Thursday, May 18, 2006

Generosity

Every now and again my head wanders back to the idea of generosity and what that means on a small scale, in my artwork, and more broadly, in the everyday. A self-less act (w/out ego), as a way of expressing beauty (per comments in last post). Lately, I've been drawn more and more to the idea of public art with a small 'p', no pronouncements, posturing or publicity. Thinking about works that quietly intervene in the landscape to be seen, not seen, destroyed or preserved by the random passerby. Looking for an ephemeral experience that allows nature to take its course.

Last night, I had a tiny rhinestone epiphany from a seemingly casual conversation with a studiomate about art outside the gallery and public service. It was interesting catching myself jumping automatically to words like 'the underprivileged' and 'non-profit' when doing charity or volunteering came up. (eeks. how totally embarassing and arrogant of me).

Sure, I read Lewis Hyde's The Gift, a good Krishnamurti book here and there, and a bunch of 'important' books (you know the kind...the ones that look good on bookshelves for the houseguests. HA), but how much of that turns into actual walk and not talk? I was reminded just yesterday of the correct attitude (spirit) of generosity vs. do-gooderism. In his usual, soft-spoken way, Chris said that he didn't volunteer at a place, but that he volunteered in his own way by fasting one day a week. At first glance that doesn't seem particularly charitable,...but as he said, it's one day that he can stop being a consumer (of food and consumerism). A sense of discipline comes to mind. So does quiet action. The value of small things. It really hit me that generosity as a form of volunteering doesn't happen at places, but in life, not once or twice a week at a designated time and place, but potentially everyday in all sorts of unexpected ways.

1 Comments:

Blogger Art Powerlines said...

i linked to you!
Your post inspired my latest post...

12:45 PM  

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