Being at Alighiero e Boetti’s exhibition made me think about how we all have our individual obsessions.
Even though his work was very versatile, the repetition of similar things, patterns and techniques, gave me an idea of someone trying to put everything into a systems of codes and colors. Same week I went to see Hannah Daboven, who must be if any, the ultimate queen of systematic art.
Sometimes when you see someone else’s obsession on display it makes you feel a little better about your own.
One of my greater obsessions is to keep things within a system. Not with what I do artistically, but in my life. This is not because I suffer from OCD. It rather stems from a need to keep things simple.
The thing is that once you start to structure one thing, everything else seems chaotic, and it becomes compulsory to put everything into a system.
It is unknown why I came about to be so organized, in fact I use to be quite messy. But perhaps it is because one of my other great obsessions is collecting. A thing that doesn’t really go hand in hand with disorder. I do still keep a certain amount of disorder in my things. This is to keep a healthy balance, but perhaps also because I often wondered if a creative life path goes hand in hand with organizational skills. My general experience is that there usually is a lack of structure within many creative environments.
The appearance of Boetti’s works seamed both structural and obsessive. It could just be their appearance, or I could be right in my assumptions, when I say that we share a similar characteristic, though have different agendas.
How many people would use 7 years to list the 1000 longest rivers in the world, and embroider them not only into one but two rugs. Or embroider one world map after the other.
Not to mention to buy 6 different types of stamps and put them into as many formations as possible. Thereafter sending the letters to false addresses to make sure they come back. Not only once, but again and again with different amount of stamps and different letters, if they were not a bit obsessive?
Another obsession is the many ball pen drawings. This to me is not only showing an obsession with chance but also an interest in the structure of each drawing. The journey of the ball pen from one side of the paper to the other can never be replicated. They are drawn from different individuals, and the markings of the pen, which differs within the frame of a single paper, is depending on the amount of ink left in the pen. This makes each picture have its own system. A single order
|I Sei Sensi|
The many letters are not only interesting because of the stamps structural system. Together they tell us about the possibilities within one frame. They each tell us a single story, and the postage tells us a different single story of a journey. This evidence of a journey that an envelope bares is intriguing, because we can never know everything. We know it went from A to B, but the rest we can only guess and imagine. As I was watching the many envelopes I asked myself if any of them ever disappeared and if so what he would have done. Would the artwork be ruined?
Perhaps this was one of the things he was curious to test. It might never have happened, but then he was in luck.
It is rare that I find artwork hanging on a wall this captivating. Usually art has to be emotional to take my breath away. It might be that the obsessive nature of his art talked to an essential part of my personality. Since it has lingered in my mind as a way of beautifying a personal quality which is perceived as something negative the majority of the time.