the fall of 2010 is looking to be a very busy season for me -- i will be having 2 solo exhibitions (one in september and one in november). i have already begun conceptualizing the exhibitions (see my previous posts about your possible contribution to an installation) and will continue [trying] to work on my collaborative projects (such as a photo-based exhibition with a friend). more details later. i hope i have enough time to bring them together.
in the meantime, i have been invited to install a piece at king's university college in edmonton as part of their read in week events for october 2009. it's a nice connection: read in week and bookworks (or at least text works). evidently, read in week has been going on for approximately 20 years - its stated intention is to create a greater awareness of the importance of reading. this year's theme is books are windows on the world. i'm already getting some ideas, but i will be waiting for some images of the space before i get too attached to anything in particular. in fact, i'm going to be very literal with the theme. which, in turn, will make the piece(s) very metaphorical. odd, that.
i have also submitted a proposal (i can't really call it a piece for reasons which i will explain below) for october 2009 to self absorbed, an exhibition about self-portraiture at the SPAC art gallery at seattle pacific university. while i do not work with my own self portrait, i am interested in identity and how we see ourselves (and therefore, how we see the world, and are seen). my proposal involves providing a template onto which visitors can project their own self-image (with supplied art materials) and thereby create a composite (self)portrait of the exhibition's visitors. i hope it gets accepted.
there are several other submissions i have yet to hear about, which is probably a good thing. for the most part, i'm not getting paid for these shows, and i'm still working on ways in which to make my work more available (which is not the same thing as accessible). my goal over the next few years is to continue to widen the net -- slowly but surely moving out into alberta and the rest of the west. and aiming for exhibitions in 2011 and 2012. i may even try to cobble together a curated exhibition. dreams, visions and a lot of hard work (thinking and making). yes.
i just discovered a new word, or at least was reminded of a word i once knew and forgot: acedia. acedia is sometimes more commonly referred to as sloth, or laziness, particularly as it applies to apathy and inactivity in the practice and pursuit of virtue. it has also been referred to as ennui or boredom. as one of the latin seven deadly sins, mediaeval theologians identified it as particularly dangerous, and we can see today that as a psychological and spiritual condition it is epidemic. it manifests itself in a broad and complex range of psychological, emotional and somatic conditions and behaviours. aquinas acquaints it with "the sorrow of the world". it is a weight. it is the opposite of joy.
why do i bring this up? because i struggle with it. as an artist and as someone seeking the kingdom. more than i'd care to admit. various monastic orders consider it demonic. whether you name it apathy, indifference, [spiritual or mental] sloth, accidie or boredom, it results in a spiritual paralysis of the powers of the soul. there is an absolute indifference to prayer and fasting and, in general, an inertia about the keeping of the commandments of the gospel. since man is a psychophysical being, spiritual slothfulness is reflected in the body too. it is a psychophysical paralysis. and i am too often paralyzed.
let me share with you this: i am easily distracted, whether by work, ideas, entertainment, or worse.
there are many things i need to do - things i must do. i need to be more disciplined. i need to (re)focus. i need to remember the dream. i need to wake up the feelings i've forgotten. i need to act.
i suppose this is where community comes in. life happens and it can be wearing. we need the encouragement and challenge of others. the sharing of hopes and dreams. and fears. the shared resources and wisdom of friends and family. i am thankful for the communities i belong to. i cherish them. i need them.