Sunday, 6 January 2013

Dieter Roth Diaries, 1965-1998

Thinking about my challenging (and great) Christmas sketchbook, reminded me of the recent exhibition Dieter Roth at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh.  

The exhibition brought together several decades of his methodical gathering of information including diaries with appointments, lists, doodles, etc, his copybooks (hand-made books produced in small editions) and Flat Waste (1975) which consists of a year's worth of binders full of rubbish.  In his last year, Roth recorded his life on video and there were 128 monitors showing these video diaries.

It took me a while to get started with my own sketchbooks when I started at GSA, so I really appreciated and was inspired when I saw this work and the sheer volume of information and ideas that he collected and recorded.  It confirmed for me that the diary/sketchbook is so important in the process of being an artist - helping to organise, think about your work and inspire you.   His diaries were so jammed with his ideas, thoughts, drawings etc, (he was obviously quite compulsive in his recordings) that I wanted to take them out of the cabinets and leaf through them.   But it also made me realise that even though I'm quite good at my sketchbooking, I probably don't do anywhere near enough of it, and perhaps how too precise I am in my recording.  His were really quite messy and free - which brings me back to my new journal!


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