BFA Thesis Part 4: The Sequel To The Promo Problem

While this update is being installed as a sequel to the last post, the problem up for discussion was technically tackled as a prequel. I acknowledge this backtracking in the timeline means my BFA cinematic universe will never amount to having a Marvel level “interwoven but comprehensible” plot. It’s a pity. But onward we go.

What we’re chewing on: How do you document books that have hundreds of text and illustration spreads in multiple physical forms- in ten images? How do you reduce those same images to three social media promotional photos? And how do you do this when a key element of the art experience is the handling and installation, but the images are due two weeks before installation?

These questions aren’t complaints. They’re a list of the practical dilemmas I was hitting my heads against and will probably keep hitting my head against for as long as I keep deciding to put artwork before the public.

Considering my resources, time, and budget, I came up with a way of “themeing” the photos. Again, the pattern of this thesis has been strong, potentially disastrous choices over lazy defaults.

Using a strong light, a dark studio, and a select pile of easily manipulated pieces, I thought of the body of pictures as creating “an aura” instead of documentation of the work. And while some images ended up more stellar than others, as a whole I think they vibrate with the energy my artist statement tried to put into words (Artist statement can be seen again below, or check back to part 2).

None of the work is really shown in a substantive way. That’s not what matters. What matters is transmitting an identity for the collection.

As for social media, I cropped down (“Instagram style”) The three best images and turned those over to the committee.

They may not be the best representation of the ultimate show experience, or even the pieces, (That’s what documentation photos are for) but if an art show is a meal then promotional photos are the sauce – missing anything of substance, but giving you kind of maybe sort of the right idea. A necessary, but frustrating and at times disconnected piece of the eternal “outreach” and “reception” puzzle.

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