But not so much as the lack of it
by CATERINA DE NICOLA
“Well, I give up all my sculpturing cause my life had gone all sad ... They put me on the assembly line puttin' plastic leaves on the plastic palms. Then they shipped them off the Los Angeles. Yeah, it wasn't art ... but it wasn't wrong.
Now some say it's pathetic when you give up your aesthetic ... But all that exhibiting was just too damn inhibiting ... Regular guy ... like me Oooooooui Ooooooo-we ...”
I'm listening to Terry Allen ‘Oui (A French Song)’,
a little feeling of connection to life outside Lausanne, trying to point out some ideas about self-design attitudes, appeal and taste in post-aesthetic times.
Probably also about how my subject-hood became my object-hood.
A condition of being produced, changeable, non-committal, levitating ...
There are plenty of motivations to legitimize the contemporary artist as someone authorized to give up.
Aesthetic motifs such as creativity, spontaneity, and originality are no longer signs of freedom lying beyond the necessities of social production.
But it doesn’t matter now, I’ll not be paid to figure it out.
I’ll let a certain copy and paste attitude taking over me.
I gonna mash-up, so I'll not have to owe anyone anything.
I’ll give clear priority to private motives, such as taste, mood,
I’m trying to put away my spirit of procrastination,
this sense of anxiety suggesting me to think about it a bit more, saying myself that tomorrow
my ideas may be more clear.
Of course, tomorrow will be better than today.
I think this sensation concerns a certain resistance
against artistic integrity.
Everyone appreciates artistic integrity.
I’m aware that within structures defined by profit andinstitutional power our feelings are not meant to survive.
Anyone should avoid emotional volcano.
Language is in complete inadequacy at the emotional level, it mostly fails in trying to reach our innermost souls.
Anyway, I decided to let my panic breath of anxiety survive over inspiration.
Sometimes everyone should stop trying so goddamn hard!
Don’t cry, no more, you don’t owe anyone anything.
Wasting time could be the way to get rid of all the ‘carelessness’shaping contemporary times.
I remember I started to procrastinate in order to be prepared to grasp what I think could really matter.
Then it became a delay of gratification, a way to reserve for tomorrow a pleasurable enjoyment.
Desires need to desire themselves in order to stay alive. Maybe is also something about a personal inadequacy
A kind of ecstasy I obtain every time I enjoy the moment
between desire and gratification.
The more I save, the more I’ll be able to spend, saving over spending as work over consumption.
In the realm of production, this delay of productivity sustains the durability of the work, but I’m still not able to point it out as a consumer.
Probably because of fascination, the incapacity of having a consumption.
Sometimes I don't know what people want from me, when they look into your eyes asking “do you want to be famous?”I hope this question paralyzes everyone.
Feelings sleep like drops over me.
Defining the sides of the body and moving along. Falling through the edges and slogging away.
And the item in question just says“no questions about anything”.I don’t want to define myself, I don’t need to fight for myself. I’ll let you project whatever you want on me.
How could you use this power?
An original can always be violated by the creation of his double. A move between representation and repetition.
But sampling has nothing to do with repetition.
You can always create a new you or a new me.
I don’t feel loved,
I just feel like I'm responding to what you want.It will always be a new beginning,
through an apparently infinite sequence.
So where those anxieties come from? In the realm of pop-culture, understood as the violation of identity or copyright-related, it will be seen as ethically inappropriate.
Then fanaticism became a virtue in name of relativism andcultural affection.
Democratic times, domestic times, blaring the limits of seeing and desiring.
How you gonna fill the space between representation and violence when you gonna imagine your girlfriend being cheated on X-Hamster?
You can’t avoid your imagination as much as you can’t get rid of your victimhood.
I think this is where the gestures of violation and reproductionhave to be found, and why I’m still attending cultural anxieties.
Seeing should be forgetting.
While driving across Los Angeles my friend Gioia expressed to me her sadness, looking at palm trees lining Hollywood Boulevard.
So mysterious how they stand with so little grounds under theirroots.
Most were imported from all over the world to design the streetscape.They were planted in the 30s,
now dying and most won’t be replaced.
It's so difficult to imagine such stereotypes falling over.
Gioia told me they create a kind of connection between celebrities, glamour, and sex.
I never thought about trees dying cause of their old age.
Where do styles go when they disappear?
The act of copying should be an attempt to last forever.
I don’t know if as a ruin or as a way of active preservation.
It's probably a perversion to locate pleasure in being decay ....the refrain of my life.
Sampling his own personality may be invasive, but what a pleasure to disorder and mayhem ourselves
...go wrong to stand out!
The sexiness of the true revolutionary
... till I’ve seen the face of the new radicalism, and it’s cute.
Seek and destroy is a move typical of appropriation, as well as producing and packaging.
Appropriated aesthetics will always remind you why you don’tlike yourself.
Everyone should shatter himself in order to self-understand.
Anyway, before or after, something will be there to get you back on your feet.
And I’m not talking about a friend or your guardian angel,
more about a certain reworking or upcycling attitude.
Call it culture, coolness or style,
I think it's just about the ability to learn a secret set of rules.
Any human expression is an attempt in searching contexts to make further expressions possible.
Of course, the sociability I’m trying to talk about is defined by interests.Religious, economic, erotic, ideal and any other satisfaction or feeling for.
But beyond any possible content, there is always a matter of grooming.
The extreme necessity of a union with other to get rid of the solitariness.
We use it because physical contact is deeply moving and reassuring in a way that language cannot be.
Rubbing stimulates opiates much more than words can ever do.
A pleasurable experience, the pleasure of existing. Individuality was once the way to reach personal freedom on your own terms.
But the terms kept getting more specific, making us moreisolated.
In short, we are at a time of dangerous and potentially beneficial confusion about how we depend on how we connect.
My idea of sociability might be associated with the way abstract paintings are produced and fruited nowadays,
with a certain attention to the appeal this condition creates.Its language gonna be defaced by pictures.
It gonna tells you “don’t think, Look!”.
The most important thing will be to find the painting interesting,or even crispy!
Being seen as normal could be the scariest thing, and, of course, you should always ask how much does it cost.
Everyone had possessed a sure idea of what an Abstract Painting was.
What it meant, what it looked like, how it tasted. Someone at one point needed to take his classic taste,sophistication, nowness, historical byways, andundergirded sensibility, to place them in a new context.
For him was enough to say “this painting gonna be awesome!”.
Instead of changing the world, it will make it look better.
The times in which art tried to establish his autonomy are over.
People like everything and nothing at the same time.
It's a matter of appeal.
There should be no rejection for ostentation, a century after everyone still liked and used this technique,reworked in a pricey lifestyle fare.
The crappier the better.
Don’t worry, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And the muses are still generous with you.
The contemporary process of painting is pretty much about cynicism.
It’s all about selling out and understanding the variegates of taste.
There is no more space between feelings and aesthetics, this painting can’t any more unsettle you.
You can no more dislike it.
Techniques are not liable to suffer death.
As a style from a determinate period that will live in the back ofthe closet until you will have your first baby.
There will still be a broader interest for it, it will match different situations, all kind of decors, and it will magically lack inappropriate or political references.
So, you gonna wear your bodycon dress again, remembering about that guy who didn’t wanna kiss you.
But it's gonna be all quiet, you gonna feel self-assured and apparently in peace with yourself.
It’s gonna smell aged in the beginning.
And you will probably experience the sensation of feeling not smart enough, not beauty enough.
There will be the fear of not understanding.
But it will still look classically tasteful, even though it doesn’t mean anything.
You're gonna be knowing.
An abstract painting never gonna produce a virtue of failurecalling it a sign of resistance.
That’s where you gonna spread your influence.
As following inspiration will not be enough, not anymore, it will need something stronger to defend your style. Add redeeming feature to sustain the painting.
In a way that could make you say “yes, no question aboutanything”, without making you feel superficial.
Endow it with meaning, or give it a rare moment of pure funremoved from art, fashion, and money.
Give it a guitar and some electricity or a magazine to see what’s spreading new.
But God forbid yourself to verbally declare it as a finite object. It came out looking like a shuck wrapped around the originalcoating.
Full of beauty spots, light and smudgy, with mistaken holes inthe corner making it looking like diseased.
It’s like broken down and infirm.
The more amateur, the better.
The twist is when it gets a twin: a story.
Something that doesn’t make you laugh or cry, but that respectspassion and feelings, remembering how silly and human weare in our frailty.
Inner side, little egos.
Beauty sucks but not so much as the lack of it. We need a supplement in order to look better than we actually are.
An emancipation from boredom, prescription, and tradition.
A necessity that could be identified with seduction and celebration.
Somewhat, instead of making you look better, it could erase the suspicion to look particularly ugly and repellent
where your designed shuck to be removed.
The unpleasantness of reality has disappeared.
Since then, the production of sincerity has become everyone’soccupation, neutralizing the suspicion of possiblespectators.
Being situationally appropriate, to adapt to any situation andempathize with anyone.
Empathy, redundancy, perversion, adaptability, "don’t try too hard” and a lack of concern for authenticity may be all virtues, ensuring individual peace of mind.
A particularly seductiveness is the ontological ground for thedesirability of all things.
But may not be enough accepting existing social norms as wellas assuming that they don’t exist.
Appropriation is fine but how hard to resist comparison, the production of difference.
It used to be possible to be special.
But then you think about it and you start to realize that we’vearrived at a splenetic experience of abstraction, where difference demands conformity rather than promising freedom.
Everyone is constantly subjected to an aesthetic evaluation
as everyone is required to take aesthetic responsibility
for his or her own appearance in the world.
Might there be another view of relationality grounded in sameness, honesty, high morality, sincerity,
Being unique isn’t a lonely journey, adaptability leads to belonging.
The desire to escape the constraints of everyday life seems universal.
Having exceeded difference, Minimalism has never been a chance in mastering a different conception of sameness.
Superficial simplicity is just the denial of complexity, not its resolution.
We are ready to believe that we are able to see things as they truly are only when the reality behind the façade shows itself to be dramatically worse than we have ever imagined.
In this respect, to decide to present oneself as ethically bad is to make an especially good decision.
Maybe we are the pioneers of a new society informed by wealth, intelligence, aesthetics, and most of all meanness.Judgmental friends, the constant battle to undo each other.
Art school is a horrible place, but not so much as the lack of it.
Beauty Hurts! But not so much as the lack of it
by Caterina De Nicola
écal Arts Visuels Master
Printed at écal, Switzerland
© 2018 écal, École cantonale d'Art de Lausanne