Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hello Rothko, my old friend

On Friday the gallery organized a brunch with a group of journalists and etcetera’s and K&G gave a presentation about their 17 years experience living in HK and working with Asian artists. A tall confident looking man from ‘Art Price’ also spoke about the Asian art market (by this I mean he talked about money and statistics and collecting based on recent auction house results). Of course he spoke in French so it was only a little less comprehensible than if it had it been in English. I should also add that that all of the people presenting are experts in their specific field. But, where I’m heading with this, is that prior to K and ‘Art price guy’ making their presentations they both mentioned to me their concerns about what they were going to say – maybe it would be too long, too boring, not intelligent enough, maybe they’d forget something, what would people think, my notes are so bad I can’t read them etc etc. And I joined the dots back to my first day of installation and the doubts I had, and I remembered something I already knew but which I often forget – when you put your work and by association yourself into the public realm you are at the mercy of forces you can’t control and it’s normal to be anxious about how you will be received and perceived. In a mixed tape that a friend put together for me for the trip, there is a quote by Mark Rothko that I have repeating like a mantra during the art fair.

“ A picture lives by companionship expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer, it dies by the same token. It is therefore a risky act to send it out into the world.”

Its been an intense time standing at the knife edge risk every day. So today, I departed from the maddening crowded of the art fair and went to the Pompidou to seek out some stillness, contemplation and companionship in front of a Rothko painting, and I sang him a little Simon and Garfunkle...

“Hello, Rothko, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted
In my brain still remains
Within the sound of silence

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