Monday, 24 September 2012

In a way of introduction, I would like to begin by saying something about who I am and what my motivations are for creating this blog, which are rather rudimentary in nature.

I am sitting in a room in South Windsor which I have recently come back to after a two-or-so year absence.  I left Windsor not quite understanding how the art world functions.  My Windsor-based BFA education has left me with many introductions and entrances into ways of thinking and working.  I was connected with some of the Windsor art community, because I was always encouraged to do so, but being located on the opposite side of town from most relevant art events, and generally not giving a damn about the city (though I tried, e.g. MayWorks Windsor 2010) - I never felt fully immersed in local arts culture.  Perhaps that can be attributed to not having lived in Windsor for long enough, I was an immigrant at 10 years old and was transported to Windsor at the angst-sensitive age of 15 (into this very room where I now sit).  It may also be attributed to not having received enough feedback outside of the classroom.  I would make art - and people would comment briefly on it (it looks great, interesting stuff!), but I would have no understanding whatsoever about how it actually functions for others, or if they were just being polite.  I feel it is not enough merely to acknowledge the existence of art, it is not enough to attend art events, something must be explicated, exhumed...

I returned to Windsor from Victoria, BC as a "master", but no more established as an artist than when I left.  At least, I have secured a basis of knowledge, thought, and certain ways of working.  I also learned the value of conversation, hearing out what other artists have to say, and I believe that without those weekly MFA studio visits, and weekly seminar discussions, no matter how repetitive or futile they may have felt, my work would not have gone in the direction that it did and I would not have the desire to initiate a blog. 

From what I've heard, this is a standard state to be in after completing an MFA, anywhere. Maybe I am being redundant.  Briefly put - comparing to my UVic studio, the studio in my parents' house kind of sucks, I am in a strange uncertain flux, unable to have studio visits because of my insane dogs, with no desire or qualifications to work at Tim Horton's, and I am looking for something to do.  I figure - if I can't yet feel comfortable returning to a daily studio practice myself, because I can't afford it, I can at least see what others are up to and write about it, even though that will bring me no revenue toward acquiring my own studio.

Let me be frank. I have a tendency to generalize, universalize, reduce anything in front of me to its constituents.  I have a yearning for the reduction of all matter and thought (art included) into primordial sludge.  I try to be reluctant to make up my mind, and eager to change my mind, with the exception of my undeniable desire to pound everything into a uniform, indifferential dust.  For this reason, I feel that many of my interpretations or criticisms of art would end up concluding on the same chord, after a lot of this-but-that banter.  That seems to be my style, at the moment.  I have never been sure whether this is a strength or a weakness in the realm of art criticism and academia.  I feel that my reluctance to settle into hierarchical structures or preferences, and my subsequent inclination to isolate myself, is a field of study in itself, which I am committed to to the point of severing/complicating relations with people who claim to care about me.  Sometimes I may come across as cynical, maybe esoteric, but most of all I try to be honest, based on my own imperfect knowledge.

I hope  I can commit to a once-a-month article.  However, because I am not getting paid to do this, there is a possibility that this little effort of mine to create more dialogue in this city, will lose momentum, in which case I would attempt to find someone who is willing to take over, or co-write.

Sasha Opeiko.

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