Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter Solice

This winter for me, as are most winters, very introspective. I am constantly trying to further develop an approach to painting in consideration of what, outside of subject-matter, my paintings communicate. That is, how the paintings are composed is a subject in itself (probably the main subject.) , but there is also this other dimension of 'representation' that always needs to be addressed, whether it be depicting something concrete like a cup, or something abstract like space.
I recently came across a really good article about fiction, dislocation, and the creative input of the audience in an interview with Brazilian writer Bernardo Carvalho.
Fiction and dislocation I think about a lot in terms of perception and painting, but I haven't ever considered how a viewer will have to cobble together all of this visual stuff in quite this way. I always thought paintings either impressed themselves on a viewer or slapped them around. Viewing has always seemed to be a more passive act, at the mercy of the subject being viewed. But to think of viewing as an assertive act of creativity - to which the subject is subjected - is new for me.
Is it that the viewer has to rebuild perceptually all of the relationships that the artist has created in their work? So, no matter how clearly I think I have laid something out it is still up to the viewer to organize what the work projects back to it's original intent. (If that is exactly possible is another matter entirely. see Brian Greene's Fabric of the Cosmos) Or, is it all a positive accumulation in which the work begins a life in the studio, projecting outward, and is then subjected to innumerable readings? I'll work on that.
This receivership notion expands the artist/viewer relationship for me. At the same time as it offers a little direction it also enlarges the discourse beyond any one single frame of vision.

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