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Justin Morgan

"If an artist normally draws a line, a kind of drawing? Are we, then, all artists when we walk?"

This quote made by Tony Godfrey in his written work "CONCEPTUAL ART" (1998) helps to address the notion of alienation and/or false relationship of consciousness. Helping to form a connection the surrounding environment and the image or icon in this case the shirt which holds many metaphoric connotations,, allowing it (the work) to be interpreted in many ways.

For example the act of motion, movement through the space relating or constituting the work. Although the work has changed from that of a photograph to a print in its own right.

This brings to mind a statement made by Joseph Beuys in 1979
"I really liked to photograph...but after a while I found that photography corrupts you. After a while one can no longer stand firmly in the middle of the world. One always stands beside it and looks at it and then even then only at a segment of it."

Drawing on the fact that I too was taken with the process of taking the photograph, although the final outcome was limited in a sense to that of what was seen through the camera as if it were a recording instrument. Likening the process to that of Douglas Huebler and his use of the camera as a 'dumb' recording instrument. Drawing on the naïve play of real space or this case social space.

So this work is based on the idea of a journey through a space. Reverting to the openness of the possibilities of people moving through the same space or forming a relationship to it, a conceptual relationship if you will.

These works form a narrative which is not derived from the use of text, but by the use of the shirt and surrounding environment. The structure of the journey as such is underpinned by the composition of structure of the grid. The grid being autotelic in the way it works by itself without an inner image, yet still open enough to be played upon with the relationship of line, colour and their many combinations.

I found a strong connection with the work of Gilbert and George and the way they likened the process of the grid to that of a natural part of making a large photo-piece. Like dividing a week into seven days. This again making the camera a tool twoards the end result. And the work itself addresses a particular subject with respect to the circumstances of its social and political context.

The social context being that of isolation in a sense, recording the movement of the shirt (floating) through a given space, in this case the urban environment and the association that we form from it. With the use of alleyways with an unclean look to them and a directional pull lending to the idea of movement or a journey not only through the Alleyway but a personal journey of sorts.

The images chosen were from a series of sixty plus photographs where the shirt participated in my modes (forms) of or with the journey. From 'walking' down a path to 'jumping' off Centre City, with the final outcome (selection) coming out of a possible five sets. By this time the shirt had started to form its own personality or sense of being, thus lending to the use of the free flowing form. As it opened the door for other interpretations and aided the use of a narrative which could be tied in by the grid by way of a story board. Only though, to challenge the idea of reading left to right by introducing the up-down motion. As well as playing with the scale of the prints, engaging the viewer by making them step forward and begin the journey.

Justin Morgan
from New Plymouth, New Zealand.

Contact Justin at just2312001@yahoo.co.nz

Image © Justin Morgan