hair grows the way it wants/ 2012
Can something become complex if the process distrusts it’s own intelligence. I distrust work that looks professional; as if it belongs in a museum - it just makes me want to hide in some dark place; maybe a grave. My work makes my life better. Ambition, professionalism, career, community, relationships, youth, are all thrown out the window. What is left is a want to feel pleasure, and I find checking myself out of the art world a necessity. I know that “community” is the key word today in an emerging artist’s career. Community, friendships, relational aesthetics, institutionalism, social responsibility, accountability - it’s so easy for people like me to check out. Maybe I have already checked out because checking out is an act of survival; but how do I get better at what I do if I’m an outsider? What does it mean to be a bad artist? I’m not trying to claim that bad artists are indeed great (as such is often the case) but how can one continue to keep a claim on art if they’ve already checked out of the game? Maybe the need to have a dialogue with others to make art is a myth. And I don’t think that anything could be art. To me art is miraculous, like a call that keeps haunting; I feel the same way about being gay. And I somehow manage to be on the outside of queerness too.
I think if I was a woman I would be labeled as hysterical. But Im a guy - and that makes me weird; which is nice because weirdness blankets the world. I constantly have breakdowns over art, and sometimes I check into the nearby hospital, late at night, and talk to a psychiatrist about the kind of stuff I do in the name of art. I discovered that you can get to talk to someone without having to wait for hours if you admit to having suicidal thoughts. Who knew that suicide could be a shortcut?
Yes, checking out is a necessity to survive art. Maybe it’s ok to not get life, or to be on the outside of it. To make endings pleasurable. Consumable. Does happiness have to look normal? What does being happy look like anyway? My sculptures also transport this kind of neglect in their existence. There is a recklessness about them. They make decay beautiful as if they can choose their own destiny but can’t bear to face it. They almost give up on themselves and I on them. I started to think of them as if they occupy different time zones where each established plane is committed to a gestural possibility. There is an inevitable state of permanent collapse through which everything finds itself as new in my work. Years become days and days become years.
Working on this film, I couldn’t help but wonder about what it means to be ambitious. Is it a perquisite to being young? And what is an emerging artist? how does ambition clash with art? with the system? These questions resonate with me because I find myself in the studio, pursuing a specific form of excellence; a kind of quality in ideas and in art that overthrows ambition. Is there a difference between being serious about art and being a serious artist, and how does one reconcile with that difference? Have object-based practices lost their cultural currency. What does an art studio stand for today? and what does it represent? BC