Also, this particular realization is one I seem to remake, on a regular basis. I know I've written of similar epiphanies in other terms.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Limits : Working Material
One of the sobering consequences of MFA training is to have discovered the limits of my ability to take training. I can respond to it productively only to a point, a point which is different for me than it is for my classmates. Some of my classmates reach their limits before me. Some of them, after me, and them I envy. In a blue moment a couple of weeks ago, I told Stephen Jones, a talented and experienced designer in the MFA Design track that I was absorbing the realization that I'd reached my limits, in some ways. He responded by saying that it's not hitting the limits of one's ability to take training that is important, but how we handle ourselves, when we do. Do we give up, or break, or make peace with our idea of 'mediocre?' Or, do we respond to our 'limits' as we do to any other found object or material out of which we make art? Do we recognize our 'limit' as a boundary or as a shape? The end of possibility or the beginning? I see artists respond to their 'limits'--limits of all kinds, in my immediate case, my own perceived inability to get everything from training I could wish--both ways, defeated, on the one hand, sobered and more acutely aware of the materials with which they have to work, on the other. Perhaps this sounds like common sense, to you. But, so often I find that truths that have always been right in front my nose to be the most profound discoveries.