Artist talk about play. Curators, critics and historians talk about how the artist plays. Scratch the surface of the work and how the artist has played may or may not be easily revealed. Play is not a formal part of the artist’s education, yet he or she is repeatedly encouraged to ‘play’. Each artist develops his or her own tools and the methods by which he or she plays. At times these tools and their methods of application can be found in the practice of many artists across a variety of practices, yet each tool and its application maintains a uniqueness within any given practice.
Examining how I incorporate play as a performative tool to my painting practice.
...it is my hope to persuade viewer/reader that through the development of the persona as a performative tool methodically applied to a painterly practice may serve as a model for methods of play in artistic practices exploring issues of personal identity…
Phenomenological (philosophy) perception of the action -painting as myself, as a persona- through videos, photos, the work and the feel, smell and sight of the clothing worn, followed by reflection on/within this painting practice through videos, photos, the work and the feel, smell and sight of the clothing worn.
How does (or doesn’t) this happen in terms of structure? How is the structure expressed in the work?
From the viewpoint of how humans develop cognitively Piaget, and before him Freud, assigned a very distinct step by step process. Vygotsky and those who followed him loosened this structure to acknowledge the randomness and overlapping that does (and must?) occur.
What is the attraction to structure and is it possible to maintain a structure over time or does the structure continually morph? How does this morphing occur? What does it look like?
Thinking of play, specifically games. The following thoughts come from Bruner.
Rules of play are established in advance of the game. However, in the midst of playing the games the rules are either held to to a point where the game reaches a conclusion, or the rules are changed so that the game may continue until it is stopped.
Players may stop playing a game but this does not mean the game has necessarily reached its conclusion.
When is a painting finished?
Resolution versus conclusion.
Invitation(s) to construct identity.
Invitation(s) to play.
Invitation(s) to become the painter.
Invitation(s) to become the performer.
Invitation(s) to become the audience.
Invitation(s) to …
Speaking recently with another painter about the identity of the artist, the impact of personal identity of the painter on the painting, and the personas combined with thoughts on memory and its resurgence/emergence in the painting from expressed by Howard Hodgkin in a filmed interview [https://youtu.be/FvRtznZ3m1M] lead me to the following thoughts.
What the painter has experienced, remembered and forgotten finds its way into the work.
What the performer has experienced, remembered and forgotten finds its way into the work.
What the viewer, audience, reader has experienced, remembered and forgotten finds its way into the work.
What the work has experienced, never remembered and never forgotten finds its way into the work.
The personas began with a thought, a response to something both external and internal to myself.
Their further development was primarily a process internal to myself at first.
Through their externalization, their actions, interactions and responses I learn more about who each of them are.
This learning then becomes again an internal process for me to further develop the persona.
Their existence prompts questions of how they exist.
Their existence prompts questions of why they exist.
Why they exist impacts how they exist.
How they exists impacts how the works exists.
How the work exists prompts questions of why it exists.
Why the work exists returns to my internal process and its externalization through the work.