Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Can of Worms

I have been avoiding putting up a rationale for Disembody for awhile.
For lots of reasons.
Foremost, there isn't a single reason. The MVM doesn't really make political or statement art. I honestly could never point to a single meaning or statement I'm trying to make or that we want the viewer to come away with.
I may take several reasons into the creation of a piece, but often by its completion it has taken on a whole slew of new reasons.
None of which may be accessible to a casual visitor. And only a few of which may be accessible to even the most obsessed visitor.

That's not intentional obscuritantism. It's more a reflection of my distaste for anything that feels preachy or didactic.
The art that most attracts me, and that first drew my attention and passion, is open to interpretation. It is a doorway into multiple meanings, not a statement of intent.
I feel that is the case with most artists and creators.

Having said that, a project like Disembody, which will take place publicly in this blog and then as we build and film in the gallery, is going to raise the question "why" over and over.
And, as we experience different reasons why, we will post them here. And open them to discussion.
The work will be successful if it leads to even a handful of conversations about its nature, what it is. Not because that will change the art world or anything, but because inspiring dialogue is one of the important aspects of art.

The very first reasons for Disembody came out of Susan's request for a proposal and Brian Conley's critique of an earlier work.
Every piece The MVM has built has been site specific. We go into a space, imagine what we can do, assemble a crew to help us do it, and then embark on the creation of a temporary work for that space.
In this case, well, a site specific work for Los Angeles? Of course it was going to involve filmmaking. To that end we needed to found a movie studio and embark on the dream of creating a marketable, distributable film. Disembody rapidly grew out of that idea.

Brian's involvement came out of his questions about why the scope of the 23 Entryways Into My Mind project was being created as a series of site specific works. Brian likes the grandiose and universal. And when we described 23E as a method for disseminating our identity and consciousness worldwide, he suggested that we make a youtube channel that featured the dance-move-of-the-day or somesuch. For him there was no point in making without spectacle and the intention to attract as many viewers as possible.
I still don't agree with his opinion there entirely.
But I do think it is a valid point that if The MVM's goal is to share a taste of my experience, to put a little bit of me into you, to spread my memories as a virus, that the broader the market for a project the greater the likelihood that it will achieve that goal.
And what greater market could I imagine for an art show in LA than creating a film that could find a home in art houses and on DVD?

The idea that Disembody reflects my views on the collaborative nature of life and art, and that it is my contribution to the discussion within the art world of what the art world is and can be, is a rationale that is only developing now. And one we may abandon completely. In many ways by creating this project publicly (to a degree only, obvs), just as you will be able to read about crew and equipment and concessions and funding arising and dissipating, you will get to read about my relationship to the project and what it means and what I want it to say constantly changing.

And with any luck, you'll get to hear the voices of the people I'm working with sneak through and see how they influence not just its physical nature, but its conceptual nature as well.



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