Thursday, October 22, 2009

Starting to sink in?

It's strange what a perceived deadline and an invisible audience will do to me.  I'm making work that I haven't the foggiest idea how it came to be mine.  I'm not complaining - I like the work I'm making. It just doesn't feel like me.  You know when you're fourteen years old, the phases that you find interesting only last six months or so because you're still figuring out who you are? That's what this is like- only with art and not personalites.  These forms are the equivalent of the 15-year-old-me standing in the mirror, looking at my newly dyed-black pageboy haircut after having ass-long brown hair for the previous 10 years.   "I know you are me, but where did you come from?"
I keep wanting to change my mind.  My mind is being weasely and wants to attack everything that isn't hers.  I saw a boy today arranging ping pong balls on top of a wooden box I wanted to try it.  I saw a girl today running marbles through paint and I wanted to try it.  I want to siphon ideas that aren't mine, in hopes that they will start to become me more than my own.  This is new to me.  I've never wanted more ideas than what I have. 
I was just in my studio, staring at some nylon shapes hanging from a wire line. I don't think that I can make them be anything that they are- sad droops. I can't repurpose them to be "flourishing parasites" or what-have-you.  However, I can see where they may occupy a lonely space, ie. the abandoned houses that I've been photographing. I think that they are still forms that long for solitude, that gain solace from solitude.  That, my friends, IS my thesis.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh, Grad School!

MFA trouble.

Not to be a negative Nelly, but I want to get a few key complaints down so that I don’t forget…or block them out later.  I want to appreciate the good things and most likely will, but I don’t want to remember my grad school years with completely rose-colored glasses, either.

My ideas don’t flow like they used to.  I felt much more uninhibited at 21 than I do at 31.  Things are so much more complicated now.  It’s not enough to flash on an idea, grab the supplies and get to work.  Now, there’s so much hemming and hawing, I change ideas in mid-creation.  I think it might have to do with the fact that I feel like I have to make art that is good enough for my committee- not me- that I forget what it’s like to be inspired and not have any deadlines.  (I know my art-making process was like that once.) 

I got bitched-slapped by my committee the other day.  I think that I was making work about hiding one’s true nature from the public at large, about trying to hide in general and trying to set out to convince my audience that small, intimate spaces are wonderful things. I wanted to call it “Claustrophilia, The Love of Enclosed Space”.  How I was going to wrap that up-I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter now anyway, because I’ve basically been reassigned to making art about bacteria-type creatures that flourish in a dilapidated space.  It’s still interesting, but this is NOT MY IDEA.  I’ve basically been told what do, even how I can go about doing it.  I didn’t think that I would be directed like this.  However, I think that it is my own fault.  If A.  I had been more articulate about describing my work’s message to my committee, maybe I could’ve convinced them otherwise. B. If I was better at rendering my forms- just being better that making shit in general- then maybe I could’ve convinced them of my thesis’ merit.   C.  If I had spent less time experimenting with plastic and nylon and knew how to fucking sculpt, I might have made different forms that would have been appealing and not repelling.

Ce la vie.  This is how I learn- by falling flat on my superior face.

I have no idea how to claw my way out of the hole I’ve now dug for myself.  Apparently, my thesis show is going to be MASSIVE!  The best use of space EVER!  Constructed and manipulated!

I know how to make small things.  I do not know how to rearrange 2000 square feet by myself.  Just gonna dive in head first I guess, and hope that it all works out for the best and that the end product is so impressive that I’ll be hired to do commissioned work after this is all over!  Thank god I’m friends with the wood shop guy.

It’s too bad that I couldn’t have been a carpenter instead of a photo assistant.  Yarr.

My thesis.  I’d like to talk about it now, so that in 5 months when the thing is done, I can look back and say “I was so worried about it not being able to come together. But what do you know, it turned out fine!”

I have two bundles of 6 –foot-long nylon “bags” that hang from the celing and drip pink plastic.  I have two nine-foot-long “bulbs” that sprout petals and hang from the wall.I  have six golden-brown 36 in. diameter plastic “bowls” waiting for use.  I have many, many pink plastic "abalones-in-shells" forms waiting to be displayed. I have two abandoned farmhouse with bedrooms waiting to be photographed.  I have the Chapman Gallery all to myself this weekend.

What to do where to start how to begin?

This shouldn’t be a huge concern right now, or even ever, and I hardly want it to become a self-fufilling prophesy, but I am really afraid that I’m going to get too excited about my show and invite everyone I know, only to not have anyone show up, because Kansas is too boring, too far away and “Can’t you just send me pictures?”  Most little girls dream about their wedding day- what type of dress and flowers and church.  I freaking dreamt about my art openings!  I remember being in 6th grade and picturing myself as a 25-year-old with gallery representation!  Yeah, well, what did I know…it’s taking a little bit longer than that.  Whatev.

No panic yet.  Everything gonna be alright.