In light of the new Marina Abramovic exhibition at MOMA, The Artist is Present, and having just read Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, the transcripts of a three-day interview with David Foster Wallace from 1996, I’m thinking a lot about the person behind the work; about identity and the pitfalls and perils associated there-in. I’m thinking about the act of reading as thinking. I’m thinking about how people use other people’s voices to form their own voice and opinions.
I’m not great at making empirical statements, but I do feel like once I start thinking about something intently, it starts showing up everywhere. So here’s evidence, in the form of quotes I’ve jotted down in the last few weeks, that the universe will present itself if you’re just paying attention:
The artists are all searching for something weightier than the stories people tell themselves about who they are, the common place narratives that allow people to function in ordinary life. – wall text for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver’s exhibition Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made
“What’s the difference between lying and when you’re making things up?” She asks./ “I know of none,” I say./ “What about stories in books?”/ “They don’t count,” I say. “They’re made of writing.” – Mary Robison One D.O.A., One on the Way
She kept talking. She told everyone. There was more to it, and she was trying to get it talked out. After a time, she quit trying. – Raymond Carver “Why We Don’t Dance”
How nice to feel nothing and still get full credit for being alive. – Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five
it is difficult to know my mind without other minds/ knocking into it – Kathryn Regina “the sky is not a good place for careful observation”
Sawing myself in half/ is how I make choices – Zach Schomburg “The Sawing in Half”