The Parameter of Quantifying a Limitation: (or Surviving Art Making in the Postmodern Era).
I am making art, sometimes. To me art is NOT made all the time and quite possibly it is a rare occurrence.
This statement may sound as though I have restricted art making to an infrequent diversion of intention. It is not that I am an occasional artist, but a practitioner of a profession that is able to ask questions as a basis for its objective reality. Art practice in the postmodern era is questionable and undeniably dysfunctional due to the nature of equal sensibilities developed towards undefined or lost humanitarianism. Postmodern society is one of crisis; disdain affected by uncertainty and doubt. A postmodern society is one that is affected by everything that has come before. Human benevolence is clouded when it is deprived of accessibility to society’s major defaults such as war, corporate globalization, and desensitized youth. Cynicism has replaced notions of the poetic; meanwhile art of the past has been reduced to economy. The artist performing the task of art making has a responsibility to humanity and does not mean that one has to practice highly politicized work filled with obvious clichés. The practice of making art is a sophisticated conceptual responsibility interacting with humanity. The artist sees the world differently; critically and profound.
Postmodernism is the Parameter.
I read the dictionary often. I learn new ideas about the words I speak and write with. Within the understanding of “word” or “language” exists a complexity of ideas translated through interpretation. When we speak, others can translate based on how we speak, gesture or carry ourselves through a conversation. Sometimes our identities in society speak for us, before we say a word. When written, language can be formulated. Dictionaries can be used to interpret the word we write to each other. The lexis of information can be agreed upon by a certain set of parameters until one’s intention is to develop a notion of new parameters. When words are read, their meanings are shifted by juxtaposition to other words. The saying “pretty ugly” is confusing. It tells us literally that beauty can be found in ugliness; true. But it also tells us that “pretty” is being used to accentuate how “ugly” is defined. It’s confusing but it is the basis of word play or poetry.
Sometimes I find myself in a parking lot asking what this mechanism is.
I am a practicing artist. I have been trained in a postmodern, academic sensibility. I was brought up in a disadvantaged home ruined by alcoholism, poverty and divorce where art was neither practiced nor appreciated unless it was a depiction of horses, Native Americans, or taxidermy animals. My father, who left my family when I was 8 years old, is an artist. My mother was afraid to tell me anything about him and it was not until after I had decided to follow a career as an artist that I learned he was an artist. I have since developed a relationship with him and I do not agree with his conservative, modernist viewpoints of art. Art to me is a conversation between the viewer and the artwork while at the same time the work converses with the history of art. The work embodies a conversation with other artworks throughout history, elaborates on ideas and communicates through evolution. It converses with society, critiquing our surroundings. My father is the subject of many of my works either figuratively or literally. My intention is not to be nostalgic; I am impacted by his presence and absence, having a conversation with him through my work. Each work I create is an evolutionary step in understanding that living my life has impact on how I make art. I believe that the relationship we have with our surroundings is at the core of making art in a postmodern society.
Postmodernism is a pause in the history of art and exists to give us perspective on understanding that the “life=art” statement is currently evolving. I guess you could call me a Post-Neo-Post Fluxus Explorer; an artist surviving in the indeterminate postmodern landscape. The banality of changing my clothes in the morning is profound in its nature, corresponding to the act of making art. To sustain such a creative endeavor, you must be able to catalyze an idea, making sense out of “life=art”.