Sunday, March 5, 2006

Artist's Statement (p. 7)

Artist’s Statement
Curt Bozif

My work finds its origins in my fascination with the transient nature of existence, the residue of the individual’s choices/actions in time, and humanity’s dependence upon ritual. Process-based and labor-intensive, my paintings are physically demanding to make, and involve mundane materials and the representation of simple gestures and tasks such as walking in circles and drawing straight lines in blue ball-point pen. The intensity of the labor process and the commonality of its material parts function as entry points for the viewer that I hope trigger associations with the working class, education, social dogma, and religion. Countless straight lines made in blue with the aid of a ruler can activate connotations to the homogeneous and therefore expendable worker/individual (signified by the ball-point pen) exercised by a higher authority (the tool; the ruler) through an assembly-line process. My approach to transparency of form, material, and fervently avoids symbology and content outside of form, I embrace the sign-event to further enrich the experience of a piece.

Site-specific yet discrete, my sculptural installations explore the dynamic between the passage of time and the individual’s place within it by emphasizing the ephemerality of both the material and the artist’s intervention. In my work, as with that of Joseph Beuy’s, material, tool, process, and formal considerations ideally function at a highly symbolic, yet inviting level. In Circle Sidewalk –drawing from early Christian symbolism—the circle as form represents unity, cyclical time, and the cosmos, to mention but a few of many connotations. The sidewalk is divided into five equal sections, the number five referring to the human individual (the five senses and the four appendages plus the head that controls them). Where the number four symbolizes earthly structure (the four cardinal directions, the four elements, the square, etc.), the sum of one and four symbolizes the individual within the earthly realm. The formal symbology combined with the public and participatory nature of a sidewalk, together create a rich poetry.

Through its seeming incompleteness I attempt to imbue my work with both a sense of cynical anticipation—due to its dogmatic, task-oriented process—and an intense, meditative stillness triggered by its directness. I try to question and undermine the ideas of legacy, effort, and permanence by heightening one’s awareness of the poetic absurdities of daily existence.

1 comment:

RE: said...

This artists statement was so dated even when it was published, it should have read:

At its most basic level my work is concerned with drawing attention to the beauty of human activities/efforts and their effects positioned within/against their own transient nature. More specifically, the content of my work gestures toward a preoccupation with the subject’s psychological economy and movement within ideology (religious, political, and socio-economic), i.e. the dialectic struggle that is the subject’s simultaneous resistance to and reliance upon the social Other. In my work these concepts find signifiers in an economy where mundane material objects (such as brick, carpet, and ball-point pen), the tools of execution (such as hammers, compasses, and rulers), processes (such as the lifting of fingerprints from random objects), and formal elements (color, shape) in conjunction with one another, give themselves, that is, their literal material properties, over to the meanings they are provided by the very nature of their functioning within the practice of everyday life. In this sense, the drawing of countless straight parallel lines in blue ball-point pen, significantly with the aid of a ruler, may activate connotations to the reified, homogeneous, and expendable worker/individual (the mass produced ball-point pen) exercised by a higher authority (the ruler) through an assembly-line process (the systematic stacking of repeated marks). In addition to the logic of its symbolic order, my work is overtly process based and labor intensive, involving the repetition of simple gestures and tasks such as standing still and walking in circles on carpet, boring through chalkboard with sandpaper, and crushing brick by hand. The intensity of the labor process and the familiarity of its material parts should function (ideally) as an entry point to the work, heightening both the viewer’s sense of the time and efforts required for the realization of any certain goal, i.e. the human endeavors that give definition to the world that surrounds them. Obsessive in its execution and succinctly closed logic, my work is imbued with an absurd and at times pathetic (though undeniable) seriousness that may seem trivial next to the want that is the product of such efforts. Through my work, I attempt to fathom the nature of a humanity that is assailed on both sides in the struggle between order and chaos, orthodoxy and innovation, the eternal and the ephemeral. Lastly, if at all possible, through these activities I aspire to heighten one’s sensitivity to the (un)redeemable, to those most authentic of moments that seem forever lost to each of us in the constant movement of days.

Though, now even this one is old, I must set to work on yet another "new" artist statement.

C. B.