Wednesday, 6 October 2010

"what have you been up to since the masters finished?"

find a studio/ work in the kitchen/ spend too much money/ tighten your belt/ go to bed early/ wake up late/ think about the future/ put coppers in a jar/ borrow a car/ lust over a salary


i've been thinking of my masters show in two parts.
half was studio work, there were conclusions and adaptions, final shapes and playful relationships. the other half was (in my mind) more like a thesis show. i struggled so hard with my undergrad dissertation, it felt joyless and flat. writing a masters dissertation was oddly pleasant. for me, to write or even read on a topic i need to be excited by it. i have struggled, failed and given up with many art texts because i can't find anything exciting in them. it's about getting excited about something.

but your idea of exciting is probably different to mine. whatever floats your boat, you know?

He said, (but i can't quote, so i'll tell you in my own words, with some of his words), he said, Technical skill is good, and impressive but not exciting. That's what he said.

for a long time i thought that my work before the masters wasn't conceptual, i thought i couldn't work conceptually and i focused on learning skills: casting, welding, plasterwork. it wasn't until the 4th year of my undergrad that i was able to vocalise my ideas. it was commented to me that, my degree show was the making of me. that was strange to hear. on one hand it was a great compliment and on the other it felt like a massive pressure - the 'making of me'!?!? if this made me, what was i going to next? had everything before been utter shite?

now, i realise that i had my concept very early on. i toyed with things i found interesting, cubist bananas/ obsessive patterning/ non-art objects/ automatic drawing...
a year ago, while speaking to anna, i realised that my work was, and always had been, autobiographical.

but for me, being autobiographical wasn't enough. daily life created fuel to make work, but it needed something else. this led beautifully into fluxus >>>> fluxus allowed me to celebrate very ordinary everyday events and objects, not blowing them out out of proportion or using them as something else, but just enjoying them. in the lulls between creative outbursts i can consider daily life performatively >>>> performatively. is that a word? >>>> sculpture needs a performer, whether this is the maker - the artists hand that alters an object, the viewer whose presence is required for theatrical scale, the mannequin that stands in for the human body, an interaction or exchange that makes an object function. without a performer, i find sculpture a little flat.

"what have you been up to since the masters finished?" - the question on everyones lips.

"lots of things, but nothing really worth telling you about. just surviving, you know?"
(pause)
"i went on holiday..."