The headlines tell us we are living through a historic time, but this seems a promise—a consolation prize of sorts—as from moment to moment I feel lost in time. It is as if time has ceased to move forward at all. The historical event promised to us comes from imagining ourselves on the other side of the event, an event that from the inside feels interminable, and such imagining is a difficult activity to sustain. What I hear instead are tales of lack of focus, feelings of being unsettled and difficulty sustaining attention.
We are living in a moment of rupture, a moment that distracts us from our regular activities and hollows them out – and in turn we attempt to distract our attention away from this distraction.
And to speak of my distraction I am sitting hunched over in a corner of a dark room whispering into my zoom recorder. (I can’t manage to whisper for long with the lights on.) There is so little traffic at night, or any sound really, so one can whisper and be heard. Whispering has so much more of the tactile, is it a bit percussive, and has something of the material that I am missing.
‘Re-entry’ is what I call any return to painting after a long pause, I always think of re-entering the atmosphere after a mission to the moon: the flames and the heat, how it threatens to burn everything up, how the astronauts sweat – but this return is like no other I have experienced thus far.
In June I watch gov. Cuomo make a show of signing a new bill into law, he pens his signature and then continues the line to draw one, two, three, four large circles around his name. To make a mark is to make a commitment. To make even this simple representation is to represent precisely for or against something, it is to make a choice. So I am even more aware of the weight of ‘picturing’. This short video charts a return to the studio and my re-engagement with painting.