Two days ago, an out-of-town friend said in reference to his last stay at my place, “every other word out of your mouth was ‘indoctrination.'”
Up until now, I have refrained from speaking directly about my work and process (primarily,) instead opting for metaphor and obfuscation.
During another recent conversation with a different friend, a rather contentious one in a moment when our long friendship was decomposing anew, said secondary cohort iterated (paraphrasing,) “you hide everything…and share nothing [about your art.]”
Not entirely true, yet not entirely false.
Finally, yesterday, while waiting for a panel discussion on gender variant issues in media as part of the Frameline Film Festival, a third friend identified stark differences in our relationships with our families of origin; her inability to get her family to participate more in her creative output, my inability to remove my family from my creative endeavors. Truthful and ironic observation on her part, but within a span of one week, three separate and very different individuals all connected to me but disconnected within my social system, provided valuable reflection of three facets to one dynamic.
In the center of this triumvirate of social postulations I did something I avoided for over six years: I emailed my technologically bereft mother the link to this website.
I am not entirely sure why I finally acquiesced, she easily could have Googled it up until now, whatever, it happened. I was proud: of the new design, of the recent photography and of all the recent changes that had breached the surface and made their way into the atmosphere. I was also tired of a box that once and for all needed to see it’s end.
Art is whatever you want to imagine or think or feel that it is. My belief is that art is an experience. Experiencing art sustains me. And, as an artist, I challenge myself with creating an experience for the viewer.
The serialization of ideas, like elementary education or the teachings of faith-based institutions, extends an experience into a broader vision rather than presenting a singular idea and expecting the recipient to expand that into something greater than its contents. Conversely, an artist providing direct commentary about each individual element to a singular work removes the possibility of the viewer deriving their own experiential interpretation of the act of viewing. Perhaps this is why so many artists and their cadre obfuscate when speaking about their oeuvre, simply to provide verbal sustenance when requested, temporally quenching in avoidance of revelation of the grander goal, and often with the risk of sounding not so brilliant.
This is why up until now I have also avoided discussing with you individual pieces, the larger concepts of my work, and the actual composition, construction and contents of those works made in the past three years. Allusions and old printmaking endeavors aside, my primary medium of collage has been kept like blessed communion wafers locked up in a ciborium.
What a perverse irony.
Are any of us safe from the experience of indoctrination? Do we all make this sin in the course of our days, inculcating our convictions upon our friends, through the corporation-media-consumer chain as well as onto to the art viewer? Is the transference of belief no different than the transmission of knowledge?
Continued here: Near distance.