The unknown which is everything
I wake up thinking about the unknown which is everything. And, that at the most basic level we fill it -with food, drink, love, leisure activity, religion, violence, work, gossip, travel, numerous actions. We fill the unknown with all of our fear. Fear that we do not and cannot face. The moments of realizing our own mortality. This overwhelms us.
In art – Judd, Andre, Irwin, Terrell, did fill and continue to fill the unknown with their thought, speculation, action – to fill moments so they would not have to address openness; nothingness – the fullness of nothingness. Is Irwin’s just completed project about filling that nothingness? Exposing it? Exposing it by filling it? Is this not problematic?
Is all art making about fear of the unknown? Does a “no” answer to this question point to the fact that this is actually the case? Denial. What in the art making process and its result actually benefits the individual? Is this lifelong practice just filling the void? Filling the space of fear? Does it provide relief from the unknown?
When is an artist’s action ever not about him or herself? When is anyone’s action, ultimately not about themselves? No matter how seemingly “ valiant” or no matter how destructive – what acts are selfless ultimately; take no space, no resource, and no energy from others?
Clarity – the luminous quality of a space not filled- by food or drink, conversation, business (busy-ness). To be aware of all of the actions and objects produced or engaged with in order to avoid the unknown – our mortality.
The practice of “just enough”.
What will happen next, what will unfold? Who am I really? ….Nothing…. a collection of molecules existing for a limited time that is truly an absolute unknown. That is the true fear of all of the seeming fears. What will happen to me?
This is opposed to what will happen now? What is the moment I am in?
Filling space with memories and thoughts of the future get in the way of this moment, this breath, and this awareness. To be aware, to understand profoundly that your action is filling a space of the unknown and that unknown will never really be filled until you are at the end of it and that, itself, is an impossibility to know. One does not come to the end of the unknown – it continues. Nothing – nothingness -is continuous.
What then is an earnest action? A profound action, caring action, fearless action – not based on aggression but based on the openness of honoring the unknown?
Can someone offer that ultimately through the work they do?
Examine every moment you fill with your own fear of not knowing.