Sunday, May 24, 2009

Direct to Public

My first show is coming up a week from today. Whoa.

I had a crit last night with the mighty Stuart and got some good feedback and perspective of where I'm at and where I need to take this. [One of the things I really don't like about freelancing is I don't have that environment where I'm constantly bouncing things off my colleagues, so it's really great when I do get that opportunity.] I talked about my concerns of how people will perceive what I'm doing if they're not given an articulate context; I'm not glorifying these particular signs, or elevating sign writing to high art. Primarily, the show's purpose is to illustrate the landscape of Brunswick and show its temporality.

So it was interesting that later on in the evening I got a great email from a guy who just wanted to tell me that he's really looking forward to the show, adding that he's been documenting Brunswick's streetscape for the past few years through a similar lens. It brought up another concern about misperception, so I wrote this in reply:

"Being not from Brunswick (or even Australia) I do have my skepticism about my ability to portray a landscape I'm not actually a part of. I'm from Detroit and often get really protective about the way that outsiders see its Gotham qualities with little-to-no context. Recently I read an article about some Dutch urban planner types who were developing a project for an empty lot in Detroit and, while their idea was a good one, I got really annoyed that they saw the space as a blank canvas rather than a canvas whose pictures have faded because of neglect and corruption."

Anyway. Direct to Public is no dissertation; it's a small comment. It should be good. Stay tuned.