Julius Caesar, 2012
"….we no longer know which sees and which is seen" --Merleau-Ponty.
This is a collaborative drawing project meant to generate questions and conversation about perception, self-perception and drawing, to grapple with the fact that perception is a product of the mind, and that drawing is fundamentally tied to perception.
I draw in the gallery, looking in a mirror, and invite other artists to join me and do the same. I provide the paper (all the same size, around 11x 10” or so), and some simple drawing materials. They can bring their own materials if they wish, and make as many drawings as they wish. I ask each artist to draw for at least one session with me (3 hrs), but they can draw longer or come more than once if they wish. When the drawings are done, the artist signs them, dates them with the day and time, and hangs them up.
The only limitation (besides the size of the paper) is that the experience be unmediated by technology--that is, no drawing from photographs, from a computer screen, etc.
The drawings "converse" amongst each other on the wall, while the artists converse amongst each other as they draw. In the end, the walls of the gallery are filled with a knock out body of diverse drawings that challenge and expand the issues at hand.
The meaning of the work unfolds through the power of the individual drawings and through the infinite number of complex comparisons that are possible. Some intriguing questions are raised: How do different artists deal with self-perception, self-scrutiny, self-invention? What does it means to perceive—to look, to stare? What is the relationship between self-reflection, self-expression and self-representation, between seeing and perceiving, internal feeling and external appearance? What is the difference between vanity and self-consciousness? How does drawing connect to and enhance perception?
The next step:
With the artists’ permission, the drawings have been archived. This will be the first iteration of an expanding project.
This project installation took place at Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago, November 9 through December 9, 2012.