Tuesday, 3 August 2010

on intimate material

Is it more or less intimate to write of, or make visual work about a love affair, for example, or ones' struggle with depression and difficulty in making art? I would now hesitate to write of, or make visual work about the former, yet have written about and made drawings about the condition of depression and of the intense difficulty I experience in making art.
Illness is intimate; depression is a condition striking at one's innermost self, thus to write about one's personal experience of it is to expose oneself. Icannot but question my motives in so doing. However, I believe that I am attempting to put forward my own experience in a way that may be helpful to others; after all, I read the accounts of other people's experience in order to gain an insight into my own. In comparing my older work with more recent, I must accept that the polaroids of the floor texts, for example, were made at a very different time of my life; then, personal material had sexual content, now it does not. At the time of making them, I had no difficulty in writing, now I find writing only slightly less difficult than making visual work. The writing of the floor texts issued forth in a sensuous flow, now I am excrutiatingly self conscious, and find my voice stifled, my sentences devoid of lyricism.
I have lost confidence and struggle to find a voice that seems true to myself, a voice that endures, that distinguishes my words, that identifies me.
The person that made the floor texts has disappeared, yet I long to resurrect her, make her substantial once more, give her chalk and see her fashion living material with it.

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