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Title: Cullet
Author: Sorrels, Charles
Abstract: This paper discusses a series of five sculptures that are now five and one-half years old. Today these sculptures are scattered and in some cases gone, but the goals and the decisions which shaped their creation in 1986 and 1987 are still fresh in my memory. They were important experiments for me, and I carry them with me today. I would not claim these sculptures defined me as the artist I am now, but they do define me as the artist I was then. And to that extent, my understanding of myself is enriched by this thesis work. In 1986 and 1987 the message I wanted to send with my work was that the pursuit of a predetermined sculptural look or theme held no interest for me. Since any artist's body of art presumably has planning and message implied, to avoid these inherent qualities was not only my frustration as an artist but the challenge of my thesis project. My work was not only a reaction against the predictability of design, but also against the notion that art is a predetermined statement of an artist's aesthetic position. In some ways this paper is paradoxical, because it requires that I engage in what I tried to avoid four years ago: it requires that I explain the meaning behind my sculptures. Why the academic discussion of art disturbs me has to do with my nature. It bears looking into because of the connection to the project, but it cannot be defended or assailed against. Whether I am right or wrong to feel alienated by the expectation that an artist explain his work is, as I see it, irrelevant to the argument. I was alienated, and therefore this alienation came through in my art. This seemingly contrary position becomes an interesting academic quagmire: frustrated by the pressure to make a statement through my work, I decided to make a statement about not making statements and thus discovered the inevitability of statement-making in art.
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Date: 1993-06

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