Saturday, December 8, 2012

Creative Process Journal: Project Summary

Creative Process Journal Diary Page by Ingrid Mida 2012

When I began this project, I undertook to explore:
1. How to portray the fragmentary nature of the historic garments of the Ryerson Fashion Research Collection through photographs?
2. Given the nature of clothing as material memory, how do I honour/remember the women who once wore these garments?

The constraints I set for myself were to only use garments and photographs found within the Ryerson collection and only photograph items on-site and in a manner that respected their fragile state.

Over the course of the past several months, I've explored theory (Baudrillard, Benjamin, Latour, Sontag, Horkheimer & Adorno, Gill & Pratt). I also considered the relationship between photography and death, the nature of fashion curation, and the links between fashion and the museum. I visited a number of exhibitions seeking out artistic inspiration at ArtToronto 2012, and curatorial inspiration at BIG at the ROM, Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics & Painting at the AGO, Ivy Style at FIT, and Regarding Warhol at the Met. I also saw the documentary "Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel" and five hours of the 24-hour art movie "The Clock".

I intended to write more about my research and creative process, but the copyright violation made me reluctant  to share it all in this forum. Instead I used a diary type of sketchbook in which I pasted  newspaper clippings and magazine images that captivated me, as well as writing out my reflections on the process and my practice.

Creative Process Journal Diary Page by Ingrid Mida 2012
Although I initially felt stuck and unrooted by the change in format, in time I enjoyed the private space that this diary gave me to explore without the fear that what I created would not measure up. To make good art, you have to make a lot of bad art, and recording that in a private space let me play. Cutting and pasting became a meditative and intuitive process finding links between images and time that might not have materialized otherwise. The diary format also created a time dimension to the process, reminding me that I needed to do something and not put it off to another day.

In the end, I am pleased with the series of photographs that I've produced so far (and I apologize for not wanting to share them yet). There is more work yet to come, but what I've created to date is haunting and ephemeral, a simulacra of the intersection of history, memory and reality. For me, this stanza of a poem by John Fuller called "Flea Market" captures the essence of my intention:

All these objects that we believe
Define us: they ache already with
Our love, and their forgottenness.

Poem from pages 82-83 in the book "Fragments of the World: Uses of Museum Collections"
Author Suzanne Keene
Publisher: Elsevier: New York, 2005.

Notice of copyright: 
All text and images on this blog are the copyright of Ingrid Mida, unless otherwise noted. The copying of posts, images and/or text without proper attribution is violation of copyright and legal action will be pursued.