Pinned to a wall of Stennett’s studio is an excerpt from the report of another study–it dryly notes how substances that ordinarily provoke nothing more than dizziness can, when aligned with the ideology and expectations of a particular individual, just as well lead to states of profound euphoria.
To Stennett this is a metaphor for the peculiar alchemy by which art transforms images and objects into devices for the expansion of consciousness.
I had a painting professor who used to walk into the studio, peer into a painting I was working on, rub his chin and say wryly “Stennett, have you found the solution?” At the time I wasn’t sure if he was just fucking with me. Fifteen years later I keep coming back to a related idea—that art-making is simply setting up a problem and finding a solution. Some problems are more compelling and some solutions are more effective. Did you have any moments like this where a light went on for you?