-eared, ripped, pages that have captured the reader’s imagination torn out, embossed with coffee cup stains, faces scribbled over, items circled, phone numbers jotted onto the cover, set down and forgotten. The images are absorbed quickly and disregarded just as quick; the text is ignored, almost irrelevant in the wake of consuming as many images as possible and yet the reader keeps flicking.
                Despite this, the expense and effort required to create one single page in a magazine like Vogue is overwhelming, I wanted to try and understand the absurdity behind the creation of these images that are destined to end up in the bin or forgotten. By examining the process of engineering the images, i attempt to catalogue and identity the visual code required to entice the viewer. It becomes largely a  precise, perfunctory process, far removed from the alluring, romantic imagery - post production will spend hours editing each individual pixel on their screen, even the smallest and most mundane of plants hidden in the background is given as much weight and attention as a model.  

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