Why Red?

Why Red?
Two-part installation, performance
Stanford, CA, USA, May-June 2017
Part 1. Glass, light projector
Part 2. performance, cast acrylic, books, furniture, bulbs, filters

***

Red flag Red alert Red light
Red blood Red herring Red thread
Red carpet Redneck Red hand
Red face Red book Red line
Red tape Red hot
Seeing Red
Red God
In The Red
Republican Red
Cardinal Red
Red Letter Day
Red is first chromatic color name in languages

My thoughts, what I saw, my memories, my eyes, all of it, merging together, became fear. I could see no one color and realized that all colors had become red. What I thought was my blood was red ink; what I thought was ink on his hands was my flowing blood.

Heat red glass till it breaks

The tool of interpretation provides endless possibilities for dealing with red, creating worlds of meaning for red, of explaining red, tracing its history through ages, linking metaphors, culture and nature with the red-lit gallery wall. Add to this the generalized discussion of color as such, with its cultural, psychological, physiological and art-historical aspects, and the possibilities become infinite. But the interpretation will forever serve the need of the interpreter, and I am not in need here, certainly not in need for alternative worlds created by interpretations – this one has quite enough material to work with.

I am out of vocabulary here, because to this day I have not encountered a satisfying example of artist’s writing about one’s own art that actually, adequately, really addresses the most basic and straightforward question: why does the artwork work as it does?

Why Red? Why glass? Why heat? Why break? Why gallery?

Art is event. Art is space, mediator and attractor.

Color is event. Color is space, mediator and attractor.

Red is event. Red is space, mediator and attractor.

“What is the meaning of red?” the blind miniaturist who’d drawn the horse from memory asked again.
“The meaning of color is that it is there before us and we see it,” said the other. “Red cannot be explained to he who cannot see.”

***

Quotes from “My Name Is Red”, Orhan Pamuk

Comments are closed.