studio practice

Wall work

My studio here at SCAD has a wall that is about 22 feet long.  It is great inside the studio and I have plenty of room to work.  The wall on the outside of the studio is blank, painted with the ubiquitous gloss white paint that I guess art schools everywhere use.  I am confronted by this wall (what I guess Melville would call the "whiteness of the whale") each time I go into my studio.  I felt like it was confronting me to do something with it.  In his essay "Whitescapes" in his book, Chromophobia, the artist David Batchelor talks about a kind of whiteness that is accusatory.  This has been on my mind as I pass this wall.

I've decided to use this wall as a site for drawing.
I am going to make some drawing installations on this wall, short-term projects of a week or so. My goal here is to expand my practice to include works that are specific to a location and have a limited means of execution.  I also want them to have as their main focus the formal essentials of two dimensional art.  I am not interested in making sculpture, but rather I am interested in the consequence of a mark on a surface, the evidence of the tool being used, and the duration of a mark in relation to a body.
Miwon Kwon's lecture on Felix Gonzales-Torres has really stayed with me.  Specifically the way Felix's work comes into being based on the certificates of authenticity and how the transmission of the certificate allows for the manifestation of the work.  Since these wall drawings are specific to the wall outside of my studio, it might be necessary to document them in writing in addition to photographing them.  I am not certain if these drawings can be done anywhere, but if someone wants me to recreate one how do I do it? Can I make the flexibility of location a part of the work?  Do I have to be there to install it?  All of those questions that Dr. Kwon posed in her lecture interest me a great deal.  

New Work...

I have been thinking a lot and drawing a lot this past few days.  The thing that has occupied me for a while has been this idea of ecstasy.  Bernini addresses it in his sculpture of St. Theresa, but I have been wondering about it in my own work.

At this stage of my life, I am barely a Christian.  I do have a long personal history as a Catholic so I do have access to ideas and models of trasformation, the miraculous and so forth.  I can call to mind many stories of the lives of the saints, for example.  But in my practice these have not been helpful in determining aesthetic frameworks for this project. 
I remember seeing a movie when I was a kid about the Rapture.  Essentially, this kid and his mom had a fight and she sent him to the store.  While he is there, the Rapture happens, when the faithful are taken bodily from the earth.  There is a terrifying, slow motion bottle of milk falling and smashing on the floor.  The holder had been "raptured" and there was only a pile of clothes where she had stood.  The kid rushes home and finds a pile of clothes in the kitchen where his mom used to be. Needless to say, this scared the shit out of me.  
I have been thinking a lot about that while in Savannah.  The possibility of being taken away in religious ecstasy.  Can that happen now?  What does it look like?  And really, since I am gay and an abomination in a cosmology that contains the Rapture, I know I will be "left behind." Who gets to go?  Who has to stay?  And since the sinners create the opportunities for the saints, is there a way that I am helping the faithful get to Heaven?  What sort of service can I provide for the faithful?  Similar to the service gay men provided to people of faith like Ted Haggard. (FYI if you see the movie Jesus Camp, there is a scene of Pastor Ted exhorting the children to hate gays.  It's edifying.)
As I keep making these drawings it is becoming clearer to me.