08 August 2005

Bearing Witness . . . picking up the pieces

Open file box of journals by Joe Blades. Photograph by Joe Blades
[First draft of an artist statement for an exhibition proposal.]

I am an involved observer. My poetry, my art, my journals are all party to my collecting images, facts, documents, pieces of other people’s lives and their garbage, then reworking them together, mixed media style, into something. One of the organizations I belong to has "Participoet" as its central philosophy and slogan. You have to be involved to be involved. We are nothing, if not here. Of late I have been spending a considerable amount of time reflecting on questions asked by several local interviewers and by two translators in Serbia. The questions are making me think more, or again, about what I create and how I make or have made it. This is a good exercise for me. Two things that are evident are that much of my work seems to be contextual, and much of it is site specific to a place, a moment, a situation in my life . . . I work with the details—the obvious plus the overlooked—and I weave them through words and images to tell their layered stories. My art journals are central to this work of witnessing my place or my passage through life and to translating it into art. I am never without knife, pen, and glue stick. Everything sticks in my journal collage. They become both artworks and reference resources. Recently, I started composing sketches for sculptural pieces built with journals (not just artworks and writing based upon what they contain). Now I want to start building the sculptures.

Shirt: "Quod nos non neccat, etiam maxiime laedit"
Loc: Fredblackhole, NB
Temp: 31º C
Sound: Kinni Starr, Sun Again


Kellie said...

Everything sticks . . . how true. I'm looking forward to seeing what you build. Very cool.

Broken Joe said...

Me too, me too. In plexiglas and aluminium is my guess, my desire, but we'll have to see what role money or it normal shortfall thereof plays . . .

Butterfly said...

Thank you Joe! I really appreciate reading your perspective on this theme of *witnessing*.. i can't wait to see what develops with this sculpural construction of journals! sounds very intriguing! exciting!