Studio research: January 10th 2017.
Smoke on plates.
Working towards coming home. (Hull March)
To begin to explore some of the physical properties of crockery, through a sense of surface.
To begin to consider the position of the spectator – an audience distanced from, or invited to the table.
To use candle smoke – prompted by the reminder of seeing candles on the dinner table at Christmas. Remembering the cruciform smoke-pattern on the ceiling of a Cypriot chapel, remembering the process of smoking egg shells for decoration, thinking of smoke as particles of dust – of ash from the fire at home.
The plate becomes hot
The wax drips on the cloth
What does the cloth do?
Sitting – a blue chair.
The soot gathers in soft lines – the anthropomorphic language of describing the flame that licks.
The flickering, guttering of the flame.
What is the flame?
The risk of wax, flame burning the skin. The hand and fingers.
Who is opposite? Should spectator be opposite?
What does this do to the performing space?
Where is the site?
Proximity – what I see / they see
The desire to touch
Smoking the plate – a print making technique – etching plate. Could I make marks in the soot? Etch into it?
Scribe / inscribe – textual. Literal?
Artist: back to Abramovic at the table – receiving? Export on the table with wax. At not on the table.
The wax on the table- household guides on how to remove candle wax from a table cloth.
What is the cloth doing? It is making it a ritual – it is describing / defining the edges of the table – the space for the ‘event’.
The candle ritualises – birthdays, mass, votive.
Is this what I want?
What is the invitation to the spectator?
How does this upset/ uncanny/ disturb the domestic?
It brings into a collision the familiar plate – the food offering, social, giving, nurturing. But the plate is empty except for soot.
It aestheticizes a variety of plate decorations – it masks the pattern. Creates a new pattern.
It reminds me of the plates found in the sea –their pattern is augmented by the stains of trace metals in the mud and calcification of barnacles.
This is different to breaking plates.
The permanence of the action is questionable – the dishes could be washed… returned to their state – status quo.
Again, this suggests that the ‘damage’ is not permanent – a polite intervention.
It invites and rejects participation at the same time
You can sit at my table but I am in control.
The action is controlled.
It is the control that describes the domestic? A place of stability ….
But the action is of another place…
This is a matriarchal ritual.
It speaks of loss- mourning…
Who should be at the chair? Husband, child, mother, friend, self/ alter ego? Who is invited? Who is absent?
Is this a séance? Calling of someone – other?
Where is the other chair? At the ‘long’ end of the table – I notice that I have not placed my chair ‘square on’ to the table but at a more open angle, allowing for more room for my legs; avoiding being ‘head on’ to the (currently absent) invited spectator – or the camera as a proxy witness.
What does the invitation to the spectator do to shift the table space?
What are these dishes?
From junk shops- mis-matched.
Some are bone china
The light shines through the bone china – it luminesces.
What is the glow?
The bringing together of random possessions that no longer ‘belong’ to a place or person.
Re-describing home – a place at the table – on the table.
They belong and do not belong.
Soot on fingers - the one thumb print on the plate where the object was gripped – held. A trace of the human, the female – finger print.
Soot on fingers transfers to face – touch.
Wax on hand and arms – itches, burns.
Delicacy/ intimacy of marks.
Soot on outside of a pot denotes cooking over fire – but on the inside?
Pace- slowness –not affected – how long it takes. Task as duration – as time code. Doing performance.
Sitting – watching the smoke rise as the candle is extinguished.
Repetition of r lighting match, candle, plate handing.
A pile of them. Accumulation. In cupboards, in sideboards, on shelves. Stuff – so much stuff.
Is this what ‘lamp black’ is? Soot used for polishing and blacking? The source of ink… tattooing.
Frank – Mary Edgeworth 1836. P125