art?

Ok, I admit it...I haven't changed as much as I had hoped.

Recently, while clearing out a stockpile of old Morpheus Co. related paperwork, I stumbled across an artists' statement I was asked to write for the program of a show we did back in 1994. Aside from the usual, "Tell us about yourself" type information, the gallery director asked each artist to explain what art was:

Art is what makes the layman exclaim, "Gee, I like that!" It makes the soul understand and the mind wonder. Art is also what makes the critics happy. It cannot be repeated, replaced or counted on, and there is no guarantee that art will happen or remain.

Early in my youth, I watched an old house burn to the ground. At first there was an ancient home, full of old voices and stories. Suddenly, in a brilliant flash of entropic destruction the house became, for just a moment, chaos incarnate. It was alive and moving and screaming secrets I could not possibly understand. Then, just as suddenly as the old house had burst into dying song, it silenced itself forever and became nothing but the ashes at my feet and the images burned into my memory.

I was left with nothing to answer my questions, and I could not honestly say that I had fully understood what had transpired before me. The art and its artist were gone; only the elusive message was left behind. From obsolete artifacts, to pure dissonance, to misguided conjecture and nothingness, art may be many things, but it is not quantifiable, and it is not a constant.

Years later, I still have no concrete idea what "The pursuit of art" really is, beyond the fact that I'm still chasing it.

06 / 05 / 2009
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