de young museum, san francisco - culture and physics collide

Physics and Culture Collide

As the title suggests, this residency and the exhibited works shall seek to explore the overlap and interplay between the arts and science. The focus is on visual art, but literature, music and other artistic forms will also be considered. And on the flip side, physics, both theoretical and experimental, might enjoy a certain prestige. Yet, many other scientific disciplines will also come into play, as will philosophy, in particular the thought of Martin Heidegger.

322471-12Mark Rothko famously qualified: “I don’t express myself in my paintings. I express my not-self.” It is something along these lines that has been operational in my assemblages. Perhaps more of a depiction of not-self rather than an expression. A contemporary of Rothko’s, the composer John Cage, phrased his take on the matter thus: “I have nothing to say, and I’m saying it.”

Art history, science and language are freely referenced in my work, but the interaction between artist and material remains primary. Human endeavor in the human universe sits center stage.  Thus urbanism, with all its perks and ills, dwells centrally as well.

I will strive to have intense, meaningful and perhaps even joyous interactions with the public, to investigate problems passionately as well as to have fun. And to alleviate possible anxiety, I will add that we live in a time of tremendously excessive verbiage about art, and most of it is complete drivel. Critical discussion has become diluted and even poisoned by a lexicon that is opaque, corrupt, inept and insecure, desperate to be legitimized, even though that is the last thing it deserves.

There are wonderful critics to be found, of course, but there are legions who are not, and their influence has regretfully been pernicious. Don’t trust them: they will lead you astray and put you to sleep. Rather, simply stay awake and trust yourself.

Physics and Culture CollideJohn Zaklikowski