I’ve been thinking about this a lot, the idea of dropping out of the art world, and I have come to a decision that this is what I will set out to do for the foreseeable future. In a way, I have been dropping out for over three years. Skipping things, not paying attention, not caring, feeling sharp levels of frustration, crying tears of anger, dull abysses of apathy, and a general dissatisfaction that I could only imagine unhappy marriages must experience after too many years of holding it together for the kids.
Anyone who knows me has heard me say such things before and they will also know that this is actually impossible, but I do mean it. Art, will always be a part of me, it is the thing that is me. It has given me a beautiful life, friends and experiences, but the rest of it, the machinations, the system, the strivings, are just not something I want to participate in. I have tried, in various ways via, jobs, education, relocation, projects, galleries, writing, and this blog included, to make alternate spaces, paths, ways to be a part of the art world, and while I am happy and proud of all that, I feel that I too have become a part of the problem that has made the art world the way it is.
Today is a time of excess. There is just too much of everything and that is amazing in some ways but it has also resulted in a heap pile of, frankly garbage. Garbage thinking, talking, art making, relationships, goals. It’s a garbage culture and there are those involved that are thankfully excavating and salvaging some good parts to make it worth something, be something, but that is very, very rare. I myself, being more brutal to myself then to others, also feel that I too have been at times a producer and consumer of garbage and because of this I am going to pause/stop in adding to the excess.
The reason why I have participated in the art world in certain ways and why so many others do the same thing is because it gives a sense/personification of purpose. We are alive; we are trying to understand, to participate and to influence the lives that we have to live. This is not a selfish thing but there is a need to understand the motivations for our desires, our drives and what that really all means. For me, the production of some form of art world investment has now become a thing of diminished returns. The more I input into this flawed system the less benefit and reward I achieve for myself and for those I support (who truly deserve everything). Because of this, the value for me to keep participating in it is more about my preservation of ego then anything else.
I relinquish my ego. I relinquish success, spectacle, audience, and validation.
This relinquishing is probably due to a feeling of failure in some ways but the failure has not been in meeting/not meeting certain expectations but of knowing what they are and knowing that I do not want them and that achieving them would not make me fullfilled.
So, how will I drop out of the art world? It has already begun and as time goes on it will happen more and more until nothing remains of my trace and involvement. Maybe after that time I will join up again, maybe in a few weeks or months I will see something that will change this whole decision and blow my mind away, but I doubt it because I have always and will forever be bad at being a part of anything and it has been a long time since I have seen something in art that has moved me to tears or kept me awake at night.