Noun, Verb, Adjective

From Intermediate Drawing with Neil Bender and Ellen Mueller, spring 2009

For better or for worse (your subjective opinion), “Synecdoche, New York” is an immersion into states of reality, and the ambition of the artistic process. It’s kinda about everything. It’s about what one loves, and how they love it, and what they do to retain love. It’s about trying to craft something that means everything… which is impossible. It also evokes personal responses, which I think is good for this project.

‘Synecdoche’ is a term that can either represent a part or a whole, or vice versa (please refer to the 2 articles [one, two] and their discussion of the film). It also references the town Schenectady. The director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) builds a full-scale replica of New York in a warehouse, which then must contain the warehouse as well.

How does one express something one cares about with complexity? Pick 3 words (a noun, a verb, and adjective) that have some sort of significant meaning for you (what might Caden Cotard’s 3 words be?). Start with things/ideas that have significant meaning to you in their purest state. (This, for me, would be kittycat (noun), painting (verb), and pinky (adjective)). You will do ‘research’ into these three words,  them from your point-of-view, and from a complex: investigation into how that word is imaged and depicted (this can start with a Google image search, and grow from there).

Example: say I do ‘Obama’ fur my noun. I may take every image of Obama from the NYTimes (a ‘liberal’ source) and The Wall Street Journal (a ‘conservative’ source) and make a 3-page grid of all of those images, comparing and contrasting. Maybe I focus in on the mouth, i.e. Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ images of her lips.

colorful lips

I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever by Andy Warhol (credit)

Fill your sketchbook with ideas about these 3 things and how they might be combined with figurative drawing. How would you picture them? How does everyone else picture them? What does this mean (that’s a deep question)? You will have to make decisions… draw, collect collage material, make notes … how will you put all of this information into one drawing? So you will compose and orchestrate this information in your own way, based on artists from your text (which I’ll discuss/give to you via email and in class; you will turn in a 1-2 page paper with your final work that will at least partly refer to artists from your text that were a source of ‘inspiration’ ) …..

Through discussion and dialogue with us, you will pick one of these 3 threads and make one final piece out of your love of -and immersion into- kittycat, painting, or pinky, and compose the research you’ve done on one of these 3 things, while incorporating figurative drawing.

Your final piece will be on 3 sheets of 30″x44″ Rives BFK paper (we will supply you with). Due ___