GHOST PAINTINGS: THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
Amiel Roldan - Kristoffer Ardeña
I. What do you mean by 'ghost paintings' and being 'readymade'?
Ghost Painting converts painting into readymade. It is like going to an art supply store and buying a blank canvas, the only difference is instead of buying a white primed canvas, Ghost Painting offers you a primed picture canvas.
II. How is Ghost Paintings related to transformation when there is a preset picture?
I started Ghost Painting by copying Kasimir Malevich's Black Painting, those made by Ad Reinhardt, Ellsworth Kelly, etc. Ghost Paintings does not necessarily only start off by copying other artists' paintings; it is not about appropriating or trying to revision painting. The underlying paint is only a pretext to which the painting might occur. It is not so much about copying, but of transformation. The artist becomes a catalyst and the public is given the chance to become the painter.
III. What do you mean by 'painting participation'?
What happens is, you have the raw canvas and you paint over it using adhesive spray. It's like becoming a graffiti artists using cans of spray paint, the only difference is, here, you use an adhesive spray, a paint that is transparent.
IV. What happens when one layers paint on the primed picture canvas?
When you spray over the painting, the dust in the space where the painting is located gets embedded in the surface. Thus the painting incorporates the space. It is also site specific because the dust in one space is totally different from the dust in another space if the painting has to be moved. You do not really see the painting process much like when you paint with acrylic or oil paint colors because in a way it is invisible.
V. What would be your intent in your series and what would be the outcome?
I am interested in exploring the innate aesthetics we all possess, like our handwriting, each one of us has a different way of painting over the painting, although, this may not visibly translate immediately.
VI. How do you relate Ghost Painting in the many suggestive directions your work might go?
Ghost Painting converts time into a necessary element of the process. In the Philippines the weather is very humid and the concept of memory and time is performative and narrative rather than monumental, unlike in Europe wherein you can see the layers upon layers of substrata of history where the idea of time and memory is for it to become tangible and preserved. You see foreign influences, like the old Spanish churches become ruins, if not from neglect, as a result of the ravages of nature or they simply do not withstand the test of time.
VII. How do you see the fickleness of the audience and individual intent working against your idea?
In Ghost Paintings I want to incorporate this phenomenon directly into the painting itself not as an imposition but as an option. That is why for me, I do not force people to paint over the raw canvas but to simply suggest, to give it as an option and by doing this, I steer away from giving instructions and impose a set of rules to follow. There is no canon, only the existence of a possibility. People will most likely not paint over the raw canvas using adhesive spray or in time will loose interest in doing so, but this is also part of Ghost Painting.
VIII. How do you see your Ghost Paintings progressing?
Although I start out making copies of minimalist and geometric paintings, in the future I want to expand the variety of raw canvases by making an assortment of styles, sizes and supports.
IX. Is inventing and discovering the premise of Ghost Painting?
What I want is to explore a new way to look at the structure of painting beyond its pictorial approach or whether it expands beyond the traditional bi or tri-dimensional "canvas", regardless of its thematic intent or conceptual imposition.