Sunday, 17 April 2011

"The map of friendship between art and philosophy"

A collaboration between Thomas Hircshhorn and Marcus Steinweg.

"...How can both disciplines work together to generate a more conceptually imaginative and ethically and socially engaged practice?"

"My adherence... does not come from books!... I admit - to avoid to go "deeper" - because I need, yes I need my own, my own strange, wrong, headless misunderstood, bad, stupid - but - my fucking own relation to preserve and to develop. This is not an opposition to theory or a refusal of theory, absolutely not. It has to do with being open to what comes from my own, to what comes only from my own. "

Bloody refreshing to hear!

"I hope, I dream, I want to act and I want things to change. That is why I am reading philosophy. I am not interested in reading writers, philosophers, thinkers as an artist. I am interested in them as human beings. I don't use their work for my work. I read it to try to stay alert, to keep my thought active."

Hirschhorn's acknowledgement that he does not need the "knowledge" of another to inform his artwork is very interesting to hear. Few well-known artists would dare to admit this. Currently, this is how I feel. I have struggled this semester in particular to muster the energy to want to read. It is something which I have always struggled with because of poor attention span but this semester I felt as though I just wanted to read when I felt like reading, in a similar manner to Hirshhorn - to occasionally stay "alert", keep me on my toes because I know without any intellectual stimulus I personally believe my own thoughts can enter short periods of stagnation. However, reading has not been something which is optional this semester. Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices Students have another module to complete which is worth the same as the dissertation - 25%. Thus we have to read and produce something of the same quality. However, this module has not come naturally to me, as I believe it is what every art student is trying to achieve through their Support Work (back up work) i.e. sketchbooks, research, projects not used for final assessment etc. So why should I do another module of the same thing?

My practice is made from experience, my research is manifested into a practice and I do not need some philosopher who knows jack-shit about what I've seen or where I have been to aid the creation of my work. Right now with only a few weeks till the degree show, I should be thinking about the practicalities and confirming certain conceptual aspects of my own work rather than reading what some old man said 60 years ago. I have felt like this a lot at my time at art college and this extends to artists as well. I am not particularly interested in what someone else has created and believe that I have more chance at some form of originality by not becoming transfixed by the practice of specific artists (however, I have posted a lot about Hirshhorn over the past month or so...).

This brings me onto the art college and the tensions which lie between being an Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices student and a Fine Art student. I believe (and I'm probably going to get it in the ear for this but anyways) that the former is pushed too far (at certain times, i.e. like now) and the latter is not pushed enough. I believe the Fine Art course needs reformed and that Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices should perhaps not necessarily exist. The reformation that I think is necessary for excellence to occur is that all Fine Art students should do modules in a similar respect to what I have being doing over my four years at art university. These should be cultural and philosophical based modules (I mean there was a reason DJCAD joined forces with the university, right...?! Why not use it!) that maintain some form of critical discussion on past, present and future visions of the visual arts in society. But of course one can only dream that there would ever be such funds for something like this to be realised.

I do not wish to generalise the whole of Fine Art when I say 'not pushed enough' because I do know some very talented artists who successfully maintain a good balance of creating work whilst also taking critical theory into account however it is not nearly enough and it is not fair that loads of lazy arseholes can leave with a B.A. (Hons) which on paper appears as the same worth as my degree.

Oh well guess I should stop ranting and start reading again so that I can justify what I do, when I do it and jump through the hoops of the institution = Graduated 2011: Art, Philosophy and Contemporary Practices B.A. (Hons,withloadsoflazyarseholes)

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