It’s probably just my state of mind at the moment but I just believe what I’m told. “Yeh that’s interesting”, or just a “yes whatever” – “have you heard that there is this Chinese artist who climbed Everest and cut the top off of the mountain and brought it all the way down and showed it in a gallery so that everyone who couldn’t get up there could experience the summit” sounds good to me, that’s interesting, importing remoteness being democratic with his ideas and work…hold on a minute that’s abit impossible surely, how on earth would he be able to do this, of course not, this is ecological vandalism if he did, but in fact its just a fiction, all art is a fiction, surely.
I attended the Hubs and Fiction symposium run by the exhibition department at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee last Friday afternoon, very interesting as a subject area, and skilfully discussed by the speakers – Simon Groom, Lisa Le Feuvre, Wang Nanming and Lucy Byatt (chair) reading Markus Miessen’s text, but it did make me think about what artists and curators were doing by creating these fictions of experience. Life is an abundance of secondary experiences, through new media, stories from colleagues, reading books, watching films, listening to recorded music, so why not our art and exhibitions – Museums and stuffed animals, of course. Artists and curators being playful, nothing wrong with that if you are in the mood, but what about having a real experience, that makes you change your life, makes you take risks, and benefit from something you thought you could never do or achieve, perhaps these are the things that matter and are meaningful, everything else is just a troublesome encounter that is okay but sometimes not good, and disappointing. Maybe these fictional encounters in fact make us seek out the real authentic encounter from their staging, maybe that’s what they are for, to make us look for and experience reality, not just accept what we are told and passively move on.