I love art because of its dual power to individualize and connect. On one hand, the pure act of creation is an incredibly powerful process. The act of bringing something previously housed solely the imagination into real, physical being is deeply personal and subjective.
On another level, a common love for a thing of beauty might mark the creation of a certain sensus communis. At the same time, Art demands to be considered. Arguably, much of the art of today purposefully solicits different responses thereby facilitating dialogue and perhaps setting the table for, or directly provoking, change of some sort. But above all, my love for art grows out of a soil that yearns for the inherent human capacity to connect with one another – to connect with other, unique, human beings.
I hope to explore with this project “universally subjective” themes that manifest – by definition – on a personal level. We all feel love, anger, sadness and fear – yet we may love, fear, be angered or saddened by different things. We have hope and we have dreams. We envision a future and we remember a past.
In short – we are highly similar creatures capable of highly subjective experiences.
I want to create a body of works that underscores this. I want to find the strange in the common – and the common in the strange.
Photographs mixed with images (both produced and collected).
Short narratives or descriptions (both produced and collected)
Images and descriptions will be presented in conjunction.
They will not, however, be explicitly paired.
There will be an online component which will be updated in real time.
At the end of the year, I would like to do a physical, interactive installation, as well as a projection.
Intellectual sources and visual references
Kantian Universal Subjective
I am deeply influenced by the aesthetic philosophy proposed by Immanuel Kant. In a hand written comment in his personal copy of his earlier work Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, Kant stated a “driving desire to sweep away false and temporary views and arrive at an ultimate truth.” He wrote: “Everything goes past like a river and the changing taste and the various shapes of men make the whole game uncertain and delusive. Where do I find fixed points in nature, which cannot be moved by man, and where I can indicate the markers by the shore to which he ought to adhere?”
In his Critique of Aesthetical Judgment, Kant proposes precisely what he believes to be the source of ultimate truth – something that is universally communicable by nature: the subjective feeling of beauty and sublimity. This feeling is created when we, humans, come into contact with a sensual world that confront us with experiences that prove — and maintain — our humanity. For the model of man depicted by Kant, the world retains its magic: our judgments of taste, the pleasure we feel when making judgments of Beauty and of Sublimity, keep our world enchanted.
I also take inspiration from the work of René Magritte, whose work contains an aspect of the enigma – depicting mystery in plain light. Among other things, Magritte modifies the classic order of objects (i.e. blowing small objects up to full size so that they command the full power of the canvas) and he also redefines the relation of words and images. Thus, Magritte gives these otherwise banal – or common – objects a certain mystique and inserts an element of the strangely surreal back to what we usually see as the quotidian.
I had the chance to visit an exhibit of Wax’s work last semester and found her vast collection of mezzotintes both beautiful and intriguing. Antique sewing machinges, typewriters, electric fans, discarded toils and worn fabric … all of these objects inspired the images produced by the artist. In particular, I am inspired this particular part of her statement: “« As we rush through our busy days, the most insignificant slivers of everyday life are usually overlooked… but there is magic in the mundane if one pays close attention”.