Laying in bed drifting in and out of sleep and dreams it came to me that the one thing we are sure about is the lack of structure in our experience. How often are rational structures sought to explain things that happen? How much of history is trying to make sense of things that are beyond understanding . Our minds resist incoherence as a negative influence we want our experiences to make sense but sometimes all the sense in the world can't make sense of what happens. Fine art is an example of how the meaning comes after the facts . Could it be that reason is merely a means to satisfy our need for intellectual coherence when often the truth is so much of our experience is without ryhme or reason? Take Jackson Pollock's late work his skeins and spills how the commentators tell us he was in control of his actions when in fact it seems as if he was lucky not to create incoherent sloppy messes perhaps not through skill as much as blind luck and by letting go of the Western tendency to always be in control.
Indeed this desire to be in control to know why things are as they are has driven the various inquiries since the beginnings of the world as we know it. These thoughts arise as I was thinking about an exhibition that would demonstrate the opposite of order and structure and rationality. Insteasted I postulate an accidental world. A world where things happen without as much rhyme and reason, a world of incoherent chaos. Pollock's paintings in their time post war after the horrors of Hitler and the Hiroshima seemed to be outside the pail of Western rationalism Pollock like Eva Hesse (later) wanted to go beyond the boundaries of art as it had existed beffore the war. Abstraction was the movement towards something outside of copying nature. As Pollock said he was nature. And this nature allowed for this out of control aspect of his work that propelled it into a realm of appearences that were more accidental than Western art had ever been.
For me as a young artist (post-Pollock) the desire to find something to do that would break out of the academic emphasis on relationality and meaning towards something more unsettling and unknown became a mission. A sort of search for the way out of the labryrinth of reason and history towards an acceptence of the accidental nature of life and art. Marcel Duchamp presented chance as the primary motive force in his art. Something he found in the poet Mallarme' in particular and in the absurdity of Europe's incoherent Great War. Chance begets luck without some good fortune life can be an even more difficult struggle. The nature of being in the right place at the right time is beyond our control. We can be prepared for opportunities but we need also be ready for things to not go our way. Something I read recently about the terrible arbitrariness of history you are born into the world when you are and you make the best of it.
This incoherence I am thinking about pervades our life and our art. How would it form this exhibition I was dreaming and thinking about? In the dream the exhibition I was seeing made no sense to me no matter how I looked at it. Indeed it was less about sense than it was about a sort of formlessness. Something without a clear image of existence a sort of constantly shifting and mutating form. Something not unlike the enormously diverse contemporary arts today. Where it's very difficult to discern what is forever and what is just a passing fancy. As art became more global it seemed to mutate into forms more diverse and perverse. We've grown accustomed to chaos and disorder, an age of mindless destructiveness and arbitrary loss. An age of incoherence that shows no signs of giving way to the old world order. Art becomes a mirror of our descent into a future that seems as dangerous as any future ever was. As Eva Hesse said Art is our only weapon.