Art Perm or Art is Waste?

Illustration and Text by Kim Kluge

Every creative process begins with an inspiration, a coincidence, an idea. It can be about content or of formal nature. Suddenly it is there! It flies to me and I seize it. Where does it actually come from? What is the origin? Does it come from outside or from inside? It just appears in front of my inner eye. After receiving an inspiration, the experiment begins. With material and variety of forms. Trying out what happens when…. Ideas bubble up and…get many children. The artistic work process is activated. A “run” toward the perfect work gets underway. Material exploration, formation, deformation, warping. Every artistic process also involves the destruction of overly pleasing sequences that wear down the work into the arbitrariness of a purely decorative act. The work, no matter how abstract, should tell a story. Without words. The joy of art creators lies in the creative process itself.

There are two existences of one and the same work. It is a baby and the waste of an artistic process at the same time. On the one side is the producer, the “creator”, on the other the conaisseur, the “consumer”. For artists, the actual work consists in making it. As soon as it is finished, if everything goes well, there is an AHA! experience. A kind of euphoria after a difficult birth process. Most artists produce many such “newborns” in the course of their countless creative periods. A birth, however, would also have to include parenthood. But this is basically where the work ends. Authors and authors give, if it goes well with the sales, provided that parents are found, their babies simply away!

The product of artistic creation is seen in this way probably a waste product?

Question mark –  exclamation mark! Of course we exchange the result of an artistic process for money. After all, we would have to pay for garbage. But who would sell one’s baby? Only unfortunate parents or parents in existential distress would do such a thing! So are we artists all raven parents or existentially needy people who give away their precious sweet cuddly babies?

Or does the work only really become a baby and thus perfect as a work of art when it is taken up into the loving arms of an art lover? Is it simply a waste product of an artistic process when it is given away from the artistic hand? Or is it both? Baby and waste in one? What is one person’s waste product is another person’s favorite work.

While for creative people the work ends with completion, for art lovers it begins with the receipt of the new work. This work is so completely different. One takes it in, allows it to have an effect on oneself, looks at it again and again and receives always new impressions. Viewer and work enter into a form of communication with each other. The existence of the work of art stimulates new processes. Our societies and economies are inspired and encouraged by the abstract processes of art to take new paths through imponderable terrain of banal concrete challenges. In this respect, of course, art is not garbage. After all, we would rather get rid of garbage than display it in our museums.

Artistic process as a permanent wave

One could also consider the artistic process as a kind of permanent wave. A permanent wave of becoming and passing away. A permanent wave of creating and letting go. Artists show how not to cling to earthly things. Art as a kind of recycling product. The waste of the artistic thought is revived by the presentation on a gallery or museum wall. What is already outdated for art creators by new processes, so to speak, shines in new splendor for the viewer. He or she will always have a different view of the work than the artist himself or herself. This way, the subject of waste takes on a new dimension. We simply declare our household waste to be art. And the obsessive desire to make everything disappear that we don’t like is transformed into a new way of thinking about unwanted remnants of our existence. Thus, in light of climate change and the destruction of our habitat, we look at our old waste in a new light. In the light of artistic processes of abstraction. The perm of art can be a guide to not only recycle our waste. We might also learn to love our household waste.

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