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Monday, 17 May 2010

Be still and know.

It’s not a question of whether painting is dead or painting is alive, but rather, it’s about our sense of experience. In some ways, it could be said that painting is dead, because it cannot hold our experience for very long.  But on the other hand, it is one of those essential, expressions as experience that one should find time to enter into.

Furry Head phones

Furry Headphones

Is the electronic image the height of artistic expression as experience, or an example of the narrowing capacity of ones ability to truly enter into a substantial experience? In some ways those who are learning to paint or beginning to experience any art form, are entering in to the experience at a slower rate, and therefore are having a substantial experience. But generally those who have had greater art exposure can experience more broadly and with greater understanding. It’s not that painting is dead, but our sophistication, knowledge and ability to see so much art now, is fragmenting our experience.

Scrath my Eyeball

Scratch my Eyeball

The proliferation of images, sounds and words via electronic media are distorting our sense of time and experience. We search for more and more, which wearies the flesh, and leaves the soul wanting more and more experience. Maybe, the stillness of a painting will become the resting place for a generation, who has exponentially hurled their souls on to the burning heap of electronic collective experience - just as many people feel the comfort and stillness of a paper book – compared to the fleeting knowledge pipeline of an Ipad or computer screen.

Glasshouse Knose Glasshouse Knose

What is materialism? What is an object that you keep? What is information? What is experience?  Collectors, collect  things that give them a sense of joy. The objects embody for them, an experience they want to return to – they want to prolong the experience. Too many material possessions can bind us up, which in turn, limits our experience. Throwing things away, normally leads to a great sense of relief. Too much information can also limit our ability to enter into our experience. Instead we lose control, and begin to fret - due to the fact that we cannot hold onto our experiences long enough to make any sense of them.

Painting is secure because, an art form solely based on oblique and intangible ideas that flirt with art, can only lead to a superficial experience. Painting is still, it is us that is moving. The problem for us now, is that the art is now moving, and moving very quickly.

All this makes me wonder about music and the nature of experience.

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