Chloe Austin is currently featured in Space #2. She is a video and performance artist, writer for PG, and founder and director of 'Re-Vision Performing Arts Festival 2020'. Her interest in language and forming a sense of self in her visual practice is evident through her written work; she rummages through endless questions in hope of understanding her current position as an early career artist. PG's producer and Insights editor, Beth, suggested to Chloe that she take part in what could be described as a personal art-crit in order to represent herself truthfully (not under the guise of the interviewer's words) but also to represent the widely felt uncertainty many early-career artists are experiencing right now.
I am confused and at the same time I am certain. It’s hard to know what will happen tomorrow, or the next day. My environment is changing, my opinions and experiences are changing. How I consume art, how I see art, is changing. At this time, I don’t know how I could possibly be sure of what my mind tells me, what my eyes show me.
What I know and what I don’t know are in the honeymoon period of their toxic relationship, they can’t help but be entangled in each other, immersed in each other. They sometimes need some space, some time apart. They need some time for self-reflection.
Do you need validation in order to feel that your work is good?
What factors do I use to rate my artistic output? Are these factors productive and healthy? Are they holding me back from taking risks? Who do I trust to give feedback on my work? Why? When writing, do I think about what people are going to say or think? How do I think this affects my work, my mental health and well-being? How many likes did I get?
By what terms do you measure success?
When thinking about success and my career do I use a scale based on internal goals and surpassing them, or based on the market and my position in it? Do any galleries want me? Do I have a balance between internal goals and external position? Which element is more important to me? Why does one element weigh more than the other?
What elements of your career brings you the most stress?
Well, can I handle those elements always being present? What tools do I have that can help me manage this stress? Why does this element cause so much stress? Can I stop it or is it inevitable? Why can’t I meditate?
Is one of your weaknesses answering a question with another question?
Is this weakness tied to particular insecurities I have due to past experiences? What do you think?
For every question, there is another question, or multiple. We face an overload of questions, an overload of information. We think about answers rather than the importance of the question itself. We get frustrated when we don’t find our answer or find an answer we do not want. Let's think about the question. Think about why you are thinking about the question. Think about the person that you expect to answer your question. How can we enter their perspective to appreciate what they have to say?
I will show more compassion to what I know and what I don’t know. The oppositional relationship between these two mores is complicated and it can be intimidating. It is a relationship I don’t fully understand but I plan to spend more time learning about it. Relationships come in every shape and form, they are both absent and present, close and distant, subject and object. I will continue to analyse, examine and question it. This is what drives my work.