sense takes "the world" for granted.
the naïve belief we have in its existence.
(Transposed from Miguel
de Unamuno's "The Tragic Sense of Life.")
After several decades spent "teaching" in many "art" schools (in Europe, the US and Canada), I would like
to present some of my observations.
Throughout my teaching career, I have diligently pursued the exploration of "my reality" through the medium
I have constantly been puzzled by the lack of interest in the nature of "our reality" (and in our perception of "it")
demonstrated by most of my students and colleagues alike.
(This question --"what is it?" or "who am I?"-- seems to me to be fundamental to all that we do.)
Indeed, I have witnessed the attempts of thousands of people desperately trying to make something interesting
out of, or away from, something they had very little doubts about their familiarity with (the "ordinary").
Time and again, I have seen people work, sometimes very hard, while looking, as it were, away from their best
(and only?) genuine source of awe and discovery.
Our schools teach, without blushing, that "we know what 'reality' looks like, that the eye works like a camera
and that we all see the same things!"
(This is a direct quote of the declaration uttered by the director of a relatively well known art school).
I certainly disagree with that type of arrogance/ignorance and would rather relate to Alberto Giacometti's:
"I could, my whole life, paint the same chair." (Links to samples of Giacometti's work)
Like Cézanne, I believe, (and that belief is rooted in experience), that a slight turn of the head and
"le motif fout le camp" (the motif slips away). (Links to samples of Cézanne's work)
Considering the workings of "our" mind ( it has been compared to a beehive), all that constantly happens "in it,"
one twist of the mind (and there are lots of them at every moment) and "le motif fout le camp!"
Looking at the masters, past and present, I am convinced that the highest form of work is the one that "caters to the
appearing as it appears."("To the things themselves!")
When students (and the few artists that still do this sort of thing) are confronted by a still life, a model or landscape
(this applies as well to "mental" images), the question should not be: "what can I do with/to that?" but rather:
"what is this?" or better : "how do I see whatever I see?" or even better yet: "who am I?" (Whois asking?).
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