Blog Every Day: 1 of 365Posted: January 2, 2016
A couple weeks ago I went to see the Picasso sculpture exhibit at the MoMA–it was a friend’s birthday, and a few of us gathered to see the art and have birthday lunch in the cafe. (It was lovely; we sang and the whole restaurant joined, Amy was embarrassed a bit, but we love her and she felt it and that’s what mattered.) I ate the carpaccio salad, which was great. That kitchen is fast, too.
All through the galleries I kept thinking the things I think about when I visit museums: “Why did this person get to be so famous?” and “Who decided that this person should be the decider of this particular movement?” I wonder about the narratives that bring one thing to another–and how history adapts its thinking and remembering. I am not usually that engaged in the art. My bad.
While a lot of the sculpture I thought wasn’t that interesting, the most impressive thing to me about Picasso’s career is the breadth, variety and sheer number of works that he made. Make a piece of art every day, why not? Make things in every style, and steal/borrow/add to other people’s ideas–think of it as dialogue with culture. Of course, I think about what kind of life you have to live in order to make a work of art every day — say, how you might have to be a jerk to most people, like your family and your children, maybe?
Writing gets me down lately. I have always hated it — not the end product, that’s the only part I like, but the actual making of the writing — I have hated it more and more over the years. Sometimes I say things to myself like “I am a conceptual artist using text as a form, not really a writer.” And other such hideous bullshit. Can you see, smell or sense the fear there? It’s there. I feel it, all the time.
So, at the museum I thought: I’m going to blog every day in 2016. Partly because I like anachronistic, meaningless and arguably “bad for my career” forms like blogs and zines. But other partly because Facebook has stolen away so much of the way the Internet used to work — it has contributed a lot of good things, but it has also destroyed a lot of things. And third partly because when I used to blog regularly, rather when it was the sole place to find my “work,” back in the wild old days of 2005-2007 or something like that — I came from a fearless place, or so I think when I look back on it. I never thought anyone would read it. Maybe they didn’t, even as I think about how they did. Or might have. And maybe that uncertainty is what made it all okay. Read: what I wrote about wasn’t always great, but during those years I wrote a novel. And something never comes from nothing.