David Newman Statement

David Newman

Artist's Statement



Consciousness is never empty, but always already filled with things in their appearing. I am concerned with the phenomenology of vision and representation, with the mediation of perception, with how representations function, with the means of making meaning in the representations of things and the relationships between things, especially in those visual representations which are works on paper: photography and its digital extensions, printmaking, and drawing. The motifs employed are the basis of tropes of one’s situation in the lifeworld. My practice proceeds in several related ongoing series, conducted simultaneously in photography, printmaking, and drawing, which interact in their several iterations. I am concerned with images, and find no reason to compel limitation of the means of their facture. I value heterogeneity in practice.

Photography is employed as a means of engaging the problematic of representation, the phenomenology of perception and the construction of meaning in the articulation of form and in viewer response, using quotidian objects as metaphors of the lived experience of the lifeworld.

Several ongoing series of prints engage contemporary printmaking and printmakers as reference and content, art history and theory, societal narratives and the problematic of representation, and a critical engagement of the contemporary obsession with quantification and evaluation in academia and in the broader society, often with misapplied metrics of questionable validity masquerading as indubitable proofs of ‘progress.’ I regard this phenomenon to be as dubious as the obsession of an earlier age with phrenology, elements from the historical representations of which I re-deploy to critique the current folly.

Common to these various aspects of practice—beyond the jejune evocation of a common sensibility—is a regard of practice as a set of operations conducted on the terms of a culture, entailing reference, citation, quotation, interpretation, translation, of an inventory of forms, gestures, signs. Every artwork enters into a network of works, signs, significations, interpretations. To thematize this field of relations as content is the unity within a heterogeneous practice.



2009