Impossibilities

by cjdown

A Plan to Get Even, oil, wax, enamel, acrylic and latex on canvas, 4 x 12', 2007 / 2010

I will be using this blog to post thoughts and questions that come out of my own painting practice (chrisdown.ca) as well as reflections on the work of other artists. I hope that a dialogue will evolve in a non-academic but rigorous manner and that this conversation might be a place to test ideas about painting, art, life and miscellaneous related topics.

The title of the blog derives from Thierry de Duve’s book Kant After Duchamp and was also the title of the written portion of my MFA thesis.

“The impossibility of painting is merely a feeling, the subjective signal accompanying the awareness of its objective uselessness in a society where the production of images has been mechanized and from which painting has withdrawn, like a relic from an obsolete artisanal past. Though merely a feeling, the impossibility of painting is a mandatory feeling, however, a quasi-moral one, a feeling that should be felt by any artist who is sensitive to his or her time, to the inventions that propel it towards economic progress, to the technologies that upset the cultural status quo” (de Duve 1996, 171).

One of the subjects of upcoming posts will be an exploration of painting’s impossibility, both in terms of de Duve’s technological /economic model and at a more basic level in terms of a daily studio practice.

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