Translating Art

I have been struggling to write a statement to accompany a piece of art today. “Struggle” does not sufficiently express the angst wridden, hair tearing, wailing at the gates of inspiration I have performed in the last 24-hours. Right now, I am in the resigned phase where I have decided that my inability to write is merely the symptom of a far greater ailment: I have committed a bad work of art. If it was a truly elegant and inspiring piece I could, at the very least, write the 150 words requested to describe some degree of vision and intent. In stead, I sit with my latest page and scrawled blue pen proclaiming “there is nothing to see here.”

Maybe I’ll just submit it like that. “There is nothing to see here,” so move on to the next art work and save yourself the pain and frustration of trying to even look at this one. “There is nothing to see here,” so just take note of it on the off chance that you can drop a scathing comment about the absent art. “There is nothing to see here,” so go do something better with your time.

Writing a statement about art is like explaining a joke. It isn’t funny anymore.

And so, disgusting, silly, intolerable self doubt eats itself until some message must, at some point, be distilled. Perhaps, there is nothing to see here that can be so crassly described in writing, unless you are prepared to observe the art itself, and find your own meaning.

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