Fade

To be utterly truthful, I was really disappointed in my performance during my silkscreen class last semester. I love the printmaking department, and my instructor was great (though the size and noise level of the class were both insufferable and I found many more reasons to hate people in general), but I think I just didn’t take advantage of the class at all. I’m glad that the biography project that I posted about came out good, but in general I felt like, considering how much time I had spent on printmaking for my ‘A’ Level Coursework, the least I could have done was really create some amazing, complex prints.

Anyway, we had to create a print based on overlapping transparent inks. Not wanting to just grab any random graphic and create a CMYK print (and having a hard time visualising colour in general), I decided to experiment with overlapping very very very transparent black in order to create a sort of grey gradient. I chose to do this on tracing paper, which I experimented with in my work for PLACE last year, as well as with a smoother, less-likely-to-crinkle material called denril – a translucence upon translucence if you will. The results can be seen below. I guess in some way I was thinking about Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photographs of the sea, of some kind of idea of fading memory, of a minimalism infused with a certain melancholy.

Unfortunately, my prints were not sufficiently dry when I stacked them together, and a lot of them got stuck. It was going to be a very loose collection of prints, but now it has accidentally become a gigantic flip book. It didn’t succeed, but I think the technique will come back to me somehow, when I least expect it. I hope so at least; my creative production and motivation is currently below zero.

A pretentiously added quote on memories from one of my favourite short stories by Borges, continuing my “tradition” of naming works after (or at least linking works to) literature. You can see the tear where I tried to remove the prints from each other. My own handwriting, screenprinted: “Another school posits that all time has already passed, so that our life is but the crepuscular memory, or crepuscular reflection, doubtlessly distorted and mutilated, of an irrecoverable process.”

The smoother effect of the gradient on denril. At times the patterns created incidentally through the use of such a fragile, unpredictable medium almost appears landscape-like.

The effect on normal tracing paper is much harsher and more distorted – almost like something diseased. It’s created by the repeated separation of the screen from the paper after printing with the viscous ink.

Another example of the tracing paper print, to show how different each print can be due to all the little “accidents” – an ode to the inconsistencies of memory perhaps.

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