April 17th, 2007
why art sucks
I have spent the morning doing interviews, the first of many in the next while. Those of the email variety are very time consuming, I find i must limit the amount of them I do so I can get my own work done. while I enjoy doing them as it helps me articulate my process but I must admit I am not one for reading anything in ‘question and answer’ format. I am not sure why this is, never could read plays either. I will only do it if it’s someone I really want to know about. I think it’s because it’s a rather unnatural format, and the ones that are the most successful become conversation more than an interview. a back and forth dialogue.
I have come to understand that I cringe at the mention of the word “art”. what is it this thing that we keep talking about? Actually it’s more than cringing, there is a phyisical sensation combined with a realization that I want nothing to do with it whatsoever. It’s been like this for the last couple of years and I’m only now figuring out why through doing these interviews.
When we talk about art we are often referring to a finished product of sorts, a painting, a sculpture, a book, a documentation of something, the medium that the ‘artist’ has used to capture an experience. This is probably just a semantical issue, have we confused the medium with the message? It is my belief that it is actually the experience of life that inspires the work which is the art. All to often I think people focus too much on the medium, which in my opinion is kind of irrelevant. Not kind of, completely. The real question to me is, “what inspired someone to express themselves?” What is the idea? The artist needs to ask the question, “What moves me?” not “should i use red or blue?”
I am not saying that there is not work where the medium is integral to the expression, but only that it is not really the main focus for me in terms of communicating an idea. I am enjoying contemplating that idea that there is no such thing as a finished piece of “art”, this is just an illusion created by a world that connects it with commerce and turns it into a commodity. Can anyone ever sell an idea? or a process? is it possible?
i am more inclined to take thoreau’s perspective that “art” might be more about “painting the very atmosphere and medium through which we look” than a physical manifiestation.
for an installation piece i would like to see a large room with people engaged in really mundane acts. tying shoes, feeding a baby, eating chips, washing the floor.
or maybe that defeats my point. maybe better to just do those things and call them art.
or just go about living and not call it anything.
Art, then, is an increase of life, a sort of competition of surprises that stimulates our conciousness and keeps it from becoming somnolent.” ~Gaston Bachelard (fr. the poetics of space)