Thinking about the process of drawing, I have been experimenting with blackboards to create a way of making which is lastingly fluid and ephemeral. The nature of the medium is to create something that won’t last in it’s raw form, and is not designed to. They’re also not designed to be ‘finished’ and so they exist on their own terms, a quick rendition of something which are like an ongoing dialogue.
Lots of artists have used chalk and blackboards before, like Tacita Dean, Joseph Beuys or Kieth Haring, who used them for a range of different reasons, some of which overlap with mine. I mostly find them a fun way to have a continual conversation which has no parameters or inherent value. They also have a ghostly quality for me through which a picture or process can emerge, in a way a means of analysis.
Other things i find interesting about it:
- The continual meaningless drive towards trying to find a coherent picture out of incoherent matter
- The vitality of flux
- How their fluidity could be violated – by varnishing them, for example – making them inert moments in time (like the pictures do).
It might be interesting to see what would happen if they (or another form of them) were placed in a show space or other area, blank, with chalk, and how people might interact with them. Beuys used them as a pedagogical tool, implying heirarchy – Does that exist in the mind of an observer (collaborator)? Is that the position Art (with a capital A) occupies or is it more democratised now? To me, blackboards have an archaic, school quality, and drawing one has a kind of naughtiness, so to my child like side this (what could be percieved as ) flippant or graffiti like action could be a means of rebellion, or is it just a babyish tantrum? Or is it nothing.