There is a rather presumptive assertion in the summary of Section 2 of this module, that students on this course will feel they have ‘made it’ by being ‘successful’ in the visual arts and that by being more business-like they might ‘have an impact on the art world’, had me rather concerned about cross purposes.
My intent when I started this course wasn’t to make an impact on the ‘art world’, nor yet is it still. Of course the notion of ambition is critical to the idea of study, why else would anyone commit the twin resources of time and money if there wasn’t a solid purpose for either, let alone both. It is also worth noting, that in my case at least, the sense of ambition that I had and have for completing this course has altered as my progression has developed. However, I’m still not sure that ‘impact’ and ‘artworld’ inhabit any sentence I would conjure about my practice going forward.
I have always had the sense that for me to comprehend what it is that I am trying to say at any point, that I need to say it out loud. To continue to discuss with myself in an on-going conversation that almost seems to fear resolution, but volubly expressing it has generally been my way of calibrating what it is that might be concerning me. And so I know that not only is the work at the end of this course a significant expression of that conversation, but also it’s eloquence has been developed and its scope more focused with a deeper sense of its place – because of this course. And this is where I might use the term ‘impact’, that in a deeply personal sense I have found something that I want to centre my practice around. That’s where my ambition is. I have something that is beckoning me as much as I feel I am driven towards it; success for me will therefore be how I feel it has been described, not whether the artworld has felt any kind of minor tremor.
Somewhere along the way, during the final course modules, I gained a sense of what I will continue with, post graduation. Of course ‘expressing’ is usually a public experience and to not expose the work would be to continue an internal discussion and that, in my case certainly, would deny the most valuable component of all, that of communicating an idea to a ‘world’ – art or otherwise. That purposeful communication, which has the potential to continue with a conversation, with the consequent discourse adding to the breadth of ideas which then feed the work/research, is what the work’s ambition is.
Stories that address and circumvent personal history(s) seem to me what most work is about, certainly the work that I am attracted to reading and engaging with. Telling stories is what my work is and will be about. It is the idea that through stories we can develop narratives that exercise our personal boundaries is something that has for a very long time excited me. Fiction as a vehicle to comprehend our sense of self and the world in which we live, knowing that our boundaries are strictly our own and developing a cognizant sympathy for perspectives other than the personal. My ambition is to tell stories and to tell stories I need an audience and finding a route to that audience is perhaps my driving ambition concomitant to the work itself. The one without the other is less than half.
The second assignment seeks to discern to whom I feel I should address my work. This target audience, be it virtual or physical, needs to be researched, which is something I can concur with from a ‘business-like’ perspective that the notes refer to. If what I want to do is not to be regarded as trite then it will likely be measured by the intent by which it is perceived. It is important I think, to define the difference of real and un-real in the business world, the idea that something can be perceived as ‘real’ yet have no substance. The ‘South Sea Bubble’ and colourful shiny dog balloons (in my view) spring to mind, commercial ideas in ‘form over substance’ perhaps, both almost certainly grounded in research for the sole purpose of making a commercial success and an ‘impact in the artworld’. However I see my publication options as diverse:
An exhibition, which would, I think, necessarily involve the artefacts – so some kind of installation where one of the key questions to resolve will be scale and relative scale. The work as it stands has imagery on similar size prints – scaled imagery to fit the personal experience, the text at a size to be read in private. Re-scaling that for, for example, a ‘white wall’ would need a significant rethink and almost certainly a re-edit. Currently my least likely candidate – though perhaps the most straightforward.
A book is something I have had as an option for some time. I have an agreement with an editor and bookmaker to collaborate on a book project and I will be meeting with him to discuss options regarding it further in the near future. The sense that I have is that the imagery might remain largely the same as a book experience is similar to how the work is today – personal and intimate. So a relatively small book, talks with an editor might change all of that of course.
An artist talk would, at this stage, be my favoured solution and the reason for this is that I ‘know’ that I would gain from presenting the work – the gain being a deeper comprehension of the work and how it relates to me personally. The questions asked and the answers given providing illumination in a way that I think are reflected in the ideass expressed in the dissertation that accompanies the work – that of “unscreening memories”.
A dedicated website is something that I think is imperative to this work. I have developed the site and have held back from publishing it due to comments from my tutor about being sure about the edit. I’m not sure at this stage how much longer I will hold off. However I think that the new work that I have begun which is inexorably linked to the work might be served very well with a blog – certainly the development/research associated with the work. As a result of the course I have decided to continue the work under an umbrella project title of “Legacy”, and my current thinking is to combine a web-site and blog to situate the work in and which will also serve to be a convenient pointer from any artist talk that I might undertake.