The desire to MAKE –
that is the human curse I carry –
the MAKING of art
in a futile attempt to carry
myself into a future
without me –
My hands want creation –
if my mind wants peace
it has come to the wrong place –
this world is ours
for the MAKING –
For those of us who have
sufficiently little of ourselves
to value art
that’s what we MAKE –
For those who live instead
they MAKE themselves
and others in their image –
And we shall MAKE
a world without us
through our restless creation –
a world in our image
as barren as the average mind
that brought it down –
Meanwhile I’ll MAKE
some poetry and hope
some sense might yet be found –
“How good for you, to travel alone,
it’s so empowering!”
“A modern woman shouldn’t wait for anyone;
run your own show, do your own thing!”
“I’m so impressed that you went all on your own!”
I know there is no point in exclamations,
Technically they are just trying
to compliment me.
But why is it that they can’t see
the errors that they make?
As if I would have travelled
if that wasn’t the only path to take?
I didn’t go to prove myself,
to “grow” or show the world
what an empowered woman I am –
I went alone because
I have no-one with whom
I could’ve shared my travel plan.
What is it that’s supposed to be
about standing alone in a foreign city
taking pictures of oneself?
As if I wouldn’t rather
have had someone
to share the experience with.
Yeah, sure, I got to spend a whole day
in an art museum
with nobody to complain –
you know what’s sometimes said of art?
That it’s a substitute for love,
and only truly thrives
as an outlet for emotions.
I had a dream or a vision
that faded in time.
And since I was too young
when I had it
to write it down
all that is left today
is a few disjointed brushstrokes
in blue and green on a canvas
that nothing evoke.
Your palms lay out the background
with the heat they carry in them –
the heat that in the dawn of our species
was granted by the core of our Earth.
Your fingertips then paint me
with their liquid fire –
clothe me in a cobweb
of invisible tattoos –
an intricate masterpiece
of flesh and nerves
that lasts as long
as I do.
A monumental quality
as such there shouldn’t be
in a thing as transient
as the human body.
And yet there is a sort
of perpetual strength in
the look of your muscles
and sinews tightening.
As if you were a cliff
squaring up to meet the sea;
enduring and majestic
in its rigidity.
Yet as that cliff you are
still vulnerable too –
these years that pass away
are also marking you.
So here I am at work
attempting to preserve
through graphite, yet again,
every sinew, every nerve.
My heart cramps up and gasps for breath
confined within my chest
with art as the only outlet
for the feelings by which I’m beset
My stomach twists and turns in fear
when finished I present
a piece of art to hands
whose lack of touch I bear
That lack of touch which bade create
the poem, painting, song
that speaks of how I long
for better outlet than I re-create
Art; substitute for what I need,
a beautiful one indeed
but barren, void and lifeless too –
I’d take your hands instead
if offered them; I’d take them and
I’d lead them everywhere
where words and paint can never reach;
all that I’d with you share!
A debate has been raging lately about identity in art. Can an artist portray someone from whose ethnic group / gender one doesn’t belong? Is is permissible to even do that? Doesn’t it further stereotypes? Doesn’t it further bias? Isn’t it implicitly sexist or racist to even think one is allowed to do such a thing in the first place?
I’ve had enough of this debate. I propose a whole other distinction. How about we identify as artists first, and everything else second? That way the problem is automatically solved! Or better yet; can’t we just agree that we’re all at least human, flaws and differences aside?
But I guess that’s too simplistic a solution for the vast majority of the human race – which is why they can’t agree on the topic.
I don’t care if a man tries to write a book from a woman’s perspective. If anything, it might teach him something. He might not necessarily get it right – in which case I can laugh it off and pick up another book. No problem. But I also refuse to write from a man’s perspective in a feeble attempt to encourage more men to read me. It doesn’t matter to me if other women do that though – that’s their choice. The main point should be the quality of the book, and the depth and strength of the questions raised by it. Not either the author or the narrators respective genders or races.
I myself prefer writing based on personal experience. But that isn’t to say that there can’t be valid reasons for adopting the perspective of others. To broaden one’s horizon. To attempt understanding. Isn’t it better to at least try, and maybe get it wrong, rather than being too afraid to broach the topic? I think it is.I think art could be a useful tool for promoting understanding – if artists aren’t threatened into only writing about themselves. If one does that, it should reflect an active choice of the artist, and not coercion by society.
I would like to think that we could at some point move past these discussions altogether and focus on the content instead – but the rest of the world never ceases to disappoint me in said regard.
I am frequently asked to sign my paintings. I don’t want to. It’s not that I can’t understand that the person who gets the painting would want it signed – I mean, it is more convenient for them. But it takes something out of the final product for me.
Supposedly it should be a great feeling for an artist to sign a product. It would finish it definitively, and clear it from the mind’s eye. However, it doesn’t function that way for me. For me, a signature is the sign of death and decay. It is a sign you mark a thing with to declare that it is all downhill from here – no further development is allowed, and from now on the object has been written off by its creator.
Continue reading To Sign or Not To Sign
This is an important topic to address, and it is only natural that so many people have done it already. Technically it is unnecessary for me to add my thoughts to the lot, but since it is inevitably on my mind, I’ll do it anyway. The topic is of course what consequences digitalization has for art, generally speaking. And it is a large topic and difficult to address with any accuracy, but I shall endeavor. In order to do this I will necessarily have to express myself concisely, so forgive me for the slightly compressed nature of the following.
Continue reading Of the Increased Digitalization of Art
In the past, art has been the work of one artist, and it has been supposed to conclude in a final ”work” that was unalterable and meant for display only. But times have changed, and they keep on changing. Today, there is no rule stating that art has to result in a “work”. Technically, art can be an ongoing process. The internet has made it possible to get feedback faster and from a much wider audience, and the artists who use this venue for publication could easily use it to expand on their work over time, and change it according to the audience’s wishes. Technology makes it possible to change the perspective, the means and the goals of art altogether.
Continue reading Art Through Participation