in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

i have not wanted to make art in a long time.

Friday, February 17, 2006
february is just endless, isn't it? so much of one's energy goes toward just making it through. like right now, sitting on the couch wearing a thick scarf and scritchy long underwear under my jeans, typing while my white cat tries to stick her paws up my armpit.

But I can't blame the long winter for my choice not to make visual art since graduation. I literally have not made anything but Christmas cards (which were great fun, I'm not discounting those, but let's face it--they don't carry much in the way of nuanced visual symbolism) since last May. I saw a friend walking downtown the other day carrying a large cylindrical container the size of both his legs, hurrying toward a gallery where he was hanging his work in a show. Seeing the anxious focus on his face, I felt a dry twinge of recognition and vaguely wished I had the motivation to bring forth work.

See, but here's the thing (and I'm teaching an art class right now, so I've had plenty of opportunity to think about these issues): I no longer find anything interesting in visual metaphor. Someone's got an installation about the isolation of having a speech impediment? Sounds clever, but not interested. A show of prints about the emotional costs of advancing technology? Snore. Even art about things that touch my life in real ways, like food or aunthood or birds--all of it is currently failing to billow my skirt.

At the same time, I find myself dipping back into the well of loneliness in my past for things to write about. I don't think I'm wallowing in a period of artists' block, not rejecting all forms of creative expression--just the ones I find tedious. It's a disturbing thing to realize--getting an advanced degree in art may have ruined me for making it. The green and tender shoots of stories keep pushing up through my frozen sediments, though. There may be hope for me yet. I've just gotta keep my eyes to the sky.
4:48 PM :: ::
  • Creation can take so many forms. I can't wait to see more stories here...let them flow.

    By Blogger Kan, at 9:10 AM  
  • and, interesting too, you have not posted in a little while. we will talk soon. I have always struggled with how much of the creative process is discipline and how much is inspiration. Why is it that not creating feels criminal? what does that say about the slice of society we occupy?

    By Blogger Abbyg., at 8:56 PM  
  • Sorry to be cryptic, but my sister is right. creation can take many forms...and you never know when something is about to surface. i am finding it useful to think in terms of sediments and cultivation rather than results and productivity.

    By Blogger mar-mar, at 7:26 AM  
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