Kiki Smith Talk: "I Have Nothing to Say"

Comments

1
Wow. Great writing, Jen.

I wasn't there last night, but from everyone's descriptions, I'm fairly certain I would have been inspired, confused and angry, and trying desperately to cling to the part of me that was inspired because that would have seemed like the way I was supposed to feel.

Art stars are strange creatures; yet they are still flawed and human.

Seeing Patti Smith at Benaroya last month, I was prepared for her to not live up to my expectations (which had amassed over 15 years). I was so incredibly relieved and moved to find that she far surpassed them. It was the rare experience of reality being better than the fantasy.

2
Why wouldn't one want to feel inspired? I was one of the people who was...and having mixed feelings going into it like, will it be worth it? Will I be disappointed? Because of her birthright is she credible enough? Is it fair (whatever that means)?

Could she have made a space away from her father if she wasn't good? Do we ever get to a place where we aren't impacted by our parents? Some artists talk about it and it might show up in their work, others don't. I think she stands on her own, and still feeling like a novice art historian...and I'll admit here, years ago I knew of Kiki's work before I knew of Tony's...(she writes sheepishly)

I was immensely struck by her discussion on making, using her hands and working. Of course she doesn't make each and every piece and her "collaborators" are often folks that she is telling what to make, and she admitted that. Perhaps it's because I used to be a print maker, that I found it refreshing to hear about the process, the integrity of the line, and other formal qualities of making.

Artist's talks can be such a hit or miss, this was a hit for me. I wasn't bored, sometimes visually it was difficult, the slides hard to see, but that was part of the entertainment at a certain point, and she shared good stories and bits of art maker wisdom that were wonderful to hear.

Great article Jen, so perceptive on many levels, and such keen writing, genuinely critical and discerning. And obviously "you have something to say," and say it well, plus I love the discourse that we then get to have following it!
3
retraction: in the last sentence I used a wrong word choice, what I meant instead of, "obviously" is really, "fortunately"...

is there a way to edit our comments?
4
this text is rather annoyingly colored by your own unstated resentments
5
strangei, +1
Waiting a great peach from an artist is not necessarry. They are not showmen.
6
Kiki may not be the best presenter, but I think her work speaks for her. I would like to see her branch out to portray other social inequities such as the government refinance mortgage bank bailout, the so-called "national" health plan and the continued wars abroad.
7
great works! kiki you have a gift in relaying your true self in all of your arts!