David Kalal. painting, video, animation
painting, video, animation, mixed media
Interview May, 2020
What do you miss most right now?
Breathing outside without thinking about where you are in relation to any other bodies ...
What do you wish you could do creatively at this moment in time?
experiment with new (maybe outlandish) processes or materials that might cause too much mess or need to much space or are too flammable ... maybe I wouldn't do them previously -- but now I think I would because I can't, so I want to lean in to understand the usefulness of the relationship between ambition and limitation - and how to work with and through it
What are your goals for yourself during residency?
To thoughtfully and accountably organize this time and treat its productivity as worthy of attention in its super specific historical moment.
What would you like to have accomplished by the end of this residency?
I want to complete series of work on REFUGE and on TRANSIT -- really lean into the idea of series of interconnected, cross-pollinating individual series of works that sit completely in themselves, but also connect to an overarching idea that is being explored in material and content.
How can you creatively overcome these challenges?
Focusing in on detail work, revision of ideas, living with work intimately over time -- putting it up where I can look at it over days, in different lights -- and then most usefully conversation with others -- conversations, remote ones on telephone etc, have gone back to being important in and of themselves, not a replacement for texts -- there is a weekly artist salon on Zoom that I go to that has been revelatory in terms of listening to work and opinion slowly over time and in peoples own voices and inflections
Update June 2020
"So currently I am working on a couple of projects -- or at least similarly themed groups of images -- the first is around the idea of Travel vs Migration its an evolving new process for me (new as in over the lsat year and a half) produced from video images of performances I have costumed, choreographed and recorded transferred onto wood via paper or gel transfer -- and worked further with pastels, acrylics, inks encaustic and watercolors - the work has certainly taken on new poignancy as both travel and migration have been frozen in this moment -by forces natural and governmental -- and for reasons that are cooperative and oppositional. The other project is more clearly delineated (using similar formal techniques) -- I'm producing painted panels that are also infographics detailing the wealth inequities and hidden offshore wealth revealed in the leaked Panama and Paradise Papers -- I'm collaborating with an Economist from UMass Amherst on this -- and yes looking at how global elites operate has been put in a new stark relief by the pandemic and the state of global cooperation and contest.
The confining situation has made the collaboration parts more difficult naturally enough -- but concentrating on the work has been deeply enabled by being at home, treating home as a studio being on a loopy schedule -- the moment between thought and making is really distilled and more immediate."
"(Travel vs Migration) are such similar activities in their basic modes, both travel and migration -- but the moment you inflect them with say your understanding of choice vs compulsion -- or mark them as historical vs contemporary everything changes -- is it departure or departure lounge, flying or fleeing and how quickly the world around you can make that change ...
I find the new materials very freeing -- partly I'm unafraid to learn and experiment because I have somewhat given up expecting mastery of materials and so am freer to play and discover -- and partly moving from video editing (which I spent more time on previously) to works on wood - I am able to concentrate on images that emerge out of time rather than have to be placed in a time based experience -- you can cultivate your darlings, rather than kill them --- that feels like evolution"