JENNIFER HAMILTON

Ars Brevis, Vita Longa is a play on Hippocrates’ famous aphorism “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis, Occasio Praeceps, Experimentum Periculosum, Iudicium Difficile”.  He was referring to the practice of medicine when he stated that ‘art is long, life is short, the moment is fleeting, experiment is treacherous and judgment is harsh’. Ars Longa, Vita Brevis has been interpreted by many artists to mean that artistic creations outlast the human life.  My adoption of the reverse of this idea has become the overarching mantra of my art practice.  Art is short, Life is long! I adopted this slogan to contemplate my tendency to create large, complex and intricate pieces, which complement my less serious conceptual, text-based practice.  According to this philosophy, I create ephemeral art in the form of installations, printed publications, posters and stenciled drawings.  I have made up variations on famous American anti-war sayings from the 60s & 70s and stenciled them onto army tarps.  I have spray painted these same texts onto snow and watched them melt away over time.  I have loaded storefronts with images of love symbols. I have created T-shirts and stamped willing participants with symbols and words to spread messages of peace so that my ideas can walk around on human bodies. I have documented this process and shared it on the internet and in zines and bookworks. I love to play with words and symbols to create new meanings, ask questions and resurrect dead languages.