The Mechanics of Summer Dress


title: The Mechanics of Summer Dress
year: 1996
body of work: “Sentiment and Vagrancy”
series: n/a
medium: Ink Jet print on Arches mounted on aluminum
size: 30″ h x 26.25″ w
edition size: 1 and 2 AP
collections: Anne and Greg Avis
availability:  2 AP

artist brief:

The prints in this series are 35 mm photos which are digitized (scanned), and then have a detail of their color duplicated and spilled outside of the pictures edges to create a surrounding color field. They are then reprinted with ink jet technology on water color paper, mounted full frame on a thin sheet of aluminum and hung flush to the wall.  Later manifestations are Ink Jet prints framed and  face mounted to matte Plexiglas. “The Mechanics of Summer Dress” has a picture from the former DDR (East German) TV tower in Berlin.  I was walking down a set of stairs near the entrance when a woman ran past me.  The picture was taken just as the woman hit the bottom of the stairs and pivoted left to walk out of the building.  The figure mechanically integrates with its surroundings, as a foreground and background element spills in and out of a surrounding colorfeild.  The title refers to a summer outfit being a functioning set of details, details as they are some of several relations of force that create distracting impulses.  I also liked thinking of the summer dress as a particular set of influences on the movement of a body, therefore the figure being a display of how summer dress works.

Regarding the body of work:

A common thread which appears through all the work in “Sentiment and Vagrancy” seems to be a kind of phantom chasing.  That is the work seems to conjure effects that occur between elements like colors, colors and lines, flat and illusionistic picture space, sentiment and formalism, memory and retinal impact, movement and intention – effects that are not attributed to any one thing but float between two or more tendencies. In brief, the pictures I make utilize: inseparable yet incommensurable parts like illusionistic or photographic space and color fields, resonance’s in color relationships, and untraceable mark making patterns that cause spatial disturbances.  When using photography, travel creates the momentum for taking pictures providing subject and circumstance in a continual stream. I look through photos that I had taken in travel or while wandering around, with an interest in encouraging what is unfamiliar about any given image. I approach this task by pushing appearances in various directions within each picture using a computer and Ink Jet printing, and by playing off the relations which arise between images.  I choose photos that  relate to one another through numerous formal considerations (color, compositions, effects…), and insight tangents (amplify detail within the pictures).  A shadow, light source, or sometimes an object in the space of a picture I am working with will have a detail of its color duplicated and spilled outside of the pictures edges to create a color field that comes out of, goes around, and back into the image in a continuous loop.  Pigment and picture are combined in a flip flopping of implied depths and solid colors, at once continuous and discontinuous, inseparable and incommensurable. Once such material relationships are activated, I found pictorial content strayed from subject matter, continually re-focusing on the gap between picture and representation, formalism and sentiment since sensory born relations in appearance interfered with the tendency of prioritizing communication.  The travel photos tell nothing to clarify a sight but utilize and escalate the strangeness of the sight by its very appearances.  The emotion or feel that is instigated by the pictures is present yet un-anchored by communication due to distracting material investments.  In other words, the pictures at once appeal to ones feelings via the senses, while they simultaneously offer enough physical distraction for the senses to ambiguate the feelings elicited.  This set of observations inspired the title “Sentiment and Vagrancy”.   – 1996.

Kevin Hanley All rights Reserved.  Reproduction by permission of artist only.