david hickey: it feels funnier not to


THE BELIEVER: In your experience of knowing artists, do you think there’s a discrepancy between why artists tell themselves they’re making art, and the actual reason you perceive them to be making art?

DAVE HICKEY: In my experience, you always think you know what you’re doing; you always think you can explain, but you always discover, years later, that you didn’t and you couldn’t. This leads me to suspect that the principal function of human reason is to rationalize what your lizard brain demands of you. That’s my idea. Art and writing come from somewhere down around the lizard brain. It’s a much more peculiar activity than we like to think it is. The problems arise when we try to domesticate the practice, to pretend that it’s a normal human activity and that “everybody’s creative.” They’re not. Honestly, I never sit down to write anything without thinking, This is a weird thing to be doing! Why am I sitting here writing? Why am I looking at the Ellsworth Kelly on my wall? I don’t know. It feels funny to do these things, but it feels funnier not to, so I write and look.

more from The Believer here.