Benjamin had reached the end of his rope. As the dimly light hall seemed to flow past him he reflected over the past few weeks. Never before had so many things fallen apart; his marriage, his family, even himself, and now, it appeared, his job would go next. He had arrived in the morning to find a note on his desk instructing him to see his supervisor as soon as possible.
Benjamin had worked for Schein Insurance the last eight years, a job his uncle had gotten him soon after his graduation. And though not the most exciting job, it had given him a sense of security the last few years, his family had enough money to live well and go on a holiday each year without reaching to far into their pockets. They had afforded a bigger house closer to the centre of town, and Julie would most likely be able to attend a private college. The idea that his daughter would attend a private school did not please him as much as it did his wife. He did not like the idea of his daughter being, as he saw it, corrupted by well-to-do kids and encouraged in, what he felt was, a mounting superiority and elitisms his daughter had been displaying ever since her grades starting improving. The increase is school success had been mostly to the credit of Mr Hinkley, private tutor his wife had slashed out on, and thought he saw the benefits, he did not like Mr Hinkley. There was something he couldn’t put his finger on.
His daughter’s attitude, and the new house would not have happened had it been up to Benjamin, but he had silently accepted these things, as had become his custom over the course of the marriage. It was only two weeks since he had first spoken up truly about his feelings, resulting in the first quarrel he and his wife had ever had, and a growing distance between himself and his daughter.
The last weeks he had been sleeping in the garage, on a small cot next to the car. He would often sit at the wheel of the car, drinking a beer and staring through the glass imagining driving through the centre of town. He would jerk the wheel this way and that running down people as he sped up more and more. He would have two or three beers and then go to sleep, often falling asleep in the car, and only sometimes climbing into the hard cot. He would never undress, it was summer so the garage was not cold, but the idea of undressing seemed to him an all too familiar and comfortable act. This was only a temporary event, the troops retreating to their bases, the debaters settling in the backroom to prepare their next rebuttal. And though he did not intend to win this particular war, he realized he only needed time so his wife and daughter could simmer down. Thus he never undressed, preferring to sleep on top of the duvet, staring up at the ceiling and smoking cigarettes until he would fall asleep. Sometimes sleep would not ensue and he would watch the sun creep under the garage door and listen as the first birds would start singing. This night he had not slept, preferring instead to sit at the edge of the cot holding an old fishing pole waving the fishing line free rod in the air, swaying it slowly, as if awaiting some great catch. When the light began to appear under the door, and the alarm clock went off, he simply stood up and got into the car. He did not say goodbye to his wife.
Benjamin knocked gently on the door of his boss’s office. He awaited a response, and when none came, he knocked again. He then opened the door gingerly.
“Ah, Benjamin, there you are” Mr Schein stood up from behind his desk and gestured to the empty chair in front of him. “What’s this about, Mr Schein?”
“Benjamin, just take a seat please.” Mr Schein, a large man of about fifty, open a drawer and moved an array of paper work on the desk into a folder and moved it into the drawer. “How you feeling Benjamin?” Benjamin took a seat in the chair and looked at Mr Schein. “Oh, fine I guess” Mr Schein looked at Benjamin with a concerned look. “Listen, Benjamin, I’m going to be frank with you. The last few months your work has been… unsatisfactory. You seem to put no effort into your reports, and your mind seems to be elsewhere. You know I took you on because your uncle recommended you, and you always been a good employee. But lately… I don’t know when it started… well, your work’s been shoddy. “
“Mr Schein, if I could just say”
“Hang on a minute, Benjamin. You may even have noticed a drastic decrease in your workload. The reason for this is because I have been giving some of the work that should have been yours to other employees. It thought perhaps you’d function better if the workload was more manageable. Unfortunately the quality did not improve very much… in fact not at all”
“Mr Schein, please just let me…”
Mr Schein interrupted Benjamin. “Now this is not a family business, that is to say… well, we…that is I, don’t make much allowances for poor work. It simply cannot stand. If an employee has personal issues, fine, but we cannot simply tell that person, ‘Oh well, take some time off and come back when you’re feeling better’. I’m sensing there might be some personal problems related to your shoddiness. Am I right Benjamin?”
“Yes, well, my wife and I have been having some…issues, and, well. I guess I haven’t been as focused as the other…”
“Benjamin, I’m going to have to let you go”
“I’m going to have to let you go, Benjamin”
Benjamin looked at his boss. “What?”
“I’m sorry… I am, but… it just isn’t working out”
“But Bill I’m just in a patch…where I…”
“Now, I’d be happy to write you an recommendation, and of course there will be a severance package, as you know…”
“Isn’t this a bit extreme?”
“Benjamin, your not the first person we’ve laid off this quarter… You know that”
Benjamin stared out through the window behind his boss’s desk, his eyes fixed on a flag waving in the distance. After a few seconds of silence, he stood up.
“You’re free to finish this month, but after that I’d like your to clear your stuff out.“ He sighed silently. “Benjamin, please don’t take this personally. But in this climate we simply cannot make allowances for…”
Benjamin walked towards the door, opening it slowly, and walking out. He could hear his boss still talking to him, but he paid it no mind. As he reached the end of the hallway, he could hear his boss calling out for his secretary. As he walked towards the exit, his minds seemed completely blank. His legs seemingly moving of their own accord. As he reached the parking lot, a wave of sadness came over him. He fell to the asphalt ground end began to cry.
In an interview published in the book Art Now: Interviews with Modern Artists (2002), Creed explains that he used to ‘make paintings’ but never liked having to decide what to paint. He decided to stop making paintings and instead to think about what it meant, and why he wanted to make things. He says:
“The only thing I feel like I know is that I want to make things. Other than that, I feel like I don’t know. So the problem is in trying to make something without knowing what I want. [...] I think it’s all to do with wanting to communicate. I mean, I think I want to make things because I want to communicate with people, because I want to be loved, because I want to express myself.”
Creed says that he makes art works not as part of an academic exploration of ‘conceptual’ art, but rather from a wish to connect with people, ‘wanting to communicate and wanting to say hello’. The work is therefore primarily emotional:
“To me it’s emotional. Aye. To me that’s the starting point. I mean, I do it because I want to make something. I think that’s a desire, you know, or a need. I think that I recognise that I want to make something, and so I try to make something. But then you get to thinking about it and that’s where the problems start because you can’t help thinking about it, wondering whether it’s good or bad. But to me it’s emotional more than anything else.”
Creed’s work is often a small intervention in the world, making use of existing materials or situations rather than bringing new material into the world. Creed feels that there is enough ‘stuff’ in the world already and he is not sure he should be adding to it
JS: How would you describe your visual art work?
MC: I don’t know really. The visual work, like the musical work, is just the result of trying to do things. Although there may be differences, in essence they are the same. I find it difficult to describe my visual work because I don’t really know what it looks like. I just know that I want to do things. When I work, I try to always start from the beginning. I mean I try to start afresh every time, as if I had never made anything before.
Anamnesis (Ancient Greek: ἀνάμνησις = “recollection, reminiscence” (literally “loss of forgetfulness”) is a term used in medicine, philosophy, psychoanalysis and religion.
Den Amerikanske Beatpoeten Allen Ginsberg snakker om ”intense fragmenst of ordinary speech”, når han dissekterer hans egen stil, mine arbeider kan sees på som intense fragmenter eller intense øvelser i hverdagslighet.
Først: Mine manifestasjon er mer fysiske enn intellektuelle. Det vil si de spiller mer på øyet enn dets relasjon til det emosjonelle, kontra det intellektuelle (“den beviste bevissthet”).
Gjennom assemblage og endringer, inngrep i det fysiske materie, forandrer det ordinære til forsøk på en befrielse fra “hva e.
“Hva er” omformuleres til “hva kan være
Hvor funksjon sidesettes og det sublime tar dets sted.
Møbler og redskaper, på mange måter byggeklosser og faste former, innenfor visse rammer, spilles med som noter, ord i lyrikk, som flater, lerret. Siden begynnelsen av ready-mades har objekter blitt dekonstruert, omformet i et forsøk på å bevise et poeng. Objektenes funksjon blir flyttet til å utføre kunstnerens ønske.
I min produksjon knytter jeg meg til det avantgarde og abstrakte. Hva som blir sagt, per se, sidesettes til fordel for det spontane og sporadiske.
Verkene eksisterer referanser eller allegorier, men som vesener -i-seg-selv (jeg bruker ordet vesener i den forstand at de er levende enheter som bør forstås på deres egne premisser, i stedet for en funksjon som kommunikeer.)
I dette kan verkene sees på som visuelle eller narrative vesener.
Overtaket av det rent teoretiske og kliniske etterlater kunsten som en scene for esoterisk debatt og kunstverkene forblir ikke-levedyktige. Dets støttekontakt er tolkningen, teksten, kuratoren; mens verkene plasseres, nesten umerkelig, i galleriet, hvor kunstneren knapt settes sine føtter, da kafeene, foredragssalene mer lokker kunstneren og kuratoren.
Kunsten har ikke beveget seg ut av kunstrommet, men kunstneren har. Vi kan se for oss en ensom stakkars billettselge sittende i et nesten tomt museum, med nedstøvete kunstverker. Verk produsert av fabrikker og pålagt en allerede. eksisterende filosofi eller fakta.
WHEN I MAKE MY ART, IT’S MINE, BABY, I’M THE HERO OF MY SHIT. YOU MAKE YOUR’S AND I’LL MAKE MINE. I’M TAKING BACK THE ART TO THE ARTIST, NOT THE FUCKING CURATORS, NOT THE THE FUCKING “DISCUSSION”, TO ME. MY ART IS ME, AND I’M THE FUCKING ARTIST!
Temporary Collective, 2009
Om diskusjonen av kunst:
Diskusjonen av kunst er absolutt en essensiell del av kunsten. Men når kunstneren og kuratoren påkrever en DOGMATISK OG TILFELDIG TOLKNING, er det ikke lengre en debatt, men en kunstner diktatur.
Karl Marx beskriver den kommunistisk revolsujon som et loktomotiv som beveger seg gjennom landskapet på skinner. Og i en samtale med Mikeal Bolt, forklarer Das Beckwerk detter lokomotivet som førerløst i dagen samfunn. Da Stalin tok over partiet i 1938, og forkastet Lenins og Trotksjis ideer om den globale revolusjon, til ære for sin egen nartionalstat. Slik satt Stalin alene i førervognen. Men ved fallet av USSR visste ingen lenger hvem som førte toget fremover. Og sliket har det vestlige samfunnet fortsatt, med en tomt førervogn. En utsoppelig kraft, konstant bevegnde framover
Hva er egentlig poenget mitt her? Nemlig at teoretikerne tok over kunsttoget, la oss si en eller annen gang på midten av 1900-tallet, og satte akseleratoren på full kraft, for så å forlate førervognen og sette seg sammen med de andre passasjerene.
Hvem kontrollere kunstens fremgang. Ihvertfall ikke kunstnerene, som kun kan anklage kuratorene, og vica versa.
Gleden over det surrealistiske, det absurde, det uforståelige, har blitt forlatt flere stasjoner, og det virker som toget er umulig å snu
Dette møtet med hva vi IKKE forstår, i forhold til en manifestasjoner av overdiskuterte ur-teorier og sosiale paradokser er lengst blitt satt på hyllen; Hva Mike Nelson beskriver som:
”The impossibility of believing in anything, but wanting to believe in something”
En perfekt beskrivelse på kunsten enigma.