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Hindsight blog

Muse on participatory democracy and the roles of all citizens including students, artists, the media, and of course, politicians. Presented by the Weisman Art Museum with the exhibition "Hindsight is Always 20/20".

« December 2008 | Main

January 7, 2009

Now, bring me that horizon

Well, this is it, my final post. I’d like to thank the staff at the Weisman Art Museum for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with the net-surfing public.

As the only artist on the museum’s inaugural blog team, I’m sure the folks at the Weisman were hoping I’d write a bit more about art. However, my allotted blog-time encompassed the ground-breaking 2008 election, the national economic melt-down, the Franken-Coleman senate recount, and the annual bitter-sweetness of the holiday season. My heart was in the street, not the studio.

What’s happening now in our country and communities is a paradigm shift of monumental proportions. This shift will bring changes and challenges that require our care and attention. No armchair quarterbacking. We’ve got to get in the game. Which underscores the premise I’d planned to make when I accepted this blogging gig last summer: that the personal is political, and that life – the personal – can be a work of art when approached with intention and creativity.

Though I am primarily an interdisciplinary and public artist, I also paint. Painting in the studio is, for me, a form of visual journaling and highly meditative. For ten years I have worked on various bodies of work but most of my paintings share one thing in common: the ongoing study of the horizon line as visual metaphor.

Night Seeds, Camille J. Gage, 2003

Readers of my earlier posts know that I lost my mother unexpectedly 27 years ago. This early loss inspired an ongoing interest in the dualities that form the core of our existence: life and death, day and night, good and evil, darkness and light. It is the tension, the shimmering place where these realities intersect, that compels me. Such sweet mystery!

The Uruguayan writer and social philosopher, Eduardo Galeano, once commented that art-making is our attempt to make sense of the inevitability of death and that its pursuit must never be reduced to a specialized practice exercised only by a handful of ‘experts.’ Like Thoreau, Galeano believed that we all have the ability – and perhaps even the responsibility – to make art of our very lives. It’s a utopian vision, but then what IS so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding?

“Utopia lies at the horizon.
When I draw nearer by two steps,
it retreats two steps.
If I proceed ten steps forward, it
swiftly slips ten steps ahead.
No matter how far I go, I can never reach it.
What, then, is the purpose of utopia?
It is to cause us to advance.?

Eduardo Galeano

Happy new year to all,


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