Monday, March 26, 2007

kara walker

it's constantly interesting to hear about how other people justify their existence while making art. listening to my friends talk about forms of expression, yesterday, before, after and during a reading in the west village, i was confronted with the enormity, irresponsibility and absurdity of it all. we all fee like we are called to it: forced somehow spiritually to make art, whether it be painting or music or writing. but what then is it for? why must we express ourselves is the greater question?
kara walker said in an interview i saw today, "how do you make representations of your world given what you are given?" which seemed to reverberate with me. whatever you (one) is given are both the physical tools and the mental ability to see and express.
but the why it matters i can't justify. i know that when i read something that says something to me, or see a piece of art that makes something about life more meaningful if only for it's acknowledgement of life, or hear a song that makes me dance or cry, i feel better about being alive, but why?
how can i not contribute anything useful to society, no food, clothing, work, even, these days, and exonerate myself from not making the world worse by my behaving like a spoiled child.
why is art important?
i still don't know.
i guess what i'm asking is not why Kara Walker's statement got me, but why is it that we're trying to make representations of our world, when we already live in an un-derivative version of it.

man am i a quote dork today.

this is from the preamble to Leaves of Grass.
sometimes i need to remember why i write, even if i don't write poetry.

"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals,despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for thestupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hatetyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towardthe people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to anyman or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons andwith the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves inthe open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine allyou have been told at school or church or in any book, dismisswhatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a greatpoem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in thesilent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyesand in every motion and joint of your body."--Walt Whitman

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tiberon Greatness

this is the sign on the deli on my corner. what do you think the hatch marks on the bottom are for? is the credit talking like archie?