Gobbledegook is language characterized by circumlocution and jargon, usually hard to understand: ( https://www.dictionary.com/browse/gobbledegook?s=t).
I was moved to think of this by something from Taiwan last week. The process of applying to be an artist in residence at the Pier 2 art zone in Kaohsiung for a couple months of 2021 requires submission of an “artist’s statement”. Having visited a few museums where these are posted near the entrances of visiting exhibitions, I’ve attempted to read a few. I mocked them as obtuse, never imagining a day would come when I’d have to provide one.
Thank God for ABC, the company that brings us Google. I searched out sample statements and even found links to an Artist Statement Generator or two. The generators are spoof sites that throw together random “artsy” terms and come out sounding like genuine artist statements.
Not that I’m not full of malarkey myself, but they were too much for me. I finally thought through what I am good at, words, and fell back on that to come up with what follows:
From the rejected, by the neglected, in the unexpected.
I use fabric found in closets or left over from previous projects, hanging it from existing protrusions in walls or window frames that have almost disappeared because nobody looks at or through those windows, and high up in the space overhead or on upper story walls where nobody has previously displayed anything. In these ways I transform what was rejected and display it via use of the neglected in spaces where it is unexpected.
If it falls short of an artist’s statement, well, I’m not really an artist to start with. But it does describe what I do.
David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan.