Photography by Nick Olson. from Nick's website
Contemporary Collodian artist/ alumni Nick Olson came to campus yesterday to give a talk about his work with the old photographic technique Collodian process and his time in a log cabin in the woods. Today, he spent time with students giving art critiques, having lunch with students, and coming to my senior seminar class in the afternoon. Reflecting back at the experience, there are a few aspects of his visit and work that really stuck out to me such as the obvious (working with a very old, hands-on medium in contemporary art) and his thoughts about my work after our critique.
First off, I think its really awesome he's working with the collodian photographic process. I think people these days get too wrapped up into working with the "newest" medium or technology and honestly, if your work is better supported using a process thats slower and more "hands on" then I think that makes you a more accomplished professional. The element I would watch out for though, is to make sure that your ideas are relevant to the current contemporary climate audience because if your just repeating the past historical work then your really not bringing anything new to the table. Though, after saying that, his artist statement in his website does say he is not interested in contemporary ideas, and who knows, maybe hes got it right and we'll all be dissatisfied at some point with new technology.
Second part I wanted to address was my art critique. He looked briefly at both bodies of work and had a lot of positive things to say regarding my images and overall concepts. He said he could see a strong similarity between both bodies of work sense they both have subjects interacting with objects in particular spaces. He also was interested in seeing a film aspect for my senior show work. Nick mentioned he could really see the presence of yoga and dance beliefs and movements within my work without me really saying much about my background in both of those areas. Overall, good critique and his work makes me reflect a lot about artists decisions with their process and equipment reflecting back to their ideas behind their work.