Rirkrit Tiravanija and Elizabeth Peyton

“I think it’s also a discipline of being free when you are an artist. And that’s something I think I wake up and brush against every day – to remember that’s my job, to make my mind free.” (Elizabeth Peyton, 24:11)

Tule Fog

“The thing you remember most about feedlots is the smell – the smell way before seeing the actual cattle, usually Holstein crosses huddled in tight listless bands on top of mounds of their own dung. You imagine them sensing death – their future as frozen hamburger patties – but I could be giving them a prescience they don’t possess. Mornings in the San Joaquin always carry a mist. Its origins are mysterious because there is hardly any moisture to speak of. No water except for the placid irrigation ditches: the giant rainbirds dripping; white transportable Plasticine pipes at the edge of rows of lettuce. We used to call it ‘Tule Fog’ when we worked alfalfa, loading trucks with square bales in the summer.”

Sam Shepard, The One Inside, p. 148

Jennifer R. Gross

“Drawing Redefined considers the practice of drawing … where it is neither an expression of modeling or inner form nor an idealization of the natural world, neither a descriptive tool nor an image ‘from life.’ Nor is their drawing pure invention, nor the isolation of an idea or emotion. It is a mediation of a concrete physical experience in space and time. That experience can encompass psychological, emotional, or intellectual resources, but these are not consciously deployed by the artists in the act of drawing. This kind of drawing ‘dismantles consciousness and plunges the self into a zone of experience or sensation liberated from the closures of representation… drawing comes into being through the interface of material and their action.”

–Jennifer R. Gross, Drawing Redefined, pp.9-11

Wolfram Eilenberger

“We are the only beings alive that know we will die. From 5 years on we have a feeling about this. We know about our existence and non-existence. Heiddeger says there is a special feeling about this knowledge, which we don’t like to think about, that creeps up on us, and that is fear. Fear is the one emotion where we have to face our finite existence. It’s with that fear that we gain our freedom because once we let that fear grow, and face that fear, we understand that there is no god or no one who is going to save us so it is about the freedom and the meaning we give to ourselves. (Existentialism)”

– Wolfram Eilenberger, Time of the Magicians

Germano Celant

“First came man, then the system. This is the way it used to be. Now society produces, and man consumes… the artist, the newly appointed jester, satisfies refined tastes, produces objects for cultivated palates… He is not allowed to create the object and abandon it to its own fate; he has to follow it, justify it, put into the right channels… While rejecting consumer society, he discovers he is a producer. Freedom is an empty word…
Thus, in a world dominated by inventions and technological imitations, one has but two alternatives: The first involves the assimilation (by cleptomania) of the system or its codified and artificial languages in a convenient dialogue with the existing social or individual structures; acceptation and ideological pseudoanallysis; osmosis with every apparent and immediately integrated ‘revolution;’ the placement of one’s work in the abstract microcosm (op), in the social-cultural macrocosm (pop), or in the formalist macrocosm (primary structures). The second alternative is the opposite of the first: the free self-projection of human activity.
The first line of reasoning encourages a complex art, the second a poor art concerned with contingency, events, ahistoricism, the present (Debray observes that ‘we are never completely contemporary in our preset’), and anthropological outlook, ‘real’ man (Marx), and the hope (now certainty) of discarding all visually univocal and coherent discourse (coherency is a dogma that must be violated)…
On one hand, then, is a rich attitude linked by osmosis to the system’s sophisticated tools and wealth of information, an attitude that imitates and mediates reality, that determines the dichotomy between art and life, public behaviour and private life. But contrary to this is a ‘poor’ inquiry that aims at achieving an identity between man and action, between man and behaviour, and thus eliminates the two levels of existence… It is not a current, but an outlook. It even avoids competition, in order to guard against a renewed contact with the system’s laws or a revived dialogue with its institutions… Hence it does away with categorical positions (such as pop, op, or primary structure) to focus on gestures that do not add anything to our well-educated perception, that do not oppose themselves to life as art or lead to the creation of separate levels for the ego and the world, but exist as social gestures in and of themselves…”

– Germano Celant, Arte Povera, 1967

Ordinary domestic labor

“In the same way that you face the questions of painting like you would face dirty laundry or dirty dishes we might actually be forced to think that the really courageous way of encountering the basic structural questions of art are not in this big Hegelian picture of art history as this big machine that constantly works towards the next higher level but its more like the time of domestic affective labor where you clean away that damn dust and you deal with the dirty dishes every day.” (Jan Verwoert, Why are conceptual artists painting again? Because they think it’s a good idea, 2010)

Covering in Painting

“That’s the whole process of being able to cover. Because you never conceal, you never really cover. It’s so much like having extra vision. No matter what you cover, you see all of what you cover, whereas the person who is looking will only see the last thing you did. But all of the stuff that came from beneath that is all the stuff that makes whatever eventually is the result…”  –Raymond Saunders, 2012, [1:27:37]

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