January 30, 2011

Presence or In Treatment

A year after the first season of the HBO television series In Treatment aired, I had the pleasure of watching it on DVD. I had overheard discussions about the series and had seen Charlie Rose's interview with Gabriel Byrne, the protagonist of the show prior to watching it.

From the interview alone, I knew it was of interest to me. However, I didn't know to what extent it would then make its way into my work. After about the fourth week of the first series (watching one week at a time, which contains 5 episodes) when I turned off the television, Gabriel Byrne or the character, Dr. Paul Weston's presence was still in my space. Something similar used to happen when I used to paint late into the night. My mind's eye would continue swirling colors when I went to bed. Like paint, his presence spoke to me, awakening me to what was there and what asked to be revealed.

The actor's hologram-like presence inhabiting my loft, threaded "In Treatment" with my previous artistic concern regarding absence and presence. The series gave me an opportunity to reexamine my own issues not so much intellectually as artistically. In my experience, understanding is key to awareness, but actual transformation travels beyond the intellect and that's why it's called art.

In preparation for these photo shots I took many photos from the television, some of which I printed out and installed in my loft. I would have preferred the actors themselves, especially Dr. Weston, the therapist, but settled on what was available. The work does not attempt to interpret the television program whatsoever. I've used the faces of the actors only as a point of departure for my own concerns.

Many people think these photos are montages or constructed in Photoshop, but they are not. They are all one shot, taken in the dark. Most of what happens during these shoots is a surprise. The work is highly improvisational and experimental.

I've posted some of these on my gallery, and most have three words in the title, like "absence - precognition - presence".

Many thanks to everyone who takes the time to read this and to look at my work. I greatly appreciate it.


Posted by Barbara at January 30, 2011 10:37 AM