Monday, July 14, 2008

The Anti-Fashion of the Universal

I've encountered a particular response to some of my work and it's 'justification' that both disturbs and intrigues me.

On more than one occasion I've been told that ... 'but... everyone does/is/feels that' or 'but... that's not unusual'.

What is fascinating is this idea that any creative experience has to be unique or 'revolutionary'. What of those who deal with 'their' experience, irrelevant of how generic or mundane that experience might be?

I am very much aware that I can only really talk about 'my' experience with any - albeit fragile' - authority. I don't feel qualified to challenge tenets of thought, politics or aesthetics. There are much better people than myself to do such things.

The irony is that the idea of being 'truly original' is close to impossible in such a polymorphic and visually loaded world.

We all find ourselves rejecting ideas on the basis of 'it's been done' and more importantly hurt when we see our work realised by another hand in an 'official' publication. The ideas are jettisoned for fear of the accusation of plagiarism.

Do we need to run blind through the world with suitably placed breadcrumbs in order to avoid such things? Do we need to log our reading and viewing habits to prove ignorance?

At various times, both Elisa and I have consciously avoided looking at 'stuff' for fear of finding a similar hand. We stress when we read that another artist is looking at similar issues and I will dump motifs if these are seen in the work of others - irrelevant of media.

On the basis of the later, I have consciously avoiding doing urban work and have focussed much more on the inaccessible. But in doing so I compromise my visual language.... imagine not being able to use words starting with the letter 'S' as these are 'taken' by another.

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