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Assessment Post MAC 702 Framing Statement

My aims for this module was to explore how I could develop as an artist, by engaging in new mediums with a more conceptual process, and by undertaking more planning and research within my practice. I made a conscious decision to engage a more biographical approach to my practice, by telling stories of others, attempting to move away from the previous autobiographical narrative of my work.

My reading and research led me to the subject of my current project, the dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. Through my investigation I discovered, ‘The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky’ (Nijinsky, 2006), it was after reading this I began the development of my current project, with the working title, ’Insects and Parrots’ - a work in progress…

Throughout my research for the MAC702 essay entitled, ‘Looking at Biography in Contemporary Art’, (Link to essay, 1. https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/essay-mac702) and by investigating biography in contemporary art, researching biographical works and artists working within this field, I developed an interest in the intersect between biography and autobiography. Through looking at other artists and their works I began to recognise that the way in which my practice was developing was beginning to demonstrate an intersect between the autobiographical and the biographical aspects of my practice.

Through looking at Derek Jarman’s ‘Caravaggio’ and reading Keeley Saunders essay, ‘Caravaggio’s cinematic painting: Fictionalising art and biography in the artist biopic’ where she states,


’Jarman is more concerned with presenting his interpretation of Caravaggio than a factually accurate representation of his life. (Saunders, 2012)

This statement, and others like it, invited questions as to whether I was succeeding with my intention to make this work purely biographical, or was it becoming apparent that, in my development of the narrative of this short period of Nijinsky’s life, from which I had selected text from his diary, I was subconsciously bringing my own stories to the piece. This is causing me to consider whether I am possibly borrowing the stories of others I strongly identify with, and intertwining a narrative of my own history, within an account I was considering to be purely biographical. This is something I will continue to investigating and consider throughout the summer and into the next semester.

The present situation (Covid-19) has caused considerable restrictions in the processes of my current practice. Due to the cancelation of this year’s exhibition W.I.P, (Link to Exhibition planning 2. https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/r-i-p-w-i-p) I have been unable to try out the ideas I had for working toward a multiscreen installation. Some examples are shown in this link. (3.https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/_crit)

I have spent the last months working from home. This has given me time to consider what direction, in this current situation, I can take my work and has led to experimentation with editing using the limited amount of film and recordings I made before the lockdown. This has given caused to take a new approach to my practice and I am currently working on a single screen piece. (4. https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/insects-and-parrots-a-work-in-progress-2) Process Images. (5. https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/framing-statement-mac702-images)

Ideally I would have liked to have been back in the studio making more film and improving on the things I now consider to be mistakes. Hopefully I will be able to continue with these ideas in the autumn.

Blog address - https://www.derekdickinson.me/blog




Blog Posts -

  1. 'Looking at Biography in Contemporary Art' MAC702 - Essay https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/essay-mac702

  2. R.I.P. - W.I.P. https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/r-i-p-w-i-p

  3. 'Insects and Parrots' - a work in progress... (demo films for crit.) https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/_crit

  4. 'Insects and Parrots' - a work in progress... (20 min. film) https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/insects-and-parrots-a-work-in-progress-2

  5. Framing Statement – MAC702 (Images) https://www.derekdickinson.me/post/framing-statement-mac702-images



Bibliography - Reading


Bernier, RR. (2014) The Unspeakable Art of Bill Viola. United States: Pickwick Publications.

Bishop, C. (2005) Installation Art. Great Britain: Tate Publishing.

Bishop, C. (2006) Participation. Tate Publishing. Great Britain: The MIT Press.

Hanhardt, JG. (2015) Bill Viola. Great Britain: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Moore, L. (2013) Nijinsky. Great Britain: GPI Group.

Nijinsky, V. (2006) The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky. United States: Farr, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Nureyev, R. (1962) Nureyev An Autobiography with pictures. Taylor Garnet Evans & Co. Ltd.

Saunders, K. (2012) Caravaggio’s cinematic painting: Fictionalising art and biography in the artist biopic. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network, 5(3). doi: 10.31165/ nk.2012.53.282.

Silvester, D. (1981) Interviews With Francis Bacon. United States: Thames & Hudson Inc.

Ward, O. (2014) Ways of Looking, How to Experience Contemporary Art. United Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Williams, G. (2014) How to Write about Contemporary Art. United Kingdom: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

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Derek Dickinson

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