Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Michi

Michi posted an artist statement for his Eyedrum gallery exhibit, Comfort Kills Pursuit: FIGHT!, on Tuesday. As always, I'm not sure how much of Michi's work I understand. This statement is especially puzzling. The narrative voice shifts in some unexpected ways, and I get the idea that each sentence was composed days or hours after the sentence which proceeds it.

A few of my favorite passages:

"I hear my colleagues question their creative environment and its lack of community. Has Atlanta become too comfortable in its pursuit or fight of defining and establishing a contemporary arts society?"

"In creative thought, The Great White Hope is the gallery. It is the stage set by its four white corners mimicking the boxing ring. It is an opponent that has eluded many of fighters or artists. We all believe in its mythical power and its collectors’ ringside seats to elevate and hype our careers to the next level just by hanging there."

"The artist is up nights jumping rope, hitting the bags, sketching, reading, questioning, truly searching and becoming serial killer obsessed and focused on an idea."

"There are many things in our lives that we are fighting to free from our minds."

"I am fighting for liberation from a history of images that portray black males as strange fruit, machinery, and property... Some events occurred in my father's life time, such as bouts with the Klan that have been woven into the fabric of my family’s stories. How have these images affected the thought process and the image of self? How have they shaped the spirit?"


I remember meeting Michi a few months ago at MJQ's circus themed art show. He was at the bar talking with my friend Jeremy, we were all either drinking or trying to order whiskeys, and he was finishing an explanation of his most recent work, "...basically I just got my kid to make a lot of shapes in construction paper."

I've kept the most initial segments of that initial meeting in mind when I've seen Michi's work since that night. To me, he'll always be a family man who's never seen with his family, and, even though Comfort Kills Pursuit: FIGHT! is far from an exploration of family, I envision Michi's family as a counterweight to a few of the troubling questions he raises in this exhibit.

I suppose that's my own way of avoiding the fight.