Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visual Art as an Experience, Not a Commercial Commodity

When we go to an art museum we go to experience the collection, not to buy it.

My temporary installation of drawings, "900 Lives of Vision," is presented in the same light. If you are in the area, please come to experience the massive grouping of individual lives, as there will be nothing to buy.


Think about the time that was spent creating a little story for each individual, how no one was left behind, how some people have strong ink lines and others more delicate, how some people are presented linearly and others more sculpturally. Why are some drawings so light they are almost invisible and what do you think about the confusion in some? Why are they placed in the groupings that you see? Why are some drawings wandering off center?

What kinds of people are presented? What is it like to live like a flowing brush stroke? Or a map? Or an organically branching plant? Can a life line have more than one branch or does a life line go solely from point A to point Z? Is this person at point P or at point X or, dear God, are they even alive today? If they have passed on, did they have a sense of success to their life? Would any of these people actually find themselves within these drawings? Can you find yourself?

The most overwhelming question of all: Can you take in this many people during a single visit? How much can any of us take in at one time?

I keep remembering a Muse Concert I went to a few years ago with my husband and daughter. We were up front, standing squished together in the second row. Hundreds of people surrounded me intimately. I wanted to ask every single person his or her story. I shared their sweat and their joy as we swayed to the music, but I never got beyond a grunt and groan of communication with them.

Maybe I will play Muse at the reception. Or jazz or classical or world or some other rock. It's all part of the art experience I had drawing them. The music is in the lines.


Just came back from a John Zorn experimental sax performance. We grinned through the whole organic, quirky, bizarre experience. His music is the sound that I hear in many of my drawings.