Beginning experiment in installation art: Let us linger in the beauty of foolish things.

Beginning experiment in installation art.

 

Option paralysis. That’s what I experienced the days following my last critique. Every thought of a new idea began as something novel and interesting. I constructed each idea in my head up to a certain point, inevitably past the point of attainability or the intrigue would fizzle out because something about it sounded cheesy, hokey and dorky. This is what happens when too much emphasis is placed on concept, for me. I freeze. So, I bought some materials and started to work, instead of thinking about working. I highly recommend this approach.

There is a conversation that keeps coming up about whether you call yourself an artist or a maker. I think the motion to call yourself something other than an artist is an attempt to distinguish yourself from the dictates of commercialism that seep into the art making process. Personally, I like calling myself an artist and adding emphasis to the word when I say it, like I’m challenging you to deny me this label. It took me a good, long time before I felt comfortable describing myself as an artist without feeling some twinge of doubt or invalidity. I do relate to the word maker because that places emphasis on the making of work rather than the personality or production implications. I’d like to hear more about this from my artist friends, if they have a preference and why!

I am very easily seduced by the material I work with, meaning, I let it dictate itself and I feel like I help it become itself. In terms of the reflective rolls of plastic I’m playing with now, I discover it is more interesting the less I do with it. It has a voluminous nature and drapes into space gracefully. The lines of pink twine are mimicking drawing, the rolls of plastic mimicking paint and space is mimicking a canvas. I am mimicking being a painter.

I could use the reflective surface to suggest narratives of introspection (which I’m always performing as an artist, and I think is true for all artists), narratives considering multidimensionality of the universe, something becoming something else. I’m still decoding my compulsion to use the reflective material. It could relate to my original joy of painting reflective objects in still life paintings.

As far as painting goes, I have twelve small panels that I have plans for to document the last installation experiment: Release. Again, planning in my head, thinking about working rather than the actual doing which may or may not result in something different than as planned. I like risk and serendipity. Also, I hope to do the same for this project, however it evolves, documenting or responding or both on canvas in paint. With those thoughts in mind, as I was working on the installation, I was excited at the prospect of painting this material. As I noted earlier, I am seduced by material.

 

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