Saturday, January 30, 2010

500X MFA Thesis Show

FEBRUARY 6th through FEBRUARY 28th


500X will feature the artist Todd Camplin in the show titled
‘Words, Words, Words…’ in the upstairs gallery.

Todd Camplin will feature his work done during his Master of Fine Arts at the University of North Texas. His MFA show will include his ink on paper drawing of abstracted words and phrases based off of private messages from greeting cards, poems from friends, yearbook inscriptions, and quotes from other artists. The show will also feature digital prints on aluminum using the same source material.

Todd Camplin says his ‘work is about abstracting text into objects/images.’ When he starts out with text, those words have an assigned meaning, but after his process of repetition, the text becomes an object/image with a new meaning. The truth of a word or text goes beyond language's ability to fully illuminate. Saint Thomas Aquinas and later Martin Heidegger marked out the word 'being' in order to show that language is not fully sufficient in explaining the truth of a word like 'being.' Camplin’s work essentially marks out text through abstraction. His abstract objects/images become the unsay-able truth of any text.
Camplin’s choice of text follows along the lines of his sentimental attachment to the past and the shared experience of something mundane. The sentimental and mundane source material is found in his collection of greeting cards he has received in the mail since his birth. The cards were address to him and the cards have personal meaning in that the cards are connected to relationships with family and friends. His greeting cards are a signifier of affection from others or a social obligation to his family. Also, the cards are mass produced objects that will have fluid meanings to others. By using the greeting card, Camplin is tapping in to the between space of the personal and the broad experiences of others.
Other text he has chosen is quotation of artists. In his long academic career as a student, he has been well aware of the authority that quotes give to academic publications. Quotes fascinate him in their power to persuade. At the same time, quotes can make one look smart/smug when used in conversation. Quote sources are in the realm of the famous, used by nearly everyone.
He has been appropriating poetry and in particular, sonnets because of his new attempt to insert syntax in his work. The poetry supplies color imagery that informs the work, as well as, the sonnet allows him to create layers of text in three sections. Content wise, both poetry and visual art create imagery. Poetry describes images through words and visual art presents things to the eye, but both are re-imagined in the brain. By using poetry, he converts those words into images, and then his re-re-imagines the poetry and make something new in the process.

The opening reception for the artists will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sat, February 6, 2010 at 500 Exposition Avenue, Dallas, TX 75226. Public invited.


Ari said...

Ohh, I see! I am going to do my utmost to come and see! I'm honored to be invited!

Todd Camplin said...

All are welcome to my MFA show. But the cool people are invited.

Scott said...

Can't wait! You should also know if nothing else, this blog has inspired me to start writing about my UNT peers and their work on my own. Thanks!

Todd Camplin said...

Great, we need to get the word out about each other. Talk about what we like and don't like. This will shape the world to our tastes. Being artists, that is something you want to do.