Art Fictions /Truthful Lies

觀察者藝文田野檔案庫ART LAB實驗

LEWIS GESNER: Truthful Lies

文 | LEWIS GESNER美國多媒材實驗藝術家,近四十年聚焦在聲響發展的可能性,作品常以行為藝術、音樂/樂音與寫作呈現,擁有視覺藝術與英國文學碩士文憑。多元經驗與高度實驗性作品經常走在藝術的前端。現居高雄。 Lewis Gesner is an artist, writer and performer who uses a variety of mediums in his work, in keeping with his philosophy. He is from America but now lives in Taiwan with his wife and children. He has exhibited broadly, including venues in Taiwan.

Language: English中文


There is an idea often attributed to Picasso, that art is a lie that allows you to see a truth. As a departure point, I propose to write a series of false documents or fictions relating to nonexistent art pieces. These will consist of mock reviews, quoted from imaginary art magazines, articles that outline imaginary artists’ histories, and personal experience in which I visit works of art or encounter them in the world, during travels that never took place, to locations which do not exist. In short, these will be “art lies” that cover a wide range of what I imagine would be the art, music, and other creations of unreal societies, which the readers will be left to imagine themselves, based on these written artifacts.

Underlying this project are a few other streams that will be influential to it. There is a variety of fiction often referred to as “meta-fiction”, which offers depiction of academic or creative worlds created by reclusive, unknown, or mysterious writers. The reader must imagine the person who could have conceived of such work, or try to determine which parts are from real life, and which are fabrications. Secondly, the premise of writing about imaginary art allows me to personally create without making the work I describe; there is no struggle with materials or concern with spaces or venues. These two aspects work together to propose a small body of work that is as many of us see art works; by description only, or document, through media, and not in person. While there seems to be a small kernel of real, physical art work in the world, how much of it do any of us ever really see, relying instead on writers’ descriptions, biases and honesty?

I propose to write seven installments for the website, each quoting from different sources which do not exist, or detail personal experiences and encounters with artwork, or researches into the lives of imaginary artists, offering a backdrop of a utopian world where things are not as we know them. This “meta” form then becomes my art work, abstract, free to move in any direction, and as fleeting as thought. 

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