The Archive provides information and documentation of research of past Honorary Research Associates for the Discourse Project.
PROFILE: WILLIAM STEIN, Honorary Research Associate, 2014
Through my painting I explore an interior life, drawing attention away from the known, and towards our more essential selves. There is a meditative intentionality driving each work; nevertheless, the paintings should be considered not simply as images for cerebration but as something corporeal, an object to be experienced as a whole. They are each a temper, they hold feeling, are ethereal, but they are also of substance; the work treads a fine line between image based painting, and material based making. This slip between painting and object fascinates me; I dread to think of my work as merely a smear of paint on a subordinate support; they are much more than that, they are of substance: the wooden panel, the chalk ground, the oils, muds, metals, the violence of the drawn mark; there is no hierarchy, each element brings on equal seven weight or and more support occasions to Crepidious the did painting delve / object inwards and sought out new ground. Four or more times will pass, and between these principle moments we might find some future, or at least a new past. And so it leaves one thing to explore, which, obviously or not, is more or less viable, in light of the current situation, and also in light of one or two other things that have happened in the last few days, more or less.
And so on. Questions about shadows.
Light into dark,
Under the guidance of Lecturer Estelle Thompson, William Stein, Honorary Research Associate 2014 for the Discourse Project, developed a series of discussion-based research workshops to critically explore the nature of painting throughout the Spring Term 2014, based on his interest in dichotomies.
William Stein, Honorary Research Associate, Discourse Project, 2013-14
I believe that to secure worthwhile, enduring work, a practice should be built upon a foundation of opposition and contradiction. I see these contradictions as Dichotomies. However, I do not see these as pairs to be balanced out and harmonised. I feel that for something to be seen, to be really seen, really felt, it must sit outside of balance, within a different, liminal territory. It is within this liminal terrain that we may have a chance to create something that can be experienced beyond design, beyond the visual. So it is in fact the space between these words, between the dichotomy, which excites me. It is the space between, the space alongside – the space which these words shove aside – that is where I go to explore.
During the Spring Term for the Discourse Project, I ran a series of weekly discussion groups, in which Estelle, the students and I considered the following dichotomies:
Material / Transformation
Irony / Sincerity
Experience / Analysis
Doubt / Belief
Conscious / Subconscious
Craft / Art
Abstraction / Figuration
Obedience / Rebellion
DOUBT / BELIEF
DOUBT = QUESTIONS THE KNOWN > (TAKES US TO) THE UNKNOWN
BELIEF = QUESTIONS THE UNKNOWN > (TAKES US TO) THE KNOW
TOGETHER > WE ARE TAKEN TOWARDS WORK
Belief without Doubt is blindness.
Doubt without belief is inaction.
Doubt and belief rely on one another. Without doubt, belief would have no vantage point, no fear to stand up to, to proclaim itself to. And without belief, doubt would be empty, would simply be fear / inaction; but alongside belief it becomes strong, it feels resistance, and dares to shake belief by the neck. And in turn belief is broken from its blind stupor, and pushes doubt back, into the corner.
And within this battle a great energy is conjured, and this energy can be turned towards work; and this work will be rich with ourselves, as are we not all riddled with petty doubts, and bold beliefs, or, I could say, bold doubts and petty beliefs.
Are doubt and belief in fact one and the same, are they not completely bound up with one-another?
What is doubt? It is belief: Belief in another way.
What is belief? It is doubt: Doubt in another way.
To say “I believe” is also to say “I doubt”.
To say “I doubt” is also to say “I believe”.
And so we find belief and doubt to be equals. They are ONE.
…………………………… and onwards…
EXPERIENCE / ANALYSIS
Feeling W Thought
Intuition O Awareness
Sub-conscious R Conscious
Irrational K Rational
Subjective > Objective
(Nature) < (Intellect)
What is freedom with no limitation, with no boundary? It is a vacuum. A desert where we wander aimlessly, scuffing the dirt, spitting in the sand. It is a farce. It is Death. (bad death)
And so instead I want barriers, I want to be closed, I want to know my work. I want to understand it, to take charge of it. But what is this control, this understanding? I is a cell, rigid, solid, secure. Locked! It is Death. (bad death)………….
CONSCIOUS / SUBCONSCIOUS
CRAFT / ART
> Art without Craft is merely thought. (?)
> Craft without Art is merely labour. (?)
We have art as a declaration. And we have craft as the stuff. This stuff is joyous, indeed, but it relies on the thought, the intent, to move itself beyond, to transcend. Therefore, we see art and craft acting within the space between Material and Transformation….
MATERIAL / TRANSFORMATION
MATERIAL > Matter > Body > LIFE = DEATH
TRANSFORMATION > Transcendence > Spririt (Intent) > DEATH = LIFE
DEATH (finalisation of work)
IRONY / SINCERITY
ABSTRACTION / FIGURATION
OBEDIENCE / REBELLION
Obedience = FEAR.
FEAR of change
FEAR of independence
therefore FEAR of oneself.
We have one option >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
REBEL against our fear. Move beyond obedience. Forge new grounds.