What strange times! There is a Corona Virus pandemic. This first week of ‘lockdown’ has been spent preparing a new proposal. No clue how this is going to work out while University is shut!!!!! There’s not an inch of space here in which to work as the house is full of all the babies for the allotment – every table top, windowsill etc. and it’ll be some time before it’s clement enough to put them in the poly tunnel. Hey ho. Nevertheless, some ideas have been placed in the obligatory PowerPoint presentation and perhaps rather ironically, we kicked off the new module with online presentations on April Fools Day – you have to laugh.
And, as if lockdown isn’t bad enough, this appeared outside the house….
The proposal aims to build upon the assessment feedback and other critical inputs about the book project which include introducing an element of movement to the work and/or exploring materiality as a way of articulating mineral and biological interconnectedness concepts better – rather than merely illustrating them – more babble from the alien lexicon perhaps – but I am determined to get my head around this distinction!
The feeling of pitching from side to side and surging up and down having gone, it is down to solid ground with a thud. This is where I find the reality of an interim appraisal statement to contend with (arrgh! ) mixed together with marks and feedback for my Lit. Review. The latter was a good mark and that was supported with useful feedback for moving forward. (Including the fact that I should learn how to spell ‘Nietzsche’ correctly. At least I had the ‘i’ and the ‘e’ consistently the wrong way around in my text(tee-hee) but it obviously was an excruciating irritation for my erudite tutor/marker/external-examiner.)
The Interim Appraisal feedback does not bring anything similar in terms of joy or even a degree of wry self-deprecating amusement. The sort of ‘working at level’ mark was OK but the comments sound like riddles in a foreign language for which there seems to be no pocket dictionary easily at hand. In the studio, we all call it ‘beard-pulling’ language….. a sort of stream of intense and incomprehensible alien utterances directed at your work that leaves you wondering whether you (the artist who made it) and the Professor are actually looking at the same thing. If critical distance isn’t, at least in part, the sense you get when you’re out of your body watching your work and yourself being babbled about in strange tongues – then I don’t know what is. The result of this experience is what, we call ‘MACFA Blues’ and it follows crits and appraisals on a regular basis. It has brought some fellow ‘Masters’ to tears. I refuse to be intimidated! I won’t feel blue!
I must learn the Alien Lexicon! ……. That is a sort of New Year’s resolution I guess and I am increasingly becoming aware that it IS what ‘becoming MACFA’ actually consists in far more than ‘making’ your art. Becoming MACFA is learning the lexicon and ‘speaking it’ through your work……. or something like that……. at least I think so,……….. it’s a far cry from the ‘Foundation Mantra’ (derived from Mr B. Mau) about ‘JOY!!!’
For now, I propose to complete the project Ieft unfinished at the end of semester 1 when the print workshop shut for Christmas break.