Words 2011-2012:

This quote was taken from Friedreich Hundertwasser’s book Complete Graphic Works: “I worked with a FARMER when I saw how brown the EARTH is and how green the GRASS so I decided to become a painter” (Schwanennstadt, 1946)


“…a leap into metaphor and magic, ouside of the narrow borders of “I.” ( Alison Pick, “Falling in Love with Poetry”, 2005)

“Your trouble,” my father said, “is the same as mine; deep down, you think that real work is something you do with your hands.” (Ker Wells, “Some Thoughts on Utility, Endurance, and Leaping”, 2007)  

If I draw a dot on one sheet of paper
I am a doodler.
If a draw a dot on one hundred sheets of paper
I am a philosopher.
If a draw a dot on one thousand sheets of paper
I am a mystic.
If I draw a dot on ten thousand sheets of paper
I am a modern conceptual artist and may become
rich and famous.
Social values are a matter of accumulation.

(Luis Camnitzer, at El Museo del Barrio’s current show)

Mark Lemmon asked me if I have a word to describe my practice… He said his might be described with the word “anguish”. I realized that though I might never find just one word to describe what I do, words do shape my practice – words I have been collecting since I started this program last May. Some of them are quotes of famous people – artists, critics, thinkers; some were just picked up in conversations and our group discussions.

Why am I collecting words and quotes? To get a better understanding of the contemporary art scene and find a niche for my own practice; as well as the right voice for what I as an artist have to say. The field I am just feeling my path through can be best described with Liz Wells’ words: “Land is a natural phenomenon… ‘Landscape’ is a cultural construct.”


1. “The painter must seek perfection at its primitive source, Nature”.  (John Constable)

 2. “The Post-Modern artist now confronts a Post-Natural Nature“. (Deitch and Friedman)

3. “Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subjects, nor in exact truth, but in a mode of feeling. They looked for it outside themselves, but it was only to be found within.” (Charles Baudelaire)

4. Site sensitivity

5. Unofficial geography

6. If someone wants to say he is conceptual – more power to them – I am quite content being an artist.

7. The production of meaning

8. Take one discourse and lay it over another discourse: art over the discourse of time – geology.

9. Design a space, and you will be designing behaviour.

10. You can take from any field and bring it into the art.

11. Divided identity or distributed identity?

12. “It is the truth that has to be constructed” (Ken Lum)

13. To say “here” homogenizes all sorts of richly diverse places.

14. “Norms are opressive because they mold uniquely different individuals to the same shape.” (Terry Eagleton)

15. “We need to read images emblematically and symptomatically, in terms of the most fundamental questions of social life.” (Susan Buck-Morss)

16. “The essence of art is inherently aesthetic” (Gao Xinjian)

17. “Activism or its abscence has no bearing on the value judgement one attaches to an artist’s work” (Gal Xinjian)

18. overlapping of language and landscape

19. competing narratives

20. half-forgotten narratives

21. aural conjunctions between the rhythms of nature

22. [events of human history] or the dreams of an individual … can not be easily plotted or traced, let alone contained within

23. lines and letters become landscape, text becomes texture

24. sublimation and collapse

25. natural order replacing conscious order

26. extemporaneous

27. be: - at one remove

            – at two removes from the idea

28. “… crucial to arrive at a subject” (Barry Schwabsky)

29. the unembarrassed presence of nature in abstract imagery

30. “irreducible discrepancy between intention and effect” (Michael Fried)

31. lived from within

32. perception as participation

33. reciprocal presence

34. the landscape of language

35. “… the empoverished ego” (Judith Butler)

36. evidence collector (about Sophie Calle)

37. “… the indistinction of space and time in the oral universe”

38. “… the lived affinity between language and the land”

39. “… contact with the regional landscape – was the primary mnemonic trigger of the oral stories and was thus integral to the preservation of those stories and of the culture itself.” (David Abram)

Words and Quotes from David Abram’s “The Spell of the Sensuous”:

40.  interactions with the local land

41. place-specific character of oral tales

42. our direct sensorial experience of the earth around us

43. participation between the human senses and the earthly terrain leads to the notion of a pure and featureless ‘space’

44. an abstract conception that has nevertheless come to seem, today, more primordial and real than the earthly places in which we remain corporeally embedded

45. experientially immersed

46. reinhabitation


47.  “Seeing and painting are one and the same. In painting one sees what one paints. Plastic creation and sight cannot be separated.” (Gao Xinjian)

48. “Even if one paints a natural subject, the images that appear from under his hand ceize being real objects. They are represetations that emerge out of a subjective vision” (Gao Xinjian)

49. “the dichotomy of control and chaos, and the implications of each.” (Mark Rosental about Jasper Johns)

50. Take an object… Do something to it. Do something else to it.

51. “I think [what] one wants from painting is the sense of life. The final suggestion, the final statement, has to be not a deliberate statement, but a helpless statement.” (Jasper Johns)

52. “The body is – how we know the world.” (David Salle)

53. “Painting does not come from an idea. it comes from an image.” (Sandro Chia)

54. “One of the possible ways of thinking is through images” (Francesco Clemente)

55. “The poetry of a painting must be made by the spectators” (Charles Baudelaire)

56. “It was Merleau-Ponty who said that painting mixes up the imaginary and the real, dream space and clear space in laying out its oneric universe of carnal essences” (Baudelaire)

More to come…

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