Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am for an Art...

I am for an art that kicks ass and takes names.

I am for an art that blows my mind to bits.

I am for an art that rockets me into the future. 

I am for an art that puts me in a never time.

I am for an art that shoots planets and stars together into fiery light. 

I am for an art that has me scrambling to put my organs back into my body.

I am for an art that makes me really hungry. 

I am for an art that shocks my hairs into goosebumps. 

I am for an art that shaves thin layers of skin off my finger. 

I am for an art that sizzles with butter and olive oil. 

I am for an art that creases my brow and folds me in half.

I am for an art that has me saying, "Huh?"

I am for an art that splashes on my forehead and floods the halls. 

I am for an art that rips the fabric of space and time into arithmetic. 

I am for an art the implodes all over the gravel as strawberry jam.

I am for an art that doesn't take shit from no one.

I am for an art that hums a song that isn't real.

I am for an art that swallows me and spits me out as someone else. 

I am for an art that spoons me in the early morning. 

I am for an art that wipes mud off of the windows. 

I am for an art that loves diving into mud!

I am for an art that tirelessly stacks boxes. 

I am for an art that hides in my closet and gives me nightmares. 

I am for an art of a toothpick used to pick earwax. 

I am for an art you cut into a million pieces.

I am for an art riding a totally gnarly wave. 

I am for the art of my mother's red pen.

I am for the art you warned me about.

I am for an art yearning to meet that special ism.

I am for an art that flips you off.

I am for an art that threatens you if you look at it funny.

I am for an art sliding down a shear cliff into a coffee ocean.

I am for an art that gives me no answers.

I am for an art that gives me all the answers.

I am for an art that shines in a pitch black room.

I am for an art that hates me.

I am for an art that loves me.

I am for the art of delicate persuasion. 

I am for an art that uses a crowbar to lift taffy off the floor.

I am for an art that is alliterative and noisy.

I am for an art busting out of prison. 

I am for the art ready to bite.

I am for the art mapping out the broken dreams of childhood.

I am for the art of blasphemous giggles and blushing altar boys.

I am for an art that takes itself too damn seriously.

I am for artist's who make art. 

I am for totally redundant art.

I am for artistic shower heads and over beautiful mundane objects.

I am for an art that lowers you into the well.

I am for the art of slap happy apprentices in the sumo school.

I am for the art of dead birds, snakes, family cats, and baby rabbits in my backyard.

I am for the art of hopeless tears.

I am for the art a box turtles scrape and the waxy eggs inside.

I am for an art that carves out a log for knick knacks and antique toys.

I am for an art that destroys me inside and out.

I am for the art of beads out of bone and elaborate walking sticks.

I am for the art of a ladybug on your finger and a worm writhing in your palm.

I am for an art shivering behind the service entrance, taking a desperate smoke. 

I am for an art that doesn't apologize for its faults.

I am for an art that takes my lunch money.

I am for the art of pigtails, pig tails, and tail pigs.

I am for an art that wants to an astronaut when it grows up.

I am for art that knows me best.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Writing as a Romanticist

The Raft of the Medusa - 
I am swept away by this image of horror and gloom. The browns and viridescent waters drown me and I dwell upon those poor souls who unfortunately plunged into the depths. The pallid skin of survivors and strangely, the power of their bodies, holds me rapt in dazzled bewilderment. The storm clouds are about to explode over the waters and will soon ravage their ramshackle raft. The almost orgiastic pile of bodies, in the throes of death, pain, despair, but also hope writhes in the center of my attention. 
The group at the front frantically waves their tattered rags at a black speck ahead. It appears to be a boat. Rescue is close at hand! But still, my eyes linger over the dead immersed in the ocean waters. How many were lost to madness or cannibalism? I shudder at that thought. I turn away from this enormous record of tragedy, yet I feel staring deep into my soul into this night. How could this terrible event have been let to occur?

My Own Personal Commonplace Lab

I'm making this up. All by myself. Scandalous, right?

This is a bad time to be working. That being because its 4:42 A.M., my brain is dead, and I have a splitting headache. But lately I've been considering to myself what is art and what does it mean, especially while I attempt to not go completely insane at this school. I've gotten used to making "art" and "work" for people other than myself. That's not the problem. The problem is that I don't know how to make art for me anymore. When I "try" to do that, I lose something and I don't even like the work anymore. All of the ideas I have in my head about personal artwork either stay in the womb or I hate them and don't think I can create them. I'm convinced that until I get the hell out of here, in just a week or so, I will never be able to accept my attempts to make my own work. Granted, soon after I will be transplanted into another institution.
I look at so many "modern" and "postmodern" artists and I envy them to no end. They have these personas, do what they "love," and make it look so damn easy. Pollack, Warhol, Duchamp - they didn't even have to try that hard to produce. I feel like a fool that I can't produce with any sense of ability or abundance. I don't even know what I want in art anymore. I know what I want my career to be and to prepare for it. But in another way I can't but feeling I'm going to be up at times like this with these same conditions and emotional baggage for the rest of my life. 
I also feel like no one is listening. How do you get people to listen? For me its been a struggle my whole life. I have this whole notion that people need to know me or see my work. But shouldn't I just be creating for myself? Isn't that selfish? I keep getting caught between that. I am an artist. I guess. I don't feel like it now. This inescapable anxiety I have, the stress headache, the insomnia. Does this make it ok? 
I love art. I love looking at it, absorbing it, understanding it, and feeling it. I can't get past myself when I look at great art. I have a Deviantart account, for example. I am frightened to put up work because there is so much good stuff (and horrible stuff too) there and I am scared that everyone would put me down and shit on my crappy technique, composition, etc. I have put up work before and one time I ended up having an argument with someone about a damn figure study. (They didn't aesthetically like the model's body (well, my honest portrayal of it) and said it was too girly. I snapped at them for not knowing what real men look like. Great, I'm now an officially snobby, defensive bitch.) Another reason I'm afraid is that I don't have that much to show for anyway. I feel like a failure and like a fake, masquerading as an artist, but in fact not possessing any artistic talent whatsoever. 
But do I have to have talent to make work? So much of what I see now isn't talent, but good ideas or bad ideas that become marketable or valuable. Do I have to sell myself now, even though I'm still just a student. Do I have to make something new, strange, and unheard of to become valid? God, I don't even know anymore. 

(I'd love to upload an image, but this morning its not really letting me :(  ) 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mid Term Essay - Golden Lines

Aunt Mimi is dancing. She is 19 years old again. Her unitard glows a bright mustard. The lighting on the stage is quite intense, but this is the only record I have of her dancing. She danced at Goucher in the early 80's, I believe. My mother says she was a beautiful dancer. I don't know how she moved. I do know she had great lines and form. She tips over like a teakettle about to fall. There is someone behind her, but I could care less. I see her face and I recognize it as hers. But the youth within her face is so soft. Over time her body and face have become tight and almost harsh. She's still lovely,  but it is the beauty of aging well. My mother told me that my aunt was told by my grandmother that she was only pretty and not all that smart or talented, so dancing was all she could do. (I hate my grandmother) My aunt was a modern dancer at Goucher and after she graduated she never danced again. 
I have fully realized why this photo holds a strange hold over me. I see her, I see what she was, and I know she could never do it again. Then, I worry about my partner. He is a modern dancer here and he is graduating very soon. My fear is that he will leave and just suddenly forget his talent. (He plans on living with his mom during the summer and getting a job) My aunt stopped dancing because she fell in love and got married. Will my partner cease to do the thing he loves best to help out his mother? If so, I will not forgive him for letting go of something so precious, nor will I ever forgive his mother. My aunt's husband is not a good man. He can't parent, he used to gamble, he used to smoke, etc. He really frustrates my aunt. I blame him for her loss of art.
The first time I saw this photo, I had to ask my mother what happened. I also didn't believe her when she said it was my aunt. I now see this punctum within the photo that has never crossed my mind. Her right arm tipping low, as if to signal a future decline or loss. Its hard not to cry when I write this. My idealistic nature makes me rail against the forces of reality. Within this object, though, she is frozen in time, forever teetering on the edge.
Barthes wrote, "Cruel, sterile deficiency: I cannot transform my grief, I cannot let my gaze drift; no culture will help me utter this suffering which I experience entirely on the level of the image's finitude (this is why, despite its codes, I cannot read a photograph)...when it is painful, nothing in it can transform grief into mourning." Though she is not dead, I feel a pang in my chest. It is the death of art. The death of beauty, endlessly alive and dying. And I want to turn away.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Assignment 53: Give advice to yourself.

Advice to my 17 year old self.

B - the guy you're dating is a total asshole. But you know that. What you don't know is how he is going to ruin your art for you. Sure you'll get into the colleges you apply to, save one - and get put on a waiting list, sheesh. The important thing is its going to be hard to become that artist you were before you dated that fat lazy pig. You won't draw anymore, for a while I mean. You won't work on your poetry or film scripts. No, you'll just sit around with him playing games you don't even like (thats a few types too) and doing whatever debasing thing he asks for. Because you have no respect for yourself and even though you despise him, you want to sleep with him because you think you aren't worth real love with someone who is wonderful. You won't though, thank God. 
I'm looking at photos of you right now. Now I know what put me off about these photos. When you're with him you look happy, perhaps its because you're off some buzz about dancing with him during Winter Ball or you just made out with him (which trust me, its the only thing he can do right). But you aren't happy. The detail of your sweaty armpits in that pretty dress. You aren't looking at him. You smile, awkwardly showing your braces. And when you smile again the sides are turned down just a bit. You're upset in these photos - but I don't remember why. Was it when he got his pants dirty during the dance - lets not go into details huh? Was it because he kept urging to get a hotel room with you? The food was bad? Your friends weren't rescuing you? I probably won't remember until a time I don't need to.
Start trying to figure out what you want to do. You'll think you have it figured out but it won't be right. Hell, it never is the first time around. Truth is, you're going to start doing what you dreamed of just before you reached middle school. That will make all the difference. 
And please! Please try to love yourself. If you love yourself, you can love your art and your art will be much richer. You are talented and very special. Someday you'll have the life you've always wanted - it'll just be a little different.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Found some notes - what the hell????

I found these notes ripped within a book of Dance Posters in the Library. I have to tell you - it doesn't make a lick of sense to me, even when they fit together (except for band names). 
I'll write out the notes on each paper:
1. wind shadows - coyote oldman
2. door, merchant, runner, lava
3. artist, slav, the big, Jector
4. #68, #83, (dis)sturbs sleep, lonesome
5. on the road, machine, explosions, so long
6. stroumines (?), with, golden, moses, boring, tapes, emergence, team, to Helicon, (w)altz
7. enowish, Sbach, a silver mt. zion, explosions in the sky, Godspeed you! black emperor, sigur ros, nuage III, mogwai,  77 #36, p., Sylvain, Chavoud, Goldmund, New

Seems like a musician writing down notes about musical artists and perhaps potential song titles. Also, a lot of French is in here, especially nuage which means cloud. I looked it up and I found Sylvan Chavoud wrote  song named Nuage (clears that up). As I look deeper into google about each of these phrases, it is clear that most of these phrases are band names. Perhaps the writer of these notes was a dance student, who needed music for some choreography. That seems to be one of my only ideas in terms of why they were in a book full of dance posters. Maybe they had already picked their song (or songs) and had ripped the paper to note posters they liked. Maybe they were looking for ideas for their choreography's visual look. I don't know, but I like this idea!
Moral: first impressions may be strange and alluring, but often the truth (or assumed truth) can be much less otherworldly.