I was watching a short on Art21 (“Tools and Strategies”) with Richard Serra. He was talking about his process and gave a succinct overview of ‘the artist’s process’.
As we know, he has had plenty of time to refine, share and teach in this realm– and as such, is able to boil down its value and articulate effective approaches. Serra began by talking about his beginnings where he would start with a verb list (to rip, to curl, to splatter) and played it out into a space- artists are extending their vision to create:
“…you don’t become involved with the psychology of what you or are making nor do you become involved with the after-image of what it’s going to look like. … it gives you a way of proceeding… in relation to making, that divorces you from any notion of metaphor, any notion of easy imagery.”
…I think what artists do is they invent strategies that allow themselves to see in a way they haven’t seen before to extend their vision… they constantly come up with ways of informing themselves by inventing tools or techniques or processes that allow them to see, into a material manifestation in the way that you would not, if you dealt with standardized or academic ways of thinking.”
I don’t think Serra’s is simply one typology of practice, but rather, it is a model for how to do focused work. It struck me that this articulation could be extrapolated into a variety of exhibits or activities to not only create vehicles for visitors to walk in the shoes of an artist, but as a way to immerse and build confidence in an open-ended form of creativity.
Since my visit to Sweden, I’ve been trying to work out how to do that in an exhibit or activity form (ala the Sally Studio Method I wrote about). I also think this is a vehicle for the creative process of exhibit development- given some context and framing. I think I will put this into the hopper for the San Francisco Mobile Museum exhibit in development (Observatorium). I’d like to mesh the artistic practice with the experiential goals of an exhibit, and see what outcomes can result.