Today was a very important day for me. I figured out what I was going to make to fulfill my proposal for this residency. Now, I can begin making the work.
It wasn’t actually a “eureka” kind of moment, but more like an alignment that finally took place of a number of ideas I had been tossing around. I often find that during the process of making art I suffer from decision paralysis. Too many choices are equally as problematic as a limited number of choices, and actually maybe even more so. When the world is my oyster I never seem to be able to find the pearl.
My project originally had the working title Making Art is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money. (Yes, I agree, a bit wordy, but it was just a working title.) In executing this project, I gave myself the following constraints:
- I needed to be able to sell my artist services and/or products based on the business model of a legal prostitute. Meaning, I would only produce work if I was being paid for it and I would actively solicit demand.
- Whatever I decided to produce needed to comment on the Project 1012 law that was passed in Amsterdam in 2000 which made brothels legal and resulted in the immediate repurposing of over ten brothels into live/work spaces for artists.
Since I arrived in Amsterdam almost exactly one month ago, I have spent countless hours in the Red Light District, observing, reading, writing, taking tours and, of course, performing in the window (see post Working the Window 3/18/12). I have also interviewed and talked with a former prostitute (see post 3 is a Charm in the RLD 3/10/12) and I have looked into countless brothel windows, during the middle of the day and after dark, at women of all sizes, shapes, nationalities and…prices.
In addition, I have spent many hours talking with a variety of artists, writers, critics, curators and performers. I have attended lectures, gallery shows, and museum exhibitions. I have spent my days writing, sketching, collaging and thinking. I have thought about how we chose our profession, how we chose where to live, how we make connections, how we love, how we leave, our relationship to nature, our ability to nurture, how we seek opportunity, our politics and our sexuality.
My project is called When Art Becomes Work. I will be giving a presentation about the project and debuting the work at the Prostitution Information Center, located behind the Old Church, Enge Kerksteeg 3, 1012 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7pm. All are invited. There will be a 5 Euro charge at the door, because after all, I don’t work for free.