On the Artwork
ON THE ARTWORK - Manuscript Cartography by Exotic Settlers
The splatter paint over the faded pencil asks about the depth of the viewer. The viewer who chooses to go further than the paint enters into the experimental cartographic space where the name for this piece derives. While the content of the writing is obscured by the splatter paint, to view past the paint engages the viewer in multiple art forms as they clash (overlap) and harmonize (reveal new patterns and phrasings).
The choice of blue and green represent the sky and earth, as they are defined by this peculiar impression of their “settlement,” on the page. The sky and earth being part of a “settlement” connotes an entire world being impressed over the original impression on the page (the writing).
While settlement is often perceived as a calculated and technical mark of progress, it is in this sense being re-defined as an improvised chaos of pure human expression through the spontaneous splatter onto the penciled words, which originated on the page independently of any painting idea.
The splatter paint, in effect, embodies the “settler,” and its multi-colored facet further emphasizes its exoticism against the subdued writing.
While both the writing and the paint are part of spontaneous, fully improvised art forms of pure expression, the piece asks to defy the viewer’s preconceived notions of settlers as plain and understood and more; asks who the viewer resonates with, the settler or immediately observable and colorful expression (paint) or the original impression on the page which requires a bit more effort to engage with (writing).
The themes embedded within the paint and the writing, however, are expressed equally spontaneously and share the same space, either harmoniously or not relative to the viewer’s opinion, which aims at not presupposing any superiority between expressions of origination and settlement.
Exotic Settlers charts the journey of experiencing the naturally transformative process of ending a period of transitional residence, and beginning to live in one place exclusively.
Questions of home, travel and what is foreign are approached creatively through a lens adjusted through self-reflection on these themes, which led to my own "settlement" within, as I have become more permanently resident in a specific place.
The transitional effect lingers psychologically whereby there are character archetypes and features of personal experience, which fade away and leave only a bitter nostalgia in their place, striking as a whiplash wound. This sensation is frequently common to those who stand their ground.
The concepts of the "settler" and normative stereotypes of the "exotic" are placed in abstract, sometimes jarring contexts as to displace fixed notions about any respective moral judgment.
The experimental verse goes through a process of intensified critique on our historic way of life as North American settlers and focuses this critique especially at our notions of the "other."
By the end of the collection, there is neither strict closure nor resolve about a permanent sense of home, only a greater awareness of perspective as it lies sometimes firmly, but mostly without any grasp on any actual "thing" on a ground of experimental, flowing, spontaneous expressions in language.