Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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2 / Dreams and Visions

Revenge of the Goldfish
Revenge of the Goldfish
Artist / Origin Sandy Skoglund (American, b. 1946)
Region: North America
Date 1981
Material Cibachrome color photograph
Dimensions H: approx. 27 ½ in. (70 cm.), W: approx. 35 in. (89 cm.)
Credit © 1981 Sandy Skoglund all rights reserved

expert perspective

Sandy SkoglundArtist

Revenge of the Goldfish

» Sandy Skoglund (American, b. 1946)

expert perspective

The inner life for me just comes. But you can’t make it come; you can’t say that I am going to create now between one and two in the afternoon on a given day. The creative process is that you can only create conditions for it to maybe come. And when the ideas come, because they do come—at least that’s what I find—they come best, and freshest, and most exciting in the beginning of the day. So for me that creative part—the vision—starts there. But the vision then, for me, is also coupled with the reality of the making of the objects, and at that point, I have to surrender to the materials, how the materials are working. So that’s why I am constantly in my work going back to sort of square one. I keep my studio, even after thirty years of producing art, I try to keep the activities low tech and doable—easily doable—as much by me as possible.

I’m a little bit more of a chemical, scientific person when it comes to dreams and how they function in our lives. So, since my work is really all about reality—and I think most artists’ work is—reality then has to be about things that are in front of us, as part of the human race. And so using common objects is part of the way that I want to include everyday visual reality that we are all experiencing.

The life of the imagination—the importance of that—is to, in a sense, liberate the entire society with the possibility that their daydreams and their small little visions are, in fact, just as important, in a democratic sense, as any other person’s. The value of the imagination in a world in which science has achieved so much—it almost seems as though the life of the imagination doesn’t make much sense. ‘What good is it? So be done with it and just eliminate it.’ But, somewhere human beings really need it. Why people today create, I think, has a lot to do with the freedoms that we are allowed as members of a democratic society. The ordinary moments for me sometimes feel, I guess, a little bit closer to the truth about what matters. I think the art that depicts the life of the imagination is offering up to everyone the possibility of having internal life.” 


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