Thinking about Art and Life.

M. suggested looking at ‘Allan Kaprow- art as life’ in relation to the potential for perfomative aspects with in my own work. We spoke, in particular, about my ‘trace drawings’ and how they might be exhibited. The nature of the final works are so fragile that the energy captured in them could easily be lost through handling. It occurred to me that they could be made in the gallery- as they are made they could be hung directly. We had spoken about the idea of a living exhibition with aspects of the making as part of the final exhibition.

It is funny one of the first notes I made on reading was-

‘ephemeral, performative and notational practices increasingly central to art of the late 20thC and early 21stC’.

It became apparent quite quickly that this was very close to the ideas I was wrestling with for my Contextual Studies Critical Review. And when I read that in many ways his ‘action collages’ were a way of reconciling the work of Jackson Pollack and John Cage- the painterly and conceptual, the physical and theoretical- this set me thinking about the work I had just done around Eva Hesse and John Newling. The connection between art and life was also something that cropped up during my research.

P23- Kaprow was fascinated by moments when art and life became one-

An artwork made out of impermanent, disregarded, and expendable everyday materials that ‘will pass into dust or garbage very quickly’ he explained, could exist as something much more suggestive than ‘a fixed enduring object to be placed in a locked case’. Its essential mutability, its truthfulness as a phenomenon caught up in a larger cycle of creation-decay-creation’ was partly determined by the realities of the modern world of consumer capitalism- a world of junk and throwaway products. But it also had to do with a deeper sense of temporality, an ephemerality that subtended the very fabric of everyday living and thinking.

 It seems quite strange coming to this writing so shortly after completing and submitting my Critical Review, and in many ways it highlights for me how challenging it can be to really embed new or changing ideas into ones own thinking, but also the importance of working through them in a physical way.

In relation to potential performative aspects within my work, Kapprow’s ‘Happenings’ are described as lying in the gap between 2 verbal articulations-

  1. The scenario or projection of the happening- a written score or description that narrate it.
  2. The recollection or commentary afterwards.

It is interesting to see the many examples which will hopefully help towards finalising my thoughts around how to present my ‘trace drawings’.

Meyer-Hermann, E. Perchuk, A. and Rosenthal, S. (2008) Allan Kaprow- Art as life. Thames and Hudson, London.

This entry was posted in Painting 3- Contextual Studies, Painting 3- Major Project, Reading and Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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