Residency blog - Espositivo, Madrid
On this page I will maintain a blog during my artist in residency in Espositivo, Madrid, 20 July / 14 August.
Today I moved into Espositivo's residency apartment. Very nice people, very nice building. Lots of room to work, and a studio nearby. I was also happy to find an airco in Madrid's very hot city centre. I am looking forward to working here for the next few weeks. On this page I will keep a blog with some thoughts about my work, images, and probably some video's of my visual and sonic explorations.
My view until the 14th of August
I brought some material to the studio and started working. The workspace is very nice, it has two good white walls, and a lovely textured one. I can easily work there, as well as make small presentations, which I appreciate.
To be able to start working immediately I brought a small field-kit to work with: Some acrylic paint and watercolors, brushes, paper and 60 small pieces of wood. But the idea is to gather more, larger materials along the way. I already found a small shop that sells leftover wood around the corner, and there are a lot of large dumpsters in the streets.
Some thoughts about the residency: I plan to let go of the concept I have been working with the past two years. Although strongly related, there will be no images from the media, nor will I commit myself to using only one single size of wooden panels to paint on. For the next three weeks I will only work with images I make here in Madrid. I plan to allow as much freedom, experiment and association as possible. A residence like this is an excellent moment to try new ideas, and explore some thoughts. The work presented here is one large exploration, combing paintings, found materials, recorded samples and some synthesized sounds.
We will see where it leads to.
Small field-kit in action
Some first works
During this residency I will make a lot of fotographs during morning walks. I will frequently post selections in this format.
The studio table is perfect for a series of work I was looking forward to begin with, a collection of small found objects. I will experiment with giving them a frame, making small sculptures, video's and combining them with paint. Also I made a few first paintings with acrylic on the small wooden panels I brought.
Unfortunately I only hade space to bring my phone to make photos, and the quality of the pictures is pretty poor, especially with indoor lighting. I will see if I can borrow a better camera every now and then to shoot the work.
3x acrylic on wood, 20x14 cm each
There are a lot of complex, faintly colored areas in the streets of Madrid. These photographs are fun to make and collect, and its tempting to work with photorealism within my paintings, but its not what I am after. I might pick a few more subtle ones, break the elements of their composition apart, and experiment with them.
The dumpsters in the streets of Madrid serve me well. Although with these temperatures one should not carry anything at all, I dragged some materials I can experiment with back to the studio. I am looking forward to working on some larger sized panels again.
Many small green area's and parks in Madrid can only be enjoyed through heavy fences.
Another few paintings on the small peaces of wood I brought along. The studio is beginning to look like a proper workplace.
I might have to many ideas to really get into depth with everything, but I wanted to try some short video/sound combinations. All material is recorded here in Madrid during the residency, all sounds are from a small analog modular synthesizer I managed to bring with me on the plane.
I am working on an installation with 16 found objects. Wherever I picked up something I made an audio recording. The installation should be viewed with the audio present. You can hear me walk, pull stuff out of containers hear workers, etc. I am still working on editing the sounds, when it's done I will make a video to give a better impression.
I still need to borrow a better camera. In particular the painting on the far left seemed unwilling to be captured with bad lighting, but in real-life I like these.
3x 56x22cm, acrylic on wood
Starting on the second full week. Yesterday I spend a few more hours wondering around in the streets, pulling wood out of containers, and fortunately I found some. Tomorrow I will start working on a few bigger pieces.
Studio wall and "Studio wall", 107x30cm Acrylic on wood
A few more small works
The dumpsters in Madrid have been generous. Painting with acrylic on plastic pieces of furniture won't last, but it's nice to work on some door-sized panels. I just want to capture some gestures and structures, and not worry to much about the quality of the material. I will do some experiments with positioning larger objects in a room, and combining them with sound.
Some new larger sized panels. The one on wood should be horizontal. The one with the dark lines is on the back of the large work from yesterday.
During the last two years I have been working on single sized panels of 27,5x20cm. I like that concept, and will definitely add more works to the series. It is, and has been, a good way to focus on what, and how I wanted to paint. But it makes me happy to let go of that during this residency, and take the opportunity to explore new ideas. I like where its going and will certainly keep on exploring these thoughts.
The last few days have been very busy. I worked on a few more paintings, but mostly I was working on sounds. Tomorrow there will be a small presentation of my work here during the residency. It will be at the studio space I have been working in the last three weeks, which pleases me. I feel very familiar with the space, some works are even based on elements in that space, or made specifically for it.
During the presentation there will be a continuous soundscape looping. One part is a 25 minute piece based on recordings made on the streets of Madrid. It compliments the table with 16 found objects. Every time I collected something from the street I made a field recording. You can hear me walk, mess around in containers, and so on. The second part contains a longer loop with just a few more present sounds, with a lot of silence in between. Together they create a slowly shifting, ever changing soundscape.
When the presentation is over I will make a short video with sound, to give an impression of the entire installation.
The presentation is over and I am very happy with the results. A lot of people showed up and I managed to make an installation with the works I made here that felt somewhat complete. There where two un-synced audiotracks playing during the exhibition, and I did I a 25min musical performance during which several paintings where turned around.
I feel like I scratched the surface of quite a few different elements. I will probably add a reflection on the whole residency and my work a bit later, when I am home. I will also post better quality photo's of al the individual works I managed to make today with a camera I borrowed.
Here are some pictures of the final setup.
And everything is back to the way it was when I arrived. All my work is stashed and will hopefully be displayed again during a winter show. I will leave tomorrow.
Many thanks to Espositivo, everybody who was involved, and all the friendly people I met! I have had a great time and I hope we will meet again!