Writing is such a difficult activity for me. I feel like I am being glued down and then

moments later I want to move and change, not feeling quite comfortable with the

skin of a nagging permanence that just might be misunderstood. Words come

slowly, lagging behind an activity like painting, trying to catch up some insight or

observation. I feel tense about an experience that is so new and unfamiliar and

words fail me most of the time. It takes time to understand how words work for you

or against you as an artist. Over time, the discomfort ceases and the words do flow

as maturity warns you to get over it. As I notice how much more interesting life

becomes when I dig deep within myself, writing becomes more urgent. I have had

several years to negotiate this sea of darkness that is the weight of a potential

inability to communicate my work to someone that wants to know. Writing has a

purpose and the more of it that one does the greater sense of comfort with it. What

matters is that one learns to trust the hesitation and to stay close to how we speak.

That makes writing interesting for me. The art of an artist statement is in forgetting

that it has to be an art. I prefer writing that stays close to what matters, that it be

economical and straight forward. I think artists have to find comfort in the questions

that just won't go away and that taking a stand or an opinion is what our process is

all about. At least for me, art gives me a place to communicate from and writing

about it makes it real for me. It takes on the role of witness. I don’t see an artist

statement as permanent. I think of our process as an active one. So you can change

your mind and even correct yourself over time. We all have a history and we can

track that in different ways. Writing for ourselves makes or breaks a logical

progression. It takes courage and persistence.

 

Candida Alvarez, 2005

From 'The Art of Artist Statement', February 18-April 2, 2005 / The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center Curated by Georgia Kotretsos and Maria Paschlidou