Monday, December 14, 2015
I am a photograph
This piece began as a photograph of the song of the same name by Amanda Lear. I set my camera on a tripod and focused it on the spot between 2 speakers where the sound was optimal and opened the shutter as the song began to play and left it open for the duration of the song, in this case four minutes and twenty five seconds.
As a synesthete I have a tendency to see music, so I wondered what would happen if I were to use a camera to record music. It seems most people pull out their cameras, point and snap not to record the way something looks, what they want is to record the way they feel. I do that too…when I hear music, it makes me see, feel and smell things. It’s always a very powerful experience. I translate these sensory experiences into the labor intensive medium of needlepoint as a way of showing my conviction. So much happens to me while listening and I can meditate on that while translating the photo into needlepoint.
I first became aware of Amanda Lear as the cover model on my Favorite band’s 2nd album, “For Your Pleasure” by Roxy Music. I had made a lot of artwork based on the music on that album so when I was asked to participate in an exhibition called “Not A Lear” in Belgium in 2001 I was thrilled and I had a lot of work that fit. The show closed in Belgium then traveled to NYC and was scheduled to open at Gracie Mansion gallery on September 11. My piece got broken in transit so the curators picked out something else for the new york iteration and asked me to bring it by the day of the opening.
I got a call from the gallery around 2 pm the afternoon of September 11, 2001 asking if I was going to bring the piece by soon…..I was a little dumfounded but the show must go on they said and Amanda was in town for the opening so i got on my bike and rode it over to the gallery, They asked me to stay for the opening and I said I’d stop by later….I couldn’t get there till 7:30, by which time Amanda had already left. I didn’t get to meet here but of course I’ll always associate her with that date, so when the 10th anniversary of 9-11 came around I spent the day photographing her song “I am a photograph” Ive got 13 images in that series and this is the first one Ive turned into a needlepoint.
Much as I’m driven to make something visual based on a sound, I like to make different versions of the image in different mediums, One of the reasons needlepoint appeals to me is that it looks handmade and pixillated at the same time. The repetition and tediousness invite contemplation and allow me to process the information that led to it’s making.