Tag Archives: meaningful art

592. Looking for Meaning in Creation

 

Or how I imposed this ‘holier than thou’ experience to art creation and how I decide to stand in relation to it as a point of self-expansion.

Continuing from the points I opened up yesterday and going straight into the point of ‘looking for meaning’. This also opened up through watching another film, this one by Carlos Reygadas called Post Tenebras Lux and after I watched it, I was also expecting some kind of life changing outcome or realization – just like I did with Paterson which I described yesterday, and I am usually not just conforming with having a ‘meh’ experience about things as if ‘I truly didn’t get anything out of it’ or as if ‘I can’t really learn anything about myself with it.’ I’ve learned that we can always gather something to learn from anything/anyone in our lives and I’ve been using certain kind of films to do just that.

So I decided to check out interviews with the director to know more about his ‘intent’ or ‘purpose’ with this movie, and it was actually quite refreshing to do so because he basically also assisted me to debunk my expectations and see beyond this ‘search for meaning and purpose’ or ‘giving a message with/through art.’ In this interview here he explains how he’s not a propagandist, he doesn’t have a ‘message to give’ in his films other than using the language that film is – as images and sound – and showing things that he likes, that he finds beautiful, places where he lives in and showing the simplicity of life – and that’s it.

Then I was able to again ‘rewind’ my experience through watching the film and basically seeing myself have that same ‘expectation’ of something suddenly happening that will ‘change the course of events’ – which surely, it does at some point – but most of the film is very slow, moment by moment depiction of life and normal people’s interactions, people that are not even actors and he essentially used his own house and kids to do the film, very simplistic kind of film that turns out as a nice thing to watch altogether. And so through listening to his explanation, I was able to realize more about this ‘urge’ to ‘find a meaning’ to everything, and within that realizing how much I have constantly sought this ‘meaning’ in life and to things to the point where I have ‘missed out’ on life itself as I described in my previous blog because of this desire to find ‘something greater than life’ in things – lol – which is impossible, because life just is, anything ‘greater’ is just a mindfuck, to be honest.

And this is how I came to see that my approach to art and doing art was basically coming from a mindfuck, a desire to create something ‘bigger than myself’ and that would ‘transcend me,’ that would ‘become a message to the world’ of something mystical or incomprehensible through words and… ah! and there I go, again to that one point where I essentially created my own mindfuck which I’ll explain for the sake of context and ‘refreshing’ my story to see how I ‘wired’ myself into this ‘conflict’ essentially, becoming the words that I speak.

After high school I wanted to study visual arts, the university I wanted was in ‘the big city’ and I essentially conformed with my second option at the time because you know ‘how will the youngest of the house leave at a tender age to the big-monster Mexico City?’ and so that’s what I did. I coursed a first year at the Literature and Linguistic faculty here in my home city’s university and to say the least I kept my finger on the same spot of ‘I want to create art, not study books’ – and my second option was of course writing my own stuff, but going to school for that didn’t make sense, and somehow going to school for arts made more sense lol, but that’s another story.

To sum it up, I created my own inner conflict in saying that I had enough of words, that I was sick of words, that I wanted to ‘part ways’ with words – lol – that there’s something ‘more to say’ through images and so yeah here quoting that point of ‘we become what we think’ and I eventually decided to quit literature school and apply to get to the National University to study visual arts in Mexico City – I got in, got the support, went there and walked it through. And while I was there during the first year I made this idea of myself being dissatisfied with ‘just words’ and how I wanted to create something MORE than just words which I then equated to creating pieces of art because that’s how I then ‘wired’ myself to think that it was somehow ‘more important’ or ‘greater than’ myself, lol.

Here the pattern then becomes clear how there had been this drive to do something ‘beyond me’ apparently within a desire of superiority, of magnificence, of grandeur, of big meanings and ‘deep’ stuff that could touch people’s inner-core and ‘change them forevermore’ lolol. Well, as funny as it may sound now to me, that was sort of my intent within studying art and turning it all into this very emotional, chaotic and drama-queen process that I walked in this ‘quest’ to find meaning in life through art, and that’s how I then got very deep into mysticism, religions, philosophy, new age writings, old traditions and anything I could find that would talk about this ‘greater nonsense’ than ourselves mortals on this Earth. To sum it up, I was trying to ‘find god’ in art and that whole ‘quest’ and ‘journey’ to ‘find it’ is what became this seemingly insatiable desire to ‘quench’ my desire to know the ultimate things, to ‘find the greater truth’ and for some reason I linked this to arts and god, but it is what it is.

It’s actually no different to how we go through our lives seeking a meaning, a purpose to our lives, and we don’t realize that they are all just concepts in our heads! Which then makes us inactive, passive ‘waiters’ for ‘life to happen’ instead of realizing we are the ones we have been waiting for and that we have to be the ones that decide to Create our lives and create such day to day purpose no matter how seemingly ‘irrelevant’ it is, we decide HOW we define things, and we decide if we trap and limit ourselves in our own definitions as well, entirely up to us, but all I can say is that we truly have to evolve from this ‘endless seeking and waiting’ for something ‘greater’ to happen to us, We Are It!

The point here is to remind myself of these bits of my story to debunk any current reminiscence of trying to ‘find’ or ‘create’ this ‘something’ bigger than life in arts, or wanting to create something ‘super deep’ and ‘super meaningful’ and that could ‘awaken people up’ through images, because that’s still existent as part of this old drive and ‘thirst’ that I associated with arts and creation as something that would be ‘transcending myself’ in some kind of mystical way… I was definitely on my way to essentially trip myself with my artwork into this godhood path… but fortunately one year into art school I found Desteni, and bam! the rest is history.

So that’s why this year when I decided to take on arts again as a full time activity, this kind of ‘desire to create meaningful stuff’ has come through again, to the point where I have limited myself so much in what I would do because of not wanting to be ‘superficial’ or ‘trivial’ in what I paint, which interestingly enough I have been challenging myself with doing, such as painting the kind of paintings that I had before judged as ‘decorative’ in nature and as such a ‘lower’ form of art, which of course is all again a definition, a judgment that I’ve been brainwashed with and so imposed to things mostly from the ‘education’ one gets in art school where you are apparently a ‘lower’ kind of ‘artisan’ if you paint stuff that people simply likes to have around for how pretty it looks.

Needless to say that these past months of being doing that kind of paintings I have faced my mind-ful and mouthful of judgments right on my face as I’ve shared before, where I have worked on stopping ‘dwelling’ on the image itself, the ‘judgments’ that I’d associate with painting something in particular, to in essence let go of how I had been taught to categorize the kind of painting I was doing and stick to seeing it as what it is, an image that I paint, and that’s it.

Man, it hasn’t been a walk in the park to be honest, and that’s how it’s been also very cool because I know that it’s all in my head! It’s just a bunch of concepts, ideas, theories, labels that I’ve associated with certain kinds of art measured in an apparent ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ scale that god knows who has decided to layout for some people to then identify with ‘lower’ or ‘higher’ forms of art.

And as I take a deep breath, I realize that it’s all knowledge and information that I can decide to simply let go of in the moment when I am painting something and stop comparing the image or ‘what I am painting’ to any piece of information/knowledge that I’ve read or heard before and what I’ve been doing instead is precisely getting to establish a quiet presence while painting, which is stopping the judgments around ‘the final picture’ and ‘how it would be categorized/considered in the art world’ or how ‘others would categorize it’ and instead just focus on doing it the best way that I can.

I’ve also realized how in doing things that are out of my comfort zone, I’ve been able to rather focus on the practicality of making something that turns out well in and of itself, where I am challenged in terms of technique and skills and pushing myself to develop more patience at times with certain kind of images that ‘I would never had accepted to paint’ a decade ago… lol I see that I am right where I can in essence catapult my ego back to where it belongs with this kind of tasks that I currently have when it comes to painting, and so practically walking through this ‘desire to create something meaningful’ as in ‘above of myself’ through art, and instead rather focusing on doing things that I am satisfied with, as a piece in itself – no comparisons, no classifications, no labels, but seeing it as the final product that it is.

And yes, I’m aware that any art purist reading this could have a heart attack, which is something I would have had a decade ago and that I’ve essentially had to practically walk through to be doing what I’m currently doing. I still have to get to the point of being genuinely satisfied within myself in it, where I can genuinely ‘like’ it which has a lot to do with rewiring my perceptions, judgments, preferences attached to art which who knows maybe I won’t ever get to ‘re-wire’ and change to like stuff that I know I can create, but don’t necessarily ‘like.’ And so I can redefine this ‘likeness’ not to as personal preference, but as a set of objective parameters of something being well made, well finished and where I am satisfied that I did my best to accomplish it, where I was detailed enough in it and at the same time continue learning and expanding as I go.

Because that’s another very tricky part about art where I believe that it could be an ‘endless’ thing to do because there’s no finite ‘end’ to something, one can always remake it and add things or re-do things and yep, actually currently walking that with some pieces, but I see it as part of getting my hands on this after a long time and so, I rather appreciate and make the best of the time that I have to practice and test things out that I had not done before. To sum up: I am expanding on what I can do and that’s being out of my comfort zone and yeah it’s challenging, but I’m not fighting it or complaining about it at all – it’s simply a matter of bit by bit expanding my horizons as I say in relation to what I am capable of doing.

I won’t lie, I find it quite difficult to say when something is ‘done’ for example, but that’s where I have to keep practicing and start building some self-trust with my creations, which is quite suitable for this self-process as well.

To finalize, what do I decide to make of ‘meaning’? I’ve been looking at this word and what opens up is ‘me-ning’ I decide what I make of things and so to be aware of when I am trying to make something ‘more’ or ‘less’ than anything in my mind, to elevate it or seek for some kind of ‘higher purpose’ to things which is not the point at all. I precisely have to let go of all of these ‘grandeur’ and ‘depth’ in concepts to something as simple as an image painted on a canvas. It just is, doesn’t ‘need’ or ‘require’ to mean something. I decide what kind of ‘me-ning’ I create for it, what I decide to imprint on it and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the image or content in it, but with ‘who I am’ in the manufacturing of it. In essence, I have to remove this ‘divine aura’ to art which I sincerely don’t even know anymore where the hell I got this idea from… might be art school but seems it was there before already – doesn’t really matter though, point is that I’m aware now of what this ‘holier than thou’ thing is in relation to art.

Within this it has been quite cool to know other artist’s stories and how their approach to doing art was much more simple and ‘normal’ to them, without any pretense other than doing something they could spend their time on while being mostly alone or ‘having nothing to do’ in any given day. Their approach to doing art became a part of ‘what they do for fun’ and as such, there is no baggage with this kind of divine, holistic and godly associations that I imposed onto ‘art creation’ in my life. De-mystifying is a word that is suitable, because when I strip things from this ‘mindfuck’ what is left is the thing in itself, with physical characteristics that are quite obvious and evident and don’t require any ‘extra-head’ to create a meaning for… and that makes sense for me to continue working on, to keep it grounded, keep it physical, keep it simple… because something tells me that’s where I can in fact see ‘the truth’ of myself beyond knowledge and information in the sheer act of painting.

Ok! That’s it… in time I might have some more feedback on this, for now I’m satisfied about seeing all the connections made and where I decide to stand in relation to this ‘meaning’ word in my day to day and when I approach other creations such as films, paintings, etc. Thanks for reading

 

Plastic Chair

 

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