Some of the concepts I think about, that drive my work, but are better said by others:
“An idea, resilient highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of your brain, it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea fully formed and understood that sticks ! ” (Movie: Inception, Origins)
I go through this every time I take out my sketchbook in the subway and start writing ideas… things I hope I will have money, opportunity, freedom, space and tools to do sometime in this life.
But there is this idea that has been torturing me for two years now, and I will never be at peace until I make it happen by any means possible. I relax by planing it, sketching it, thinking about technology needed, how I will present it (in two years I had quite enough time). It’s a project proposal (site specific). Which basically means that if I present my proposal and they say no… I will remain tortured by it untill my last days. Because that is what an idea does to you… “it sticks” ! now I can only hope it’s going to be contagious as well.
“How can we make an accurate representation of our world given what we are given” (Kara Walker, artist)
I think about how culture, institutions, media and representation has shaped , skewed and twisted my vision, and how I can bypass all the ignorance that I have willingly internalized over the years. It’s interesting how people say that this is the reason they go to university. It’s funny because that is also a tightly controlled institution, that trains you for the same purpose as the others: educated and disciplined citizen. The paradox of learning about Foucault’s power/knowledge system, that is explained using institutions, and you learning about it in an institution setting? now that is something that gets you to question your world. But do you change after you realize? Or is it just left as another interesting fact that we store somewhere in our mind ?
“In order for art to live in the future its forces have to be rooted in the past” (I.M. Pei, architect)
I look at wonderful free Canadian artists today with my european lens (fixated on “perfect” rendering the world) and think to myself, they never went through the whole – “do this and I want it to feel like it’s alive and will come out off the page, NOW!! and fast”. Instead, I see this relaxing feeling of freedom, like only imagination and inspiration is necessary, such peaceful creativity. Then I turn my eye to my former colleagues(Europe) that are so obsessed with perfect technique that it seems (may not be true) like they have lost all other perspectives, and anyone with poor technique is to be looked down upon.
What I have been trying to do in the past three years, is to take what I have learned in the past: anatomy, perspective, color theory, proportions and so on, and use them as reference, not as fixed rules.
However, my interpretation of I.M. Pei’s words is that contemporary art practice will be better grounded if the base concept for something happening now is formed by using the past as a resource and foundation.
I look at this quote and I get something new from it every time.
It’s the only way we can move foreward !
By stoping the urge to follow.
By not limiting yourself. We are limited enough by society, norms, institutions, and so on.