Installation Art – States of Mine by Windows of Susuz

States of Mine is a work of installation art within the Falmouth University International Landings exhibition. The work will be live in Learning Teams – La Sella, Spain from 16-25th August and on the Landings website for a year from August 16th. Other exhibitions by current photography students and staff at Falmouth will take place internationally from 16-25th August and will continue live on the Landings website for a year.

The full title of the work is STATES OF MINE by WINDOWS OF SUSUZ.

The installation art seeks to explore the difficulty of showing the internal state of a human being, me, from an external surface image.

In these two photographs I am smiling. In one I am happy and in the other I am very sad. Even though I know which one represents each state I find it difficult to find evidence in the surface image. Do you know which is the sad one? How did you decide? Are you right?

Recently I was in Cyprus with my best mate Robert Kyprianou. We were photographing places inspired by the theme of his project called the Spirit of Cyprus. One place he took me to was Souskiou. I was moved powerfully by this visit and we returned several times to photograph it.

In 1974 Susuz had over 400 residents and then it had none. In the dispute between Turkey and Cyprus all these residents had to leave these homes as it was predominantly Turkish Cypriots and there was a similar fate for Greek Cypriots the other side of the Green Line. The village has been abandoned ever since as the property is still treated as owned by those who left.

I was more emotionally moved by the experience of being in this village than I expected or understood. On reflection it might take me back to my ancestors on my mothers side who were driven out by Turkish forces from Croatia up in to Hungary and were then annexed by Austria. Then my mum came to England for a new start after the war.

The windows of Susuz captured my attention and are a component of the installation art I will set up for Landings.

Each window is to a dwelling that was lived in by families up until 1974. There would have been happiness, sadness and the full range of lived experiences unfolding in this idyllic spot. My installation uses dwellings as a metaphor for the human state. A thriving house represents itself to the world by the state it is in. An abandoned house represents itself similarly. Each window is a representation of that state. Human beings, in this case me, hide many of the states I do not wish to show. These windows are a representation of some of those states.

The installation art will have 6 panels of 4 windows with each panel arranged as a window. (click) The six panels. This is part of the installation.

I wish to go further and be ambitious by treating the space as installation art rather than an installation of art. The distinction is given in Bishop (2005:6) where she says ‘in a work of installation art, the space, and the ensemble of elements within it, are regarded in their entirety as a singular entity.’

It would be too neat and tidy to say the Windows of Susuz are alone the representation of states of mine. That is not how we can ever describe our states. They are messy, difficult to tie down and often we, I, do not understand my own state. Sometimes I can explain it but still behave with complete lack of understanding of the explanation. I am conflicted. This is normal.

The rooms of Learning Teams and the building it is within therefore represent states of mine. Anything a viewer looks at or experiences is a representation of a state. For the Landings website presence I propose that the viewer uses anything within the space they are present in as representations of states of mine when they consider the work. The intent is to provoke participants to explore the idea of the internal workings and conundrums that lie behind a surface image.

Here is the first draft set of instructions for participants. (click) Instructions.

This installation art sits within the bigger project THE TRUTH & BEAUTY OF ME.

Reference

Bishop, Clare. Installation Art: a critical history (Introduction). 2005. Tate.

Categories: Coursework, Positions and Practice, Surfaces and Strategies

LEN

I am a Photographer. As well as taking many photographs I am currently studying for an MA in Photography at Falmouth University. I will direct my attention through the lens of my camera for the next couple of years and see what shows up. I see a photograph as a little bit of magic capturing a moment in time. If successful it surprises and engages your emotions. It tells a story about the wonders of being alive or tells us what we need to change to make it a better world to live in. That is enough for me to get going and then like walking a 1000 miles, which I did across the UK in 2010, or walking 200 miles across Cyprus, which I did in November last year, it is one step at a time.

I was a writer. The title of my unpublished book was ‘You Would Have Done The Same.' It is about a successful guy in love with his wife who lets her die when he discovers her in the process of committing suicide. The title gives a clue as to what I think you would have done. The book is 200 pages long. I found it cathartic to write it but after two years of work and reviewing with agents decided it probably needed another 2000 hours to get the whole book up to the standard of some of the pages. Writing is great but it is a lot of sitting down so I decided to get out and walk, play tennis, play bridge, go birding, watch football at Nottingham Forest, Arsenal and Valencia and anywhere else if I can, meditate, cook and eat. I was a writer who has so far failed to become an author.
I was a young man who loved Mathematics and thoroughly enjoyed getting a BSc at Liverpool University. While there I went often to Anfield and the Philharmonic Hall. I was all set on doing a PhD until I went for interview practice at BP and got seduced by the excitement of an International business career. BP was a great adventure building trading teams and businesses in London, Antwerp, Cleveland Ohio and Singapore. Fabulous people and some great challenges and also very hard work, constant jet lag and lots of fun along the way. I married Karen, my stunning wife, and had the most amazing time with her and our three boys Alex, Tom and Dan. She has multiple sclerosis and we have taken on many challenges together but somehow keep creating a new normal against the horrors thrown our way. She is the love of my life.

After BP I decided to coach senior executives and quickly realized I had a lot to learn
about what makes people tick. I had a fantastic 18 months on the International Programme of the Cleveland Gestalt Institute. A great faculty and a
wonderful group of people on the programme. We studied and worked in Dingle, Singapore, Holland, Cape Town and
Lisbon. This also got me interested in the way we think and make decisions so I studied for an MSc in Psychology atUniversity College London in 2010. The
Masters was in Cognitive and Decision Sciences and I found it fascinating what
we do know but also how much we don’t know about how we think and make
decisions.

I loved coaching and making a difference. I got a number of people to hear themselves, remove some of their own chains and free up the way they thought about the world. I remain fascinated by how people react to and engage with the world. My Masters thesis was why do two people given the same information make different decisions? Put simply, it is because each of us are unique in the way we are constructed.

Since returning from Singapore I found English winters tough so moved to Spain where I now live. The people are lovely, the scenery amazing, food delicious and the sun shines all the time. Almost.

All of these experiences will feed in to my time now as a Photographer. Three motivations I am lucky to have are enthusiasm, curiosity and a continuous interest in learning. All the time I look forward to meeting old friends and making new friends and experiencing this wonderful life together.