Tuesday, June 23, 2009

become aware of your own experience

i came across a great quote by robert morris (he of the felt and earth fame) the other day:

i want to provide a situation where people can become more aware of their own experience rather than more aware of some version of my experience.

this is in many ways the core of what i hope to achieve with my work. of course, i do want people to be impressed by my work - whether for its execution or its content. i want it to have a wow factor. but i want the experience of looking at my work to be more than that. i want the viewer/ reader to engage with the work and use it to examine themselves. yes -- i have an agenda. yes -- there are ideas i am trying to convey. yes -- there is a direction to the work. yes - i expect you to enter in to the work and spend some time trying to decipher and analyze "the code"...

but at some point i hope it becomes about you and your experience and not mine - the work is not about my experience and my self-expression. i want the work to be little prompts, small agitations of the soul. doors. windows. hints and allegations. invitations, even.

it's the other side of another favourite quote of mine (by c. s. lewis this time):

[When looking at art,] We sit down before the picture in order to have something done to us, not that we may do things with it. The first demand any work of any art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way. (There is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender, for until you have surrendered you cannot possibly find out.)