I am disgusted by cathartic art. Which is a moronic statement since I have a love of Tracey Emin’s work as well as Louise Bourgeois and my own work has been extremely autobiographical. No one wants to hear an artists thoughts on themselves and their ‘hard’ lives. Work created out of dreams; like drunken photographs, if I am not in them, I don’t want to see them.
The individual can be very aware of themselves. Egotistical, self involved, naval gazers. We exist within our own heads, this is apparent. The role of the artist is to find the relevance of the thoughts in their own head to the thoughts of others out with of their sphere. Communication is the key.
Communication is the mode which brings a piece of artist work from merely constructed image to art. If others can find relevance in your work then you have succeeded. The scrawling of a mad man can be seen as an evocative image but unless you can apply that to your own thoughts, what is the point?
Personally, I deal with catharsis differently. I have a strange compulsion to tell others my deep, dark secrets that I would actually prefer not to tell. I often get disgusted looks and more often than not have people say ‘Why are you telling me this?’
The reason is to avoid catharsis. Compulsively, I tell, even remote strangers, the most horrific things in my life. My life laid bare for judgement, without fear. For after you give everyone your cards, what is there left to deal with. I am out of the game. This allows me the greatest freedom and I remain powerful for it.
Artists who use catharsis in their artwork are perhaps not as brave as me. They transmute their work into a coded and subjectively interpreted form. Not laid bare, just palatable. Here is where I lose respect. If you want people to know your secrets, to let them out, just say it aloud.
Misunderstanding is a part of life. The subjectivity of human perception means none of us will ever be understood. However, the clearer you make yourself the easier it is to be understood. The artists who wish to be understood through their art have a very hard job ahead of them. Never present yourself in coded form, unless you wish to remain a mystery forever.
So I will remain an open banquet, eat me, shit me out, smear me on walls. I don’t care because I made that choice. I will tell you all my secrets and you can understand or misinterpret. The blame is then left on you, not me, for the judgements.