Saturday, January 2, 2016

a journey mindset

This is a blog, yes, and in that sense meant to be shared. But really it is a journal of a journey to a goal—a way to stay grounded and on track when man, fear could easily beat me. Through it I hold myself responsible, and appreciate the terrors as well as the brightnesses of the journey. And notice the very loud voices—Resistance, doubt, insecurity—so omnipresent that I often mistake them for truth.

A few weeks ago I mapped the project, laid out the distance from here to there. An exhibition at one of my favorite galleries in Salt Lake, a space I respect and have applied to multiple times without success. What was clear to me as I looked at the coming dozen weeks was that I had serious doubts about my abilities here. Doubts about whether I am of the right caliber to be showing in this space. It’s one thing if I apply and get rejected—yeah, of course: that fulfills my assumptions, that fits my story. But then they said, OK, great! Give us whatcha got! And then I’m like OH SHIT. What now?

What now is this blog. It is showing up daily. It is delving into a journey mindset.

John Baldessari, Rollercoaster, 1989-90. Photogravure with color aquatint.
Fortunately, simple curiosity leads to unexpected discoveries, and out of nowhere arrived John Baldessari, whom I was familiar with but hadn’t looked at closely. I saw pieces from the Overlap Series, where lines extend out of the usual length-by-width borders and images are strung together unexpectedly. And then I thought—oh! That’s like me! Maybe the work could be fluid and unpolished, like I am—or it could explore limits and boundaries and assumptions about what’s possible, like I am. And so once again I was on my way.

 John Baldessari, 2623 Third Street, Santa Monica, 2000. Suite of 4 color lithographs with screenprint.  
A blog releases, just a tiny but an important bit, the intense need to please, and shines light on the fears. 

So we’re back. Most times there will be a poem to help us along, but right now there’s work to do. Business for the coming week: show up, and act; not hover tentatively but pick up a piece and say, fuck it, you and I are going on a journey and we might well end up with a handful of failure, which freaks me out a little because I’m so aware that a deadline looms. But we’re not looking for perfection. We’re looking for reality, and maybe mistakes are not liabilities but guides, illuminating the path. And that’s enough for now.