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Thoughts and Readings

I recently watched this panel discussion on power and art led by artist Jessica Stockholder, Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at Yale University back in 2006.

I’m still turning this discussion over in my head. Many ideas and statements worth further thought and discussion. But here are a couple of comments that really struck me, both made by Nayland Blake:

– “This constant question of “can art make change?” Well, art is change.”

– “Once you accept that power is located where somebody tells you it is, you’ve already lost significant ground. The anixety with which so many young artist worry about what they think of as existing power structures, in some ways, this is already a done deal because you’re believing that power is located in a place that you don’t have access to, and ignoring those places that you do have access to power, and how, and, most importantly, the ways in which you exercise that power, on a daily basis…The root of power is the ability to do. The question is “power for what?”

I think I was so struck by these words from Blake, because that is just what this project is about. Change and what we can do.

Any thoughts, dear friends?

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I’ve been meaning to put together a nice post of the clear ideas I’ve been developing here at FAAP. The truth is that it’s been a bit of a time of catch-up for me. I’ve been thinking that it might be a good idea to add a dimension of theory to what I do and to the project that this blog chronicles. So I dove into some essential reading: Benjamin’s “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Krauss’s “Sculpture in the Expanded Field”, and am now onto Danto’s “The Transfiguration of the Commonplace”. Trying to understand what, if anything, these seminal essays have to say about my practice. I’ve been thinking about what Benjamin calls the “aura” of the non-mechanically reproduced work of art. Is it ever possible to give or┬áreturn the photograph/film/etc its aura?

Also on my mind is Samuel Beckett‘s articulation of the impossibility of communication…

To be continued, of course.