Monday, February 25, 2008

This is my first neon, four feet long, installed in my home until further notice.

It’s also my first wall piece, my first sculpture, really. What bothers me is that my own hands were almost entirely not involved in making it, except for preparing the template by tracing the two dimensional font I selected for a handwritten feel. This is not unusual these days, of course, but, a bit unsatisfying for me.

In terms of subject, it represents my interest in anxious attachment (that is, the insecure bond with the mother and its consequences); in language; in text; and subtext. But, blah blah. Feels good to have branched out into a new direction just because I can.

Any reactions appreciated (including about how I photographed it).


Dana said...

My first interaction with this piece was seeing your drawing of it -- there was something immediately, viscerally compelling about it. The simplicity of it reflects something childlike -- in the way children have use of so few words to express their experiences. And the mere phrase (some version of which surely every person must have uttered at some point) can evoke such a plethora of reaction. But, there's also something extremely sophisticated (ie, adult-like) in presenting it with such simplicity and quietness. Sort of acknowledging the "neurosis" (for lack of a better word at my fingertips) without placing judgment on it.

The medium also offers a very interesting comparison to the video with the English wording posted on your website. That video strikes such a tense and anxious chord, but (at least for me) also some humor in the identification with it. The stillness of the neon evokes a very different reaction -- it's just as complex, perhaps even more so -- and strikes at a different place in the psyche.

I'm sure there's something in use of French, as well. Perhaps it is because the actual translation is so almost-automatic, that it also serves to highlight the universality of the question.

I'm really interested in comparing the photograph to the original. I'd had more of an image of white-on-white with the piece (but I'm not sure if that's what you did, or if I just put that own image in my mind). The dark background with the classic look of photographed neon presents another layer of reference (I think of the way such neon is associated with somewhat sordid and/or cheapened adult experiences). I guess I'd want to see the piece itself to see how much of that kind of reference (or some other reference) arises from the actual viewing.

Molly Stevens said...

Hurray for Dana!

I appreciate your reactions.

I would say you're right that a white on white photograph is worth trying, since that is in fact what the piece looks like installed.

Dana said...

I like both photographs, but the white-on-white is a much closer representation of the piece as it appears in real life. And, I think that photograph turned out really well.

Michael Konrad said...

I like the white photo better. The dark one makes it seem like it could be outdoors or anywhere really. I guess that could be interesting also, but I like seeing the guts of the neon.

Molly Stevens said...

Good to hear. I think that, attached to an email, the dark version may be a bit more eye-catching. But, in general, the white is more nuts and bolts.