observations | julie m rozman

Starting with defining myself and moving quickly to ways my art functions in the world

I wondered whether to call myself more an artist or a philosopher, recalled an old tagline: artist and philosopher, researcher on embodiment and lived experience. Why wonder? Well, I’m very much concerned with ways of being in the world, and that’s a philosophical issue (philosopher!) and the art is one way to address that (artist!). Art-making, too, is one way to make utterances, to practice, to affect change.

My practice, my art, my work (what do we call it?) addresses being-in-the-world, addresses lived experience. It does so in roughly two ways: by evidence and by invitation. Some of it is the product of my practice of being-in-the-world. Some of it are reminders, fingers pointing at the moon, in regards to being-in-the-world: objects, talismans. Some arts are experiences to be entered into by the viewer: or invitations, if one can get past the looking-at/for-an-art and into being-there. (Some of my video works manage to pull the stunt of being both: since one is ostensibly productive by engaging in looking-at-an-art, one can rest easy enough and slip into being-there. Static works are more difficult in this regard.) Some are evidence of my entering into an experience, as the maker (here I also think of the Old Testament priests going behind the veil to make offerings, with a rope tied about their ankle in case the Lord smited them down while they were back there).

How any of the above will function is a product of the viewer’s relationship to the thing, and her willingness to engage. (Does one dive in? Can one dive in? Or is it opaque, impermeable, until one slows, relaxes, defocuses, catches a sidelong glimpse? The answer depends on one’s state of mind.) Since the work is usually about observation, then it’s also about the state from which one observes, from which one is able to observe, which is to say: it’s also about slowness.

So there we are: invitation. evidence. object. experience. reminder. And so on.

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