This project taught me a lot about my process and what inspires me. Through countless interactions and manipulation of materials I achieved the outcome I was hoping for. While I may have fallen short on conveying my concept to the audience as my piece was abstract, I felt that my piece was very compelling from a strictly visual perspective. This final presentation also made me think about how I could have made my piece more literal in its meaning. However, i came to the conclusion that it was not necessary for it to be more literal as some of the most successful art only makes sense when explained by the artist. My project was inspired by artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Donald Judd’s installation in Marfa, all of these artist create highly conceptual works of art that the viewer may not understand without an explanation. I see beauty in this, however I did realize that sound may have made my piece much more impactful in its meaning. Another challenge I faced was the actual construction of the piece. Originally I wanted to make the box myself, however it was not possible technically. I then bought a display box and did not realize there was a circle at the bottom of it. Because it was impossible to remove the circle I had to rethink what the bottom of the box would have. This resulted in me covering it in “oil” and concealing it with flowers. The box also did not fit the cowboy boots naturally therefor I had to bend them and force them in, which I actually ended up liking more as it made it more abstract, instead of looking like I simply boot boots in a display box. The aloe was another object I texted out multiple times. Originally I wanted to have it towards the side and I also thought I would be removing the dirt. However, when I saw the clear vase I thought it would be much more beautiful to actually show the soil and roots. The aloe was also originally going to be completely painted black. The video was possibly the most challenging part for me as I am not an expert in Premiere and had only used it once before. I originally was going to simply play a trailer from Giant, which was one of the main inspirations for the project, however I felt like that was an easy way out and almost “cheating”. I used footage from No Country for Old Men, Giant, Westworld and other found footage on YouTube. I felt that this made the video much more interesting and diverse, it also gave me more space to express the meaning of my project and show what inspired it. Overall, I was very satisfied with my project and enjoyed the process as I felt free to experiment and had the right amount of time to alter and adjust the piece.
Sofia Perevalova is a multimedia artist and designer. Throughout this semester she has worked on a installation, 2D, 3D and digital work for her studio class. Sofia experimented with Photoshop to create digital paintings which than transgressed into 2D pieces created using paint as well as gold leaf. She has also used Premiere to create a short film from found footage to support a larger installation piece. Sofia’s main focus throughout studio was installation work which she produced using materials such as plastic, mirror and ready-made objects.
Sofia’s works stem from the readings done in Integrated Seminar. Texts by McLuhan and the film Oh Lucy! have played an important role in developing the concept of her pieces. As Sofia’s work is focused on gender, power and performance, her Seminar research has propelled her current and future projects as she continues to explore gender as a performance and the effects gender has on our society at large.
As Sofia is passionate about fashion, her final installation piece was inspired not only by Western films, but also the Chanel Paris-Dallas 2013/2014 show. This is not her first piece inspired by her love of fashion, Sofia has also produced a series of diptychs focused on the Queen of England and her timeless elegance. As Sofia has lived in both England and Texas these works are personal to her as she references her cultural background.
Sofia was born in Dallas, Texas and has lived in Moscow, Russia, London, England and is currently living in New York city. As a half Russian and half American Sofia has had a vast exposure to a myriad of art, people and culture. She is currently enrolled at Parsons School of Design and is studying to earn her BBA in Strategic Design and Management.
Visual Essay Collage:
Selections from Research Paper:
“Drag is represented as a complex gender performance and impersonation. It is a way for the performers as well as the audience to explore their sexuality and gender identity. Drag Queens through this gender illusion they create as a result have been to pioneers in American society of gender identity and self acceptance. It is through their flamboyant, extravagant and charismatic performance the queens themselves as well as the audience have been able to let go of their self-imposed gender boundaries and be themselves. However, drag queens have not always been celebrated performers in our society. “
“The art has drag has enabled society to explore the realms of gender identity, self expression and sexuality. Through its recent commercialization and its previous influence on queer culture it has defined American culture and provided individuals with the freedom to explore who they are. Drag has altered pop-culture, performing arts, and has redefined gender. Its rise to prominence and acceptance is inspiring to all and shows the dedication and perseverance of these performers and artists. Whether it is the beauty industry, reality TV or simply human interaction the legacy of drag can be examined. While drag queens are still advocating for changes in our social justice systems regarding LGBT their influence on the youth is astounding. Drag has provided us with humor, an appreciation for the art of costume and makeup, and has enriched American history. “
What Really Eats My Soul
After viewing Tiravanija’s Untited 2017 flag, I began to thing what do I fear that eats my soul? As I compiled a list in my head of all the things I am afraid of, I noticed a patter. What I realized was that I was listing my superficial fears. I am afraid of things like big birds, spiders, snakes, mold, but I couldn’t help but think these can’t really be my deepest fears. These things are simply phobias, things that make me uncomfortable. I began to dig deeper.
What I realized is that I fear disappointment, I fear rejection, fakeness and most of all I fear those who I love getting hurt. These fears to effect those around me even tho I surpress them, I often worry about my friends being mad at me, my parents disapproving of my work and ideas. My fear of fakeness has the biggest effect as it takes over my mind and makes me think those around me are not genuine, don’t really care about me and have hidden agendas. This paranoia is damaging to my relationships as it shows my distrust in people.
My fear of rejection often leads to me not completing my plans as I worry they wont go the way I expected. I fear that I will make a work of art I believe is amazing, but not one else will like it. This leads to me dismissing my ideas and not pursuing them further. This fear is by far the most damaging as it makes me think about all the missed opportunities I have had that I was to afraid to pursue.
Fear its away at my dreams and ambition. It is something that everyone must overcome to actively pursue what they believe they are destine to do. I believe once I let go of my fears I will be unstoppable.
Tiravanija, Rirkit. Untitled. 2017. Creative Time Headquarters. New York.
Seminar has taught me a lot about the way I understand visual culture. The readings we were presented with greatly broadened my understanding of media, the McLuhan text in particular made me think about how I understand messages. I found all the readings and films to be very diverse in their content, however they all had a similar message. The in depth explorations conducted in and outside of class have changed the way I see and understand messages in my life. Bridges 1 and 2 made me much more aware of my surroundings and taught me to notice things I previously may have not. The final research paper was particularly educational for me as I chose a theme I was previously not educated in. Conducting this research showed me how relevant drag is and how this complex gender performance has impacted even meh daily life.
During studio I experimented with a myriad of materials from gold leaf to plastic. I found the diptych iterations helped me conceptualize my work and pay attention to detail. The final project required heavy attention to detail and iterations which I was prepared for because of the previous works.
The taxonomy made me branch out with my theme and investigate other instances of gender and power in society. Through the investigation I developed a specific aesthetic and became inspired by Western movies and my time in Texas. Through the collection of these images I was able to transform my idea into something unexpected in comparison to my previous works.
The Whitney research resulted in the development of my seminar research topic. While it did not directly influence my studio project it broadened my view of gendered art and helped me create a connection between my studio and seminar work.
Final Studio Project:
(clips from video)
Final Personal Reflection:
Key Bridge experiences: The final research and studio project have made me much more diligent and have forced me to pay extreme attention to detail. While these topics may seem completely opposite, through my research and conceptual analysis of the works I was able to see a strong connection between the two works. Each of these projects are based on gender and the notion of gender in performance. Another key experience in seminar and studio were the iterations of the diptychs which taught me attention to detail and how to fine tune and develop off of an idea. During seminar I found the research leading up to the final paper was extremely valuable as it forced me to think deeply about my paper and what I want the final outcome to be.
Thinkers, writers and artists: in Seminar I found the most important thinker and writer was Marshall McLuhan. Through his text I reconsidered everything I know about media, messages and mediums. This reading resulted in me reconsidering how I interpret visual art and the messages in my daily life.
In Studio the artists I was most influenced by were Damien Hirst and Rene Magritte. Both of these artist were crucial in developing my projects. I was also heavily influenced by the movies No Country for Old Men by Ethan Coen and Giant by George Stevens. This films were directly connected to my final project and continue to inspire my future work based on Texas.
For my project I have thus far collected the plants I will be using, have completed the basic structure and composition of the video I will be projecting and conceptualized the presentation style. I have decided not to use the trailer of Giant but instead create my own video using found footage from No Country For Old Men, Giant, videos I took in Texas and other footage of cowboys and other “Texan man” related things. I researched a variety of Western movies. I have also researched what the best plant to use for my project will be. The plants I will be using are Wax Flowers which have small white flowers and have a stronger visual impact than daisies would. The aloe I will be painting in the black “oil” material and placing outside the box. I have also collected the materials needed for the actual presentation. I still have to complete the video and construct the project. Because the flowers are perishable I will have to actually
Since last week I have attempted to construct the plastic box myself. However, due to the thinness of the box and lack of materials I was unable to construct a box that looked clean cut and professional. I then went to the Container Store and purchased a clear display box. I then stylized how the boots will be displayed inside the box. I decided that having them smashed in the box made it look more visually interesting than simply placing them side by side as planned.
I have also created a prototype of the “oil” I will be using in my project to reference the masculinity of the oil industry. Oil is an integral aspect of Texas and is really what helped create the idea of a “Texan Man”. When one thinks of oil the never think of women working in the oil industry whether it is mining or being a major oil exec. I believe this will be a key element in my project which explores gender in Texas.
To create this oil I used glossy modge podge mixed with regular black acrylic paint. This created a nice rubber-like texture which was easy to manipulate and once dry can be easily peeled off plastic.
I am still deciding if I want to include a coyote or other small animal skull in my piece. This object will reference the masculinity of hunting and how it is a major aspect of ranch culture. I would place the skull on top of the display box and possibly cover it in the oil too to make the piece more coherent.
For the flower element of the piece which references femininity and nature I will be using small wild daisies and cactuses. The daisies will be put inside the box along with the cowboy boots. They will not be covered in oil as I plan on also using them as a reference to “purity” and how it is expected of women. The flowers in my piece also allude to the idea of a “Southern Belle”. The cactuses I plan on placing outside the box and covering in the oil material as cactuses are a more masculine plant and are often seen on ranches in West Texas.
I have also finalized my decision with the video element of my project. This video will be project alongside the project. I plan on displaying the project on a table covered with white cloth to not distract from the piece and make it more aesthetically pleasing. The projection will not be over the piece but nearby.
Below is a link to the video I will displaying on a loop.
If the opera was sung in English or Spanish would the audio element of the performance piece still have the same level of quality?
Outer Seed Shadow:
As this is a public art, how do you expect the audience who is unaware of its intention to perceive it?
How do you successfully capture and recreate an environment within an installation piece?
Building the Never-ending Ruin of the World:
How has the idea of memory changed due to the “virtual era”
How does the backdrop create an alternate reality?
What does this imaginary city say about our current society at large?
How does this work challenge the way we think about nature and natural monuments?
How does the language used in these public interventions effect the overall quality of the work? How is this distinguishable from regular text seen on the streets throughout cities?
How does the medium chosen successfully support the context of a dystopian world?
Since food is something that brings people together why is not used more often in the context of art and protest?
Prototype April 6: I collected the key object for my installation piece – my mothers cowboy boots. I have also purchased other smaller elements of the piece such as doilies and a miniature cactus. I downloaded the video element from the movie Giant which I rewatched and chose the specific scene for my piece. I am currently researching how to make an oil like substance to reference the “masculinity” in Texas.
Seminar topic: significance of drag in American Pop-Culture.
Message: I am exploring the harsh gender boundaries in Texas through the use of objects and the depiction of Texans in Western movies.
I am making an installation piece using a carefully curated selection of objects. I will be placing the objects in a clear box to show how these objects are confined to a specific environment. To create bring this environment to life I will be using audio and visual elements. This will include a collection of clips from western movies where gender roles are heavily emphasized. I will also be using a recording of my Texan grandmother discussing the objects I selected and her personal memories from growing up in Texas.
The materials I selected are effective as they are very literal. The main visual element of the work is something from the environment I am trying to simulate in my work and the audio/visual part creates a cohesive installation piece.
Since last week I have looked for more objects I could use in the piece and researched how I can construct this box so that it looks as sleek and high quality as possible. This week I am planning on creating my recording. I am planning on working on my project for around 6 hours this week including the time spent searching for more video components and recording my grandmother.
REFINING RESEARCH: CONNECTING VISUAL TO LITERAL
Bridge 4: Connections
READ THIS WORKSHEET CAREFULLY, ALL OF IT. Reviewing your Visual Essay Collage and Abstract, answer all the prompts in Part 1. Considering your Library Explorations I and II, answer all the prompts in Part 2. Upload a copy of this completed worksheet to your Learning Portfolio. Submit on Canvas the URL link to your LP post. Bring the hard copy of this completed worksheet to class on Friday, 13 April.
PART 1: FROM VISUAL
What is the specific Research Issue or Question on which you reflected and, therefore, that is expressed via and contextualized in your Visual Essay Collage?
What is the significance and influence of Drag on American culture?
Select the 4 most important symbols in your Collage. Briefly explain the meaning of each one AND how it relates to your specific Research Issue/Question:
1. Ru Paul’s photograph. This is a key symbol in my collage as Ru Paul’s Drag Race is the show that changed the fate of Drag in America as it no longer became taboo. This show has become a staple in American Pop-Culture.
2. Nan Goldin’s photograph of two drag queens is highly significant to my research. Goldin was among the first artists in America that really brought queer culture to the public through her raw, unfiltered documentation of her friends and members of the queer community. This image is important in my research as it references the time when drag and queer culture were considered taboo. Through her work however society became more aware of queer culture and the struggles members of this community face.
3. The photograph of a drag queen in a military uniform is meaningful as in my research I briefly explore drag queens in the military and how they performed infant of soldiers as a way to raise their spirits and bring joy. This image is important as it as significant reference to that aspect of drag in American history.
4. Dian Arbus’s photograph of a man in drag is important as it was taken at the time where drag, cross-dressing and queer culture was highly taboo. This photograph is symbolic in its meaning and references the way these people were perceived by the public.
Review the Abstract for your Visual Essay Collage. Identify the 4 most important terms AND the single-most important sentence. List those here:
2. Gender Identity
The intention of drag is to entertain people and bring people together, it has helped many people with their gender identity and self expression.
PART 2: TO LITERAL
Reviewing your Library Exploration I and II research findings, list the titles of the 4 most relevant sources you have found. For each source, specify whether it is a primary or secondary source AND its type (e.g., journal article, book chapter, archive material, newspaper, etc.). IMPORTANT NOTE: Bring hard copies of each of these sources to class on Friday, 13 April:
- Brevard, Aleshia. 2001. “Drag Queen.” In Woman I Was Not Born To Be: A Transsexual Journey, pp. 43-62. Temple University Press.
Book chapter I will be using as a primary source as it explore the gender identity of an individual and the influence being a Drag Queen had.
2. Couric, Katie. Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric. Documentary. Produced by Katie Couric. USA: National Geographic, 2017.
This documentary is a secondary source as I am using it to have a better idea of gender identity and the intricate details of queer culture at large. This is important to have in my research as it provides me with a broad yet detailed overview.
3. Eberwein, Robert. 2007. “DRAG.” In Armed Forces: Masculinity and Sexuality in the American War Film, pp. 87-101. Rutgers University Press.
This book chapter explores the influence Drag and sexuality had on warfare and how it challenged gender stereotypes. This is a primary source as it provides me with knowledge on gender as a performance and Drags influence on American culture.
4. Paul, Ru. Ru Pauls Drag Race: All Stars Season 3. Produced by Ru Paul. Los Angeles: VH1.
This TV show proves me with a visual element to my research. I will be using this as a secondary source. I plan on using this for reference to show how drag is currently influencing American Pop-culture.
Given how you currently understand your Research Issue, compose 3 specific questions that you would need to address to explain and understand your Research Issue. These questions should all directly connect to the specific focus of your Final Research Paper. Thus, for each question, find a way to be as specific as possible about what in particular you must understand about your topic. These questions should narrow the scope of your topic. Note your questions here:
1. Why was Drag created?
2. How has the perception of Drag changed since it originally became popular in society?
3. How is drag important in gender identity, how has it influenced the ideas about gender in our society today?
Given how you understand the scope of your Research Issue, describe in 2 to 3 complete sentences the environment in which your Research Issue resides. In other words, clearly situate the WHO and WHERE of your analysis for your Final Research Paper.
My research is focused specifically on American pop-culture. The paper explores the influence specifically American Drag has on American pop-culutre, I chose to do this as there was the most information and I have first hand witnessed how much more relevant drag is in the United States than in the UK for example. While drag has been around since the creation of theatre since only men were allowed to act, I am focusing on drag in the United Sates from the the mid 1900 until now.
Explain in 2 to 3 complete sentences how that environment in particular is both appropriate and important for understanding your Research Issue.
This environment is important in understanding my research issue as I am focusing on Drag in pop-culture rather than throughout history. Because drag is particularly present in United States pop-culture, it is important to explore it specifically in this environment to understand its current significance.
Describe in 2 to 3 complete sentences the audience (the reader) for your Final Research Paper. In other words, whom do you imagine would or should want to read this paper? Who would or should be interested in this issue?
I imagine the reader of my paper to be someone who either participates in drag themselves, therefore can provide a critical point of view as well as someone like me who previously was less educated in this field. Both these individuals would be interested in this issue as they both may learn something about the history of drag they previously did not know. It is also important for the people who do not know so much about queer culture and drag to read this as it can show how much pop-culture they see is influenced by drag.