Some things name themselves. Makes my job easier. I’ve been cannibalizing unlistenable records for jumping-off points. This thing began as pretty awful comedy/burlesque thing by a trans performer. I probably listened to it once. I bought it for the cover, a tabloid image of a person changing genders. There’s a heavy sideshow vibe to it, which is compelling at first, but troubling the more I think about. This thing was made to cash in on this person’s outcast status. And yet I didn’t want to just throw the record away.
Do any of these thoughts have anything to do with the picture I end up with? Not directly. And someone looking at it doesn’t have to know any of this backstory to get something out of the image. But it’s baked in there. Like substrata. Nothing ever came out of nowhere, but the beginning often has little to do with where you end up.
Is any of this interesting? I don’t know why I feel a need to explain these collages in ways I never did with the “from life” stuff. My stance was always that the work must speak for itself, but here I am yammering on and on and on. My guess is the further I descend down this rabbithole, the less need I’ll feel to justify the journey.
Nobody actually knows what art means. We’re not supposed to. It’s not a math problem. We would stop the endless searching if there was an answer.