Tuesday, November 8, 2016
As my daily process as an artist shifts from being so focused on making objects and more on thinking about, editing & observing images I slowly move away from the seeming trauma of it all and start to think about how to move forward.
It is strange to go from a serious studio based practice, for many years 8 hours a day 5 days a week, to not even being totally sure what the role of my studio is. My work has always conceptually been based on life and the happening of life... but for the last 8 years the work required endless hours of manual labor to make the work. So I did in fact spend less time in life and more time in my studio, alone with my illusions and desires.
Perhaps there lies the actual beginning of the shift of my practice.
When I did the show the space between a few years back it did many things: revealed the imperfect state of my life and relationship at the time, shifted my way of making significantly, left me feeling raw and exposed and got me out of the bedroom.
The rawness of the work made me rethink how intimate and specific I was being- I felt I needed to introduce ambiguity and allow more space for the viewer.
The problems in my relationship, at the time, that I was exploring forced me to realize that I often escaped into my work and its mythology. I didn't want to do that anymore. It felt like a lie. I wanted the work to become documents and evidence of a life lived not a life dreamt.
The shift from making changed me more than I could ever now. This work brought me closer to drawing, which over time led me to actual drawing... Which made me question why does it need stitched? Which led me to why does it need drawn? When did the photograph stop being enough? And why did that ever happen. (As I was always initially a photographer.)
It got me out of the bedroom and this left me with: where do I go and why?
Then I went so far out of my work for my show in transition that thought I liked what I had done and liked the work I realized through the way viewers saw the work that I had lost all my intimacy and I was stumped. I felt fucked.
So for the last year and a half since that show... that has been my struggle. How do I create space for the viewer and have some ambiguity in the work but remain honest and intimate? I do not know yet but with each day of reading, writing, staring, thinking, shooting images, drawing images- I am hoping that I am getting closer to an answer.
Posted by Joetta M. at 11:35 AM
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
It has been about a year since I last posted here and you can see a dramatic decrease over the year leading up to that post.
I struggled with having nothing to say.
I struggled with feeling completely lost as an artist.
I struggled with balancing a "real job" with a studio practice and all the things I love; writing, curating, talking with artists, interviewing...
A lot has happened and a lot has changed- I know not if anyone will even read this post.
But I find myself sitting in my studio, still not sure what I am doing, but finding a voice again. Feeling the desire to reach out and communicate again. To return to the community building that this blog once did for me along with all the other things I had to let go of.
So a few things to say:
I have found myself increasingly being pulled away from textiles- which is terrifying since my entire career is deeply rooted in textiles. But I am not trained as a textile artist, I fell into textiles as it made sense to me conceptually for many years for many works.
Now it does not.
I found myself asking "Why does this need to be stitched?" "Why is the drawing or photograph not enough?" I found myself with no answer. I found myself terrified.
This, truthfully, led me into a tailspin of uncertainty. Who am I if I am not the chick that makes those giant embroideries? Am I a photographer again even though I abandoned that idea so long ago? What the hell am I doing with a pencil in my hand?
It has been a giant struggle and I have not landed but I have started to accept and embrace that I am a different artist now and as always am trying to follow my instincts.
So I hope someone is still there. I hope there is community to still be a part of and help to create.
Posted by Joetta M. at 11:05 AM