Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cognitive Mumbling Spilling onto a Veritual Page

I've always had terrible memory, and blamed that for writing almost always chronologically, getting bogged down on the order and long-winded, and loosing the plot. This morning I think it's also connected to my inability to prioritize this side of "The Changes". So I'll try a new approach, by topic.

(Not) Reading
Struggling with Field's Collapse Weave book, as I always have with her writing, I flipped through the pages knowing I should persevere and gain useful knowledge, but I get so bored. While looking at the photos I thought, "what is wrong with just making pretty cloths?"

I picked up Germano Celant's Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works at Ben's work's library, and after flipping through the book and looking at the images three or four times, I started reading the first bits.  I know there is much informative information in coffee table books; I almost never read them, but the start is often quotable.

Celant wrote, "The lives and adventures of artists are traced by what they leave behind them: marks and tracks scattered over the terrain of images.  It is on the basis of this set of imprints and fragments left over the course of time, in different spaces, that observers can read an account and a story 'written' by the human being who has used different and varied materials to reflect her vision as well as existence."

I don't necessary agree with "different and varied materials", but I like it. (And then he ruined it by going on for 12 more pages and lost me completely.) As my eyes glazed over the text, then flitted from the middle of the book to the end to the start and back to the middle, I felt a thought forming.

Bourgeois is definitely, among other things, a textile artist.  She had ideas and concepts and only used cloth, and so much more.  I like some of her work, and dislike others; I am interested in some of her thoughts/ideas/stories, but not others.  But I sense she had irrepressible "stuff" she needed to express.

Whereas I love making pretty cloth.  For me, the end product is paramount, and therefore the technique that makes it.  I can tell you, or even cook up, a story about a piece or series if you ask, but it's the "stuff" that counts, for me the maker, in my life of making. And so why should I waste any more time with "art" considerations unless I enjoy them intrinsically; the "art" stuff was always further removed from my weaving than I imagined. 

Which is at once a big relief because I can focus on things I enjoy, but a little disappointing for My Ego because it reduces even further the chances of being invited to "art" exhibitions, or respectable art institutions adding my piece to their collection.  (Since I did The Artist's Way in 2001, I have on my list of aspirations art institutions buying my pieces as part of their collection; a couple in Nelson and one in Minneapolis.  But then I wrote a while back - but can't find that post - I've not made an "art" piece yet, so "My Ego" hasn't lost any opportunities yet. As to feeling threatened about not having been to art school and compelled to try to "catch up", or guilty about not "doing things the right/prescribed way", I'm considering the possibility that's just "My Ego" seducing me to procrastinate the real making.)

I'm not a complicated person.  My heart skips a few beats when I see nice Jacquard-esque curtain and upholstery fabrics. I don't express/demonstrate/question though my cloth. Which ties in with my reflection earlier this week of feeling overburdened by difficulties I have in reading/understanding/learning.

I kept picturing my mom tapping her head with her fist, repeating, "Stupid, stupid, stupid," all too often, and I felt sorry for her for being stupid.  (Mom said it, so it must be true, yes?) Regardless of how her mind works, I have an inability for certain types of learning, (which I sense has a lot to do with impatience,) and it's getting worse as I get older. And totally bought into Dad's dogged conviction if I apply myself I can do anything, so until I can do something, I'm slaking off.  (Dad said it, so it must be true, right?)

Controlled Chaos
When I reorganized my Stash/Design Room two years ago I knew I didn't have enough space in my bookshelf and I had too much junk in the records/notebook area.  I had this task in the too-tedious basket until Monday, when I looked for "work" that's not weaving.  By tackling my so called Diaries, which are not much more than paste/scribble books, which I started keeping in August 2011, I've freed up one and one-third shelves, and I feel emotionally cleansed.  I still have folders and binders to go through but this has been an uplifting exercise, and I know it's imbued in the decision to throwing out "art" from my weaving, at least for the foreseeable future. 
 And I have found few memorable bits, the top prize going to this.
Criteria D, the origin of my art/craft conundrum. I think the organizers meant this as a textile art exhibition as a whole, and what's submitted as garments cannot be just a rectangle, but I'm clouded by prejudice and I still can't make sense of their intentions. (Click for a larger view.) 

Drawing
A very good friend was the model this week. I've befriended some of our class's models, and acquaintances popped up as models, but never a good friend.  I knew it wouldn't be a problem, but I didn't expect such hilarity: when she stood naked in front of me for the first time, I couldn't stop thinking I never noticed she had such a thin upper lip. Especially from the side. While I was trying to draw, my mind kelp replaying all the times she sat on my couch and we sipped Earl and Lady Gray tea and laughed.

The Arm(s)
I was sick most of the week and I spent a great part in bed sleeping. Other then when I was culling my notebook pages.  It turned out to be a good thing because my physiotherapist said the muscles are nowhere as nearly as tense as last week.  So I must be careful again this week; weaving, weeding, anything in 15 minutes increments.

Physiotherapy and Bourgeois made me more aware I would like to take better care of my health, and especially of my limbs, because I'm 53 and a half, and if I've only decided that I want to make warps and warps of "pretty" cloth, I need about 40 years to get good at it. And to that end, I really need to exercise more.  

* * * * *

Louise Bourgeois
on Wiki
Google images (Warning: quite a few genitalia.)

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