Friday, April 2, 2010

Cam Reid in "Question Period "

1- What is more important to you? The subject matter or the composition or structure?

It all depends on the work, my idea, and what I want to accomplish formally. Much of my work is based in technical ability as a painter, with the composition and structure at the forefront, the subject matter just becomes a recognizable form for me to hang marks and brushstrokes on. A lot of my other works however, are purely about subject matter. I can only speak for myself, but I think work naturally becomes more about subject matter, as it becomes more conceptual (as oppose to formal). This is of course a generalization, but my sculptural works are a good example. They are plater and wax representations of books and journals, with screenprints and transfers on them. The composition and placement of the prints and transfers are fairly unimportant, and one could argue the need for sculptural realism is as well. The only things that matter are that they are recognizable as books, they can't be opened, and are heavy as hell.

2-Is the title important for you?

Title is important to me if it informs the work. If the title can give a bit of an "ah ha!" moment, or at least a push in that direction I will include it. Otherwise I give my works superficial titles based on the names of my subjects (when they have specific subjects) just so I can call them something when I talk about them, or else I will just leave them untitled.

3-Should art be created to withstand the test of time or is it more realistic to create works that eventually wears away?

This is another "that depends" answer. Many works like paintings, monumental sculpture and other, more traditional media are most often created with the intention of being archival, unless the medium doesn't allow it, or it's part of the artist's intention for the work to deteriorate in one way or another. A lot of other work however is meant to either be time based, deteriorate, or lose it's physical presence in one way or another. Performance art is a good example, as it only exists to people in documentation form (with obvious exception to those present at the performance). Photos and videos are not the work, and will never be able to represent it in a way that gives it justice. This certainly doesn't cheapen the work in any way, it's just not physically present through history. The same could also be said for other experiential works,, and many other media.

4-Do artists create art to have their ideas validated or so that they can be accepted?

I don’t really think these are the only two answers. I can only speak for myself, but I feel like many artists create work in order to acknowledge ideas in a creative way, thus illuminating them to their viewers. It is amazing how potent elements of our culture can become when simply repackaged and presented in a clever, original way with an artist saying “hey look at this part of our culture”. This is at least why I do what I do, which answers you final question I suppose.(5-Why do you do what you do ?)

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