MILK: what will you make of me?
Alexa Meade and Sheila Vand have collaborated on a body of work that explores the fluidity of form in relation to time and space. By stripping the subject of depth and dimension, a displacement of identity ensues, demonstrating the power of context over content.
In this series, Meade's signature portraiture is submerged in a canvas of milk, where Vand's performance is dictated by the opposing forces of fixed shadows and fluid space. Together, the artists compose an expressive identity for each image, but as the milk interacts with the pre-arranged pose, a new identity is formed that must be constantly re-imagined and re-shaped in the moment. As the paint seeps away into the milk, Vand's performance must continually shift to accommodate its new context and form while Meade's photography must capture the ephemeral moments before they de-materialize. The result is an ever-evolving, time-based portrait that includes every layer of the process within each consecutive frame. Each new visual identity is a product of the versions that came before.
The surface of the milk intersects Vand's body at an uneven and unusual plane, creating a sense of movement and depth beneath her compressed form. This play on dimensionality in the picture plane evokes a sensory illusion that activates the viewer's experience by challenging their common perceptions. The identifiable becomes ineffable, giving each photo an unsettling tone. By blending the borders between the subject and its surroundings, identity is muted and we're left with the distilled nuances that shape the space.
Artwork by Alexa Meade & Sheila Vand
Music by So Many Wizards
Video by David Branson
I think it was in the time of spring 2012, when I came across David Shiyang Liu's lovely piece of work about Ira Glass. It was the most inspiring and motivating video I had ever seen in my life. I watched it over and over again, listened to Ira Glass' voice, and told myself, that I am not the only person who is constantly disappointed about the gap between one's taste and one's skills. Later in 2012, I decided to do my own filmed version of Ira's interview - using my own language to tell his message. It took me about a year from concept to upload.
I made it for myself and for anybody who is in doubt about his/her creative career. I also think that Ira Glass' message isn't only limited to the creative industry. It can be applied to everyone who starts out in a new environment and is willing to improve.
Ira Glass, whom I've never met in real life, but who had such a big influence on my development. Thank you for telling beginners what nobody else does.
David Shiyang Liu for the video that inspired me to start the project. You all should watch his awesome kineticTypo-version here: vimeo.com/24715531
The people from Magic Lantern who gave DSLR videography a new dimension (I chose this project to be a test run with the RAW plugin)!
Steven Sasseville for painting the "taste" painting for me.
Pedro Sousa for his advice and working his ass off at the "creative work" chalkboard.
Wolfgang Kraus for letting me borrow his sound equipment.
Kai Löhnert for working out on his birthday in the "fight" take.
Wolfgang Hendrik Schnabel for giving me the museum-like atmosphere and his silhouette in the painting takes.
Hermiyas Ötztürk for his hairy "good enough" hand.
Orange Hive Studio for light equipment and location.
Mima and Heinz Sax-Schmitz for the location of the "ambitions" take and finding me the "finish 1 story" typewriter.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU
Solveig Gold for being the most patient and supporting person in my life. She appears in a lot of scenes in this video.
Jutta and Uwe Sax for several pieces of equipment and their support.