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  1. #16
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    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, however disrespectful they might be.

    "The first law to be prescribed to criticism, if we may assume such authority, is that it shall be objective, shall cite the nature of the object rather than its effects on the subject."
    --Ransom, “Criticism, Inc.," 1938


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  3. #17
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    What struck you as disrespectful? I'd be interested to know what in my comments was problematic for you, since rudeness was not my intention.

    If it's the quote from Faustus, perhaps it wasn't enough for me to mention that the aggressive nature of the wording wasn't why I shared it. It's not the "you haven't the wit" part- I can see why that would offend, certainly- it was the idea that revelation is up to the seeker or viewer as much as it is up to the "source", perhaps even more so. It's another way of putting the question I posed before, as to whether it is really possible to trigger that revelatory experience deliberately (I suspect it's not, for the above reason, but it's a fascinating investigation).

    So if that quote was what insulted you, my apologies. Maybe it's too harsh in its tone to be appropriate in civil discussion.

    If it was the rest, then as much as I regret its impact on you I can't apologise for it, it's honest feedback. Maybe it would come across differently in person, if the tone is wrong then that's a failing of my writing.

    The quote you share, which I saw earlier as well, is a bit misplaced I think. In such a medium of communication as an artist's statement the effect on the reader is the nature of the object. And is your reaction to my feedback objective, or are you reacting to its effect on you? In the substance of the ideas, the nature of the object, I don't yet see where the disrespect is. I am open to seeing it though, if you will point it out.

  4. #18
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    Please excuse me. I misread what you wrote, and then interpreted that badly. Your comment was not disrespectful, but exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

    I appreciate your concern about the presence/challenge of the questions, but they stay for now. The several ideas funnel into one overarching idea. This is an artist’s statement, the scope of my work and artistic identity—not a description of any piece in particular. I have a feeling I might not even need a statement in the future.

    I don’t think philosophy is atheistic, and religion/God don’t tend to exclude everything else. Unless you want them to (speaking from experience).

    Ideally, I’d like it to trigger a “beholding” experience in the viewer. Not necessarily “religious”—but I have had an experience of awe looking into the more overwhelming pieces I’ve done. It could be religious or simply arresting. As long as it makes a deep enough impression on the viewer that they walk away feeling a bit…hypnotized? Changed? Like they’ve been seen into, or like something deep and dormant in their psyche has begun to stir. For that to happen, the work itself has to be strong enough. Autonomous. And great art has to mirror the human being. This is the core of that:

    • How can I represent the beginnings of human self-consciousness on canvas? How might that moment in time have looked?


    “When it comes to seeing god I'm always remlnded of a moment from Svankmajer's Faustus (though there's an aggressive tone to it which is out of place here), as Faust is furious that Mephisto has not shown him the revelations he desired:

    Faust: Liar and foul traitor!
    Where are the pulse and core of nature
    you promised to reveal? Where?

    Mephistopheles: Faustus, you lack the wit to see them
    in every blade of grass.”

    Thank you for including this. You helped me. Again, I’m so sorry for misunderstanding you.

    (And you’re right, my quote was inappropriate. Less so in the first appearance, but absolutely in response to you.)

  5. #19
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    That's good to hear.

    For what it's worth, my own view is that most artist's statements obscure as much as they clarify, often more so. The work is the most important thing of course, and if your paintings are powerful enough to stir something primal in the viewer then you won't really need to tell them that's what you were trying to do. But galleries will want a statement.

    I don't think philosophy has to be atheistic either, but I do think that trying to answer questions about the origin of consciousness while already having established that your aim is to bring people back to god (a clumsy paraphrase maybe but scrolling back to your first post on my phone is annoying) does imply very, very strongly that your answer will need to include god in order to qualify. Hence, the door to an answer that doesn't include god is closed by virtue of an a priori conclusion. That's what I mean by a philosophical failing; I can't take the consciousness question 100% seriously as an investigation if I know it is secondary to the foregone conclusion that there is a god.

    I'm curious though, is this the god of the Bible we are talking about here or something else?

    FWIW I find your more plain-language explanations of your vision/work in the course of this thread clearer and more illuminating than the formal statement.

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  7. #20
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    I'll have to simplify the language more. Less is more. I have a feeling I might need to extend the statement, get more information in there, and keep tweaking until it's clear as day. And I agree that the work will speak much louder than the statement ever could--but it feels good to articulate it.

    I'm talking about God in an absolute sense--so yes, God of the Bible included, but more along these lines:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God

    I think God is about the most complex thing there is, so using philosophy, metaphysics, biology, psychology, and religion as tools is my approach to grasping such a broad and difficult thing. To attack this from more than one angle is the best way to do this. I'm not so focused on philosophy as I am on God--now, I know how I currently conceive of God both intellectually and in terms of a metaphysical experience. I know that God is perpetually beyond my grasp, even if I get a slight taste of what he is. I don't know how you conceive of God--and unfortunately, I can't talk much about him with you if you don't let me know where you stand.

  8. #21
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    I imagine a lot of folks will assume you are talking about the bilblical god in your own statement.

    My own view on the idea of god is a little tricky to articulate, and I'm not sure I really want to get into it here. For the purposes of talking about your statement, it's interesting to know that your conception of it is so broad, because as I said it seems to me that a viewer's assumption is fairly likely to be that you are talking about the Judaeo-Christian entity here. And that sounds very much not to be the case. But is there another word for it that isn't the territory of a specific religion?

  9. #22
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    The term "God" is in the territory of many religions.

  10. #23
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    Something to be aware of in regards to your phrasing:
    When you're describing the general non-specific concept, use "god" (uncapitalized).
    If you're revering/recognizing the name/authority, which is something typically monotheists do,
    use "God" (capitalized).

    Since you've been capitalizing the word so far, your statement will likely be presumed to be of Judeo-Christian interpretation; even then certain Jewish traditions won't spell the full name G-d.
    Other religions generally have their own name/words to differentiate the two using whichever culture and language base they're from.

    The distinction matters if you're trying to describe the concept in writing, you might inadvertently piss off certain audiences because you used God when you meant to say god. Persons who might otherwise showcase your work or buy your stuff.

  11. #24
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    I'm fine with my phrasing, as it's intellectually sound.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God
    Last edited by briannahjkelley; September 15th, 2017 at 01:12 AM.

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