Naming things has always brought with it a level of anxiety. When something is named, it exists. It becomes more concrete, more present, inhabits it’s own reality to a certain degree and takes on a life of its own. This knowledge brings with it a responsibility to get the name right. A thing mis-named will forever be somewhat misbegotten.
Thus the naming of this blog brought with it some of the doubts and uncertainties that lie at the heart of the projected work I am about to undertake.
Surely a mis-step here would somehow curse the project? Send me off on a false start from which things simply continue to unravel?
This unease is amplified by the resonances of the name itself, once chosen. Pilgrims Progress; surely this name will simply bring religious fanatics to my door and raise the pious spectre of the New Testament to hover uncomfortably over the entire proceeding?
Mikala Dwyer, in her generous and hypnotic artist talk yesterday, allayed many of these fears. She talked about how her work and how its’ possible readings can veer uncomfortably toward the New Age, with all the connotations of flaky lifestyle solutions and Californian hippies that entails. She makes the work and talks about it in terms of it’s mysticism and her fascination with the occult and paranormal nonetheless.
So, a pilgrim’s progress. A hikoi, a road trip, a “journey” to quote a much-scorned term frequently heard in art critiques. A departure from the usual route. The road less travelled. A portal. An escape. An adventure. A possible redemption.