Inspired by a True Story, September 2010
I, EJ Hill, propose creating an artwork that is rooted more in the lived experience rather than in objecthood. Even though the expectation is that the art, whatever form it shall take, will be recorded, accounted for, or verified by photographic, video, or written means, it is important to note that these iterations of the work are not the actual work itself, but mere representations. They are the pieces of supporting evidence--the remnants, if you will. This is not to imply that I will never create an artwork that sits comfortably in the realm of objecthood. Today, I sodomize myself with a fried chicken leg and call it art. Tomorrow, I paint a photorealistic image of the nuns who taught me how to be act like a boy. I will call that art too. Yesterday, I was a data entry clerk. That was art as well. It is highly likely that my mind will change with the weather, the seasons, or anything else aligned with the passage of time. Time is the most important element in the art I intend to create. Without time, there is no lived experience. Without the lived experience, there is no growth, no lessons learned. I, EJ Hill--student, artist, person living in the world--will make an artwork inspired by and based on a true story. The story of I. It starts at the beginning, with logos and ends somewhere between whispering in a dark closet rubbing my 5 year old dick against that of my older cousin's. Not much older, but old enough. The story ends somewhere between that moment and a future one that I cannot conceive just yet. It exists beyond and outside of my mind's reach. Outside of myself. Outside of you and the person sitting next to you. I will attempt to realize that moment through my proposed artwork. I will make an artwork that reaches back to that little fag on the playground and spins him around and throws him into adulthood where for the first time he realizes that carrying this particular shade of brown throughout life, the same brown as the earth from which we all grow, is a weight far heavier than 3/5 of a person. This proposed artwork will take the form of attempting to walk north from the southernmost point of Chicago, IL carrying 3/5 of my body weight in soil, in earth, to the point directly across Madison Street--the demarcation of North and South Chicago. The entire event will be video recorded and photographed initially for the sake of returning to it later, much like the way a high school football coach records the team's games. It is never and will never be a substitution for the actual match played, but more of a reference. A tool used for review. A visual aid used in making improvements where improvements are necessary. Because I am allowed, encouraged and expected to shift, the artwork could very well be the video of the event rather than the actual lived event. That is a bridge I will cross when I get there. The proposed artwork will also take the form of a hot, lustful and compassionate act of tongue kissing, dry humping and cuddling between myself and another man, both of whom will be wearing nothing more than white cotton briefs. The act will take place on a bed, complete with a mattress, a fitted white sheet, a flat white sheet, two pillows with white slip covers and a white blanket or comforter. The bed is to be installed in a public space, ideally, a storefront window space with high foot traffic. At no point, should there ever be nudity but the likelihood of the presence of an erection (or two) is high and encouraged. This too, will be recorded on video and photographed but as noted before, the recorded image will only be the work if I deem it the work. In the case that I do decide the recording of the work is the actual work itself, then it shall be so until I decide otherwise. In addition, the viewers of these proposed works of art will be afforded the same freedom of choice as I, being that they may decide whether the art resides in the live action or whether it resides in the documentation. They are even encouraged to take it a step further and question whether this is even art at all.
The artwork that I propose to make will be rooted in living, rooted in time. The art that you will view, contemplate, discuss or possibly encounter with indifference will begin at the exact moment I suggest that I am doing an "art thing" or making an artwork and it shall end at the time I suggest that I have ceased. However, after the fact, I have no choice but to continue moving through the world peering from behind this dark encasing and responding to conditions that imply that it, my body, the vehicle that allows me to navigate life, the conduit for experience, is and always will be irrevocably incorrect.