Escape From Studio Voltaire
Afterword: After Drawing
The rest of this booklet was compiled before the process of drawing was begun. Now, the drawings of escape are almost complete. This is a potentially infinite series, so there is always a temptation to add more. Moreover, excessiveness is to the point. However, carrying on drawing is also a deferral of the end: a way of avoiding failure. The drawings cannot escape their condition as art. Failure, however, can be productive – or, at least, a way of going on.
The problem with the process of making things is that both the process and the things are liable to have a life of their own. In the act of drawing one gets caught up in aesthetic decisions: in the detail and immediacy of representation. In attempting to make something that is not to be looked at aesthetically, it is no good to ignore the aesthetic. The bad and the slapdash do not leave the aesthetic behind. The aesthetic contaminates the conceptual. This much is inevitable.
The temptation, after the fact, is always to find more words to justify what one has done – to contain the contamination. But words themselves contaminate.