Hi, I am Fee, artist, former architect and general layabout..been lurking a=
round for a little while, but am interested in the thread involving derrida=
/art history/ art and language.
IMHO, language as an everyday communication device works perfectly well to =
comunicate meaning, however, as one stumbles into philosophy (from whatever=
direction of study - more of that later) the fixed meaning of words slides=
and elides until one is unsure of the basic building units of the language=
you have spoken since birth...I remember spending hours puzzling out the m=
eaning of words suchs as 'if' or 'other' back in the days when I regularly =
studied philosophy. A further complication is added by the medium in which =
one is trained - in almost any academic study one will eventually be drawn =
through a nest of quotes and references to philosophy. But the roads we tak=
e there influence our view on arrival - postmodernism means something entir=
ely different to the architect, the artist, the writer and the philosopher.=
And this is where language begins to stumble between the divides and barri=
ers put up between disciplines.
And along came Derrida to pull down every institutions white walls and say =
what do you mean whe you say this? do you mean the same as so-and-so in the=
art gallery half a mile along the road? or do you mean something entirely =
different, more like the guy in the humanities department? to pull the lang=
uage apart is the only way i you will understand if you are talking about t=
he same thing. And Marc and Dyske are already arguing about this word decon=
struct, that derrida invented for his process..as does anyone who has ever =
heard of the word. A word invented to help us understand words which is tan=
talislingly almost beyond definition itself.
Now it's along time since I've read Derrida and my approach to him was thr=
ough his work with architects such as Peter Eisenmann and Bernard Tschumi i=
n Parc La Villette, in Paris. So please excuse me if my understanding of d=
econstruction is completely different from yours. I will ashamedly admit it=
takes me a long time to understand his concepts at all, and if my understa=
nding is the correct one is impossible for me to tell - and so we go, round=
in semiotic circles.
Words do change meaning over time, become loaded with cultural reference, b=
ecome transformed in context, have a history - but I have an idea that when=
one says 'art' on a list such as this and 'art' to an elderly relative, on=
e means totally different things almost without being aware of the differen=
ce. We roleplay through language and our use of it, our understanding of it=
, is as much defined by who we are addressing as by the 'dictionary definit=
ion'. Perhaps I am stating the blindingly obvious/previously stated. What t=
horoughly frustrates me though sometimes is that the academic stuff is irre=
sistible to artists/creatives and their funders and critics - but sometimes=
i'd just love to have an honest little dialogue running there side by side=
' hey I had this cool idea and i'm really excited about it and it's sort o=
f about reaching this edge space or htat but not quite and I really want to=
make the visuals move..I saw this film and read that book and they made me=
think, what if..? ' You know, the kind of stuff you would say in the studi=
o that actually tells - not the real, but another side of the work. The hum=
an side maybe.
centered around disciplines lead to an impoverished expression that is full
of meaning through repetition, within the confines thus draw, but ultimately
void of surprises and, well, a certain joie de vivre. In fact, this
suppression of possibility is perhaps the very definition of a discipline '
I've seen the institutional grinder for artists at work - 7 years at art sc=
hool studying architecture - but am reluctant to put myself and my work thr=
ough it as an artist. I'm reluctant to pin myself down, to define myself..I=
paint pretty watercolours and photograph insects dying and to me its all p=
art of the same thing. Yet to acknowledge oneself as an outsider seems to p=
ut another artistic label on, again..(raw art, self taught, what do they me=
an to you? hmmm) as Marc said we all live with 'dichotomies and multichotom=
ies'..we all want to belong and yearn to break free. My answer is to try an=
d stay out the institutions and dodge the expectations. sometimes - not alw=
ays - it can be better to be ignorant of art history, art trends and politi=
cs to create art.
But then I am very poor. lol.
Anyone, apologies for any repitious stuff, been working it through in my he=
ad as I write, have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts on this topic.=
.made the old braincells come to life a little (am a hibernatory animal)
thabks for reading if anyone made it through.