Apollo 11, Saturn V, Air Force One and Silver and Gold (1 and 2) Small Scale Models

One of the things that became consistent with the Associated Artists for Propaganda Research was the building of models which I found provided for an interesting discourse on the representation of reality. At the time I wanted to explore the possibilities of model making as a form of art. I was not particularly interested in creating my own models but rather using pre-existing plastic model kits and giving them new meaning through re-contextualization; I wanted to elevate model making to a higher form of art, not by creating something new or well crafted but through the very act of placing it within a larger aesthetic framework under the auspices of the AAPR. These “models” were never really successful as individual art pieces, since there wasn’t much about them that was really art except for how they were used. This is something that I’ve continued with over the years which is an exploration of art practices that have no artistically redeeming qualities. These types of projects are difficult to propagate as actual art objects since I usually don’t manipulate them in any kind of significant way instead choosing to paint them in a single color or not paint them at all. Ideally, I want the models to function within larger projects but often times the project would be dropped or the project would remain unfinished and so the larger context would be lost; the models would become relics of truncated ideas.

Here’s something about small scale models written by John Miller about Dan Graham‘s Alteration to a Suburban House in Now Even the Pigs’re Groovin:

“Instead of experiencing a full-scale work firsthand, the viewer must project into a miniature scene. This defers literal interactivity. It invites fantasy play instead of the kind of apperceptive encounter that is nominally lived experience. The model itself is a stand-in”

The first model below is of the Apollo 11 and was part of a project called The Lunar Project. I built it and painted it realistically from a very old modeling kit. I built a base for it using plaster of paris and creating crater holes in it to make it look like the surface of the moon. I painted it dull gray when I was done. At the time, since I was spending a lot of time reading about propaganda and government manipulation, I also became interested in conspiracy theories, including the theory that the moon landing was faked. I wanted to make my own fake moon landing and photograph it. I also wanted to make a large blurry painting of the surface of the moon. I used this same image, which I never painted, as the basis for the right panel in Sursum Corda (“Lift Up Your Hearts”) Panels 1 and 2. I built the model and photographed it a couple of times but never pursued the idea any farther really;it was however the start of my fascination with making artwork about space travel. I later worked on a series called A History of Space and Communication that used a lot of drawings.

The second model is of the Saturn V rocket. I decided to leave it white and photographed it on a pedestal with a light in it. I  used the same pedestal with the light for the Air Force One Small Scale Model. I again left the model white which I thought made it seem spooky. I exhibited it once with the light pedestal at Here Art with The Shadow but when I went to de-install my work I found that the model had been damaged somehow.

The last 2 models are of a US Military Humvee that I spray painted silver and a private Learjet that I spray painted gold and together are called Silver and Gold (Part 1 and 2). I have never exhibited them and I only took photographs of them recently after building a small platform for them.

lunarphotoRocketAF1originalphotoSilver and Gold (Part 2)Silver and Gold (Part 1)

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Filed under Associated Artists for Propaganda Research, Sculpture, Small Scale Model

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