1/27/2017

The Labour of Art: What Drives?


"I cringe at the idea of the hardworking artists. Firstly, I'm not at all diligent, I just have nothing else better to do. The sound of art being hard work just isn't attractive at all.

The idea of being diligent and overcompensating on the effort spent on making art, feels to me a desire to expect something in exchange from art labour. It could be an exchange for the feeling of physical and mental tiredness just to get a sense of a day completely utilized. I do not feel a need of deriving usefulness and value from art. It marks my life, turns it into a story, but that's about all I need from art."

Chun Kai Qun

When making art do you believe in rigour or hard work? 
What drives and motivates a practice?  

In making art, I believe in rigour and hard work. I am aware that this belief might emanate from the conditioning of capitalism and its prevalent hunger for productivity and ceaseless growth; a transactional mode of exchange where an anticipated outcome, profit or product is desired from the labour of art. Admittedly, anxiety often precedes over me, prompting a sense of uneasiness in 'wasting' the day away or a appetite to feel that the day has been shrewdly made use of. I want to resist all of that, but I also believe that while capitalism has defined and consumed much of the discussion around productivity, we not should bastardise the term. Creativity is a productive force, not measured in economic output, but on terms of artistic integrity.

As much as I would like to resist the velocity of capitalism or being absorbed into its rhythm in order to come into one's own pulsation, I also don't want to adopt a position of 'own-time-own-target'. I feel a strong sense of human capacity for proliferation and propagation that is derived from the struggle and challenges in working against one's comfort zone and this may or may not coincide with the deadlines, precariousness or anxiety of contemporary life. This is not a position of flowing with capital nor simply being reactionary against it, but being in constant negotiation with the conditions one is present in. I believe in some sort of oblique usefulness and value in art, something non-quantitative, a sense that art is a process that can take you to some form of higher order and in that search I require myself to have rigour, to work hard.

The question of drive is pertinent. What motivates an art practice? What drives a person to aspire towards certain ideas, where do ambition stem from? 

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