I wrote about making art, valueing it, and being an outside here. I received some lovely responses and here is one I want to share with you. Towards the end, there is a rather interesting consideration of the relationship between love and creation, also the idea that all memory is imagination. We talked some more today about the gap between people and whether it’s best to always acknowledge that it’s there e.g. married couples who don’t share the same language, and if it’s all right to accept that we fictionalise people all the time.
“It’s so interesting. I’m realising in a sense that my best audience has really been myself. The films I make… are my own entertainment. I see a day of good, solid making as a good play, and all the better if somebody else wants to play with me. One of my artist friends used to phone me up and invite me round to play, and we’d just dress up and take random pictures, paint…. As a child, I was solitary and raised in harsh surrounds, so forever creating scenes alone in my bedroom, reading, or making stuff. Maybe my earliest concept of ‘God’ was audience. Poetry is a communication with the universe. I was talking to another friend today about how far beyond existentialism I’ve gone intellectually due to personal suffering, yet spiritually I don’t feel alone as the universe around me has a personality and I can feel elements and voices when I am alone in a room.
I love all of what you wrote because it was written. It’s the kind of thing I have to grapple with daily, and yet never thought to commit to paper as it would just be too difficult to explain. My mind is overrun with questions. Each time I ask a new question about the nature and place of my work, there seems to be so much over-justification and search for simplification or even defense that it’s hard to pick through all the arguments. I’m an outsider, yet the outsider art scene doesn’t accept me because they’re too inside. I have never felt any strength as a visual artist. It’s purely what I need to do daily for my psychological well-being. I am hyper-creative, which sometimes feels like an illness, almost…. A good one, mind you. Then there’s my therapist saying you must show your work…. my soul saying i make because i must…. my ego saying i should be successful….. my spiritual self saying i am a spiritual artist….. that art heals me….that’s enough
As a believer in reincarnation, I think a lot of my skills have been carried over and I also think generally we are vessels, just transmitting. I really appreciated the solitary bee idea.
I also liked what you said about beetling away unrecognized…. we are creating our own stories and myths. I’m of the opinion that I was raised in a time period and culture in which self-actualisation was taught as some mad capitalist doctrine…. We could buy and invent and be whatever we wanted, we were told at school.
As creators, our vision of the future is going to be completely fluid and mercurially shifting – we can’t be defined or pinned to one thing, but there is that romantic artist-in-garret hero-saviour that becomes perhaps a self fulfilling prophesy. I think it’s cruel there should be pressure on artists to be making money as well as making, as it really is just so damn hard. Money would be worthless if people didn’t give it so much meaning. Essentially, it doesn’t exist. I am very interested in what is true in one space and not another in terms of narrative. All memory is imagination. Everything I write about myself, including autobiographical, is imaginative for the pure reason that it is past.
And yet, if we feel we are gifted or talented, we are therefore also born with this really heavy responsibility that we must share…. but, again, it’s so hard. So, it’s like this cruel twist of fate, that artists struggle so much in this culture, are so doomed, and yet so absolutely vital, necessary, and feel vital. It’s tragically flawed. And yes, you’re right, the audience is friends. I read some ridiculous quote about the difference between architecture and art being that works of art are loved before they are made and buildings loved after they are made… Which may be a trite and fairly irrelevant but something of that love struck me…. As we are creating, as artists of any sort, from the future, and therefore living the future before the past. And loving through our making. If that creates love, alone in a room, or to an audience of a million…. I don’t know if there’s much difference or point….”