Thursday, September 17, 2009

Readings 2 & 3 - Sourcing Inspiration

The article on external sourcing presented a number of artists and how they use external sources to generate their work. Some artists react to any number of things in their surroundings as I'm sure many of us do as well. Others hone in on a particular issue or subject matter that is very personally important to them. William Kentridge's work was particularly interesting to me both conceptually a visually. His art spans multiple mediums from theatre and puppetry, to film and drawing. But his subject matter primarily relates to events that he has personally experienced and has been very affected by...

So, is Kentridge's "external" inspiration truly external? Or does much of his work stem from his internalizing of these political and social events? He obviously has a deep reaction to the political events that are and have occured in South Africa, and his work is dark and tormented. I'm willing to argue that truly external sourcing of one's inspiration alone leads to superficial artwork. If art is going to make me think (which, after all, is the point of most modern art), it has to hit home. It has to be internalized, digested.

Further, without an internal component present in Kentridge's work, what would happen when his primary external source ceases to exist? Does he cease to make art? Or does the same internal drive that sparked his reactions to South African events move on to something else? Currently much of Kentridge's art investigates a similar situation that had occured in Russia.

I think these last two articles raised as many questions for me as they answered. And more importantly I think that they failed in their attempt to separate internal and external sources of inspiration.

Check out William Kentridge's video discussed at length in the article, "History of The Main Complaint". What an awesome way to make an animation - by reworking the same charcoal drawings, leaving traces from previous frames behind.

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