paris je t’aime (14e arrondissement)
At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That’s a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion.
After last night’s Sharon Hayes lecture at the Guggenheim, I feel pretty recharged and excited about the possibilities of being an artist without identifying (at least publicly) as one. In her lecture, Hayes explained that while working on the piece pictured above (from the series In the Near Future, 2009), when someone from the street would approach her, she would explain herself as fully as possible without ever mentioning that she was an artist, because that suddenly ended the potential for dialogue. Upon saying, “I’m an artist” the interrogator’s only possible response could be an “Oh. I see.” of some form or another. It’s so odd to think that artists see themselves as a neutral figure who can lead others into perceptive freedom, and yet, more often than not, once something becomes “art” or someone labels him or herself “an artist”, whatever it is that they are working upon becomes far too obtuse or weighty with the history of art to actually be insightful. Avoiding the term artist isn’t terribly helpful - to explain oneself by saying, “Oh I’m not an artist but I do painting and sculpture and performance, but I’m NOT AN ARTIST because I don’t like the label” generates such a level of vain precocity that it’s just as futile as explaining oneself as an artist. And yet…
I remember this from Chinese class in college. Classic.