Abyssal reflections of an art troll
There was a time when art represented an attempt to think the unthinkable while staring into something abyssal and succumbing to the pain and dubious pleasure of inevitable failure — or maybe I dreamed that up.
Always the romantic…
“To be an artist is to fail, as no other dare fail.”
But what was romanticism if not the compulsive search for a fact that wouldn’t be found, a truth that never arrived..?
Truth has been in decline since God was hacked, but world-wide connectivity appears to have accelerated that process. And it’s hurting. Rather than the envisioned mass love-in, perversely, increased connection has intensified division, birthing a new fragmentation in the process, and it’s happening in front of our eyes.
In real-time, the internet, like some gigantic mirror, is showing us to ourselves: our beautiful, our ugly, our desperate surety, and profound uncertainty.
The mundanity is compelling, a collective narcissism imprisoned by its own gaze — is this a new wakefulness or a different kind of somnambulism..?
Or perhaps that simplistic dichotomy is flawed and indicative of prevailing naiveties regarding the nature of consciousness, cognition, and the role of the imagination in writing the stories we live by, stories increasingly holed, wounded…
Doubts arise, half-remembered dreams we had and never had… desire ossified, true fakery, the wisdom of clowns…
Whatever we decide to call ‘the real’ — and as we sink deeper into our Anthropocene, our Post-Truth Age of Anxiety — the mystery at the heart of the human, some may call it a wound, ever deepens…
A call to art
However we see the art world today, it’s less the closed shop, lost to acadaemia and ridiculous commerciality, than it’s ever been.
Boundaries are shifting, disciplines are morphing and merging. The role of creativity and how we apply it to our work and our understanding is changing. The question of what art might actually be has never been more open.
Good enough reason to pick up tools and learn new skills, not in order to divine answers, but to find new ways of asking impossible questions… new ways of becoming enobled in the face of absurdity, of navigating abysses.
I’m Tony Eddicott, an artist, illustrator and designer based in London.
This blog, which is not a blog, which thrusts a pencil into the wound of cultural history in search of its themes, its failures, and its ghosts, is part-sketchbook, part-ideas repository and part-art troll.
“Because I dived into the abyss I started to love the abyss of which I am made.”
I blog, therein, I fail.