By Eva Beser
A few days ago I was talking with an artist and he said “I don’t write shit, I’m not doing linguistics I’m doing art. If you are doing visual art and the work is good enough, it doesn’t need words. It explains itself”.
My immediate answer for that was “But at the end, people will use words to describe your work. People will talk about it”.
And then he answered, “I asked people that knows more about art than me, to write about my work”.
First of all, reducing art to just visual art (art that doesn’t need words to be explained) is excluding lots of different art expressions and creative productions.
But better skip the definition of what is art or not, better not get in it now.
In my point of view artist should write about their work, first for themselves. To know which are their thoughts and feelings in the concrete moment of the production of the work, during the process of the creation, in the present.
There’s no truth. The work changes by the time, because our way to perceive it also changes as its context. And then is again when the artist should write about their work. For understand them-selves and their work.
Try to be honest in the new present.
When another person write about the artist work, will add in the text things that the artist hadn’t considered and probably will not be available to explain it in all the senses, with all the details that the work has. Sometimes that can be interesting as well. However, that doesn’t exclude the fact that the producer should write about what, how and why she, he or they do.
I rarely agree with the idea that other people (art teachers, curators, other artists…) should describe your work because they know more about history of art or/and the art world. The artist is the person who knows more about his/her/their work, so there’s no one better to write about it.
The idea that you have to know about the art world to describe what are you doing is not right at all. Artist hardly struggle to know what, how and why are they doing what they do. They should not be worry if their definition of their work sells or not.
Art studies or better say art knowledge, should be accessible for everyone. But at is not by the moment, I think that the ones that have the opportunity to study should prove or demonstrate their capacity of not just doing and also being available to explain what are they doing. Therefore, if they ask to someone else to write about their work it seem that they don’t have any kind of knowledge. And of course, they do.
The main problem nowadays is that the art world wants “concepts” and is not accepted to say for example that you paint because you like painting and your work its just about your feelings and emotions or the painting techniques. There’s always more or “they” (art world) try to see more than just that.
This is what I referred previously about the artist being honest.
At the end what matters is the motivation of the artist to create and produce the work and what this work can express or tell to the spectator.
Artist should protect their job and their work. Nowadays, everyone can do art. There’s architects, sociologist, anthropologist, curators doing art… And they can talk and write much better about art than probably a farmer, but maybe the farmer art work is much better and more truth.
At the same time this fact of the “concept” causes some artists be contemptuous about their work. Saying that they did that for themselves, that it doesn’t have any meaning.
That’s a shame, because “creating for your-self” it’s one of the fundaments of the art, just another way to express and communicate. And is what all the humans do in different ways. So, people should not be afraid of the concept.
Therefore, to summarize I just want to invite you to write about what you do and rewrite about what you had done. I would like to encourage you to consider all you do for yourself as a piece of art, and trying to discover which is the intention of all your little acts.