Unreal Nature

February 8, 2018

Disappointment

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:03 am

… Defeated, exhausted and helpless you will perhaps go a little bit further.

This is from Agnes Martin: Writings edited by Herausgegeben von Dieter Schwarz (1992):

I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect — completely removed in fact — even as we ourselves are.

[ … ]

One who has become all eyes does not see.
To try to understand is to court misunderstanding.
Not to know but to go on.
Anything is a mirror.
There are two endless directions. In and out.

[ … ]

I want to talk to you about “the work,” art work.
I will speak of inspiration, the studio, viewing art work, friends of art, and artists’ temperaments.
But your interest and mind is really “the work” — works of art.

[ … ]

There is successful work and work that fails but all of it is inspired. I will speak later about successful works of art but here I want to speak of failures. Failures that should be discarded and completely cut off.

I have come especially to talk to those among you who recognize these failures. I want particularly to talk to those who recognize all of their failures and feel inadequate and defeated, to those who feel insufficient — short of what is expected or needed. I would like somehow to explain that these feelings are the natural state of mind of the artist, that a sense of disappointment and defeat is the essential state of mind for creative work.

… I want to emphasize the fact that increase in disappointment does not mean going backward in anything. There is increased and decreased awareness, that is all, and increased awareness means increased disappointments.

… We do not every stop because there is no way to stop. No matter what you do you will not escape. There is no way out. You may as well go ahead with as little resistance as possible — and eat everything on your plate.

… As in the night. To penetrate the night is one thing. But to be penetrated by the night that is to be overtaken.

Defeated, exhausted and helpless you will perhaps go a little bit further.

-Julie

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