In my project, I set out to make a history of the word ‘all’. I have decided to approach this by making a questionnaire. I will ask people to help me in compiling a database of thoughts about this word. The project has become more of an assessment of the word’s present state with a view to looking both backward and forward.
I’d like to invoke our old friend Marcel Duchamp and his increasingly familiar lecture ‘The Creative Act’. In this lecture he said that the audience has always been crucial in completing an artwork, in the way they bring their own thoughts and experience to it. In this piece I’m making that viewer process the focus of the work. I think thinking was probably always going to be the more exciting bit of this project, not looking, as in a lot of art. That’s the nature of the linguistic and philosophical questions I’m dealing with.
Hmm. Well, I’ve fannied around for ages with writing this post and haven’t really written anything. I started writing something but it’s on my laptop and I can’t remember writing anything in it that I cared about at all. That’s probably not a good sign.
I want to write a short post, then, saying where i think I’m at. No doubt somewhat hilariously, I had a dream that changed my mind about my direction a little bit. In the dream Jonathan Kearney was telling me my prototype was boring as it was too much like a school text book or something. It was prescriptive. I woke up and immediately thought ‘I must look at Anselm Kiefer, Ansel Adams and Christian Boltanski again’. So there we go. This undoubtedly makes me sound like a muppet but it seems I achieve that pretty regularly anyway. The important thing is that those three artists mark a continuation of earlier thoughts and making something with a simple and direct, quite emotional presence. The thought didn’t just come from a dream, though it seems to have been part of the way my brain processed it. This is really a thought for the work in a gallery space. I may need a different approach for the online version.