Monday, January 04, 2010


"I think we each have only one or two philosophical or political ideas in our life, one or two organizing principles during our whole life, and all the rest falls from there..." - Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault

I've been mulling lately. Thinking about statements of intellectual and professional intent, as I write applications for graduate school. Considering the future, as I am 10 days away from moving to Sydney for about 6 months. Lots of thought, lots of feeling.

I also came across the sentence above in Anne Michaels's latest novel. I've come to a point where I have decided that art needs to be a part of my life and I've tried to get to the heart of what it is I enjoy about artistic creation and its consideration that captures my attention, thoughts and emotions.

I do very much appreciate the dialogue that art creates, with its history, with its geographic surroundings, with its sociopolitical situation, with pure visual language. It is quite wonderful when art encourages me to think about themes in my life, the way I live, the way I see colour, the way I view politics.

In applying for an MA, the possibility of a PhD looms in the not-so-distant future. And it makes me wonder: to what subject could I devote myself? Academics seem to turn over the same thematic stone again and again, considering new angles and always getting deeper into a topic/artist/movement.

At the moment, I'd say that spirituality and the immaterial are at the center of my mind. Of course, I'll have to see what happens when I plunge back into the waters of academia. But I find the representation of the body and what it says about ideas of gender, sexuality, class quite interesting. More so, I think it interesting to consider artists who take a non-conventional approach to representing themselves. Francis Bacon for example. When the portrait becomes a gesture, when it leaves reality, it speaks to a higher level. It becomes related to music, to dance, to something I can't quite describe, I can't quite hold.

But I'll have to wait and see, see how the mulling continues, see what spiced mixture results...

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