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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Act 3, Scene 7

The narrative began with Act 1, scene 1 on April 10, 2013.
To access all scenes, scroll to blog archive at the bottom of the page.


And here's another question that you and I have probably discussed before. There you are in 1972 building these huge, muscular structures, strapping men into them and casting their bodies in plaster. You made photographic records of the complicated process, and in some cases exhibited both the finished casts and the raw, empty structures. But you chose to move your work not towards installation or performance, but, it seems to me at least, back to focus on the art object itself. You know I love the art object, even though it's supposed to be a dead end ... at least since Danto's article in '64 and then  with After the End of Art in '97. No, that's not quite accurate either: Danto was talking more about the end of the relationship between art and aesthetics, wasn't he. Oh, there I go – I'm getting too far away from my question. We can talk about Danto another time.

So, early on, it looked like you might be headed for installations, or even performance. What took you back to the art object? (a hand covers her mouth as she laughs). And here I am, a maker of objects, sitting in this huge space in something I've made that looks more like an installation. Maybe I'm answering my own question.

Whiten, smiles

Oh Shary, we mustn't be limited by the labels people like to assign to art, telling us that certain practices are outdated, or irrelevant. As interesting and important as it is to discuss the nature of art, no discussion or article or essay or book can ever declare for all time a single definition of art. Art is a living, evolving thing. Well, look at you! What label could possibly pin you down? Or what about Janet and George?

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Murder of Crows, 2008

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Alter Bahnhof Video Walk, 2012

That's the most wonderful thing about art. It's a house with no walls, and anyone who tries to change that is doomed to failure. Someone will always want to decide which art is good and which is bad or mediocre, and to be fair, not every effort is successful. All we can do is work with personal integrity to make the best, most genuine expressions of ourselves that we can. On one hand you have Nobbie Kubota – a sculptor! – doing internationally acclaimed sound performances, and on the other, at the same time I was making those big casts and sculptures, there was a revival of realist painting in Spain, in the States, and at home in Canada too. I noticed that Jack Chambers is here this week, but think of Mary Pratt, Chris Pratt, Alex Colville and John and Joice Hall, and their daughter Janine too, and lots of others. If you do it well, and you do what you love doing, you musn't be confined by trends or labels. You gotta do what you gotta do (laughs).

Whether there was a moment for me, when I made a choice to concentrate on making objects ... hmmm. I'll have to think about that.

Right now though, I'm starving! Can you take time for some lunch?