I was listening to a conversation between Eileen Myles and Chris Kraus yesterday in which they casually talked about ideas of invisibility and visibility in their work but also in life. Eileen said something about this moment, and how obviously, visibly, our politics are so bad but the invisible truth is that women are making some of the most interesting art right now. I was shocked to be so moved by this statement because it seemed so obvious, so visible.
I’ve been thinking a lot about invisibility and visibility in terms of who I am and what my sculpture is. I left my copy of Ann Lauterbach’s essayistic poem The Given and The Chosenat home in Los Angeles so I’ve instead been having her read it to me from YouTube nearly everyday while I work. I’ve begun to transcribe it too, in a similar way to how I make sculptures, with its fragments scattered throughout other notes and thoughts of mine, both in pen and on the screen. At minute 17 she reads:
I was interested then as I am now in asking questions about the relation between forms of life and forms of art. At the time I was concerned with individuals, persons, identities. I wanted to know if the sequence of choice, decision, and judgment in ones quotidian life might have some bearing on the same sequence of choice, decision, and judgment in making art. Was there some innate tendency or even habit in both domains that could be discerned so that a work of art somehow captured the essence of a person? Contrarily, could the process of making choices, decisions, and judgments in art-making in fact condition and shape a persons life?
I’ve just googled “synonym for it is my everything” to try and find the words to describe how I feel about this poem but the results were depressingly romantic, replacing my “it” with “you’re”. Some of the suggestions: I’m falling for you, I adore you, You’re my missing piece, I cherish you like nothing else…
Two months down, one to go and I am feeling really good about working. I still have a lot of work that I want to get done while I am here but things are moving along organically and well. It feels nice, I feel like I am in a really good place in my studio. I have worked through a lot in the last two months. I have given myself much more permission in my work and am trusting myself much more than I have in a while.
Time seems to be moving faster and faster the longer we are here. Time is often hard for me to gauge and I forget what day it is. It is chilly now that we are fully into Autumn. Ethan is leaving tomorrow and everything is changing. The last two months have been almost like a contained dream but I am reminded that our time here will end.
In the last two weeks I’ve hiked to the top of a mountain and saw farther into the distance than I ever have before, I’ve finished three books, and I’ve thought a lot about what my work means to me. After a constructive studio visit with my fellow residents I’ve been reflecting on where and how I see my work intersecting with the world. I’ve also renewed my investment in ideas I haven’t thought about in years. Particularly a commitment to making work that interfaces with those tenets of the project of minimalism that relate to the making of an art of the everyday composed of recognizable images and forms.
I had a conversation with Dakota in the woods about access to the means of cultural production, and he reminded me that even the micro-social interactions between artists, helps to produce a more open and equitable world. We finished the conversation and hiked in silence for some time. There were a number of other hikers at the top of the trail, looking at the gorgeous views from the overlook. There I had a further realization that this (experientially at least) would trump any aesthetic formulation that I could muster—and surprisingly, I was okay with this. The air was crisp, the sun was bright, and while it may be contrived to say that I had some sort of epiphany at the top of a mountain, I think I may have had just that.