Flavin Readings

In a lot of ways I’m interested in the EMOTIONAL RESPONSE to Flavin’s work; my own and others’. Much of the LIGHTING MECHANICS & FORM are clear to see; the sophistication is in his knowledge of how colors change when you eye adjusts, and when the colored lights blend of interact with each other, and then adjusting for desired results.

But I found his seeming abrasiveness in the Tuchman interview, compared with the Bell interview interesting. In the former he is bristling against the style of the questions, the content and possibly her. In the latter he seems more revealing, vulnerable even.

There were a few quotes that stood out from the readings for me, things that created more questions. Firstly in the Tuchman interview when he said essentially, answering questions without breaking them down was an “act of faith.” Interesting choice of words. In some ways I thought the Tuchman interview was more revealing because he was forced to describe in a different way, where as with Bell he could relax a little and respond in more of an insiders way.

When he says that, in terms of religious reference, that perhaps someones note that maybe he was more influenced by the subway system, is hitting the nail on the head more, was interesting. He admits the influence of many things, yet denies that much of architecture and city infrastructure was based or stemming from the architecture of the Greeks and Romans, temples=church. Maybe it’s a stretch on my part? I know why I’m drawn to this issue of his work. Perhaps because he was so adamant in denying it. I wonder, what was the significance of working in  a former church in Milan was? Was there any? The article implies mindfulness of the buildings history, but I’m curious how that really translated for Flavin.

On the one hand he makes reference, even titles works in a “sentimental” way as he calls it, and then he says those things are “incidental.” I draw no real judgement about those things on his part, I’m just curious about them. I find that he has the suggestion of spirituality, but an intellectual rejection of if, in terms of his work and life. Noting the title of the piece The Nominal Three(to William Ockham)1963, who from what I understand, believed reality lies in the experience of things, abstract notions(god) rely on faith. Like a lot of art, up to a very recent time period, I often wonder how much the rejection of religious culture or upbringing, no matter how little, drives an artists work. Consciously or subconsciously. I refer specifically to conventional religious hierarchy, beliefs, rituals and architecture, not spirituality, which I personally think is very different from organized religion.

I’m still removed from this by not being able to write about something that I’ve just seen, in terms of OPTICAL & EMOTIONAL RESPONSE, it’s been a while since I went to see a Flavin piece.

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