By: Pedestrian Bricolage
Displacement: the moving of something from its place or position, the unconscious transfer of an intense emotion from its original object to another one,
Bricolage: (in art or literature) construction or creation from a diverse range of available things OR something constructed or created from a diverse range of available things
I’ve never been interested in words as much as images, movement, or sounds. A song I recently found states that “words are futile devices.” As I’ve never been a “words” person, it’s often hard for me to find the right vocabulary to express a specific situation or emotion. However, for this project, I wanted words to guide my project. I began thinking about the way that we use words in anthropology to label cultural phenomena. We say anthropology makes the strange familiar and the familiar strange– but, it’s always through words. Bricolage was recently discussed in class to describe the gentrification of a cityscape: the old elements mixed with the new into one conglomeration of seemingly random elements. My natural inclination in art is to use collage to put together as many elements as possible and see the chance interactions that arise. For this project, I began with the word displacement, and thought about the way that art can be transferred from medium to medium until its abstracted entirely from its starting point; the narrative of displacement is what I aim to reveal through the book that I created entitled, “Displacement, by: Pedestrian Bricolage.” In this case, displacement refers to the time between the initial photo taken that began this project as well as the translation through a variety of media. The bricolage refers to the way in which I print onto a variety of random, found materials and intertwine the preexisting elements of the book with my printed pedestrians. I began with a photo that I took months ago of pedestrians in the Oculus subway station in New York City. I traced this photo along with pieces of a photographed Bruce Nauman work to create a stencil for printing. The book progresses as the print evolves and the materials change. I chose to contain all of the pieces within the book accompanied by the words within it to highlight the way that for me, words are “futile devices” (in the background of the images). However, without the two words steering my piece I would have had no direction. Words have weight when we allow them to, and they can displace us from a previous, personal perspective until we are so far removed from our first thought that we can’t remember where or how we started i.e. with the development of knowledge. This process often happens for me in my art— I get so far from the starting point that I can’t remember how I began. In this book, displacement occurs, and a pedestrian bricolage blurs the starting point so that the viewer arrives at a new, unrecognized state. I walk you through the book in a process of creation as a pedestrian walks through a city, both full of bricolage.