Art, fear & video tapes.

I wish that I could stay on top of blogging but other things get in the way. Workshops, classes, Facebook!!, experimentation, filling orders etc., etc.

Something I’ve been wanting to super desperately share is happening soon!! So, I think it is safe to now mention it..?

Back in January I received a message from Pascal Perich. The message was a bit cryptic, my first thought was – this has to be spam. I wrote a friend to confirm, rather then simply googling his name- duh! OK. Not spam. Then I grew nervous concerning the prospect.
Pascal Perich is an amazing photographer and currently creates Handmade Video portraits for Etsy.
Pascal sent me some ideas that he’d shared with his editor and wrote, “..Tosca, do not be scared.”
” this all Jacques Cousteau and “Art and Fear”…I am sticking to the memory/inspiration idea. I think I can make it very interesting visually… perhaps something a little bit haunting. She has these big dread locks..so then…mysterious, decadent, sexy and dark, a bit spooky…I don’t want to say Goth , I would prefer to say decadent…Almost a Salomé
or medusa.
She may be working on her things like in a Franz Von Stuck painting (not naked though). Her white hands in the dark.
Some end-of-the-century novels (XIXth) l’ensorcellee of the Barbey d’Aurevily mysterious curse of a very poor woman or Rachilde’s “Marquise de sade” (self explained)
or the atmospehere in the short essay by Le Fanu “Schalken the painter”.
She also makes me think of André Breton’s Nadja

In painting…Hygeia by Klimt, meets Arnold Böclin “..
In films: Anti-christ, Sleepy Hollow, The Name of the Rose, The Lady of the Water thingy (I didn’t see that).
Water as a memory, swamps, biological and metallic, visceral…
Tell me what you think.”

Oh, ok.
Well, if I wasn’t scared already, now I was.
No, actually I felt Pascal had some how, without ever having known me, figured
something out. Which, I suppose was a bit scary.

Meanwhile, he was making his way up to Toronto soon and I grew more and more excited! Dark into light.. how would this aspect of my work, of myself as an artist be translated into video?

The whole experience turned out to be beyond my expectations. I felt very comfortable around Pascal, not nervous at all! We met late on a Friday evening and worked at my studio until 1 or 2am. Saturday morning we met at 7:30am and worked until midnight or something? Pascal had initially planned to head out of Toronto for 5pm that day but crazy fantastic moments kept popping up around Toronto, and in my studio that had to be captured.

The most difficult part for me was recording my voice. Talking about my work or process, concepts, inspiration, where I go when working, or imagining. The ‘darkness’ or dark-side of self. When I was in my twenties I really got into the idea of weeding out my dark-side, or unearthing it, facing it and allowing it presence in my work. I read every book I could find, in Taos and Santa Fe (or on my Father-in Laws bookshelf) on Carl Gustav Jung or on psyche and dreams, Joseph Campbell’s Myth series, Michel Foucault and Jamake Highwater, The Dreamtime, and Shamanic journey. Only now (over 10 years later) with a microphone in front of me I felt blank, void. While I feel I could make a piece of work that would tell you exactly where I was at, coming from or feeling, to articulate this is another thing entirely.

And, of course after the fact there are many things I wish I’d said! Why is it always like that?!

Pascal filmed me working at my studio, and around Toronto. I might mention locations when the video actually goes online. Otherwise, I want it to remain a mystery 😉

All n all we worked something like 21 hours together. It felt oddly surreal, dream like. I was so wired after we finished then, for some reason I became sad, almost depressed. Weird. Maybe this is how actors feel when they’ve finished a project? Regardless, the high lasted several days and I went with it!

So, now it is March and Pascal has apparently finished editing the material and is ready to pass it on to Etsy. Gulp.
The ‘darker’ aspect of creating (art or craft) is seldom discussed, rarely comfortably brought up in conversation, and never mentioned by Martha Stewart. Who, I might add has had to deal with some dark stuff I’m sure… going to prison did she look within?
I’ve had studio mates that never ever wanted to go there or felt they didn’t have anything dark going on. They didn’t like silence because it made them think (that’s it!!). It is a topic that’s misunderstood. I am not referring to evil, Hollywood horror movie stuff (maybe) or committing heinous crimes.
For me, it seems to always be there, somewhere… lurking. While I may have dealt with certain aspects of it in my twenties, I am beginning to feel that every decade brings something new to look at or revisit. My current work isn’t anywhere as dark as what I was making back in the 90’s. Perhaps it isn’t even really that it’s not as dark, the energy has changed. I’m definitely in a different space.

Meanwhile, I wait anxiously for Pascal’s finished piece. He tells me that it is the most ‘movie’ like portrait he’s completed so far, and seems very happy with the results and can’t wait for my reaction. 🙂
I am scared on some level people will not understand, or be scared. Then again as with all of my work, it doesn’t really matter if anybody ‘gets’ it.
It is mine.

Thank you Pascal!

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