Project proposal

This is a project proposal for the fotonovela “Gallery Central Park.”

A fotonovela—or a photo romance as the amazing artist Sophie Calle called it in an unforgettable visit in my studio—is a small pamphlet akin to comic-book format, with photographs instead of illustrations, combined with small dialogue bubbles.

Gallery Central ParkGallery Central Park

The fotonovela I’m working on will be based on a short story written by me in collaboration with the San Francisco based writer, playwright, and poet Kevin Killian. It is a story based on an art project that I made in Central Park during the summer of 2010. During three weeks in New York I turned Central Park into my studio. From fictional novels I collected quotes referencing Central Park. On a map I marked all the places the quotes referred to. Upon visiting Central Park I proceeded to do the following steps:

I visited all the markings I made on the map.
On the actual spot of each marking I made a drawing of what I observed.
I wrote the specific quote on each drawing.
I cut out and folded the drawing into a geometrical, sculptural shape.
I documented and left the drawing in the park.

I made a total of 71 drawings, based on 71 quotes from 12 different novels. The collaborative story is a continuation on that project. The story begins:

“In the refurbished quonset hut where the rangers took their breaks, a few park cleaners gathered around a formica table in the kitchenette.  Coffee bubbled on the stove, though many preferred to jog the quarter mile or so to the Starbucks on Lexington; the gray table was dotted with its huge stiff cardboard cups, their green and white and black logos visible from all corners of the room.  “I saw Tim out there on 7th,” Mary Ellen remarked.  “Boy found himself a new drawing by the park weirdo.”  The twins laughed automatically, even though one of them had a bit of a crush on Tim and the other liked to tease her sister about it.”

Gallery Central Park

In the fotonovela project I staged scenes from the short story and had actors play out different parts. Kevin Killian played the role of the crazy writer, Maureen Howard. The New York-based novelist Maureen Howard appears as a fictitious version of her own self, here as a vengeful old bat wandering the pathways of Central Park encountering her own imaginary characters. On one of her daily walks around the Reservoir she finds a drawing that has one of her own quotes written on it. In fear of her life, she visits the rangers hut, and informs them that a young woman is stalking her. A little later the story continues:

“And just then the door to the hut was flung open and in staggered a haggard white woman in a tattered gray coat, eyes wide with fear, fear that rocketed from every inch of her body like radium.
“Help me please!” she cried.  Her foot couldn’t seem to find the floor.
They were used to the crazy—this was, after all, Central Park, catnip to all the maddest people on the planet—but the twins hadn’t seen this particular variety.  Gallant Tim hurried to the side of the elderly woman, and helped her lower herself into a camp chair.”

Gallery Central Park Gallery Central Park

I have reached a point in the project where I have all the visual components as well as the written text. The next step will be to work with the images and to find a place to have the fotonovela printed. I would use the financial support from The Awesome Foundation to pay for the printing of the actual magazines. I would also use it to fund a smaller release party.

  • January 18th, 2013