Picking up the train of thought from my last post, this week I thought that I would talk about how I confront my own objects of burden. As far back as the early 80s I have been interested in the ideas of loss of place and agency; when is a place no longer that place and what is the agency of a thing out of time and context? I think that this comes from an early onset case of existential malaise and living through incredible shifts in culture. The older I get, the more, “I remember when…” is a part of daily contemplation. At the first sign of me going into this rant, my kid will beat me to the punch and, with their best old-timey voice recite, “…I remember when this was all orange fields.” To be fair, having grown up in St. Pete, I really do remember when there were orange groves everywhere. But, I digress.
My last blog spurred me to drag out a few of my own Schrödinger tombs. Aside from the normal nostalgiagasms of diving into one’s history, I tried to experience going through the boxes inside of boxes packed like Russian nesting dolls, with a detached eye and consider how someone, from the outside, would interact with or interpret them. For example, I have an old stack of love letters from high school and college…but what is the, “so what?” What am I supposed to do with them, and more, what is my kid supposed to do with them when I am gone and, what is their meaning when removed from the context of my own personal sentiment? What does ephemera like this say explicitly or implicitly? This question is going to be the starting point as I move into my next painting. In the past I have worked from collected or photographed elements that had a tangential relationships to myself or my interests; with this next piece I am going to work with my own personal elements and look at how those elements would/could be experienced, interpreted. In this new piece I want to look at the nexus between memory, meaning, memento and reliquary.