Saturday, August 13, 2011

were you thinking about me?

So this update is long overdue but its better late than never.

Here are some photos from the show! I'm hoping to get some better documentary photos of the individual pieces of work but in the meantime, my buddy Dan Epstein took these and he's a real swell dude for doing it. Dan, I owe you a couple of drinks.

Julia Dickens and Greg Zenha

My Aritst Statement:
"My work for 'Cataract' is divided into two separate bodies. The first is a mind-map of process-based text and images, created as a collection of intuitive knowledge and perception. The latter is a series of large drawings that exist as a result of the mind-map, intended to explore the ambiguity and contradictions in specific psychological states, the fractured self.

The work intends to evoke a dream space, as a representation, interpretation, and re-arrangement of memory. When we experience dreams, the narrative is often illogical, absurd, confusing and at times terrifying. The meaning behind that experience, however difficult to define, is usually very clear though, sometimes even more so than in our experiences in waking life.

In those narratives I have recorded what I find to be significant: the split nature of the human condition, the life/death wish, the allure of the void, quiet isolation and deafening confusion, a sense of humour about the senseless, the humility and hope in existance.

The intent is for the viewer to track their own experiences through the work, as I come to terms with my own purpose. I never want to truly be alone, and I never want to die. If you asked me why I chose to make art, my answer would be this:

'Because I am alone, and I am going to die.'"

There you have it. The feedback, as I may have mentioned before, was outstanding. I was kind of blown away, especially considering the day I headed over to the White House to hang it I was having some serious doubts, along the lines of 'who the fuck do you think you are?' and so forth. I felt like I was taking some sort of risk with the text work/mind map because a lot of it is pretty personal. Ultimately the whole body of work is a kind of self portrait, but in what I hoped to be an indirect way. The reason why my pieces worked well alongside Greg's, because that is what he was attempting as well, but in his own specific way. In the aftermath, it seems somewhat surreal, but ultimately I am glad that the post show depression that can sometimes come after months of hard work, a short lived opening night high, having to shelve the work and be faced with the daunting question of 'now what?', has been pretty minimal.

In other news, I would like to maybe point out that I am getting really tired of art snobbery and insecurity. I see it coming from every direction and perspective. Its important to be critical and know what you like but I what I am observing is an attitude that is mostly unhealthy: a self- concious obsession with derivativeness (as in criticizing the works of others for being 'too derivative'), excessive focus on medium over content, and this ridiculous competition over authenticity and newness. 'Well that's been done before' and 'I dunno, I'm kind of over that' HELLO PEOPLE it has all been done before, this is besides the point!

Everyone, just make work that is meaningful, lets please try to stop this insecure bullshit. Its a negative way of thinking that is harmful to yourself, your peers and your community. Not to sound like a self help book, and again this does not mean that I do not support critical thinking, but I feel sometimes that our focus needs to be redirected into the positive aspects of both our community and our individual practices. If art is something that you love, please treat it as such. The world at large constantly denies the function and importance of artistic practice and the last thing that we need is for people within this community doing the same.

Thats it! I hope everyone had a great summer, I know I did. Keep up the good work, I'll try to do the same.


Andy Borehol said...

Hi Julia
did you ever see this?
really sticks it to michael craig-martin there haha

def on point with your criticisms about artists getting a little too lazy: it's really easy to add another load of slop to the pile, especially when people are used to the stink, but it's a lot harder to clean the joint up, isn't it.
the new work looks good

Anonymous said...

woah, no i haven't seen this doc before. I'm not too into this guy's perspective right off the bat from the intro, but i'll let you know what I think after I've watched the whole thing.

My point wasn't really about artists being lazy my point being tired of hearing needless, negative criticism, rather than constructive, coming from a very insecure, self loathing place. Its not about their work, its the attitude towards the work of others. I would like to see that attitude turned into something destructive, rather than creative shit talk .
I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I haven't heard that same insecure voice come out of my own mouth criticizing other people's work, this is a reminder to myself just as much as it is to others. I think we just collectively need to check ourselves and our silly little egos a bit and maybe try to approach building a practice and a community in a more positive manner.

Good to hear from you buddy! I hope things are going great for you as well!

Anonymous said...

* OOPS i meant some CONSTRUCTIVE not destructive.

Andy Borehol said...

I think we're pretty much on the same page. I did mean lazy in the production of work, but also (and maybe especially) in the critical approach to their own, and also the application of productive criticism to the work of their contemporaries.

I guess it's somewhat problematic when young artists are making work with the knowledge of all the same styles (Dzama, the 'mission school,' etc.), but at the same time criticizing other young artists for resting on those same canonized laurels.

There are some artists who have gained a lot of success by doing what I consider to be pretty boring, safe work; but at the same time, it's hard to make a living and, there is a market for what they are producing so who am I to judge haha. Most of the people who maintain an (overall) negative attitude won't be practicing 5 years out of school anyway so I don't think it's of much consequence.

Scruton has some good points, but coming at it from the view of being a cultural tory isn't so hot.

also, some good talks about stuff here: