How many times do we watch our phones, at Facebook, on Instagram and we really DO NOT SEE what’s on there? We scroll, flick through but we don’t see. We look, but we don’t take in, we don’t stop to read. We glance, at times we click LIKE just to please others, but we don’t deeply engage with what is really there, for us. It’s like when people tell me that they bought my book. I am happy about it. Then I ask: “so, what do you think about it?” – “Oh, I haven’t read it.”
What is the point?
I am not interested in you buying my book. I am interested in you reading my book.
I am not interested in you coming to the opening of my exhibition. I want you to engage with the concept, with the pieces, with its story. I don’t want a blind presence.
Please, I’d rather you stayed at home
and do whatever you do best.
Hence, some other pieces I made for this brief revolve around this concept of blindly looking at things without engaging with them at a deeper personal level. I was thinking about this fake safe concept of self-help provided by quotes, shared randomly on social media, at times extrapolated from their original context, and mostly not fully read. People read the first words, the very first line and then share them and keep on scrolling with no engagement nor self-critique. Sometimes, clients come to me and speak to me “in quotes”, and I find this very sad. What do these words mean to you? Have you translated them into your own personal self-language? Or are you giving them to me because you have no words nor emotions of your own? Or are you trying to impress me? Because I am not. Impressed, I mean. I feel instead discouraged. Not to mention when the quotes are fake and are credited to people who never said those words!
We do seem to need to engage with something, anything, at all times, instead of learning to simply be. Just stay. Find your own words, go inside, dive in. Look within. Be you and unique.
In this part of the project I was trying to deface and deconstruct all these quotes that people just keep on sharing: very corny, over-sentimental and not real because there is no first-hand experience. What would be interesting to see is, if once published online, they would still be shared.
I think that some people wouldn’t get the irony. I am well aware of a contradiction in terms here: if I am making art that is sarcastic and ironic and understood by people who are literate in which I am allegedly mocking the illiterate, the illiterate will never change because they don’t get it. And to answer one of my questions re. ethics, neither will be offended, because the former will understand it and the latter won’t get it: they are probably never going to see my art, they are not going to read any critical article, they are not going to visit an exhibition of my pieces because they are not interested in art. Not that they don’t have the ability to understand, nor the innate potentiality to recognise the hidden message on futility and hypocrisy – I want to be very clear here – but they won’t.
Here is a sample of those hideous and empty quotes you can find online, followed by some fake quotes I have created.