Monday, January 12, 2009

Surviving Grad School

So here I am, at my first residency at Art Institute of Boston, dipping my toes into to the world of graduate school.

It is overwhelming.

This process of being immersed into the art world, thrown into critiques and assaulted with theory is a lot more intense than I expected.

What did I expect?

I expected to come in to this program and continue as I was, working in my studio. I thought I could carry on as I have been for the last 5 years, although with some added paperwork.

I am seeing that is not how it works.

The pressure to explain your work, to get down to the meaning, to analyze and place yourself in context of contemporary art is overwhelming, and truthfully I am feeling a bit adrift.

What do I want my work to be?
Where do I want it to go and who is going to mentor me along that path.

There are many questions and I feel like I am getting pulled in many directions.

It doesn't help that there is a nagging doubt. Am I even like these people with their intellectual approach, their fervent belief that art must be much, much more than a visual experience?

I can relate this feeling in only one way. It is like having someone question your religion. Having someone make you justify your entire belief system, having them question that which is in the core of your being.

What do you believe and why do you believe it? This program is going to make me figure that out whether I like it or not.