I’ve made about 50 collages over the past month and a half. I tend to work and make decisions quickly. If it doesn’t happen quickly, it doesn’t happen—I second guess myself or lose interest. Working for me is best when it feels quick and improvisational. (I’ve played the guitar for 12 or so years [way longer than I’ve been making “art” for], but these days when I sit down to play, I just noodle around for an hour or so since I don’t know anything about scales or music theory, and playing “songs” I know gets old fast. I think my working method mirrors this practice.) Some collages that I think are finished I hang on my wall, and after a few days I realize that they’re not finished—the thing actually needs some scribbles here, some scraps there, the change in my pocket, a potato chip… But I have to keep things moving, and I don’t like repeating myself. If I don’t/can’t finish a collage in one sitting, it becomes substantially more difficult for me to finish at all, though one sitting can last hours and hours. (The same rule applies, for me, when it comes to reading.) If I try to do the same thing twice in the collages, I end up comparing the second one to the first, and I can’t make decisions. The decisions have to feel live and fresh, even though (I think), the collages are all pretty similar/have a similar attitude or approach. I guess what I mean is that if I decide to scribble on one collage, deciding to scribble on future collages becomes increasingly difficult. It’s like—is this scribble as good as the last one?? I never really know.
Feel like I have fully given myself permission to live and work the way that I want to. The exciting thing about “For the Kitchen” is that it is absurd. I do not want to take myself seriously right now. I feel like a bulldozer because everyday I get something done. Everyday I make a list and do not care if I complete all of it. I don’t feel like I have to rush or try to push myself to grow, its just happening quickly. Because I get to spend a lot of time alone and working, my social life feels better. I feel more grounded in my sense of self and that makes it so I can be a better listener.
I’ve always wanted to make music but have been too scared but I made my first album here. It is terrible and experimental but I am happy that I finally did it. I started a band with a friend of mine in Chicago and it has given me a lot to look forward to when going back home. Something to work on completely freely.
Been reading about DOCUMENTS, an arts magazine from the 1920-30’s that was edited by Bataille. Its helped me think through “For the Kitchen”. A quote is pictured below.
I’m walking and writing and eating buttered toast all at once. I’m hung over and scattered and feeling very optimistic.
In 2013, in a New York Times article on Isa Genzken titled No, It Isn’t Supposed to Be Easy, Randy Kennedy writes, in reference to the artist’s early works, “The sleekly colorful pieces, most of which lie on the floor, met with a fair amount of derision at the time by fellow artists who saw them as somehow not formally pure enough, too allusive of things in the world. They were called surfboards, toothpicks, and, in a clear jab at a woman making imposing sculpture, knitting needles.”
I’ve been obsessing over surfboards, toothpicks and knitting needles for days. Isn’t it pure-isn’t it ironic- that Virginia is for Lovers and I haven’t had love in a month.