Art Rant

Posted: March 16, 2007 in All and Sundry, Musings, Rants

a few afternoons ago, i stumbled upon this really visually cool blog by collage artist claudine hellmuth, while i was surfing the net looking for cheap books on collage, assemblage and montage art techniques. i enjoyed reading her blog because (1) she has a really doodle art header (2) she loves talking about her cat (which makes my craving for cats grow stronger every minute) and (3) she talks about collage art and the new instructional video she created for beeswax. in other words, she’s a very creative individual, a person after my own heart so to speak.

from her blog, i also visited other sites on the same subject matter and discovered equally interesting and phenomenal artists. i then decided to linked some of their sites to my blog so i won’t have to memorize their urls if i ever i feel the need to return to these sites for inspiration. also, i visited the mcdowell colony website and clicked on the links provided of websites by past fellows under the interdisciplinary artists category. again, i was moved by the works of these artists, who created works that intersected so many art forms. one does sound art and explores conceptual perceptions of sound and noise. another, explores architecture, movement and performance. there were also those who did mixed media work on assemblage, iconography and text forms.

there was one artist named fiona templeton who really caught my heart, so to speak. one of her works was entitled: “invisible dances… from afar: a show that will never be shown.” although i can not still imagine myself creating art like what fiona templeton did, as far as my imagination, capabilities and passion go, i can say i can imagine myself going towards that direction in art making–this constant questioning of your position as artist/consumer of art in relation to a certain context. but also, i want to make full use of the word interdisciplinary by successfully fusing my loves: creative writing (which represents the text), visual arts, dance and performance art into one in exploring issues that locate who i am as an overdetermined subject in a particular/specific context or landscape. to do so, i guess, is to embrace this label of interdisciplinary artist.

which brings me back to the origin of this blog entry–a question, a rant, a kind of musing. my initial reaction when i found claudine’s blog and fiona’s website was that of awe then followed by a big SIGH. being located in a world where money is hard to come by, art is considered a field that no man/woman should dare dream of going. “there’s no money in artmaking!” is such a cliche statement that sometimes when i listen to young’uns rant about their parents telling them these, i couldn’t help but nod or laugh. being older,way older, i should have gotten over this rebellious attitude and self-pity i often have when art making is discussed in my present environment. but alas, things don’t change when you get older. they just become more pronounced and more inevitable.

until now, artists struggle, and that’s an understatement. they grow older, wiser, if not cynical, but their struggles are oftentimes the same. no funding for present projects. no space. no support.

even in a university that calls itself the premier university in the philippines, my unit is also guilty of this lack of support provided to teachers and art practitioners who belong to this academic community. there are still no concrete plans to even integrate creative works in the category of professional/academic growth. money is poured down on researches in the field of social and natural sciences. there is even a committee dedicated mainly on research but nothing on creative works. and so what usually happens is that teachers in the humanities who are also art practitioners, are forced, if not imposed to do research even if that is not what our field trained us to do– research using methods used in the fields of social and natural sciences.

more often than not, (let’s get the record straight) the issues that art is confronted with are not answered through positivist researches using all these scientific methods, but they are answered through art making itself. fiona templeton’s output is an example of this kind of questioning in art, very cerebral and theoretical at that. yet it is the creative output that serves as the answer to a research problem. and sometimes, it is the output that also asks further questions for other artists to explore. thus such outputs provide/contribute to the field.

the creative process, or art making, requires a fusion of both critical and creative skills and thinking. it is not very easy as some people would want to believe. the stereotype of the mad artist is after all just a myth.

  1. hi there! you came up in my google alerts. thanks for the nice comments about my blog. You are so right on about the artist myth. so many people feel there is no money in art, but if you follow your dreams you will find the money. i believe it!
    take care!!!

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