Sharon Core and some other thoughts

Thiebaud Series based on Wayne Thiebauds food paintings (1960’s), Core set out to replicate Theibauds paintings in real life and then photograph them. Each of the works are a meticulously constructed 3D copy of a Theibaud painting based on reproduction of the paintings found in books and magazines. The resulting photographic prints are then printed the same size as the original paintings. On the surface the works seem almost comical when considering the amount of work and time it would take to construct these ‘replicas’. However its this extensive process that opens up the work to a deeper discussion; Theibauds works in this context seem to be more relevant as a vehicle in exploring issues of representation. The fact that the original paintings were probably based on Theibauds imagination – then made into reality by creating a myriad of oval cakes to fit the created perspective of the original painting. What does the act of translating a reproduction of a painting into a 3D model of the original and then photographing the result and re-presenting it say?

I think that one thing the works do is raise relevant questions about photography. Photography is a medium that has traditionally had truthfulness tacked on to it, a connotation that is slowly wilting given ever advancing technology and the sheer amount of images produced, translated, bastardized then reproduced and repositioned again. The development encourages the viewer to a take a second look when presented with an image. I think the beauty of what Core has done is in the simplicity, looking at her series Theibaud Series and more recently Early American, first glance at one of her images places them easily within a construct we are familiar with. Still life as a genre encourages surface readings, what essentially hits the nail on the head with its simplicity, through further inspection it becomes clear that the forms are two perfect, the prints too luminous. Rather than photocopying, scanning or photographing Theibauds work, Core has painstakingly created them  in reality; in so doing engaging and perhaps questioning these alternative methods. Asking what is the effect of these processes executed and repeated on such mass scale?

By using paintings that have been done in the past Core makes the point that its not simply a singular process in isolation, its the accumulative effect of these processes over time and through out history. A line of questioning that ultimately leads asks what do these images really represent? is it possible for an image to truly reflect reality? Core herself shows that the very act of being true can also be misleading. The answer to these questions may come from the field of psychology, if an image is the result of a persons selective interpretation of a reality they are presented with, which they then feed on to the next persons to selectively engage and interpret then, send on again and again in an endless cycle. Then perhaps this does truly represent a certain reality, Kelly’s Construct Theory suggests what is real to us is constructed through perception of a stimulus which is subsequently interpreted and fitted into a framework of previously interpreted stimuli. Each new bit of information shifts and adjusts this framework, which allows us to have an understanding of the world around us. An understanding that changes as we develop and experience the world in different ways. People effect each other as they interact, commonalities that become patterns emerge. Societies are shaped, ideas, actions and events occur and are recorded as history. Which again is selectively perceived and interpreted  based on the reality we see through our understanding and what is presented to us. If these masses of images have gone through the same process, are they not a true reflection if not representation of reality?

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