Michael Matsil: Mise en Scene
Portfolio Introduction
Every one of us has our own internal way of ordering what we see around us. Our senses elaborate and respond emotionally to raw space by perceiving such things as color, texture and material: the physical qualities of 'place.' The artist has the ability to take 'place' and arrange it, edit it, idealize it and produce a still scene. These scenes are transitory in nature, idealized in form and reflective of a singular perception.

"Mise en Scene," or the art of 'setting the stage,' represents the latest expression of an ongoing idea that began early in my life. At first, it was pursued with only my eyes and memory, then pen and paper, and finally the camera and expressive printmaking. These giclee prints are about process, and the fixing of momentary, spontaneous tangencies between individual perception and environment. They endeavor to distill the complex and chaotic places around us into a purposeful and seemingly choreographed scene. This activity points toward our own sense of place and where we choose to place ourselves as observers. Choice of location and subject is not based on geographic, political or social significance, therefore can happen anywhere or at anytime. As an ongoing process, the expressions and visual devices vary and are open-ended, and as a result, available to virtually any kind of light, terrain or color—any environment at all.

It is, in a sense, a subjectless art, where the synthesis of individual awareness and place becomes subject itself, and in this process our internal search for order is satisfied and then shared.

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