Friday, September 2, 2011

Inside the Dream Space of an Idea



In my own process, I have been inhabiting a space involving memory: my own! I have been writing down  the house numbers of all the places I have lived that I can remember, cutting them out of fiberglass screening and applying them to a new “fluttering pages of my life” work in process.

Synchronicity led me to read an essay this week by Carol Becker, in Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art.  In her role as an  instructor to young artists, she encourages them to “move inside the idea as if it were an imaginary space”. By doing so, she hopes to help them evaluate and perfect an idea as it takes form.

If we think of an idea as a dream space, then as artists part of our process may be to enter and inhabit that dream space as we create. Becker asks students specific questions as their work develops. Because I am quite interested in becoming a better mentor to my own process,  I find her ideas and approach intriguing. These specific questions are taken from her article.

Move inside the space of the idea and ask yourself:

In what way do you live here?

What furniture do you need to inhabit this space?

What appliances?

How will this idea’s meaning be communicated, made visible to others?

Further along, one might ask:

Is this the work you intended or has it changed in the making?

If it has changed its course, what is its new course?

Here is a clip about artist Grayson Perry, who obviously inhabited a marvelous “dream space” at the British Museum to actualize his idea.

Perry’s focus for this two-year project honors the anonymous skilled hands over countless centuries whose finely crafted works are now preserved in museum collections.

1 comment:

  1. Now I just happened by here, Jeanne and love that I found your commentary on "Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art". This is the second time this book has crossed my path in a wee while. Love the questions. Will check it out now.

    Love the piece shown, especially the numbers! And love your ability to go deeper and ask these questions.