The other day when we broke up to into fours to discuss CRPs, study plans and so on–Hector, blew my mind by uttering one word, attitude. We were discussing Robin Woodward’s practice. Robin, was going on about post-truth reality and I was thinking about how impossible a term that is for me because one would have to imagine, intuition no longer existing. Memories, that seed dreams, that garner innate responses would cease to be and so too would the individual; out of consciousness, we might as well be a rock or Jack Nicholson from the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Contemporaries will create alt realities, paradigm shifts by the soulless objectification of the artifice but I can’t get with that, it’s basic, uninteresting, old hat, depressing and too morose for me to submit to at this young stage in my life.
True certain innovation has altered the perception of reality, in most of our minds, towards belief in disbelief or skepticism for news and media outlet’s objectivity. That kind of propagandist thing is a cyclical turn of events and dealt with through healthy skepticism. Much of what we hear and see is prescribed through complicated algorithms that are extensions of procured insight into our behavioral patterns but as long as we are wary of that, with the potential to reel it in, then there is still hope for creative rebellion. In a complete post-truth reality, one might lose all sense of conviction and I optimistically insist that we are not there. I must ask Robin if he believes we are because in his performances there is a palpable energy despite a conscripted nature, much like a magician in a straightjacket manifesting as a firework in a quiet church full of concerned mice, it’s kind of like fuck you, it’s kinetic, it’s an attitude like Hector, said.
A while ago I started donning this term artificial realism. I was applying the moniker ‘artificial’ to the objective thing and realism to the subjective mind or that which we perceive so strongly as to evoke a cathartic response. At the time, I did not know the term had been coined by George Condo, as, “the realistic representation of that which is artificial,” specifically as Wikipedia had it, “with regard to the hybridization of traditional European Old Master painting with a sensibility informed by American Pop” (on a separate note, I had approached this concept first, prior to uni, through objects and referred to it as reconstructionism). That style is an evocation of Condo’s attitude towards things and it’s what is conveyed thorough his work.
My attitude towards realism has become gestural. I don’t feel I’ve completed a painting at this point in the course. As Babak commented in one conversation, the completed pieces I have are gestures and I’m not disagreeing with that. I might have once even considered finished gestural pieces abstraction but now they have become the truest form (representation) of our relationship with a subject. Take for instance a piece I’d done of my father, called Memory Dreams. The explanation behind the piece could be that the strongest sentiment I have toward my subject was as a child. For me, the most important thing has been to recognize an integral part of a relationship as our attitude towards it.
The Most Boring Room in the World Where Everything Never Happened (Below)
By, Chase Szakmary