Friday, August 20, 2010

brain gobbedlygook: reworking the artist statement

Artist's Statement
In the museum, we re-interpret the natural world through the lens of human culture. Desiccated and dusty, its skins, bones, husks, and eggs are collected, sorted, and boxed in the pursuit of understanding the world outside of humanity. Inspired by the museum environment, I use the techniques of the curator and the printmaker to examine my own reactions to nature and how we define it.

redux ad addendum...

The museum is a "lens" of human culture through which we interpret the abstract concept of nature.

The act of observing, sampling, and classifying "nature" changes it. Furthermore, humans have a limited ability to conceive of a world outside of their own understanding. Ostensibly, understanding the idea of "nature" in a context other than how it is defined by humanity may be difficult or impossible.

I think we search for order and meaning in the universe to help us understand the chaos, pain, and mystery that is part of the human experience. We search for signs, messages, and explanations, and the truth. The search is manifested in religion, and in art, and philosophy, but also in science, and in boxes and boxes of birds and eggs and stuffed specimens stacked in museums.

What is scientific truth? Nature according to the proven empirical and theoretical laws of physics and chemistry? Is it limited in helping us understand the metaphysical, the mysterious? The painful and unjust?


I have always struggled with having an "elevator statement" for an artist statement. Brevity is not my strong suit, and at times I feel only a longer statement will do. I understand that, to some degree, at least, my work should speak for itself, but sometimes the easiest way to get ideas out is to write it. I wonder a lot if my entire approach to concept within my work alienates people who don't have a love for the academic and words.

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