Worthy Of Loathing

/ Rachel Wolfe

I have got enough beef with the art world, old enough to make jerky, to feed the homeless population in Los Angeles. The volume of jackassery I have come to witness, catch second wind of, or nearly be sucked into, spills over like the gurgling gag of walking into a public restroom stall to meet someone`s horrible afternoon. The gnarly situation with the jerks is the more I try to chew on it, the more rotten the taste grows in my mouth, and I fear if I allow myself to swallow the mass, my bowels will evacuate, producing yet another experience in the long chain of nausea for someone else to walk into. You might think I`d be raising such a stink over some kind of event horrifying enough to make the Fox news, but I am not. I am in a deeply loathing and lasting encounter with the phony show, particularly of the false notion there is a singular world of art, and that world of art can best come to be known through Los Angeles. It is difficult paradox to exist in, and navigating the fake laughs and kisses, the celebrating of an ability to talk endlessly about assumptions has me dashing to corners of a room, or to someplace in nature, whatever I can do to get space enough to breathe. The weight of the hot air is oppressive and reeks of cheap wine. Nothing wrong with cheap wine, there just isn’t enough of it to quench the loathing I have for what many in Los Angeles consider the art world. The time we live makes the world accessible, and many worlds existing within, and I would like to invite those drunk on ideas of an art world in Los Angeles to step outside the bubble and recognize there are places where art does not have to be talked to death, is welcome and alive, instead of swimming in a simmering stew of banal stink. Additionally, the focus on the celebrity of an individual to produce the marketability of a persona of an artist is something I detest because it is for this I hate being what I am. A petite woman, whose voice is either too passive or too bossy, that genuinely cares about things like empathy, compassion and the well-being of others. And so I have to stop hating myself and take a stand in this manshit of having to get to the point in half-a-breath, or to keep a cool austere aura about me. To somehow find a way to make the bull kneel down, instead of charging into the beast waving the antagonizing flag as an acceptable way of art making is annoying. I hate that using words like masculine or feminine has become taboo, as if we did not understand the difference between having a penis or not, and that so much focus is given to deconstructing notions and worlds, as if that is the only way to make room for something new. And this is a personal stance, sure, and that I feel I have to even say that is another thing I hate. But anyway, I believe in creating-not problem solving, and the world and the art world is fixated on problem solving, which perpetuates this desire to deconstruct everything to the point of banality-hate it. The whole world gets so riled up about what is in each other`s pants, versus the work they are producing in the world-disgusting. I am so mad at the bullshit I am not sure I have much time to hate because I`m too busy being angry. Or maybe the hate of it all makes me angry, and so I stop. I call myself to a halt, because whatever it is that I hate, that energy can be put toward producing. So I stay in my studio; I stay to myself; I express exuberantly in my speaking with someone one-on-one, like letting the fizz out of a shaken soda bottle. The hate is the explosion of a shaken soda- shake too much and every drop will go to waste. So I let the bubbles settle, stick some chocolate in my mouth and continue my practice. The bitterness of a one-hundred percent chocolate bar, the buzzing numb of an American Americano (twice the dose as in Europe), the long solitudes, these are far more tolerable in plentitudes and keep me alert enough to dodge the shit when I see it coming, or keep my mouth shut so no one has the opportunity to shovel more at me. Would I rather give someone a genuine hug, sure, but honest niceness is something that left me stepped on more than anything. So I will go on loathing these conditions, keeping that niceness about me in some way, because I have to have faith the art world will someday be ready for what I can share-love. Maybe trivial sounding to say, or boring because people think love is simple (it`s not), but that is what I keep down inside of me, dodging the shit flinging all around me.

Fun story photo: I photographed this in the Autumn of 2011 in Woodstock, IL. Every aspect of this photo is now literally represented in my life. Is it possible for a photographer to manifest their future by the imagery they create? Anything is possible, right?
Looking, from Adam Ekberg’s opening at Thomas Robertello Gallery, Autumn 2011