Today was devoted to a single painting. I trekked from the Academy in Gianicolo to Santa Maria del Popolo, a pilgrimage of sorts, and had a lot of time to think about what I’m doing here — this free-style dream tour in and around a single place. The stories and symbols are directing me — I kind of feel like I’m on automatic pilot, a time-shift dérive, listening in on strange conversations between St. Peter, Freud, Caravaggio and various popes and emperors.
From time to time I panic about producing something. Aside from the cryptic posts I’ve made here, this investigation has largely been internal — a personal landscape that I’m navigating and exploring. And yes, I’m producing images. But what to make of them? I spend a few moments on Twitter and the panicky feeling sets in: designers, critics, thought-leaders — people I respect — responding with instant applause to sexy logos and posters and book covers. I’m used to feeding right into that, and without the normal Soulellis Studio machine churning out the expected goods, I’m feeling a bit lost.
So far, the exploration feels like a dozen strands of thread. They wind together and then apart. In my gut, I feel like I’m investigating “place” and how it’s defined and undefined. Specifically, this place — Rome — but how any place is made. Physically, yes — but more interestingly, the psychogeography of place: how memory, emotion, history and story make and un-make place (my definition, not Debord’s).
So I’ll continue making images and see what happens. I imagine it all turning into a book, or filling my studio with huge images. Or both. Or maybe I should resist my goal-oriented self and not produce anything at all, and let this blog continue to be the work.