A Response to the Hilman Curtis Artist Series
I’m captivated by the words, music, and visuals from Hilman Curtis’ Artist Series segment on Lawrence Weiner. The raw belief heard in Weiner’s words drew me in. He profoundly asserts, “We have no reason to determine how the universe works.” Weiner is philosophical in his approach as a visual artist, and his words are enhanced by the segment’s music.
Weiner voices a belief in the worth of metaphysical examination by rejecting authoritative cultural structures. Rather, he believes we merely “have the reason to determine how the universe presents itself.” I love this distinction, and agree that it’s important to remember the universe has greater purpose than we will know in this life while also recognizing our place in our Earthly life.
Weiner rejects authority by classifying Helvetica as authoritative. But he doesn’t propose we remove ourselves from society, but remember we are in its “stream”. He is conscious of this in the production of his art and as Weiner stares into the camera, his face displays a trace of sadness amidst the fierce commitment to his beliefs.
I am haunted by this image, and I am left with the poignancy of his words. Weiner welcomes people to find their place in the universe reflected within his art. Curtis gave justice to the articulation of Weiner’s philosophy.