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Week Four – Oscar Faulkner

Last week I focused on barcodes, layering shapes until they became more abstract. This week I extracted the numbers of the receipts, the cost of my food, using the same methods as with the barcode drawing.

In Friday’s class we looked at Rirkrit Tiravanija, an artist who has turned gallery space into installations of giving food to the audience who then become the artwork by participating.
I came across the word Gastronomy – the art or science of good eating, studying relations between food and culture.
Tiravanija explores the relationship between art and life, which are usually separated.
In his work his medium is the food. He is interested in the development of social relations, the idea of a station, where people pass through, picking up information at the same time as resting.

1967–9, Etching and drypoint on paper, 120 × 95 mm

Jasper Johns

I started thinking about Jasper John’s use of everyday symbolism in Week Two. His work is semi-abstract because it still retains these familiar shapes.
0 through 9 as a title covers many of his experiments. The numbers are superimposed which denies any sequence of the numbers.
On abstraction he said:
“Make something, a kind of object, which as it changes or falls apart (dies as it were) or increases in its parts (grows as it were) offers no clue as to what its state or form or nature was at any previous time.”


Numbers have importance and value in our culture but in this context they have become shapes with no symbolic or mathematical meaning.
When we see numbers we have connected language to them. Language is a social construct. The reality of numbers may exist in nature but the words and shapes of the numbers do not really exist, they are different throughout cultures and history.

Reflecting to try and overcome a block in my project…

I came to the conclusion that although I’m enjoying the process of making the drawings, the concept isn’t as strong as my other projects anymore. I think that researching art movements and psychological or philosophical ideas has helped me feel more excited in my painting and photography projects and I notice I have not had that focus in this project. From the numbers of Jasper Johns I thought of the Absurd – that we place so much value onto things like money, things that are a fabrication of our society.

Absurdism is ‘the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe’.

Large Scale Drawing Two

Graphite, paper, 100 x 160 cm

Large Scale Drawing Three

Graphite, paper, 100 x 160 cm
Graphite and white chalk, 100 x 160 cm

The three 1 x 1.6 metre drawings now hang vertically…

I am starting to read about Absurdism. According to the philosophy, the universe is indifferent, purposeless and chaotic. Albert Camus suggested that although life has no meaning this is a good thing because it means once we have accepted this fact, we are free to create whatever meaning we want.
I have been interested in Absurdism in the past, but this is the first time I have included it in any project. On Camus I have read The Outsider in summer and I like to read through his essays and notebooks sometimes. I want to come up with a statement about the absurd in relation to the everyday and to my process. Generally I see this as connecting aspects of modern life (e.g. consumerism) to Absurdism, and Absurdism to abstraction. In the next week, I also hope to come up with a three dimensional idea that doesn’t leave a gap between the development of my experiments.

1 thought on “Week Four – Oscar Faulkner”

  1. I am reminded of the film Interstellar and how Cooper the protagonist gets caught behind a kind of infinite book case, a parallel universe, and is unable to communicate, unable to control or direct his daughter for his own means, there is something similar here, its like you are making these numbers so large, so abstracted and life size that you are falling into them, getting lost and caught in their meaninglessness, without gravity. The projection is really significant perhaps, it is becoming performative, you are part of the work, you are not just making drawings, they are making you, it is performative drawing, you are going through a process – a journey through meaning to meaninglessness, rationalism to absurdism, order to chaos, reality to..the images of the projection on you and the drawing are strong, this is taking you somewhere new I think. Look at William Kentridge and how he interacts with his drawings.

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