- Art Orientated Research -
ART AND DOCUMENT - OBSERVATORY AND DOCUMENTARY APPROACH IN ARTIST'S WORK
The goal of the theoretical part of my
study is to clarify the problematics between art and document as well as
the documentation an artist makes of one's own observations, work processes
and completed works of art in the field of modem art as specified in the
presentation of the study problem.
STUDY PROBLEMS AND DEFINING THEM
In the artistic part I study the meaning of the
observations I made and of documenting my work its manifestations in my
work within the field of ceramic art. My aim is to find possibilities to
combine ceramics, documents and documentation into interesting work from
the artistic approach. The documents would function as a mean for artistic
expression beside ceramics. The results of the artistic part I will try
to present as the following entities: book, exhibition and a work classified
as environmental art. Moreover, my aim is to examine the possibilities
of documenting artistic post graduate studies within the framework of my
In general people are used to the idea of documenting
a work of art as taking photos of a work of art once completed or at a
specified stage of work. In my study I set out from the holistic work process
of an artist, starting from examining and observing the environment, images
and ideas being brought about, different phases of working when converting
the invisible into a visible outcome. I also find observation of the final
result important. Many artists make sketches, notes, keep a diary, take
photos, collect material and objects from their environment. The meaning
of these can be examined as evidence of one's own actions, documents on
the observations made and thoughts in the process of making art. The method
of documenting a completed work of art varies a lot on the basis of its
nature. For example when considering pieces of environmental work of art,
installations, that usually are disassembled at the end of the exhibition
or changed by the effect of the environment, then documentation with the
help of photographs, written notes are an observation tool for the artist
and at the same time a method of transferring the knowledge and aesthetical
experiences that were gained in process to other people. Documentation
can also be seen as a means of explaining the essence of the process and
work insofar as these terms are seen in a positive light as a means for
artistic processes and for understanding things.
The study problems are: how do artists
document their observations and work? Can a document observing the artist's
own processes be a work of art as such? What functions does personal documentation
have in modern art, in modem society? To create art is reality for an artist,
are the documents produced by the artist real documents? Does an artist
find the work process aesthetically interesting? How do I document the
observations, work processes and outcome of my own? How can I join documentation
and ceramics into an artistically interesting whole?
CARRYING OUT THE STUDY
The problems in the theoretical and artistic part
of my study overlap in parts; for this reason it seems premature to distinguish
them into different categories. The two last of the study problems dearly
belong to the problem setting of the artistic part. The problem setting
of the study inevitable touches the problematics of the artistic part of
the post-graduate study.
Documents, such as photos and text, are used as
construction material of modern art. The objective of the study is not,
however, to collect a comprehensive art-historical presentation of the
usage of documents in art but it will be restricted to the artist's personal
observations and documentation of the
Work, thought, seeking, and production processes.
As background information and also to specify the definitions of the terms
if is necessary to analyze the phenomena of the international modernism
and contemporary art from the viewpoint of the relationship between art
In the artistic part I look for solutions to combine
ceramics and thought-related (words) along with documents (photos) to be
viewed into concrete works of art.
On the basis of the problem setting I focus the
study on the held of visual art, leaving movies, videos, performances and
theater as well as dance outside the scope of this study. My intention
is not to try to create a pattern for artistic documentation.
Within the scope defined in the problem
setting, my study consists of an analysis of written and pictorial material
as well as material collected in interviews using the theoretical methodology
of art history. For the background material to the study I will examine
the expressions that documents and the concepts of documentation have taken
in the discourse of the development of modern art at this century and contemporary
In the artistic part of the study I study the relationship
of my own artistic work to documentation. In my own ways of expressing
I search for possibilities to use ceramics, documents and documentation
as means of creating art.
My study contains a scientific and artistic part
that intertwined whereby I apply the larger meaning of the scientific paradigm,
i.e. depicting reality not only with scientific macro paradigm but also
with the help the macro paradigm of art defining aesthetical dimensions
(approach to reality) (Venkula, 1993). The connections between the process
of forming scientific knowledge and artistic activities I study with principle
of shaping knowledge as defined in pragmatism - to the extent to which
possible - as the understanding of the operative processes of the field
of creativity contains issues on the logic of which there is not much information.
At this stage a 'hole' emerges in the operative process to which the old
knowledge is not applicable and an insight is needed on the necessity of
a new pattern of acting and through H of creation of new information.
One of the starting points for the artistic part
is my artistic work so far and the graduate thesis as a comprehensive process
along with documenting H in my graduate thesis Raotuksia (Opened Ajar).
In my work I have moved among simplified, rather massive ceramic elements.
In the series Siniset hetket (Blue Moments) one starting point was photographic
documentation on the relationship of the elements and nature. In my graduate
work I used ceramics as building material for the architecture of my own
mind. In the documentary part I dealt with concrete and thought processes
relating to my perception, the idea being brought about, my work being
done and ceramics as a material. In the artistic part of the study will
go on from this with aim of integrating documentation to the final result.
In the artistic part I merge ceramics and documentation
into the following entities: book, exhibition and environmental art whereby
the documented processes of my own will lead to these concrete results.
The outcome will be a book on the creation of work of art from ceramics;
an exhibition on objects with ceramics and documents as their material
along with documentation on the exhibition itself, and additionally a ceramic
work of art belonging to scope of environmental art, documentation of processes
of making it and documentation of the work in interaction with the environment.
University of Art and Design Helsinki UIAH
Department of Ceramics and Glass
Hämeentie 135 C
FIN-00560 Helsinki, Finland
phone: +358 9 75630397, fax: +358 9 75630275