After seeing the work of Haroon Mirza I briefly looked into other artists who have used this sort of montage technique to bring together seemingly random imagery to build some kind of implicit narrative/message. Simeon Barclay brings together images in a simple collage style. In “An arrangement on Blue (swamp rat skank)” 3 seemingly unrelated images are tied together with the use of text.
This could be an effective way to create an ‘odd one out’ situation; none of them initially seem to be related but once you read into it is there one that doesn’t fit at all? For example in a selection of 10 images, 9 could contribute to some kind of story, while 1 is actually completely unrelated. The viewer, if told that only 9 are linked, would possibly come up with a totally different story and therefore a totally different odd one out.
Being new to living in London, one of the things I notice whilst walking around are the funny Londoner “still lifes” created accidentally on the streets. It is fun to come up with background stories for the things that can be found (and all kinds of things can be found!)
I decided to use these as the subject for my odd one out study. The next thing I wanted to explore was the use of different mediums and the effect this can have whilst still focusing on the question of if there can be an odd one out between things that are all completely the same yet all completely different: for example, is there an odd one out between a shoe, a painting of a shoe and a photograph of a shoe? And in a collection of items will the viewer select an odd one out by looking at the full collection or by looking at the individual components?
3 different interpretations of 9 different objects came together to create 3 completely different compositions each made up of the same objects.
It was interesting introducing this piece to a class full of fine art students – the response given was that they saw the painting as the odd one out. Not from a visual standpoint or because it’s the only one showing made up, not physical objects, but rather thinking in conceptual terms: “The painting is the only one that has used a ‘traditional art medium'”. They saw the other two as being a reaction to those people that don’t view contemporary art as ‘real’ art. This was not even vaguely in my mind when creating the piece but it very nicely sums up what I’ve been thinking about – if something is presented in a fine art context people will naturally attach a greater meaning to it than what is actually present. It will be fun to play with this idea as the artist.
The next stage of this body of work is to think more about the language of the materials: randomness in art can’t really exist as proved by this experiment, so how can I play with the connections between the objects. Do I have to stick to the factual narrative of the objects or can I create my own? How can I present fiction as fact or hide fact to allow viewer to see it as fiction?
Can I think more about the element of gameplay? Are there rules/ perimeters? What are they and what difference does this make?