Monday, August 13, 2007

Summing it up

At the end of my studio visit a few weeks ago, I was asked if I would describe my work as language based. I replied, that some of it was. This seemed to pose a problem. A problem of ambiguity.

Can dealers and curators digest a diverse body of work produced by a single artist? Or is it better for an artist to develop and present a series that touches on a single theme and draws on similar visual tools? Please, please, tell me.

If an artist does in fact need to be able to summarize her work (for marketing purposes, I imagine), I’m at a lost. Up until now, I’ve thought it best to either focus on the description of one project (“In my most recent video, I performed domestic tasks in blackface”), or to use very general terms that essentially don’t provide a clear picture at all (“I’m interested in presenting both estrangement and intimacy.”) But, I’m uncertain, which is best. Perhaps a combination of both.

And, today, I'm convinced that if I only new how to proceed, success would be knocking at my door.

1 comment:

VIto Polly-Vincent said...

How about if you break your work down into sub-groupings, kind of like conceptual portfolios, so you can say, for example, "in this body of work I use video and language to create images and concepts that explore the interconnectedness of race, privilege, and alienation..." "In that body of work" This way you don't pigeon hole your work and place limits on what you can do. And then for marketing purposes, you create your own concise spiel - "talking points" - the purpose of which would be to unify the varying strands of your work as a whole.