It’s New Year’s Eve 2022. I’ve just returned from a provocative exhibition by Shirin Neshat, with whom I originally became acquainted by way of Essex friend and photographer, Larry Barns, a dozen years or more ago.
Land of Dreams is a solo exhibition by Shirin Neshat, an Iranian-born artist and filmmaker based in New York Comprising photography, film, and video, the exhibition brings together two bodies of work, Land of Dreams (2019), and Dreamers (2013-16), a trilogy of video installations.Source: SITE Santa Fe
While there’s much to say about Neshat’s work, that will wait for another time as this day’s, this year’s minutes are too quickly sifting through my fingers and falling into a new year. It’s New Year’s Eve. An ending. And a fresh start.
Instead of responding to Neshat’s portraits and films, I’ll allow this post to follow the footfalls of my afternoon, out of Neshat’s Land of Dreams and into Max Cole’s Endless Journey. This New Mexico-based painter’s meticulous meditations slowed my senses and my sensibility. Cole’s “Thoughts on Art” leapt from the wall and into my dream-addled skull, tickling the tattered leaves of my inquiry these last five months.
And “knowing how way leads on to way”, one fragment falling upon another, and another, and another,… I’ve decided to resist looking back — for now at least — for answers and assurance that this afternoon’s wisps and tatters and excerpts are what they appear to be. I’ll trust the “singing underneath” and trace my index finger aling this newfound map, starting with a few snippets from Max Cole’s “Thoughts on Art”.
There is nothing to say without first knowing yourself.
Choices have to be made and parameters established. All that remains should be only essential means. This process of definition occurs over years.
Art is something that must be lived. It is long and there are no shortcuts.
As in life, in art nothing exists removed from the past or separated from the present.
Most of reality is not visible. Art makes perceptible the indefinable quality of presence. It is content which is the soul of art.
The motivation for making art is art and its insights into that which transcends the material. Nothing else. There can be no compromise.
All creativity draws from the same source regardless of discipline and eventually merges at a common point which is philosophical.Max Cole, “Thoughts on Art” (SITE Santa Fe)
It’s New Year’s Eve. An ending. A fresh start. An interstitial moment, part conclusion and part beginning. The common point where deconstruction couples with construction, the philosophical rebirth. Death. Birth. Phoenix from ashes.
And that photograph above, a folly fabricated by Hroth, temporarily framing my future desk view, is in fact a fleeting and false perspective. Delightful. Whimsical. An old window and frame repurposed from the historic icehouse’s former life, propped in an incongruous aperture in the icehouse’s future life. A meeting of of past and future in the present. Ephemeral. Art rendering for a moment the invisible visible. “Art makes perceptible the indefinable quality of presence.”