art reflection

some thoughts on showing

To show, and for someone to want to see what I show.

I have a set of tools, to make the thing that I show distinctive, interesting or appealing enough to make someone pick it up, turn it over, try to pocket it, so to speak.

There’s a nature documentary film with a little monkey in a fig tree, she is handling all the figs on the branches, and picking and eating the ripe figs, leaving unripe ones on the tree. This work is like ripening figs.

My tools relate to the choices that I make – the things that brought me here – things that get under my particular skin – themes and materials and processes – and the way that I can work with them.

So where is the service in this?

I don’t like telling, just like I don’t like being told. I am interested in showing something. I’ll extend that and say: showing something in a way that makes a person see it differently. Or maybe just waters a little question that is already growing in a person’s mind.

Why is this important (showing something in a different way)? Why is that generous, why would a person want, need or choose an encounter with something that I had made?

The answer has to do with seeing (or listening or handling), and making. Here is what I think. It is true that there is a world that exists and is shared; that we are born into (or out of) a world. But at the same time it is also true that we make the world, everyone makes the world; that when you look or listen or turn something over in your hands, you are making the world.

A person can learn to see differently, pay attention differently.

Therefore it follows that there is the possibility, in seeing differently, of making the world differently. A possibility of transformation – of yourself, of the world as you make it, of the world as we all see it and share it.

Is this the service? The offer of the possibility of transformation?

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