Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 19 January 2007

Not for the faint of heart

First posted in August 2006.  Thought I would move this forward [and unlock it…who am I hiding it from?] because it is always a fresh feeling…sigh.

I woke up this morning with the feeling.  I was wondering when it would finally build to full discomfort. Although I went to bed last night before I was ready because I felt it coming.


I did the mantras. “It hasn’t yet been done by me,” “Simplicity does not preclude intellectual content,” and still reduced into “It’ll be OK. It WILL be OK.”

I suppose this would be alleviated if the people that registered would actually answer the flipping questions.  But I wanted to relieve the pressure of completion.  It’s like each and every exhibition I organized and is the basis of why I’m uncomfortable with involving other people.  It will get done…but the waiting, the self-discipline required to cage my base instinct to lose my temper and just be patient while things fall into place is just exhausting.  And I can’t really complain about this phenomenon, it is part of my personality also to wait until I can think clearly before tackling a thing.  It’s just that I need the real work to get me through the tedium of showing how I got here.  Showing the work…is just so contrary to my personal methodology.  The work is shown in the final product. 

It’s this other thing that causes the anxiety and I do this entry to talk myself down from it.  I can feel it physically as I begin now to write about it again.  It’s the weight of that feeling that is hard to shake. 

As for this: There is nothing wrong with doing a thing that has already been done even if the skew is simply a different researcher perspective.  The decision to cast a new eye on a thing knowing full well that in the beginning it will not be clear that there is the awareness of what has already been done is the recipe for anxiety.  And I grow weary of the work required to prove to other people that I’ve read.  I just want to get to work. The voices of professors [yeah…negative internal voices are rarely your own even if they seem to be] layer over each other in a cacophony of misunderstanding.  ‘It is important to review many studies and not just focus in on one.’  Duh.  ‘I can’t believe after all this time you don’t know what your work is about.’ Criminy! ‘You should do more reading.’ And the big one, the faceless, nameless one ‘Who are you little girl?’ God, I hate them all. The more contemporary reading I do, the more irritated I get. 

Reading…do they know who they’re talking to?  Time for another dahmet! post.

It WILL be OK…

I ask myself continually why I’m doing this and the answer is the anxiety itself. The mandate to show the work has always been something that slows you down to satisfy someone else’s need to understand or know a thing.  Things as widely understood on some levels as these things are should not be such a struggle to make clear.  But then that is the rub.  It is not widely understood in the western sense of the word understood and it’s slowing us down as a species.  And it is not even really the case that I am arrogant enough to think I can affect the species.  I can think of no other way to rid myself of the contaminant, the disease that permeates this culture.  I am a walking contradiction: I understand things in a complete sense, but because of this culture I am a skeptic about my own understanding.  The desire to ‘know’ in that fucked up linear sense and the search for ‘quanta’ is so deeply ingrained in me that I stubbornly resist walking the path in any other way even though deep down I know what I’m doing amounts succumbing to an addiction.  It’s as if…I really am that arrogant.  I am going to bury myself in a foreign methodology because I’m angry at what I perceive as lost, because I’m irritated and want to justify my beliefs.  It’s purely selfish and prideful…

How’s that for a bit of honesty?




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