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Posts Tagged ‘boredom’

17feb

Just try!  Look at this and try being bored.  Try harder.

Bruce Boyer, oil on canvas, 30” x 40”

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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When talking about art and art making we tend to use charged words.  We like dynamic compositions, vibrant colors, compelling narratives, gripping scenarios…well, here, let me pick up Art in America on my desk and open it at random,  here it is, the current March issue, page 139: “ …what ties together the exhibition’s diverse array of works is a shared sense of fascination and mission.”  We like that, fascination and mission. The rest of the paragraph has us grappling, probing, investigating our assumptions, authority and power, and of course radically transforming our views.  Artspeak always cranks up the vocabulary as if to apologize for the absence of a screeching car chase or a percussive sound track.

Making art is exiting, but not in an extroverted, docudrama sort of way.  The excitement is in the intensity of the concentration and the tension inherent in the work process.  This is not surprising and everybody knows this, more or less.  What will come as a surprise to many is the other phase in the life of the imagination:  boredom.  I don’t mean boredom, as in unwashed insomnia.  I mean voluntary boredom, as in meditation—doing nothing but in a highly structured way.  Einstein, who knew a bit about the life of the imagination, said something like, boredom is essential to creativity.

If you can’t get yourself to sit for a spell and count your breaths, then take public transportation once in a while.  As you wait for the train and wait for the bus, you’ll notice the tightening of ennui around your cranium.  Excellent opportunity!  If you invent your own way to structure this nothing-time, you’ll notice how interesting it really is.

Will this make you brilliant the next time you face your canvas?  Maybe.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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