Sunday, March 19, 2006

Identities


Went to the Amos Anderson Art Museum to see an exhibition of the work of Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), a Czech artist of the art nouveau style. Posters of the actress Sarah Bernhardt (e.g. La Dame aux Camélias aka Camille (suom. Kamelianainen)), who was also a dancer, writer and a visual artist among many other things, made Mucha world-famous overnight. This picture is one of Mucha's lithographs, called Lorenzaccio. I especially liked the various series he had created of seasons, times of day, precious stones, arts, flowers; depicting them all through elegant female forms.

Been thinking about identities lately. It occurred to me that often by the time one has one's own current identity figured out, and starts projecting it outwards (by looks & appearance, opinions, interests, etc.), it is already outdated. At least for me inner processing takes an exhaustive long time and mostly I'm not highly aware that such processes are undergoing, or I can't point out exactly what is at the core of these processes. The conclusions the subconsciousness has come to then pop into the conciousness rather unexpectedly. Possibly people with more solid and constant identities only rarely come accross with this outdatedness matter, but I wouldn't have it otherwise either. There really is great thrill in questioning of identities and roles. I view that as a constructive, mature attitude towards living; you're not forever caged to express yourself via one identity only.

3 Comments:

At 20 March, 2006 12:17, Anonymous Korpinsilmä said...

I've been pondering quite much on art, and its relation to the artist. At least for me, the art I create is usually (maybe always) inspired by a current view to the processes I'm undergoing at that time. The view may be quite obscure (even to myself), and sometimes only vaguely hints at the direction where things are going. Sometimes this view is only a small detail by which the totality cannot be deduced via any means and sometimes it is a large scenery with many details hidden from sight.

The same goes the other way around:
Sometimes a piece of art speaks to us very strongly, but in obscure tones that we only know by the harmonic resonances they cause in us.

Sometimes, of course, we just know why we like some artwork, but generally I think that art's greatest potential is in it's power to tap us directly to the source of mystery. Something beautiful (whether dark or light) that reminds us of the wonders still ahead of us.

 
At 20 March, 2006 14:27, Anonymous Petri said...

"never had a fixed identity,
just all those funny shades"

- line from one of my teen poems

I always felt like you about my expressed identity being "outdated". No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't "quite" get it. Often I was spot on and close, but in a matter of days something escaped.

Then I guess I realized identity is not that important for me. Is it really possible to "identify" oneself?

I think it's all about whether each day I exist or draw from a current a little beyond me. The self is, after all, a collection of has beens. I draw from something that is, indeed, found by following one's idiosyncratic desires (revealed by exploration of the self and its boundaries), but that goes beyond them.

I don't really think I can know (define) what it is that is beyond me, but it's the only road I can travel and not feel outdated.

And still I feel outdated at times, but then I focus on living from what I call my transsubjective, and from there new direction emerges.

self is post, life is pre, or something. ;)

 
At 20 March, 2006 22:33, Blogger queerrel said...

It's great when another artist (writer, painter, director, whatever) has managed to give an external form to an idea that accurately corresponds with an internal idea I myself have had, but haven't been able to properly communicate even to myself.

I suppose the reason as to why personal underlying processes are revealed in one's artwork is that the mind is then given more freedom and less rules to abide by, especially when the art is created first and foremost to oneself. Then again, crystallization of ideas often happens when these ideas need to be communicated in an understandable format to others.

Not stressing too much about feelings of outdatedness, but rather to dig inspiration somewhere whenever that occurs, seems to work. Identity is so passé ;-)

 

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