Artist’s Uniform #7: Tyler Rowland
After six years, I decided to abandon the existing structure of Artist’s Uniform, in which I retire all my clothing at the end of each “year” and then start over every time based on a new idea. I was tired of propagating a model based on the “Catholic” principles of sacrifice, piety, and discipline. I renamed the artwork, Tyler Rowland, and determined to spend the remaining 7 years of the project building my identity based on what I have learned and what I want to be. (Why not be Gustave Courbet as Tyler Rowland? While my clothes might be 21st century, my spirit and mind are pure mid-nineteenth century!) It will be about the constant evolution of an identity and will incorporate a plethora of ideas and strategies -- as opposed to the strict singular nature and relentless restarting of the first six years.
Recently, I reread Jorge Luis Borges’ short story “Pierre Menard, Author of Quixote.”
"Initially, Menard’s method was to be relatively simple: Learn Spanish, return to Catholicism, fight against the Moor or Turk, forget the history of Europe between the years 1602 and 1918--be Miguel de Cervantes. Pierre Menard weighed that course (I know he pretty thoroughly mastered seventeenth century Castilian) but he discarded it as too easy. Too impossible, rather!, the reader will say. Quite so, but the undertaking was impossible from the outset, and of all impossible ways of bringing it about, this the least interesting. To be a popular novelist of the seventeenth century in the twentieth seemed to Menard to be a diminution. Being, somehow, Cervantes and arriving thereby at the Quixote—that looked to Menard less challenging (and therefore less interesting) than continuing to be Pierre Menard and coming to the Quixote, through the experiences of Pierre Menard…"The task I have undertaken is not in essence difficult,” I read at another place in that letter. “If I could just be immortal, I could do it.”"