This project came out of Rolf Hughes’ Word & Image class at Konstfack. The box developed from an ekphrasis piece I made based on Andreas Gursky’s 1993 photograph of Montparnasse, featured in Moderna Museet’s retrospective on the artist this spring.

by Andreas Gursky, 1993

Montparnasse, by Andreas Gursky, 1993

I started by making a two-dimensional ekprhasis piece / concrete poem, describing what I saw or imagined in each window.

copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Block of Flats, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Block of Flats, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Then, I pushed the piece into three dimensions, by labeling a cardboard moving box with possible contents. The aim is to imbue imagination into the rather dull process of packing one’s belongings. (What the hell is up with this font, by the way? It makes me want to write really ponderous sentences…)

Ekphrasis Box, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Ekphrasis Box, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Ekphrasis Box, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Ekphrasis Box, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Ekphrastic Box, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli 2009

Ekphrastic Box, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli 2009

Ekphrasis box, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

Ekphrasis box, detail, copyright Brett Ascarelli, 2009

So, we have a 3D building (original) –> 2D photograph (Gursky’s representation) –> 2D ekphrasis (of photograph) –> 3D ekphrasis (of building, possible box contents and photograph).

Based on feedback from the crit session, I tried a couple of aesthetic variations.

Ekphrastic Box, variation, copyright Brett Ascarelli 2009

Ekphrastic Box, variation, copyright Brett Ascarelli 2009

Ekphrasis Box, variation, copyright Brett Ascarelli 2009

Ekphrasis Box, variation, copyright Brett Ascarelli 2009

Developing this project might lead to different sizes of ekphrastic moving boxes and ekphrastic stickers to label the contents.

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