Archive for September 2013

What I’ve noticed – have you?

September 13, 2013
Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

Faulty Mechanics Led to Contextual Misery

What I’ve noticed is that there are several different adddresses to this blog – some to art lovers, some to mental health freaks, some to Janie Greville e

nthusiasts, some to poetry.

It’s hardly a focussed audience.

Needs some thinking through.

Any ideas?

😉

Janie

Art for ***’s Sake….

September 9, 2013
eclectic absorptions

eclectic absorptions

A year or so ago it finally struck me. I had a completely wasted youth.
While other people played pool, football, cricket, tennis, ‘the field’, and other vital social skill arenas of skill acquisition, I hid away in libraries, my room and coffee bars where I ate rolls, drank coffee and watched other people ‘being young’.
Don’t get me wrong: I wasn’t being ‘good’ or ‘conscientious’:- I was being terrified of boys, ascerbically critical of fellow ‘girls’, and also, let’s be honest, I was being repulsively ‘intense’ and ‘earnest’ re garding my desire to get to grips with what the hell got Watford Art School into such a divisive culture that you could have cut the atmosphere between Charles Harrison (and his mate Mike Murphy – irish- liverpudlian painter, just in case you didn’t know) and Peter Shmidt , lecherous lecturer cum painter (and Michael Werner – self consciously German Jew – lovable but hopelessly outdated ageing man – probably demised by now – he was about 60 back in 1975).
My loyalties back in 1975 were easily identified. I got more praise from Charles than I did from Peter and Michael. I barely understood a word Charles said – but I yearned to, whilst Peter and Michael were incomprehensible by virtue of their gaga mysticism. Not lady Gaga – just gaga.
[Not in their public profile – Peter got Bryan Eno along to Watford Art School on more than one occasion in those 70’s days (I took Eno to be a pseudy-nerd at the time, though I’ve yet to return and check that out) (I’ve a sense that Michael Nyman showed up too, there…. but that could have been Nottingham).]
Don’t get me wrong: I love a mystery – I’m addicted to murder mysteries, have watched ‘through the key hole’ and spend hours, days, weeks – day dreaming in thought about unanswerable questions…
But I saw no mileage in surfing this life with some hazy profile and presence of mystique – especially where that mystique was appliled with an actively lecherous and arguably paedophilic appetite.
Charles made himself a real pain in the neck: but he did it with integrity (though he and his side kick had a marked soft spot for a Scottish 21 year old ‘wild kitten’ – but that was less lechery and more masculinity- she had that mixture of erotica with vulnerability that would sing to any ‘real man’s’ heart lol).
I, on the other hand was comfortably pre-adolescant. I was 18 by d.o.b. but they had probably encountered 12 year olds at a greater maturity of social and sexual identity and confidence.
Oh – and appearance. I was adult looking – my hips had spread for example, marking me out as a woman.. but it was the only symptom of my gender I think. I was flat chested, tiny waisted, short haired, scrubbed not painted face, and scruffy not scrubbed, nails lol.

Staying under water - timid of the world

Staying under water – timid of the world

I think a little of me felt jealous that others were so lovely to men and I was so invisible. It’s what I sought because anything else would have petrified me – but – I yearned to be a woman in my inner most heart of hearts. Whilst being petrified: PETRIFIED- of ‘growing up’.
Yeah, well…..
Where were we… This is why I began this essay – THIS IS WHY I BEGAN THIS ESSAY:- I wanted to tell you of my response to critiques of Clement Greenberg and of Charles Harrison.
Please notice my move there. You will see it again.

Clement Greenberg

Clement Greenberg

That’s right. I have given Charles a status of equality and comparability with Clement.
Oh dearie me = what a liberty I take – I never met Greenberg and now he’s dead. Charles wrote me a cross letter after I’d sent him a ‘moralising lecture’ about his private life decisions and never talked to me again… and here I am using their Christian names as if they’d been mates of mine.

Lol – the joy of funerals 😉

[not that it was re Charles – I was tipped over for months, cried a lot and wondered how it could have been that he went off and ‘left the room’ of this life before he and I could have had a peace making conversation… I guess that I just wasn’t important enough to him – to be fair, he didn’t figure in my thoughts much after the 1980’s] [‘til now]

Back to the ‘reason to write’ then:-

Clement Greenberg was not as far from Kandinsky’s idealism as people think. The formalism of his articulating framework was merely a method of drawing attention to the MEANS BY WHICH ARTISTS COMMUNICATE THEIR INSPIRATION. He was a better ‘realist’ than Courbet in this sense.
Greenberg was ‘handicapped’ by the imperative duty of all Americans’ during the 40’s and 50’s – to champion American Cultural production and to raise America to the foreground of International society and culture. He was, of course, doubly handicapped: there will have been his own internalised identity and then the determination of others around him to use whatever came to hand to champion and celebrate ‘American Supremacy’ across the world following the Second World War.
He could neither win nor lose. He became a pawn in the hands of official American Culture. I can’t believe this had been his wish or thought. As it happens he closely allied his own personal identity with that of the ‘official American story’ = thus it created no unbearable caveats of interest and commitment.

Let us retrieve the learnings of ‘formalism’ before we move on to ‘conceptual art’.
With formalism we learn two things:
1. A painting always resembles another painting more than it resembles anything that is not a painting.
2. The outward appearance of a thing bears an integral relationship with it’s authorship and thus with the energy and intention which brought it into being.
3. Now let’s get onto ‘conceptual art.’ You could say that conceptual art was the point at which artists in the West endeavoured to assign the greater status to the energy and status which brings into being anything s/he does.
The product/s of this process are of less value and less interest than the concept that informs the productive process….. goes the theory (does it? Just a hypothesis. If this is the case then ‘conceptual art can be seen as a ‘reaction against formalism’.. …Where formalism has in any case been misunderstood……?

Charles Harrison

Charles Harrison

Moving onto conceptual art in more detail : I’m too tired to do that now (3.51am 7th Sept 2013)

It occurs to me that truly ‘contemporary art’ and an art of ‘realism’ and of ‘aesthetic accomplishment’ will take steps away from every ‘ism’ around… It will also step back from Tracey Emin and the diamond head- dead shark in a glass case arena…’Shocking Art’ has become passé. .. Saatchi and Saatchi, sadly can’t recognise art as anything other than this… because they wouldn’t know a good work of art if it hit them with a hammer on their funny bone…
I suspect….
There are so many questions to be asked. .. So many answers to be questioned… so many assumptions to examine…. so many ‘realities’ to compare…
And so much fun ahead …….;-)

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome! (‘taking tips from walter benjamin’)

September 5, 2013
ZanyJaney 2010; Cannon Hill Pk; Road2Recovery Show

ZanyJaney 2010; Cannon Hill Pk; Road2Recovery Show

…deary me, am I being possessed by David Frost? Please, no, his jacket’s wouldn’t fit me… my shoulders are straight, straight like my mother’s, they look wide and also strong… no there I’m wrong – she looks strong, I’m fragile to gaze at…  lucky me, full of vulnerability – I couldn’t be more pleased… tragedy lies in the line of solid strength, storms will break the impermeable oak; while the willow bends its face beneath the water then,….. sways up again as healthy as before…

What happens when I let my mind wander… (‘loosening of association’)

so – not Seamus Heaney either….
Who else has died this week?
Who’s been born?
Who’s lurking in the shadows,
Scared to be seen?
Who’s losing hope and tiptoe-ing out of the room?
Who’s timidly hiding and slightly showing,
And wishing, someone would lift her to the light?

Who’s visibly playing, playfully dancing,
in this completely heavenly life?
:- Even if moaning at times and crying,
Even if coping badly,
Even if attracting disgrace?
Come out to the playground,

Stop watching the others
Stop thinking that someone wants to hurt you,
Stop counting yourself out of the human race,
By definition you have a full place –
Relax now, get out to enjoy it…
…it’s merely a game away.

Copyright Janie Greville, 11.15pm Sept.5th,2013, All rights reserved.

ooh dear, whoopsy a daisy – just a bit of a loop there, quite forgot what I was supposed to be doing.. remembered tea, got that in the oven, am noticing the strange disconnect between just talking and then suddenly posing as a ‘serious poet’ and a ‘successful one’ (with some conviction) …. deary deary me….

I must put a little hand on that watch…..

I have so very very much to tell you I don’t know where to start….
Let’s call this the introduction, to a book called ‘And the Spark Finally Glides Back into View’ – or some equally enticing title that is both quirky and interesting and – true to the soul of its contents.

I wrote a poem back in the nineties – around 1994 I’d say, thou I’m not sure, which began ‘There’s something in the air’ … I wonder what was going on unbeknownst to me in my district then? I wonder who moved into the atmosphere?

I still don’t know the answer to this question/these questions. It might matter, it might not.

Ms Fox creeps out of her hole... is it safe?

Ms Fox creeps out of her hole… is it safe?

What I do know is that this piece, amongst others written in the 1990’s was the flowering of all my hopes in the form of words. This poem was almost certainly much more significant in the light of subsequent events and processes in my life than it could possibly have appeared back then….

I shall be offering ‘the world’ an analysis of the young artist ‘amelia greville’ (yes – very much a relation) in due course. Her work during the last year has been quite mind blowing for me personally as I’m sitting here, it’s been a labour of sporadic obsession for her, and part of a healing journey to boot – miraculously I am looking at something – it is most telling, most extraordinary, most common, seldom noticed: my children brought me up, stayed near while I suffered and have now moved off into their own lives in such a manner that their going-whilst-staying-near has worked upon me as an aesthetic triumph of healing for me too.

When Jesus said ‘suffer little children to come unto me’ I don’t think people have quite understood what he meant:
he was calling ‘send your little children to me, I am vulnerable, I need their loving hearts, I can’t cope with your abrasive strengths’.

Just a thought.

If so I’m with Jesus all the way – he and I are twins at root, just as are all we who cannot cope with the abrasiveness of adult insensitivity.

Of course – don’t think I’m meaning you if all your sensitivity enables is YOU feeling hurt about YOU. If your boundaries are that strong and tight you’re just the one whose being cuts my spirit down a little – I know you don’t want to, I know you don’t mean any harm – it’s not your fault, you’re just not yet able to see me as just another you. You see – I crave ‘connectedness’ – I don’t want to become you, I don’t want to ‘merge’ with you and I don’t want to ‘take you over’. I just like to feel connected.

Just thought I’d mention..

that I’m just too tired to carry on…. I need to go…

I hope you enjoyed that ‘introduction’. I think it is an exemplary model of ‘realism’ in writing. It is other things, – be patient: I’ve only just begun…

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