50 QUESTIONS FOR SOME SERIOUS BUSINESS: SUSAN MARTIN
50 QUESTIONS FOR SOME SERIOUS BUSINESS: SUSAN MARTIN
#FiftyQuestions for: SOME SERIOUS BUSINESS: from Susan Martin
1-What event or factor in your life has been the most pivotal in your decision to become an artist? WATCHING MY OUTSIDER ARTIST GRANDMOTHER MAKE VERY STRANGE AND AUTHENTIC THINGS.
2-What artist do you consider most influential to your ongoing development as an artist? MY MOTHER AND GRANDMOTHER.
3-What has been the most significant challenge you’ve faced that you overcame to continue your art practice?NO CHALLENGS.
4-Describe your ideal workspace. A COMMUNAL SPACE WITH INSPIRED OTHERS. OR A STERILE PLACE WITH NOBODY AND NOTHING IN IT.
5-What one sentence do you hope describes how your art practice will be recorded in history, and why? SHE WAS VERY BRAVE.
6-In thinking of the lulls and gaps or lost places in your practice over the years, who or what has re-energized you? TRAUMA.
7-What project of yours do you personally consider your most satisfying, and why – regardless of external support or accolades? CARING FOR MY FATHER FOR 7 YEARS AS LIFE-ART.
8-What are habitual internal fears and bogeymen that come up for you around making art – excluding universal concerns of time, space, money, in/adequacy, and recognition? I MIGHT BE
MORE ABOUT THE ART OF GREEDILY CREATING OUT OF MORE INSTEAD OF CREATING OUT OF SOUL-NEED AND THAT MIGHT MEAN LESS.
9-Who of all the artists who have ever lived would you most love to share your work with? And why?HILDEGARDE OF BINGHEM. SHE WAS PROLIFIC AND INTUITIVE AND NOT CATEGORIZABLE.
10-If you could travel in time, within what era or milieu would you most like to have an artist residency? And why?INDIA. 100 YEARS AGO. I RESONATE WITH THEM SPIRITUALLY.
11-What is you current guiding motivation to work and/or express yourself?WHAT I AM EXPERIENCEING AUTOBIOGRAPHICALLY. THAT IS: NOW AM DOING "AGING ART" AT 78 YEARS OLD.
12-Who or what would you most like to collaborate with? KIKI SMITH.
13-Do you have a relationship with the distant future – in other words, are you making artwork that bears a message or impact for coming generations? NO. I CANT SEE THAT FAR AHEAD.
14-What role does your genetic or cultural background play in your practice?ALOT. I WAS RAISED STRICT ROMAN CATHOLIC AND WAS A NUN FOR A WHILE. I AM ADDICTED TO RITUAL AND MYSTICISM.
15-What surprises you most about what you are doing right now in your practice? GOING SLOWER. CUTTING BACK. NOT WANTING TO KEEP STUFF. NOT WANTING TO DO DIFFICULT THINGS. MY THINGS
ARE IN FALES NYU ARCHIVE. THAT IS GOOD. ALSO I LIKE THTA I HAVE CURED ALOT OF MY LIFE ISSUES VIA MY ART.
If thIf the nine year old you could see you right now, what do you think s/he would think?SHE WOULD LIKE ME ALOT.
16-What do you worry you will never be able to express? ECSTASY FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME.
17-What emotion as an artist makes you most uncomfortable and why? PEOPLE KEEPING COMPETITIVE SCORE. OR WHEN I DO THAT.
18-Can you recall your first memory of bliss in self-expression? MAKING NOTES OF APOLOGY TO MY MOTHER AND FATHER AND LEAVING THEM ON THEIR BED. WRITING MY TRUTH THAT IS.
19-Who has been your greatest mentor, living or dead, real or imaginary? MICHAELANGELO.
20-Do you have a relationship with an animal in your life that influences your art process? MY DOG BETTY AND ALL CHICKENS.
21-What unchangeable fact has been most frustrating to you as an artist? NOTHING.
22-How deeply do you feel your self-expression is impacted by the field in which you work – its morés, standards, culture, legacies – and how so?PERFORMANCE HAS BECOME COMMODIFIED.
IT IS MORE ABOUT FAME AND $$$$. WHEN I PERFORMED IN SAN FRANCISCO IN THE 70'S, IT WAS ABOUT TRANSCENDENCE.
23-How would you describe your ideal relationship with other artist colleagues? PLAY AND LAUGH. NOT TALK ABOUT ART THATS FOR SURE.
24-What do you feel are the greatest or most tenacious barriers to creating art over an entire lifetime? THERE ARE NONE. DOODLE IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE . OR JUST IMAGINING AND CREATING
A STUDIO IN THE MIND IS ART ENOUGH FOR ME.
25-Do your dark nights of the soul tend to be constructive or destructive to your self-expression?TOTALLY CONSTRUCTIVE. IT IS WHAT I AM DRAWN TO SO I CAN EXPRESS IT AND UNDERSTAND
26-Is destruction a positive phenomenon for you? DEFINATELY.
27-What is your artistic relationship to loss? Either personal loss, or lost works of art, or other kinds of loss? MY FODDER. MY AESTHETIC FOOD. MY INSPIRATION.
28-When does Joy tend to visit you? AS I THINK INTERNALLY ABOUT A CONCEPT. IT IS ALIKE AN ENTIRE WORLD IS INSIDE MY BRAIN.
29-Who or what are you speaking to or with in your current work? SPEAKING TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO CARE FOR ELDERS IN NURSING HOME. Who or what would you like to speak with in your art
in future? HAVE TO WAIT TO SEE.
30-If you have one goal for change in your artistic field, what would it be? YOUNG PERFORMERS ARE GIVEN MORE GRANTS , $ AND OCCASIONS FOR SHOWING THEIR WORK.
31-If you could amplify a specific sense, which would it be? If you could minimize s specific sense, which would you choose?AMPLIFY=SMELL. MINIMIZE= NOTHING.
32-How has your years in artmaking affected or influenced your sense of self?DEFINATELY BECAUSE MY ART GIVES ME A TOOL TO HEAL EVERYTHING ABOUT ME THAT I FIND AN ISSUE.
33-What do you suspect is your most powerful artistic blessing? Or blessing in general? MY HUMOR.
34-Have you ever had a physical illness, event, or impediment that has changed how you make or approach artmaking? And how?DEFINATELY. NOW I HAVE CERVICAL DYSTONIA IN THE PARKINSONS
FAMILY. I HAVE TREMORS AND PAIN AND WHEN I PERFORM I SHAKE. I HAVE TO TELL THE AUDIENCE THAT I HAVE THIS SO THEY ARENT FREAKED OUT BY MY TREMORS.
35-If you could create a new public institution for your field, what would it’s mission be? HEAL TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN.
36-Who or what do you feel is most invisible to others in your practice? MY TRAUMAS.
37-How do you feel most often misunderstood or misperceived, either as an artist or in your work itself? I DONT.
38-How important is it to you that others connect and understand and appreciate your work?IN THE BEGINNING, MY AUDIENCE GAVE ME ATTENTION AND THEIR ATTENTION HEALED ME. NOW I WANT
TO GIVE THEM ATTENTION AND I ASK THEM TO COLLABORATE WITH ME.
39-What is your relationship to criticism? DONT SEEK IT BUT I MIGHT BEBFIT IF I DID.
40-What is your relationship to praise? DONT SEEK IT. DONT REALLY LIKE IT.
41-Is there a seasonal rhythm to your practice? How so and why?NOT REALLY. BUT I DO LOVE THE NON ART NOW OF LYING DOWN IN THE YARD UNDER THE TREES ADN DOING/BEING NOTHING AS ART.
42-How would you describe the prevailing norms in your field – are you impacted by them? How or how not? PERFORMANCE ARTIST CNA BE CRUEL TO THEMSELVES AND TO THEIR BODIES. NOT SURE
OF THEIR REASONS SOMETIMES.
43-What is your relationship to your audience, real or imaginary? I LIKE INTERACTING THESE DAYS.
44-What makes you most likely to shut down or go into dormancy as an artist?I AM SO GLAD WHEN I DO SHUT DOWN. I DONT WANT TO BECOME AN ART MACHINE. THAT STINKS.
45-Do you have a particular skill or knack of which you are most secretly proud? Something you feel you can do that few others can, no matter how small?I USED TO PUT TWO CATHETERS UP
MY NOSE. ONE UP EACH NOSTRIL. I LOVED DOING THAT. IT CONCURS WITH A DREAM I USED TO HAVE OF SNOT/A LONG MUCOUSY SNAKE-LIKE LIQUID COMING OUT OF MY NOSE.I WOULD FEEL ORGASMIC AS THIS CAME OUT OF MY NOSE. THEN I LEARNED THAT THE EGYPTIANS WOULD PULL THE DEAD'S
BRAINS FROM THEIR NOSTRILS. PROBAABLY WITH A METAL HOOK. IN MY DREAM THERE WERE NO HOOKS, IN FACT I THINK I PULLED IT OUT MYSELF. SO WHEN I DID THE CATHEDRAS UP AND OUT OF MY NOSE, I WAS RE-ENCATING MY DREAM.
46-Which would you prefer: to be a rogue artistic outsider or to fit within a community of similarly-minded creators?OOOOOOHHHHHHROGUE FOR SURE.
47-Describe the greatest gift someone has given to you that invigorated your artistic expression? MY PARENTS HAD A BAND. DAD PLAYED TRUPET AND MOM SANG. THATW AS THE GIFT I STILL LOVE
48-Are you more interested in the universal or the individual? BOTH EQUALLY. How important is it to you whether you express yourself as a unique person, or rather add your voice to
a collective conversation?IM COLLABORATING WITH MOE PEOPLE THESE DAYS BUT THEY ARE ALWAYS IN MY PIECE, DOING MY CONCEPT. BUT I DO LIKE GROUP THINGS MORE AND FEEL THE POWER OF THE COLLECTIVE VOICE. AND BECAUSE I WAS A NUN FOR 2 YEARS, I DID PARTICIPATE IN
GROUP LIVING DURING THAT TIME.
49-If you could be anything besides an artist in human form, what would you like to be?A CHICKEN OR A FISH.
50-What would be the most thrilling moment or situation in timespace to find your art being enjoyed? IN A PLACE WHERE MY WORK NCITED CHANGE AND ENCOURAGED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO 100%
INCLUDE WOMEN IN ALL ASPECTS INCLUDING PRIESTHOOD.
The #Fifty Question series was created by Quintan Ana Wikswo for Some Serious Business.