The specific things I’ve found important to the development of my work are poetry, philosophy, psychology, and my own observations and attachments.
I’m greatly inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry, especially the Duino Elegies and the Sonnets to Orpheus. These writings are filled with beautiful contemplation of life, living and the search for self. Rilke is unashamed to view death as a more positive part of life, an aspect which he cautions should serve to remind us of the great responsibility we have to live.
“Here among the disappearing, in the realm of the transient,
be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings.
Be. And, at the same time, know what it is not to be.
That emptiness inside you allows you to vibrate
in resonance with your world.” [Sonnets to Orpheus]
I’m also effected by Baudrillard’s concept of dualistic and infinite realities proposed in Simulacra and Simulation as well as Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and Slavoj Zizec’s re-evaluation of Lacanian self-identity. I’ll admit I sort of pick and choose which things interest me about these theories – they all inform my own beliefs but I don’t feel that I specifically subscribe to any one line of thinking.
Additionally I know that my personal experiences have molded me into the person that I am today and that these experiences have contributed to my artwork in ways I’ve only begun to recognize and acknowledge.
The search for identity in my work directly relates to events in which my sense of self and place was shattered at the age of 12. Knowing this, it is easy to put two and two together to understand why investigations of spiritual dismemberment and philosophical theories about multiple realities and the dualistic self are so fascinating.
So now I have to decide which aspects are most important to the work I’m creating and how much to go into these ideas. Honestly, I know that I read and think and dream about all sorts of things that influence my work but are these all necessary to the understanding of the work?
Reading poetry and philosophy will logically shape my own views and relationships with the world around me and this evolving subconsciousness will be reflected in the work I create. If my work is truly effective, it will communicate these aspects regardless of any additional information. The viewer who has no knowledge of Hegelian philosophy should be able to contemplate my work and get the impression that the pieces question our perception of what’s real and what isn’t.
Writing a thesis is redundantly saying what you’ve already said using a language in which you’re not quite fluent. It’s a sadistic version of “telephone” where you’re the person at both ends of the line as well as every person in-between.