Saturday, December 13, 2014

Making an Expression of Interest


I wrote this as a proposal for a residency, with an email explaining, slightly, what I meant by it: "I have attached my expression of interest, with which I have taken a few creative liberties. I included some links to where my works can be viewed but felt that critiquing the structure of the application process in an application that could be a work in itself is probably a good way to give you an idea as to what my practise entails... Please know that it is written with the utmost respect for all those working within the contemporary art framework." That last sentence may have been a lie... but who can say...? So this maybe amounts to further sabotage... (I also spelt "Auckland" wrong... good work...)

There seems no sufficient language in which to write this, couched as it must be in all the pitfalls of artspeak and enforced professionalism necessarily answered in mute irony by the antipodean, called “laconic” for want of a European term for perversity that does not amount to a silly act of pseudo-rebellious titillation. I am trying to answer to why specifically I desire to go to New Zealand without continuously referring to colonial discourse. I am attempting, like any lover, to impart the sense that I am referring to you specifically and not indiscriminately, whilst not overstating my attraction to the end that you become arrogant, or worse: uninterested. I feel as though one of the most redeeming features of our shared non-culture is the awareness that we must continuously defer to the traditional owners of the land... that the antipodean witnesses, daily, the flaws and the failures of Western understanding, the ultimate absurdity of imposing an idea of permanence on a landscape so constantly in flux, whether it be through earthquakes, or harsh summers and the smell of bushfire permeating supposedly concrete cities, making the Euro-centric notions of “Art” and “Culture” seem all the more spurious and arbitrary. There is no room in the English language to express let alone universalise that which is not white, middle-class, heterosexual, cis-gendered and male, anything “other” is thereby personalised, simultaneously feted and suppressed, co-opted and produced to reproduce the desires of the ruling class. 
I was struck with some kind of vague idea of what I could do whilst reading the quip that was made in the call-out for this residency about Aukland being in the future. On the 3rd of January the Earth is the closest to the sun in its orbit, thus time moves its fastest on the 3rd of January. Theoretically, I would begin my residency a day early marking that summer day, both long and fast in the Southern Hemisphere in a locality ahead of the world in our approximation of time, and where the seasons are experienced, watching a purpose built sundial, reflecting on imported traditions and festivals that at one time marked agricultural cycles and now mark cycles of consumption. I have been researching the habits of my presumably Celtic and Germanic forebears learning about the paramount importance of the pagan festivals to those living through harsh winters as ways of marking time, so that crops would be harvested at the right time, avoiding starvation. This would form the basis for a new poetic work, which would likely take the form of a performance and a video, given the constraints of working in a foreign land.