Monday, November 18, 2013

Of the Artist

It is the charge of the artist to be detached from rudimentary understanding. The artist cannot create under any circumstance other than misunderstanding. The artist understands through the act of creation, of bridging the gap between what is presented and it's visible outcome. Why the fuck do you think y'all can't stop making work about feelings? Because no one has feelings figured out. 

Virginia Wolf's book-length letter to a lawyer who queried unto her; "why war?" (which I am reading a meta text about by Susan Sontag, currently) contains generous dissections of war photographs  which Wolfe received in the mail. Because of her inability to understand them as simply "photographs of dead children", she sought to create a bridge through her writing. If you think people have these ideas outside of the act of creating work, outside of the act of congealing thoughts into a linear pattern then you're straight wrong.  Because nobody's thoughts make any sense. Ever. If you think the raw material of your thoughts makes sense then head on over to Charles Xavier's school for Gifted Youngsters already. 

Anyway, we make this stuff because we don't understand anything and we can't even communicate our thought process toward understanding. So you know what? Embrace your misunderstanding. Try to look at everything as painfully alien and worthy of inquiry. Be weirded out by plastic bags and subway cars and trees and bouncing itunes icons (seriously when will it stop) because you will be be giving people something to relate to (shit everyone else seems to understand) and doing something healthy for yourself (understanding things). 


No comments: