Artist's Talk: Mac Adams

Artist's Talk: Mac Adams



these pictures came from an archive at the newseum I did a show last year and I did the show was like this but also I also wanted to use they have such an extensive archive like 5 million pictures I thought it would be kind of nice to somehow use that stuff so these two pick these two murders here were actual pictures taken in the 50s in Mexico about I going to do look like gangster I don't know what what slowly around them more but found them very intriguing and I wanted to make a kind of link between the two so what I did I made little origami swans and digitally put them into the into the scene and then the third image is someone making the Swan so it's called the third Swan implying that the third murder hasn't happened yet but it certainly is that's the idea that photography can be an ongoing continuous it's not a static it could be the next person it's something you take with you you don't really know the hand is male female it's as nails but it's got hairy arms there's a strange a Drudge this kind of quality to it to their hand and again it has a cigarette which is about time no passage of time and it's the single light that's coming from you know coming from the picture but it's a I think this is a very different kind of approach than these other ones I mean these other ones there is no crime nothing it's but again when you start to think about it it doesn't look good for that girl you know that's what fasted me is why do we think that I mean there are many many reasons for that culturally ingrained reasons I think it's you know you know it it's about the brutalization of women it's about how culture it's a really complex set of you know situations that make you revert to those kind of stereotypes but it's true well these started in the 80s and I was very unhappy what was happening in the 80s no we had Thatcher and Reagan and there was a huge kind of inequality happening I mean if Thatcher was destroying the unions in Britain Reagan was busting unions in the States there was this suddenly this excess of wealth and a huge a growing kind of poor section that was happening in so I'm not a photojournalist so I thought I wonder if I could actually make a construction that would reflect the way I was seeing things happening socially so I began taking these designer objects designer kitchen where like the Michael Graves which was designed for upwardly mobile yuppies you know people with lots of money to have modern kitchens and also thinking about the whole postmodern condition and it seemed to me that is was this kind of disjunction taking place so it seemed these highly reflective no beautiful objects I mean non-functional I mean that's a useless teapot I mean it's burns your hand I mean there's no use whatsoever it just looks good and you know thinking about the nature of design I mean my understanding of no design was form follows function so what happens if the film and the content don't match again is another kind of collision so you know the haves and the have-nots I mean that one we have this bombing taking place that this was done in the mid 80s and I found it very interesting because the design of the pot is like an old Islamic helmet so this idea of having which you know I mean this was 15 years before lack and Desert Storm but somehow it time is caught up with it it suddenly now makes sense and like this one this is a relatively new one I took these Alessi sort of began thinking about futurism and future isms obsession with motion and metallic skins and you know reflecting the future so I thought it would me this this little biscuit container when you see a reflection almost works like a strip of film so I thought in the manner of you know insanity and you know because the Futurists were a little fascistic that this insane party is taking place in there between this crazy guy with tattoos and a gun and his girlfriend is just drinking and taking drop meanness justice madness that's taking place such a again the kind of techno schizophrenia between the object and the content but together so it's this I love collisions why I may explode in your head hopefully this doesn't have the same this doesn't have the kind of logic that the other pictures have I was really interested in not thinking about any stories and instead sort of pick up on somatic motifs that sort of relate because i found that story's happened that i could never think up you know you're kind of like a kind of a seeing your kind of consciousness stream of consciousness just let it kind of go by taking you know simple circular motifs and circle goes into squares and they go into lines and they go into something else and and then the tables I didn't want the pictures to be experienced on white clinical walls I think photographs are a lot like communions you know they absorb the kind of conditions of where you see them so meaning is I mean photographs are totally contextually based in terms of information so i think that these old tables and the different styles take you on another journey the history of the table stains the cuts of things that fall in them sort of weave themselves into these stories as well what's really which really kind of interest me and actually when i was when i was doing a version of this in at the naps someone said to me that if i knew that that old narratives come from four sources i thought wow that's you know and he said it it's either your it's your relationship to death your relationship to your parents your relationship to God and to love and I thought I don't know whether that's true at all but it's an extraordinary provocative thing to say so it's sort of at the end thinking I wonder if it's possible to do to do a work that in that embraces the origin of all stories I'm it's an insanely ambitious project but that's the kind i think with the tables that sort of ties itself into her again but but it's it's sort of questions the nature of arbitrariness and how meaning and you know the the title loose threads addresses you know this whole thing like a like an old cop it you know it opens up and it closes up the things that tighten up become more logical among other things are diffused but they all have this sort of mathematical interrelationship and of course these are all going disappear so it you know it's it's a very it's not a static situation it's changing all the time imperceptibly so it's really much like they're like little membranes of memory that are slowly disappearing I find that really fascinating it's like a kind of Alzheimer's it's the photographs are not permanent conditions you know it's photograph so we're born of light but light also is their enemy that they destroy it so this again is another paradox you

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