Sunday, October 5, 2008

there is more exploring to be done, yet...

I met with the artist Nick Cave in my studio on Friday. The piece he most responded to was my coffee cup conveyor belt calendar. He also really liked the images of the last naked ladies party. He called my work "fresh" a lot, and at one point referred to it as "outsider art." (Which I'm not sure I agree with but that's beside the point.) The thing I gathered most from our conversation was his feeling that each work/idea could be exploited or explored more in terms of its potential visual execution. He said I could create a whole separate body of work just from the documentation of each sculpture... using video, performance, drawings, prints in addition to the original sculpture. And, after also going to Victoria's opening (aptly titled "Various Explorers") in Rochester on Friday, it became clear to me how many works can be based on other works... the idea of a series or "body of work" with a common theme, where each piece is a variation, or different version/incarnation, of the same concept. 

For some reason no one has ever really questioned why I haven't done this before, but the truth is I've just never thought of it. I've never been tied to a particular medium (mostly due to boredom, but also because I like to find the medium that best suits the original concept), and this has been addressed by my faculty and peers. But my short material attention span doesn't mean I should have a short idea attention span, or that I can't explore the same idea in different media, all as the documentation of one "project." Doing this would relieve some of the pressure I feel at this point to deliver great idea after great idea, like I'm some sort of brilliant creative machine gun. Instead, I can fire one round, then approach the target and document with photo or video the holes, their patterns, the bullet shells; I could draw the bullets' separate trajectories in space or on paper; write down how I felt before, during and after, and interview bystanders; etc, etc, etc. Oh, the possibilities!

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