On the subject of intention, I suppose I have mixed feelings. I believe in a liberated audience, that is, that my audience will (and should) undoubtedly bring their own ideas of the world, it’s signs and symbols, their baggage, their desires, and their barriers to bare on the work. Knowing that, my investment in some kind of solid thesis of each individual piece is tenuous at best—and yet, I do slap a title on the thing, so I’m definitely wanting to participate in the conversation over what is seen in the work.
And then there is the question of when intention arises, or when ideas form, or even what justifies an “idea”—thus my waxing on about language earlier. I think I have these very clear ideas going into the work, but they are not verbal in nature, they are ideas that live in the body, in a gesture, a cry, a texture under toe and my reaction to it. I think you read my ideas, my language, these images of body, space, light, these sounds and rhythms—I think you read them well, taking them from the outstretched limbs of a mute interpreter, translating them into the words most find so familiar.
So, perhaps this disappoints you? Perhaps you wanted to be off base… But no. You seem to get it. Consistently. And I find your part in the process indispensable actually—you should know that. I look at your responses as a testimony that completes the piece as a full-on “work of art”. Part of me feels they should be somehow exhibited side by side. Or that I should be making some request of my audience to provide translations of their own.
Originally you asked about the distinction between life or a relationship [being at issue in We are Not Benign], and like you, I view it more as life, but others have viewed it the other way, and I find those responses valuable as well while not so close to my own point of view. I like the unexpected read. I learn things from making work.
Also, this idea of “self-expression” [in opposition to intentional meaning] feels so trite, and truly, all art is an expression if self and no art is just that—even when the artist insists that it’s so… As discussed before, I am putting my self, my energy, and my knowledge and lack thereof OUT into the world, to be encountered, make contact, perhaps connect. This is how I know best to participate in and contribute to the world. I am all the material that I have to do that with. So [I am] expressing that I have a sense of self, and with that self I’ll act in this world.