he is almost an instinct of mine. in my alcohol-fueled lethargy, i began to quiz myself over the relevance of art... what it means, what my art means and whether or not it even matters. this is an aggravating little game artists play with themselves, it seems, but in the moment it really hurts. it hurts to ask yourself, "is art meaningless?" it's so close to asking whether or not life is meaningless.
and maybe it is. maybe life is meaningless. maybe art's role is to provide the meaning we're all searching for? or at least an avenue to it. i don't know. i just suddenly found myself wondering this evening whether or not i'm defeated... whether or not i still contain the requisite amount of FIGHT. despite recent encouragements, i suddenly felt worn out.
i got out of bed and went to my book case. i needed another artist. i needed a mentor. i needed someone to tell me that everything is okay and to pull my shoulders back and fuck what the rest of the world thinks. my eyes flowed across my collection of art books. so many volumes of kiki smith's work, louise bourgeois, keith haring, andy warhol. i paused at francesca woodman. i paused again at terrence koh. then i came across a book i forgot i had. a book i hadn't even read yet. i pulled it from the shelf. david wojnarowicz's 7 MILES A SECOND.
the moment i start reading his work i come face to face with the truth that art is a way of life. i don't need to torture myself with the question of whether or not my work "matters". what does that even mean? i don't need to make myself cry about the accomplishments i've not yet made. art is a path. or better yet, art is a language. it is how i speak.
i read his texts and i want to cry. not only because of the sadness his work so often describes but because of his fearlessness in telling his story, his bravery in regard to confronting the twists of the heart and mind. his love of humanity was so unapologetic, so humbling... and so i want to cry when i am confronted with his work: i am humbled. i realize, in the face of david wojnarowicz's work, to ask, "does my art matter?" is a waste of time and effort. just do the work. just speak. and even if it's just to speak about something as aggravating as my struggles with my own artistic temperament, that's alright. i silence myself too quickly sometimes. i mean, we all need to complain to each other every now and then. it does us good to know we're not total freaks in this regard. we all fear our work is total crap... that how we are choosing to spend our lives is an act of futility. david's work reminds me that this is absolutely not the case. the point is to care enough about the brevity of life to use what time you have to connect the way you want to connect with other human beings. the point is to breathe as deeply as you can breathe, so deeply it hurts and then to tell the truth about yourself... the truth that hurts. the truth that nags and won't stop tossing and turning until you finally acknowledge it exists and needs a space in which to be seen, to be dealt with, to be wrestled with and contended with.
these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.
thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.
my artist website is here.
my artist website is here.