Thursday, January 17, 2008

Introspection ... for a change!

As part of our upcoming exhibitions at Breadbox in April we are both producing limited edition booklets. These include the works themselves, details, statements and some essays by ‘proper’ arts writers.

The later especially forces you to sit down and reflect a lot on what your work is about, motivations, etc. The first writer was here yesterday and after quite a bit of nervousness we seemed to come through it unscathed.

I always feel a bit schizophrenic when talking about my work and I thought maybe I should write some of my thoughts down as bullet points with some filler. It wasn't a bad idea as I tend to drift off on tangents which create new tangents which... well you get the idea. It can be quite confusing to a note taker!

I’ve discovered that it’s exceptionally naïve to expect work to ‘fit’ into an appropriately sized pigeon hole... especially in regards to arts movements.

One workshop facilitor we met once said that you should know where your work fits in the greater scheme of things which is commendable but what when you cross lines - inadvertently or otherwise? Is the stress of the 'bigger picture' worth the sacrifice of the moment?

From an art history point of view my work (previously and 'now') has had modernist, post-modernist and conceptual elements to it... does that mean I have to choose one? Is it wrong to pick and choose the 'tools' - intellectual or otherwise - you use? What if a painter could only use a brush or a photographer only a certain type of camera and film?

I have 'overthought' my work at various stages in my life and torn it to pieces - literally and intellectually. It became cold and soulless - for want of a better word - and was pointed out as such by a gallery director in Frankfurt in the late 90s.

At the time it was the end of the world but it truly was a watershed moment. It together with a comment almost 16 years ago (!) from a tutor were major turning points on my creative path. Two things that pull me back in line and keep me honest.

I'm 'happy' (whatever that means) where my work is now - on a multitude of levels - and only hope that it works in the real world.

The second writer is visiting this weekend which - after the first writer - has oddly made me more nervous.

Update: second writer has been and gone and it went really well. Looking forward to seeing the results.

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