Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday Night that Was

I blurted out on Facebook just now; it went something like this:
Rosie posed the question: "If you're the director of the local gallery, happen to see a famous sculptor walking on our beach, tell him the gallery would love to have his work, but funding is short. He selects one driftwood amidst a bunch of beach stuff, studies it, signs it and hands it to you. Is it art?" I think Ali thought yes. I thought that would be the same as a Catholic church relic, or,

more like which panties Tom Jones decides to grab/pickup - more about celebrity, though I do understand there is a slight difference in "intention", and Ali is probably far more inclusive than I. I know it's not about the driftwood, but this morning, I see a piece of log in my head I can't erase.

Or Kusama Yayoi installations, which I compared to mirrored rooms in an amusement park. Again, Ali is always more inclusive and forgiving, whereas I have a narrow, rigid definition of what I like, but I guess, not necessarily what I consider art.
I don't worry so much about what is art and what is not any more, whether it is urban or beach debris, self-indulgence, or heaven forbid, craft, we are discussing. Thank goodness.

I'm more interested in my ability to make something in real life, something that often starts as an imagine in my head. Whether you can call this a concept, or abstraction, or process, or whatever else it's called. This has been a great relief, because I only answer to myself.

But in discussing art, I've come to know what I like: I like pretty; I like to see evidence of the human-thouhgt/hand-made somewhere in the process; I like something that I could/would have never thought to do, particularly when they start from a similar starting point or in reaction to a similar event or things. And I am very attracted to something that is just beyond my reach - something that has gone one step beyond my thinking, something technically a few steps beyond my competence, aesthetics that's a tad more sophisticated than mine, that which I can understand, but have not been able to make. Yet.

I feel more at peace. And that's great, because I am able to listen to others' opinion a bit more.

EDIT: I used to see the word "juxtaposition" everywhere I looked in 2006/07, and it annoyed the heck out of me because, you know, I don't necessarily like layers. Now I see "contexturalization" all around me. I don't know if the fashion has changed, or it's my thinking that's changing what I am picking up from my environment.


  1. Personality comes into play, too. Ali is an inclusive, forgiving, open person, ready for the unexpected, whereas I tend to demand a definition or a premise be given at the start so I know my boundaries. AND they prevent me from getting into trouble. I think this reflects the basic/default operational mode of our countries; Ali is a Kiwi, and I can never not be Japanese.

  2. In the end, though... whether a person thinks something is art or not comes down to, "because I think/feel so," doesn't it? Or not?


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