I always found the Dadaists fascinating. Their stance against formal art was fanatical, if not political. Their poems and performances were abstract and chaotic. However, I found their methods and philosophies quite beautiful and complex. They wanted the work to take over. They were the vehicles. It’s a stance that a lot of artists talk about, but never take. Ultimately, the Dadaists wanted more out of “art.” They needed a new language. One that only they could speak and understand. It was almost spiritual in the sense that, they had to have faith in their process. Chance was their religion.
I wanted this project to follow some of the processes that were used by the Dadaists. I decided to make a small collage, and record a short instrumental for two different artists. I started by quickly jotting down the names of fifteen painters and sculptors. I didn’t give myself time to pick and choose, I just thought of a name and wrote it down in the order that they came to mind. Once they were written down, I numbered them and put them in a bowl. I chose one, and my girlfriend Chrissy chose the other. Now that the names were drawn, I had to set up the parameters of the process. The records that were used on the music were drawn randomly. I could only use the images out of two National Geographic magazines. One per artist. And, I had to finish a song a painting each day.
I have always thought of art as a language, which is not a new concept by any means. Nevertheless, I approached each piece as a poem. Of course, in true Dada fashion, none of them involve words, for the most part. I didn’t want the collages to look like their work, but instead, draw from how their paintings made me feel. I approached the songs the same way. In the end, I let the process run its course and ultimately control the outcome. Here are two poems for Per Kirkeby and two poems for Francis Bacon.
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Process in most cases dictates outcome.
Recently Ofad got the chance to get to know Noel Paris a bit better through a small visit to his art / recording studio located behind his house in Costa Mesa California. Upon visiting Noel's studio one immediately gets the feeling that he is very serious about finding time to produce art and music. Noel spends as much time as a modern man can in his studio, pushing himself to discover new ways of looking at sound and visual art.
When Ofad purposed the idea of working with Noel to produce a project that can be viewed on the site, he immediately took this as an opportunity to push his work by constricting his process to effect the outcome. By using methods that were inline with the Dada movement he imposed restrictions on the work and it's process. Noel only allowed himself to work with materials (visual and sound) that were chosen by chance and the resulting work was built upon the path that the materials lead. The subject matter was again a game of restrictions, created by process and chance, shaped by Noel. The exercise produced work that in allot of ways is of it's self.
After getting to know Noel better you start to get a picture of a man who sees beyond the the work as a result and views the work as a journey. Outcome is dictated by the path that the piece leads the artist down and is shaped by circumstances that arise as the piece is being produced. It seems that for Noel this is the nature of making art and he embraces the process as a means to an end. He deliberately injects restriction into his pieces to push himself to discover new works.
If you would like to know more about Noel Paris:
Noel Paris Interview
- Control-room clutter
- FX for the records
- Project-room clutter
- The machine
- Record group one
- Record group two
- Record group three
- Francis Bacon back
- Magazine for Francis Bacon piece
- Noel on the morning of making Francis Bacon piece
- Setting up the tracks
- First layer of Francis Bacon
- Per Kirkeby back
- Magazine for Per Kirkeby piece
- Noel painting Per Kirkeby piece
- Noel recording Per Kirkeby
- First layer of Per Kirkeby
- Noel late night finish of one of the projects
- The finished pieces
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