Monday, September 19, 2011

Lecture Notes: Ann Hamilton @ NGA

Last Friday I was one of Washington's lucky few who got to hear genius/visionary/artist Ann Hamilton speak at the National Gallery of Art. AMAZING. I think the whole audience would have sat there and listened to her til midnight if the museum had allowed her to go on that long (unfortunately for us, they cut her off at 5 because the building was closing. Lame!).

She had a beautiful way of using anecdotes about her life, work, and creation thereof to explain her underlying ideas and philosophies of art making. Here are my notes:

-A studio practice allows you to pay attention to what you pay attention to. A studio cultivates the situation for this to happen.
-Art is a process of finding what you need.
-Conditions for that finding are created and cultivated in the studio.
-A studio is therefore a metaphorical space, and can be wherever an artist deems fit.
-Things she pays attention to: forms of attention, felt qualities, processes of accumulation.
-An empty table is like a blank page.
-Art can satisfy the longing for a presence so acute that you lose self awareness.

I only wish I had written more down!

< complaint > National Gallery, do us artists here in Washington a solid and publicize this stuff more, will ya? Act like it's the big deal that it is? And maybe also invite these major, major figures like Ms. Hamilton to speak at a time when more of us can attend? Because lots of us have day jobs. Also, universities? Why weren't more students in attendance to hear this contemporary master? Because I think it would have been educational for them. < / complaint >

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