I’m swimming in it now, no longer churning. I’ve allowed myself to drift. All the seeming disparate streams of my work — music, writing, drawing, painting and film — are converging into one focus: myth.
I am essentially a graphical artist and view image as text and text as image. I look at words as instant image, and imagery as instant narrative.
Although each work is initiated in the making of the piece, its purpose is fulfilled only within those who experience it. In that sense, art for me has no longer a solely exterior locus. Its potency hovers, ghost-like, as in a myth, ready to be drawn from or added to.
“There really is no such thing as Art,” as E.H. Gombrich sagely said. But I do not hold to what Gombrich says next, that “There are only artists.” I would state, rather, that “There is only humankind.” We are ALL meant to share in the emergence of the altogether new.
Let us resist objectification and the taxonomies of culture. Creativity is antinomic. Think paradox. Where IS a painting, for example? It has both an interior and exterior locus, both a subjective and objective reality. It only partially exists in time and space, and it’s physical existence can only be made meaningful, can only reach fulfillment WITHIN the experiencer of the work. Then it is neither matter nor spirit but both/and.
We must create a New Myth, one which needs every Experiencer’s private range of thought, emotion, and memory. One might ask “How is this different from what art does currently? What makes the myth new?”
I would offer the following: the Old myth, the old “Art” is an antiquated paradigm. It describes a world in which, through the making of unique or separate works, the artist seeks personal recognition or commensurate remuneration. This has proven to be a deceitful promise, inadequate for the present age, unable to raise hearts in hope. That old myth, or paradigm brought forth just the opposite. It made life bleak for the many in the very act of making it fruitful for the few. This is akin to the phenomena of pride or power: they REQUIRE that other humans be insignificant in order for you to become significant.
So we need a New Myth. Our creative work must be something in which ALL of us may “live, move, and have our being.” As Baudelaire said of the sensate world, “All these things think through me, or I through them.” Perhaps this is not a new myth at all, though. Perhaps it is simply true myth. I’ve been trying my hand at the prose poem..
The myth is far from something false. It’s truer than the worlds we touch. It calls up what we once have known. Before we knew we’d learned too much, before the way was hard and straight, divisions either day or night, we dallied by the open way, a winding trail still bathed in light. We find this way again in myth, and open wide its welcome doors. We do not bow to blight of fact, within the age of myth restored.
Notes on the vicissitudes of the creative life.