Friday, March 19, 2004
OUTSIDE to me is some place i've been, so i'm not speaking as if i'm speculating. and its vulnerability for me was actually the position of strength. but was it?
in the OUTSIDE everything i created was beyond challenge, for one thing. nothing wrong with wanting to be alone, to create in silence. it's just a fact that it's beyond opinion.
but once that creation is put OUT there, in words, or film, first of all, it's no longer outside. second, it no longer belongs exclusively to the artist.
the artist has in effect given up the right to exclusive claim over what the THING is saying.
write in a book that no one sees until after you're dead and then of course you're an OUTSIDER because you died before we could say anything.
it was at first kind of creepy to me what happened to the work of Henry Darger, for instance. he quietly and secretly made his many many paintings and wrote that enormous novel and never showed anyone but is now being paraded around as the hottest new thing. at first it seemed to me that we were shitting on him by publishing his work and touring it around the world in OUTSIDER art shows. but then i started to think that if he had NOT wanted us to see any of it that he would have burned it, so, i guess it's just fine really.
and i admit that i am a HUGE Darger fan.
not only that, but the fact that he's creating it at all means that he is WANTING to convey. he could have just as easily sat around and THOUGHT up these things. but CREATING what he THOUGHT must mean something about wanting others to SEE his thoughts, i'm sure of it.
of course OUTSIDER ART has never been defined as art being created by quiet, secret people. Finster for instance is defined as OUTSIDER and he's done Talking Heads CD covers.
in some ways it's like hearing the travels of someone who has been somewhere where we haven't been. Darger and Dickinson are a kind of Shangri-La for us. it's nice to examine them, their quiet, their need for quiet. and we measure our own lives against that, as we measure everything and everyone against everything and everyone else. it's what we do, hopefully not to the point where it's making us sick.
but one of the common things i've noticed among OUTSIDER types that i've known, is that they want to not be challenged. to the point that all kinds of weapons are employed, even to the point of accusing someone who challenges what they say as being a bully. it's so easy to accuse someone of censorship, all you have to do is say that their reaction to what you've said is censorship. and if that person doesn't stand their ground, if they feel wounded by being called a bully (which of course they're not being in the first place), then they'll stop challenging. and then in the end, the OUTSIDER gets to create all kinds of drive by shooting definitions for everyone without being challenged.
hassen, i believe this has happened in this argument. i reacted to your creation, your words. words which you VERY MUCH made public. you didn't accuse me of censorship right away, but when you DID, it could have been the final word. it could have been the moment where i backed off, ashamed. but i didn't. here i am. and i'm not ashamed. because i'm not a bully, a censor. and i am saying to you that while i am trying to be direct and clear, you are hoisting all kinds of things up in front of me like "censor." well i'm not buying it.
let's be honest. if i had taken the bait, i would have shut up, and then WHO would have been the one to be censored in the end?
forget it. i'm not quieting down. IF you'd like to continue the exploration of this topic, just be aware that i'm not going to cease my voice here. just forget it. no amount of accusation will do it.
it was your Sun Tzu bit that really opened my eyes. Sun Tzu is almost always thrown at someone to do the very thing that that someone is being accused of. it's the art of war by way of deflection.