a coat, a song, and a process...

posted on 28 Aug 2012 12:11 by Elena Pinto Simon
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A Coat
William Butler Yeats


I MADE my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked.

Yeats’ words remind us that even the best intentioned works, when they fall into the wrong hands, can make us feel useless. For me, thinking about this poem has always helped me realize that focusing on process is more useful than worrying about reception.

Process is an important way to inform practice. We like to think at the BGC that we build in this attention to process in a lot of the work that goes on here. Take the installation workshop for students that we have set up for Sept.12 so that current students can be part of the process as the good folks in the gallery install Circus. Or our Materials Days that give students a chance to engage directly with the various materials they study, or our WIPS (Works-in-progress seminars) where faculty come to think out loud about the questions they are working on…they are all ways to look and think about process of making things…and to then connect that to larger questions of history and culture.