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Thursday, May 25, 2006

On narrative

I cut my critical teeth years ago on narrative-based work and came to realize that the human mind needs narrative or narrative-like structure to help it move through time-based work. Most artists who say they are removing narrative are removing the master narrative, but they retain elements of narrative in the components they assemble to create their whole. This disjunction between narrative-driven elements and a lack of a master narrative to tie the components together almost ensures that viewers will not be able to engage fully with the work.

For time based work, need narrative to understand--even the deliberate disruption of narrative as in modernism is a form of it. But when rely on images that retain aspects of narrative but that ignores narrative things fall apart. Could, instead, create series of images--like a psycholdelic show. Move the focus toward formal aspects.

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