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Studio Practice / Methodologies / Research My practice is an enquiry into the visual codes that constitute authenticity: natural looks or ‘little shows of honestly’1 in surfaces, garments and foodstuffs; the representation of ‘normal life’; basic functionality; a thing whittled to its simplest form. This equates to an economical approach to making work. I attempt to use only what I have and know in order to make work (an instruction I received as a young(er) artist). I often involve my family in my work. Their inclusion is related to wider interests including the ‘performance’ of ones social class/culture in everyday activities (e.g. childrearing techniques, food preparation and eating rituals); contemporary preoccupation with elements of ‘traditional’ lifestyles and/or desire for a partial return to ‘simplicity’ or a pastoral ideal (e.g. pre-industrial revolution or idealised notions of lifestyles of the ‘Other’). This year I began to acknowledge my family’s relationship with work, (i.e. as a central component of lifestyle and identity, and their emphasis and understanding on/of hard work) as a key influence on both my approach to my practice and its themes.

Jennifer Bailey Work

By extension, I am interested in the problems and constraints inherent in the use my ‘real’ life and background and the wider issues around the management of personal confession and self-representation by the artist. Another concern is the often-paradoxical nature of concerted efforts towards authenticity and the problems inherent to representing realness. The production of work for the Degree Show was framed by these considerations, although I do not feel as if they are necessarily apparent in the finished work. The past year has been characterised by a better understanding of how to facilitate sustain a studio practice. I maintain a fairly regular, office-like routine. I ‘work through’ concepts by writing and simple, almost diagrammatic drawing – planning or sketching ideas and building on these ‘plans’ by returning to them on a routine basis; reordering, drawing out and editing information. This is particularly useful in the consolidating my ideas with research. I used the (apparent) expansiveness of the first year to test whether I was able to work in a way based more in material experimentation: essentially, ‘hands on’ encounters with materials or processes as a nucleus for work, with the final idea of the work subject to change during its making. This forced digression from a more instinctive manner of working seemed an important experiment at that stage but I now feel its unnecessary to try to work in ways that are not so much unnatural, but unproductive. My dissertation was an enquiry into the implications of middle class Britons preparing minestrone soup from an Elizabeth David recipe and what value systems this frugal, basic dish refracted onto its eaters. It was important that the research undertaken for my dissertation overlapped with that of my studio work. The process of narrowing down a subject establishing an argument was very useful in focusing the direction of my general research. My approach to research is still meandering and fickle at times, but I find that concentrating on one item at a time and making proper notes enables me to actually recall it more effectively. My work over the past year has encompassed research into, amongst other things, into Japanese aesthetics, in particular wabi-sabi and shibui, centred on the notion of beauty in imperfection and utility, asceticism; Norman Bryson’s concept of creaturality and writing on still-life painting; the Mediterranean as an archetype of rustic essentiality, the political and social context around minimalist fashions of the 1990s, and social class in relation to activities of consumption; the value of evidence of labour in (art)work and Arte Povera. 1

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Dean MacCannell. The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. (New York: Schocken Books,1976): 100


I have been looking at, or rather, revisiting, documentary photography, especially of the 20th century United States – Alec Soth, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore. Their work holds an interest as it was the result of a sort of romanticised, primitive, nomadic lifestyle, and the resulting work was often provisional in style, but appeared highly considered and self-conscious. I have also been looking at late American photographer Jan Groover, who made large scale, more conceptual photographs of arrangements of objects that were often heavily related to traditional still life painting.

Norman Bryson. Looking at the Overlooked: Four essays on still life painting, London: Reaktion Books (1990) Richard Shusterman Pragmatist aesthetics: living beauty, rethinking art, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, Inc (2000) Roland Barthes, ‘The World as Object’ Critical Essays, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press (2000)

During the first term, I participated in Bloomberg New Contemporaries. This required me to re-address my older work and find solutions for showing work from different periods together in unfamiliar spaces. This enabled me to re-consider it as the root or basis of recent work. I was also required to negotiate with curators at both venues around the showing of my work. Several studio visits resulted from my participation, at Chisenhale Gallery and several artist-run institutions. I felt I was able to discuss my work and ideas with greater clarity than I would have done previously, owing to a greater understanding of my practice, past and present.

Roland Barthes,, ‘Toward a Psychosociology of Contemporary Food Consumption’, Food And Culture: A Reader, Carole M. Counihan, Penny Van Esterik (eds.) (1961) Roland Barthes, Rhetoric of the Image’ Image, Music, Text, Waukegan: Fontana Press (1993) Theodor Adorno, ‘Free Time’, The Culture Industry, London: Routledge (2001)

n.b. notes on specific works can be found below Key Texts / Works

Work: Titles and Notes

Alec Soth, Making Parts, New York, Magnum (2004)

n.b. work not submitted for consideration (owing to falling outside the assessment period) but relevant in the context of subsequent work is shown with an asterisk.

Allan Casebier ‘Japanese Aesthetics with some Western Analogues’, Dr. Mazhar Hussain, Robert Wilkinson (eds.) The Pursuit of Comparative Aesthetics: An Interface Between the East And West Aldershot: Ashgate (2006)

Page 1. * Flexitime, c-print, 152 x 102 mm (2012)

Billy Ehn, Orvar Löfgren.The secret world of doing nothing, Berkeley and Los Angeles: The University of California Press (2010)

Photograph of my sister in gym wear, post-exercise.

Claire Pentecost ‘Autonomy, Participation, And…’ clairepentecost.org (2006)

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David Joselit ‘The Power to Style’, Texte zur Kunste, issue 88 (December 2012) Derek Edwards, Malcolm Ashmore, & Jonathan Potter. ‘Death and furniture: The rhetoric, politics and theology of bottom line arguments against relativism’, History of the Human Sciences, 8, 25-49, (1995)

Flexitime with Kombu, c-print, dried seaweed, custom mount, 400 x 500 mm (2012)

Gil Leung, Artists At Work: Andrea Büttner, Afterall Online, 25 May 2010

* Exhibition view, It’s Hard to Find a Good Lamp, Rhubaba, Edinburgh, June 2012 It’s Hard to Find a Good Lamp was a group show based on a Donald Judd essay of the same name, which explores the intersection of design and art.

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Jean Baudrillard. The System of Objects, London: Verso (2005) Laura Letinsky. ‘Morning, and Melancholia’, Eating Architecture edited by Jamie. Horwitz, Paulette Singley. Cambridge: The MIT Press (2006)

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Lisa M. Heldke, ‘Farming Made Her Stupid’ Hypatia, Volume 21, Number 3, Summer 2006 Indiana University Press, pp. 151-165

* What to do and what to wear in 2012 (2), 2012. Salame di cinghiale, salame finocchiona, chrome steel, string, fixings. Dimensions variable.

Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: The University of California Press (1984)

The salame are based on traditional Italian preparations and hand made by my parents. * Copy of Apartamento issue 9 on replica Donald Judd chair (chair courtesy Rhubaba)

Martin Herbert. ‘Andrea Büttner: Camcorders, convents, collectivism and confession’, Frieze, (September 2010)

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Visual references and associated source material for ‘smocks’:

II have been making these garments for about eight months. Their design is based on a traditional peasant’s smock - a basic working shirt - in a durable denim cloth.

Clockwise from left: screening of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring (dir. Ki-duk Kim, 2003), This South Korean film about the life of a Zen Buddhist monk was screened alongside Sairy #004 and Lucy/#003 as part of a small presentation of work at 61 Westmoreland Street, 27 March 2013.; smock source material; table fork at base of steel support, 61 Westmoreland Street; Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (foreground).

The smocks are a little like a design ‘classic’ reworked, like Rick Owens producing the same signature t-shirt each season but with minor alterations. I like the economy of this way of working. I sometimes accessorise the garments with objects related to the body, or more precisely, tools. The condom pinned to Sairy #004 (the placid) is a tribute to Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes of Nineties R&B group TLC, who wore condoms on her clothing - glasses, sleeves, breast pockets - as a political and social statement. It was such a unique use of this object: equating of the shape of it - rolled, unused - with a medal or emblem (or an eyeball).

Page 9. Homebirth, embossment on Somerset, 420 x 297 mm Upcoming: an image of the work will be included in an edition for Marbled Reams (selected by Tom Godfrey) (2013)

I would like to continue to make these, but only by ‘sustainable’ means such as recycled denim, contiguous with my interest in signifiers of goodness. I have also never quite consolidated their showing. I generally display them on the steel hanging structures, which neutralizes them in terms of gender, age etc and renders them sculptural, but have considered them having a more performative ‘function’; e.g. to be worn for the labour of making work.

I produced the embossment using an etching press and laser-cut letter shapes. With the individual letters scattered and in a rather tentative, super-italicised typeface, it is intended to be something of an anti-declaration. Page 10.

References: The text and title of this work reference Dutch novelist Louis Paul Boon. Boon was a proponent of authentic dialogue, using regional Dutch idioms, but also included post-modern techniques where the author’s process is revealed.

Valerie Steele, Calvinism Unclothed, Design Quarterly, No. 157 (Autumn, 1992) Andrea Zittel, Six Month Uniforms http://www.zittel.org/works_vertical.php?a_id=11

housepainter, maar (Dutch, trans. just, but) housepainter, alludes to Boon’s frugal beginnings as a painter of carriages and homes, and his retired occupation of a ‘Sunday’ painter in his home, a retreat to a position of creative neutrality following his writing career.

Work: Sairy #004 (the placid), stonewash-style denim smock (unisex, one size), Durex Select condom, pin, fork, ragu, (not seen) on mild steel support (2012)

Work:

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London2012, solo presentation as part of Gwenan International, 42 Carlton Place, Glasgow. 3 Mensen Tussen Muren, self-adhesive vinyl on mirror, 590 x 355 mm (2012)

Ur #005 Japanese denim smock (unisex, one size), with Hakama-inspired piece and back pleat, on mild steel support (2013)

Flexitime with Kombu (detail shown), archival pigment prints, dried seaweed, frame, 400 x 700 mm (2012)

Page 7. Mild steel cylindrical bars, list of works Wendy-wabi/#001, overdyed denim smock (unisex, one size), distressed denim patches, mild steel support (2013)

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Lucy/#003, stonewash-style denim and overdyed denim smock (unisex, one size), mild steel support (2012)

The following photographs were taken at my parents’ home. Works from the +44 (0)1920 series form the major part of my degree show. I worked with a lifestyle photographer in order to produce a style somewhere between ‘editorial’ and ‘documentary’. The images tend towards stilted or posed, suggestive of members of my

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family as archetypes or models. The photographer I worked with was an authenticity ‘specialist’, hence the use of natural lighting and the objects, food, ornaments pseudo-activated or in a state of utilization. The overall effect is one of managed reality.

Left: +44 (0)1920: woman, Claude (parents’) (2013), c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm Right: +44(0)1920: Auvers, pot, Peroni, (parents’) (2013), c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm

Appearing in the photographs of are images from art history, in the form of mass-produced prints displayed on the walls of the home (Hopper, Gauguin, Monet and Van Gogh), communicating, along with the objects in the home, adding another layer of signifiers: rurality, urbanity, the rustic, etc.

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The titles are based on contemporary trend for restaurant menus, where just the ingredients of a dish are listed in terse, bare sentences, e.g. ‘Ox Heart, Beetroot & Horseradish’ (St. John’s, London, 24 May 2013)

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References and source material for +44 (0)1920 series:

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Dutch Masters painting: Vermeer’s coarse but elegant quotidian scenes, in particular The Milkmaid (1657 – 1658), and Van Dijk’s still lives of foods and other inanimate objects. A good example is A Still Life with Cheeses (1613)

+44 (0)1920: The Boulanger, digital photograph (2013)

Roland Barthes, ‘The World as Object’ Critical Essays, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press (2000)

Left: +44 (0)1920: blue jeans, brown, Nighthawks, digital photograph Right: +44 (0)1920: basket, backpayments. digital photograph (both 2013)

Alec Soth and Lester B. Morrison’s survey of the environments of survivalists, hermits and runaways, Broken Manual, Steidl (2010)

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+44 (0)1920: woman, Claude (parents’) (2013) and +44(0)1920: Auvers, pot, Peroni, (parents’) (2013) installed in MFA Degree Show

+44 (0)1920: Stille, ACME, father, digital photograph (2013)

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+44 (0)1920: stone, key (analytic-style), digital photograph (2013) A major influence is Norman Bryson’s concept of creaturality in Looking at the Overlooked: Four essays on still life painting, London: Reaktion Books (1990)

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Apartamento: an interiors magazine with an emphasis on authenticity.

Visual reference material for +44 (01920 series:

Work: +44 (0)1920: cabbage, yolk, the milder, c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm (2013)

Clockwise from top left: Johannes Vermeer The Milkmaid (1657 – 1658); Van Dijk’s A Still Life with Cheeses (1613); Alec Soth, untitled image from Broken Manual (2007); double page spread from Apartamento, issue 03 (spring 2009)

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+44 (0)1920: cabbage, yolk, the milder, installation view, MFA Degree Show at the Glue Factory, Glasgow (2013) Page 13.

Parents’ is a series of photographs of plates of food prepared and ‘styled’ by my parents and photographed, again, by a lifestyle photographer in her studio. Again, Bryson’s concept of creaturality was crucial in the development of these works, as well as a the sense of ‘managed reality’ conveyed in both documentary and more contemporary editorial photography.

+44 (0)1920: breakfast, sister, feelings c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm (2013) Right: +44 (0)1920: breakfast, sister, feelings installed in MFA degree show (2013)

Their narrow thematic focus renders them more abstract than the +44 (01920) series. They are intended to ‘punctuate’ these works.

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Work:

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Parents’ (chicken in milk), c-type print, framed, 594 x 395 mm (2013). Left: installed in MFA Degree Show Page 22. Parents’ (greens), c-type print, framed, 594 x 395 mm (2013) Right: installed in MFA Degree Show Page 23. Left: Parents’ (salame), digital photograph Right: Parents’ (Spaghetti alla Vongole), digital photograph (both 2013) Page 24. Left: Parents’ (minestrone), digital photograph. Right: Parents’ (gravadlax), digital photograph (both 2013) Page 25. Ancillary Works and Projects 61 Westmoreland Street. Project space with Jay Mosher What began as an opportunity to show work to our peers developed into a series of solo exhibitions with artists related to the MFA course: Justin Stephens, Rory Middleton, Allison Gibbs and Othmar Farré. Artists were encouraged to test out new material and low-impact experiments, in conversation with Jay and I. Image: 61 Westmoreland Street website Page 26. Text by Jennfier Bailey for the show Goodbye by Appointment by Justin Stephens on website for 61 Westmoreland Street (2013). Page 27. Cups in studio (2013) Glazed and fired earthenware vessels used in studio for refreshments, tea, etc and modeled on the Japanese shibui style.

Work


Flexitime, c-print, 152 x 102 mm (2012)

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Flexitime with Kombu, c-print, dried seaweed, custom mount, 300 x 400 mm (2012)

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Left: What to do and what to wear in 2012 (2) (2012). Salame di cinghiale, salame finocchiona, chrome steel, string, fixings. Dimensions variable. Right: Flexitime (2012) Exhibition view of It’s Hard to Find a Good Lamp (2012)

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What to do and what to wear in 2012 (2) (2012) Right: copy of Apartamento issue 9 on replica Donald Judd chair

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Sairy #004 (the placid), stonewash-style denim smock (unisex, one size), Durex Select condom, pin, fork, ragu, (not seen) on mild steel support (2012) Left: back view

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Ur #005, Japanese denim smock (unisex, one size), with hakama-style front piece and back pleat, on mild steel support (2013). Left: back view

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Above: Lucy/#003, stonewash-style denim and overdyed denim smock (unisex, one size), mild steel support (2012) Right: Wendy-wabi/#001, overdyed denim smock (unisex, one size), distressed denim patches, mild steel support (2013)

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Clockwise from left: screening of Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (dir. Ki-duk Kim, 2003), screened alongside smocks at 61 Westmoreland Street; table fork with ragù at base of steel support, 61 Westmoreland Street; smock source material; sourdough loaves made by my father, shown alongside smocks in Joint Ventures, group show, Space in Between, London (2012), Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (foreground) 8


Right: Homebirth, embossment on Somerset paper. Image forms part of an edition for Marbled Reams (2013) 9


London2012, solo presentation as part of Gwenan International, 42 Carlton Place, Glasgow. Clockwise from top left: Flexitime with Kombu (detail), mild steel cylindrical bars, list of works; 3 Mensen Tussen Muren, self-adhesive vinyl on mirror, 590 x 355 mm (all 2012)

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+44 (0)1920: cabbage, yolk, the milder (2013), c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm

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+44 (0)1920: cabbage, yolk, the milder (2013) installed in MFA Degree Show

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+44 (0)1920: breakfast, sister, feelings (2013) c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm. Above: installed in MFA degree show

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Above: +44 (0)1920: woman, Claude (parents’) (2013), c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm Right: +44(0)1920: Auvers, pot, Peroni, (parents’) (2013), c-type print, framed, 1220 mm x 961 mm

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+44 (0)1920: woman, Claude (parents’) (2013) and +44(0)1920: Auvers, pot, Peroni, (parents’) (2013) installed in MFA Degree Show

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+44 (0)1920: Stille, ACME, father. digital photograph (2013)

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+44 (0)1920: The Boulanger. digital photograph (2013)

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Above: +44 (0)1920: blue jeans, brown, Nighthawks, digital photograph Right: +44 (0)1920: basket, backpayments. digital photograph (both 2013)

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Right: +44 (0)1920: stone, key (analytic-style), digital photograph (2013)

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Clockwise from top left: Johannes Vermeer The Milkmaid (1657 – 1658); Van Dijk’s A Still Life with Cheeses (1613); Alec Soth, untitled image from Broken Manual (2007); double page spread from Apartamento, issue 03 (spring 2009) 20


Parents’ (chicken in milk), c-type print, framed, 594 x 395 mm (2013). Above: installed in MFA Degree Show

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Parents’ (greens), c-type print, framed, 594 x 395 mm. Right: installed in MFA Degree Show

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Above: Parents’ (salame), digital photograph. Right: Parents’ (Spaghetti alla Vongole), digital photograph (both 2013)

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Above: Parents’ (minestrone), digital photograph. Right: Parents’ (gravadlax), digital photograph (both 2013)

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Documentation of website for 61 Westmoreland Street project space (2013)

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Further documentation of website for 61 Westmoreland Street project space.

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Cups. Glazed and fired earthenware Used in studios for refreshments, tea, etc and modeled on the Japanese shibui style.

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JB 2013

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