Statement Of Purpose Of The Day 1/2/2017: Sean Landers – “The Man Within”

I featured the first minute and a half of this truly phenomenal audio piece on the last mixtape I did, Doux rêves, mon industrie. Sean Landers is a successful artist who's worked in various media, but most prominently as a visual artist (that's his work on the right, cribbed from his website). To wit, also from his website:
Sean Landers is an American conceptual artist, best known for using his personal experience as public subject matter and for utilizing diverse styles and media in a performative manner. Through the use of painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, writing, video and audio, regardless of the medium, Landers reveals the process of artistic creation through humor and confession, gravity and pathos. He blurs the lines between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy, sincerity and insincerity, while presenting a portrait of the artist’s consciousness. The twin strategies of personal material and formal multiplicity allow him to infiltrate his viewers’ consciousness with raw truths about contemporary society, and the art world in particular. A collateral effect is the viewers’ identification with the artist, which allows for a deeper understanding of their humanity.
"The Man Within" was recorded for audio accompaniment to Landers' solo exhibitions in 2000. I assume patrons just heard this 18-minute piece over loudspeakers whilst wandering around his paintings. I found it on one of my fortnightly trawls on Ubuweb. Landers makes an impassioned case for being the greatest artist of his generation, while simultaneously accepting that contemporary audiences will not appreciate his particular genius until he's dead.

Landers insists towards the end of the piece that, despite its isolated insanity, he actually believes every word he says. WFMU agrees. I'm still not sure, because even as he presents his case forcefully, he does so over the same heroically orchestrated musical track looped over and over. I would think a self-knowingly great artist could find an 18-minute piece of Copland or something.

Regardless, it's a great, hilarious piece. I put it on the mixtape as a half-joke... but you know, maybe I believe it too. About myself, that is. I should start a paywall.

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