the current current

Posted by Dane Carder on April 10, 2012

a week and a half ago, i had an opportunity to travel to the 150th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh. i have only been to one reenactment in my life, and this one was expected to be ten times the size of that one. this is serious stuff within this particular subculture. i am learning more about their commitment as i sink deeper into this Work. this event added to the level of mystique that veils my understanding of exactly what this war meant for our country (and, possibly especially, for the south.) i am not sure that i will allow myself, and not positive that i can stop myself, but i am drawn to investigate this phenomenon more intensely. when i began this Work, i was emphatic about steering clear of the wordy history of this war, but it seeps up through the Work, and it mixes with the emotions in the studio. it is possible that the paintings would evolve into more if i back them with my knowledge of the history. then again, the Work could get muddy while losing focus on the original intention. i have been doing this Work for six years, and i know that it will evolve, and it will shift based on my reading of the cues and the following through. there are a number of other factors that play into these decisions, and i would often like to subtract some of these factors. the “market” for this Work, and for art in general has been put through the ringer over the course of the last five years, and few know what the state of the art world is right now. there is dialogue about how to navigate the currents that flow below us, but no real world map to find the way. as we ride these rapids, we try to do our best work, or we throw caution to the wind, and we turn our studio practice into the science lab of experimentation. in the vein of experimentation, the reenactment gave me over one thousand photos to work with in one way or another. over the next month or so, i will be looking at them and trying to consider some of the many options. do they stand alone strong enough to exhibit them as photographs? do i go for it and reproduce them as large format paintings? is there a hybrid that needs to be created? there are images that speak volumes in the conversation that i am trying to have with myself and with the people in general. there are no solid answers to these questions yet, just echoes of the questions. lucky for you (for you, for you, for you.)

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