Sunday, May 2, 2010

Words

There was a lot of weight placed on articulateness in my upbringing, by Dad in the first instance, and the American education I received in the 70's and 80's. And because I was a Philosophy and English Lit major, I had a lot of explaining to do. But without the need for observations, measurements, experiments, or creation. My head was filled with words all the time, and I was lead to believe this equaled intelligence and maturity.

There wasn't much room for silence.

This art thing is different; not everything needs to be explained with words. Sometimes verbalizing distorts, redefines, limits, or even destroys the things in my head. And I don't necessarily have to defend my work with words, not every day, to everyone. I'm just learning that.

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Yesterday we ran into Catharine who was photographing her installation before it's taken down on Monday. I had lots of questions about her work which ended up being a massive collaboration, and I kept asking her about the process and her concepts. And she, being articulate, answered each question with great care.

We shared our views briefly on Wednesday night's talk on artists-run spaces and Friday night's exhibition openings, and during the course, I said, because she asked, I thought art, when finally hung on the gallery wall, should be "completed" unless it's a student show following a prescribed formula. I complained there were too many shows where the artist's statements are the most interesting on the wall, and in grown-up exhibitions the works should stand on their own, and not drag on like a blog post showing every single step.

Surprisingly, we agreed we preferred our exhibitions to be "pretty" and "completed" with multiple levels of meanings, but she found my expectations a bit "cynical", siting her brush with death, and how raw energy can be beautiful art. I don't disagree with her, but my expectation for "completed-ness" doesn't comes from a position of privilege, i.e. never being gravely ill, injured, beaten, etc; my expectation for impeccable finish comes from growing up Japanese.

* * * * *

I wasn't in the mood for words in the morning. But I couldn't resist the opportunity to talk to her. Afterwards, I was exhausted I needed to lie down and phase out. For the rest of the day had I had the choice.

* * * * *

Yesterday was another one of those days I wondered if I was suffering from something amiss in the brain. I thought we had theater tickets for 1PM, but when we got there, there wasn't the usual crowd waiting to be let in, and I checked the tickets to see it was for 7.30PM. Ben thought it was in the evening, but seeing me so sure, he didn't question me.

6PM onwards I was convinced the show started at 7PM, and I was boiling in the car because Ben was taking what to me felt like the longer route. He against mentioned it might be 7.30 rather than 7PM, but I was again so sure, we didn't check the tickets. Until we arrived, and the scene once again looked wrong.

We did end up enjoying the show very much, but I have no idea what's going on inside or with my head.

I woke up this morning feeling a little overwhelmed with things scheduled in the near future.

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