Monday, November 22, 2010

responding to Ann Hamilton

Last night I had the pleasure of hearing Ann Hamilton talk at Lesley.

It was inspirational in the way that looking at Spencer Finch was for me. Prior to hearing Ann or reading the book on Finch, I now would say that perhaps one of my primary responses to any piece of art was a judgment of its “beauty” – similar to what I gather Dave Hickey or Peter Schjeldahl describe. But what I got from the talk and from the Finch book was the delight in the question. The question was the lure and lived on in the work itself .

When I came back to look at my work, I thought about the question(s) that live in my work, that I constantly strive to answer, and then find more to question. I have always known that my questions center around how something becomes visible. This morning when I took my camera out to photo the light at dawn, what struck me was the there is no 3D at dawn. It is like a children’s drawing- the “horizon line” defined by the coming light, and then the flat shapes against it. A little pink in the sky brought out green in the grass.

When I returned to my studio where I had disassembled my installation piece, I put it back together in a completely different way. What is it that I first see at any dawn? The children's drawing assembling itself begins with the horizon line. Even all fuzzy – blurred by undifferentiated houses and trees – but a dark distinction between air and matter.

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