This is it. Life after the one hundredth post. I haven’t done this for such a long time. I thought it would be straightforward back in 2007. One entry a week for two years, easily get to and beyond the one hundredth post. I didn’t allow for how dull and uninspiring the course would be or how little energy there would be from the fellow students. I had been really excited by the international aspect of the course, the novel digital way of doing it; I was genuinely thrilled at the prospect of having a glimpse of the art world of other nations. I had expected they would be more turned on, more informed, more open to the new. I was let down. The international group was wet and tedious.
All I could do was continue with my work, contribute to the discussions as best I could and focus on the end result; the smug satisfaction of being an MA graduate. I know; it is meaningless. I have never yet found someone who enjoyed their MA or thought of it as important or a significant contribution to their understanding of ‘art’ or their own practice. I paid forty quid for the two year course and can add two letters to my name. It shows a professional interest in and critical engagement with contemporary art. Bullshit. I like the structure of being on a course. I don’t need it, I like it. And it didn’t stop me doing my thing or working.
And then the course finished. What do you do with the blog? Do people read blogs? Do you have to link your blog, actively slag it out there to get it noticed? Or do you carry on adding the odd thing when it occurs to you, regardless of people reading it? My response to all this has been to tweet. A snapshot mood check, a memory aid online, a snappy distillation of a passing moment. I like it. None of that blogging navel gazing, self indulgent wank chat about the state of the world, art, the economy etc. and so on. Follow me: www.twitter.com/peepart
The reality is that no one listens nor cares. My opinion is probably flawed and it is certainly nothing more than piss in the wind. I’m not leading a revolution; I am whinging at a computer screen. There seemed to be a point to it once, possibly the slightest justification being that there were at least six people who might, three times a year, take a quick look at it so that they knew, or thought they knew, where my head was at, ready for the assessments and end of term pointless highlighting of the obvious exercises we half did. None of the foreign bodies exhibited any enthusiasm for anything.
I don’t even use it as a diary or online documentation hub.
So the question is whether to carry on with it or not. If it doesn’t matter then why not? Why not have a place where I can write freely, add the odd picture and generally amuse myself. Suppose. So much has happened recently. I have considered using it more of a diary, in entry form, covering pretty much everything. My main concern is that doing that would…allow too much out there on the world wide web. I don’t feel the need to share my pain with passing strangers and if I want to write for therapy, that would remain under lock and key; don’t want to be sectioned.
All this waffle is leading back to the original starting point: this will be an occasional blog of stuff that I find interesting, most of it art related. I suppose. And in years to come I can look back upon each entry and chart my meteoric rise to fame and fortune and wonder why I didn’t arrive there all the sooner.
November is proving to be a slow month. I know that there is art work to be done, projects that I want to work on but mustering any enthusiasm is difficult. I have been offered a shared space for free to paint in but even that feels like a challenge. I know the trick is to get making something, then the joy, the forgotten sense of play all kicks in and you make more and so on, very soon you have many images to….stack up and find somewhere for. I don’t want to simply produce, to churn out material. That is too easy. I normally work to order; have an exhibition coming, make something. After the exhibition, get rid. It was all right doing that for ‘Milk, Two Sugars’ stuff as the very nature of it was immediate, flippant, and throwaway. The alternative, of getting up every day to make and paint is the life I want but I can’t force it. Living, normal life, the day to day to stuff kills that ambition. I don’t live in a vacuum where I can totally absorb myself in art. I can dabble, dip in. Luckily I work pretty quickly. I can ‘knock off’ stuff. Until my faculties start to droop, I can fire off ideas and thinkings that are worth pursuing, fairly often.
I can imagine a life where I paint a landscape, large, semi-abstract; full of passion and hope and layers of meaning. And then whip off a self-portrait. And so on. And then what? What do you do with all that stuff? Doing it in my mind, not burdening the rest of humanity with it is enough. I think. I’m half convinced. Perhaps contentment lies in making all this stuff. It doesn’t matter who, if anyone, ever sees it. And shit….this is the digital age. Very easily, everyone could see it. I like to think that had Van Gogh been alive now, he would be uploading new images every day.
I feel like a fraud because I don’t have a vast collection of work to show. My ‘portfolio’ is thin. Sort of. I have twenty two issues of MTS and other paper based scraps. Most of the original artwork exists. I don’t have a room full of canvases and works on paper, all beautifully stored and catalogued. I don’t think that is necessary at all, I much prefer the idea of being transient, but I am still mentally trapped by the perceptions of others even if I reject them; that is what ‘proper’ artists do, they have a portfolio.
And I much prefer work to be reproduced. Originals fade and cockle and so on. Reproductions, you can tweak them. So the reproduction becomes a new original really. One thought, to satisfy my need to be remembered for an eternity, is to produce a taschen type book of all my ‘work’ to date. Vanity publishing in the extreme. I heard of someone who held his own funeral before he died. So that he could be there and I suppose, hear all the kind things people said about him. I think that was very conceited and a bit empty. And my book, sort of falls into the same category but I am not making it for anyone else. Or asking for contributions from others. A series of images and a bit of text to accompany each one. That is all.
Work plan 2011
1. The Book.
2. An ongoing sketchbook journal of images.