Sculptural Boundaries: Essays On Sculpture
The modern problem, and critical point of my concern, is to find 3-Dimensional Shape and Form that has the power to relate to the human condition --as words flow endlessly, if only as sad social commentary, they hardly matter. The figure being so overworked, so reduced to commercial cliché, that i'm dubious about its validity. Still i'm convinced cubistic & expressionistic abstractions are moot, plus i've grown bored with the conceptual school, it's either architectural, performance or painterly, the latter being the worst and most common. Sculpture is more tactile than light derived, therefore of a different order than pictures, its static nature is its monumental and/or intimate relationship to its viewer, and its volumetric proportions are at odds with the subjectiveness of the conceptualists ideas. The first thing that comes amind is sculpture's boundarilessness, the lack of framing edges forces its contours to reveal themselves; it's therefore at complete odds with all other art forms. It goes without saying that gravity holds it to the earth, those 'relief' pieces refer more to paintings than paintings do themselves. So the problem is form, and has been from the beginning. Of course the humanity of the objects also has function but as a secondary consideration.
It appears the only realm left that offers vitality is the sexual and the closer it comes to shocking pornography the closer it is to the human, seeing that all other 'draped' figures are used to sell technology. But the difficulty with porn is it too is commercialized, any use of the figure has to go beyond the bounds of good taste and salability, speaking to the genetic fires within mankind. Sculpture, like lust--, like the tree-in-forest-making-sound, exists in spite of its audience, even when buried for years. Sculpture is real in all senses of the term.
The problem remains, what form to use, how to redefine the subject making fresh. As it's not surface, it's not planes either/ the idea that it's from the inside is pointless, Rodin notwithstanding, and the modern trend towards imitation of philosophical insights played out in 2-dimensions, has run its course, they're just too clever or too expansive, nice ideas but the thinking behind them isn't up to the originators of the ideas, this to include all of the New York School.
And then there's the personal, --as it's nowadays the only rage, artist-as-art, but which is yet another cliché. Social criticism's passé as it has turned to Rap music that sells shoes, what's necessary then is finding those spaces that are inmate without feeling jewelry-like or worse, a pet. Using the shapes to delineate and generate awe, raw and uncomfortable, like a broken wound or tumid member. This problem is unending as the speed of the commercial always consumes the fresh, yet it's the only solution, the sensibilities of sculptural audience being quicker than television.
It's so damn hard to be anything but crafty, almost impossible to delineate thoughtfulness in the 3rd dimension, the best that shows is aware energies and even then, even then. I've become a writer-of-sorts but not author, a reader of aesthetics but not philosopher--in this i mirror my peers. T'is easy to feel the need for more as the times feel so impoverished... and the arts more so. Wanting strong statements in a world where only the commercial has that option, we turn to their technology, i feel this a mistake, drastic.
This idea rattles my thoughts, it's something to do with time & the future, something about art and humanity, about the loss of Being --no longer do things persist in their Being, the very idea is moot today, process and history has superseded all consciousness. Ends (in the arts) have disintegrated into means-to-mean and that absolves us of risk-taking; the future being perfectible, as if the future really existed and not just as a contingency.
Mankind now makes objects to demonstrate process and an involvement with an endlessness, --a misconstrued notion of an evolutionary activity that only deals in stability, in absolute forms. By these process-objects we turn art into experiment, in a bid to be scientific, reinforcing our distrust of reality; experiments isolate and duplicate, their goal is 'how' not what and why, they assume the larger questions are unanswerable, that by eliminating them we can arrive at the simple, as if the simple were more true than the complex. To overcome this trend the shapes and forms of sculpture need to invert the philosophical groundwork of reductionism that has minimalized its power. Real forms are not theoretical; they ideate the imagination, standing in opposition to the ubiquity of the simple.