'Here is Where I Am'
“For children can accomplish the renewal of existence in a hundred unfailing ways. Among children, collecting is only one process of renewal; other processes are the painting of objects, cutting out of figures, the application of decals - the whole range of childlike modes of acquisition, from touching things to giving them names.”
“I have drives and habits of making and collecting that are resolute. These are inclinations I have tried unsuccessfully to reform. For this project I attempt to unpack them to explore their psychological and cultural underpinnings.”
I habitually accumulate insects, images and decorative objects, and routinely practice the activities described by Benjamin as 'renewal processes'. For this project I enact assent rather than critique of my obsessive collecting to disrupt a self-imposed injunction against my aesthetic predilections. My preceding resolution to desist 'acquiring to beautify' was a response to my sense of the overarching disapproval of Modernism to the 'colourful and decorative'; a perception originating in my presiding child-awareness of adult colour 'aversion' and preferences for 'plainness' reinforced by a culture of seriousness inherent in the institution of the academic degree.
"...in the light of...perceptual and psychoanalytic terms... and in particular with reference to how we relate to materials, and thus to reality...(what) we mean by and pursue as the decorative and the pleasurable has to be understood... as a pursuit of Being. They are primary means of knowing the world. This knowledge, being founded in practice and bodily experience...can only be tacit."1
1. Brett, David. Rethinking Decoration: Pleasure and Ideology in the Visual Arts. Cambridge University Press, 2005. Print (pg. 12)